twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
My grandmother Nellie had a younger brother, Jack, who was friendly and cheerful and helpful and became a baker (and all-around general cook, but that was later). He taught my mother his recipe for piecrust, and it never failed either of us: behind cut -- my comments in ( ) )

Jack was the kind of character that I wish I'd met when I was older -- I think I met him once when I was 4, which wasn't that memorable. As I said, he was a baker, and he was engaged to this girl that everyone in the family liked (which might have been difficult, since Jack was the youngest of 9 and the family tended to be protective of their littlest brother, never mind that he was in his 20s.) And on the day of the wedding ... she didn't show up. Neither did his best man. They'd eloped.

It broke his heart. He couldn't stay in the Ottawa Valley any more; it was just too uncomfortable. So he took a job as a cook on a ranch in Alberta, took the train west, and came back at Christmas when he could. He taught my mom to knit, because he knew how to knit his own socks, and held her skeins of yarn for her while she wound them into balls, telling her stories of the ranch all the time. He taught her how to make piecrust, and a cake that wouldn't fall, and a lot more. Nellie would write to him and get frustrated when he didn't reply -- someone from the ranch would stop at the post office in town once a week or so -- so after two attempts that got no answer one year she put on the address, "If not claimed within two weeks, addressee is deceased; please return to sender." He wrote back really fast after that, and made a big joke of it.

When he came back during World War I, both his parents were dead (his mother a few years earlier but his father died in about 1917-1918) and were buried out in the little cemetery by the river church, without a headstone. He went around to visit all his brothers and sisters, asking for a little money to pay a stone cutter, and got nowhere. And yeah, he could understand that farmers and small merchants had a hard time during wartime, but there was family pride at stake too. So he dug into his own pocket, and one day a gravestone, a tall, elegant granite marker, appeared over their graves. Engraved on it was, "Sacred to the memory of Daniel and Catherine McNeely," and their dates and I think (it's been a while since I saw it) a pious verse of some sort. But in another line, underneath, "Erected by their son, John McNeely." Nobody in the family took it badly, and some found it really funny, but under it all people were grateful that it had been done. And they all thought it was very much a Jack thing to do.

When he died in the late 1960s, after several years in a nursing home back in the Ottawa Valley, near family, he was buried near his parents, and the marker was altered to add his name and dates.

So, please, use Uncle Jack's Piecrust Recipe, and welcome, and pass it along. I don't want it to vanish into the place where good memories go when nobody remembers them any more.

QotD

Jun. 27th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2015-05-05:

"He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer's booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone." -- Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher.

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

chomiji: A young girl, wearing a backward baseball cap, enjoys a classic book (Books - sk8r grrl)
[personal profile] chomiji

The Exchange at Fic Corner is a gift exchange for fic based on children's and YA books and short stories from picture books to edgy teen novels. The FAQ can be found on Dreamwidth (and I think on LJ still).

June 15th - 21th - Sign-Ups
June 22th - Assignments Sent Out
September 1st - Deadline for Stories
September 6 (or 7th?) - Collection Goes Live (Hmm, I need to ask the mod - it looks like they changed that date ... sometime the first week of September, at any rate)

Tag Set (on AO3)

Sign Up Form (on AO3)

Good timing for a Yuletide warmup, perhaps?

Unexpected encounters, part 3

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:55 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was the first day at St. Bonaventure University, to which I was transferring after two years above the Adirondacks at Potsdam State. One of the girls down the hall, who had been there for a couple of years, was showing me around the campus and filling me in on which professors to take for which classes, and which to avoid because they weren't as good, and which to avoid because they hit on the students -- all good things to know.

After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.

Then I looked up.

There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.

I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.

The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.

The girl with me never saw a thing.

I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.

I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.

Enemies of America

Jun. 26th, 2017 04:56 pm
supergee: (reclining)
[personal profile] supergee
Radley Balko says, We should treat Confederate monuments the way Moscow and Budapest have treated communist statues. They want me to bend over and turn off my ad block  )

"Ugh, troll bogies!"

Jun. 26th, 2017 01:05 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

[This was the review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone” I posted on June 8th 1999, shortly before the release of “Azkaban”.]

It's been quite a while since I enjoyed a previously unread children's book as much as I enjoyed HP&TPS. At first, the book did seem to skip through genres quite jerkily: I think the introduction, an ugly-duckling story as with the start of, say, James and the Giant Peach, was a bit too long for a section so separate from the rest of the story. But the mystery part was excellent and I never guessed the secret. (It's an interesting point that there's no way you can be really evil if you have a stammer.) Considered as a school story... I'm not sure I can tell: the conventions for stories about boys' schools and girls' schools are so different, and good stories (such as this one) about co-ed schools are correspondingly so rare. Perhaps this is just my limited experience.

Incidentally, I wonder how much she was influenced by DWJ. The idea of the Ministry of Magic is very similar to Chrestomanci's department (though with different motives); you could perhaps draw (a few) parallels with Witch Week.

The description of the first few days at the school did get slightly irritating, because your attention kept being summarily drawn to a rapid succession of things which were (or seemed to be) just for show, without any obvious use in the story (e.g. the Choosing Hat): it was rather as though the author had invited you over to show you her holiday snaps. This is one of the places where I'd draw unfavourable comparisons with the subtle way DWJ has of doing the same thing; nevertheless, there are lots of good little ideas used well, with Diagon Alley and the Every Flavour sweets being especially memorable.

A few oddnesses: I'm sure Hermione's logic puzzle has more than one solution. The bizarre HM turned without warning into a bizarre moralist beside the Mirror of Erised (though you could draw comparisons with his behaviour by Harry's sick bed). Quidditch was rather run to death. Were there really no half-decent people in the whole of Slytherin? And by the way, I'm fairly sure I remember reading in Brewer that the Philosopher's Stone was pink and crumbly, not scarlet... hmm!

But it's also been a while since I've slowed down towards the end of a book because I know I'm going to miss the characters (cf. the Neverending Story). So I think I'll look out for the sequel... besides, I want to know whether Harry & Hermione get together :) . I'll certainly be recommending this to people I know who are sensible enough to want to read it.

[And a small claim to fame: AFAIK I was the first person to try to create a Harry Potter newsgroup.]

QotD

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers." -- Ray Bradbury (b. 1920-08-22, d. 2012-06-05), Dandelion Wine

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Ifixit.com, the free repair manual.

The world's first waterpark for people with disabilies.

Facebook now provides resources for journalists' safety.

Trump has shut off the televised feed -- and all cameras present -- at press conferences (thus ensuring the only video record of what was said is in his hands), and journalists condemn this -- but they're not boycotting the conferences.

The Washington Post is using an AI to moderate comments to the paper.

Johnny Depp opened his mouth at the Glastonbury Festival and dropped a big one: When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? As if that weren't enough to catch the morning edition, his financial woes -- what is this, spending $2 million a month? -- may sink the Pirates franchise. I look at his spending habits and all I can think is, this is a guy who was a kid who was really poor at some point, and it has never left him.

Famous women have been denying the mores of fashion (and conservatives) and wearing menswear for years. Here are some photos.

Trump is being sued for intentionally destroying presidential records. And also, he's played upon the grief of people whose family members were killed by undocumented immigrants (whether in a car accident or otherwise) to get their support.

Canada is tired of dealing with Trump, so now it's doing business with individual states and cities.

Trump also has dropped a grant for a nonprofit that helps people leave violent right-wing groups. It's like he and his crew want us to be harassed by neoNazis, isn't it?

Sen. Warren blasts the blood-money cuts in the Republican anti-health bill.

Unfortunately for us all, the Senate can't slow the progress of the GOP bill once it's written, so they're doing all they can now. And here's the Economic Policy Institute on what we have to lose.

And five Republicans refuse to support the bill -- one because it's too harsh, four because it's too liberal. I have some concerns about the mental health of those four. And McConnell may think he will win by losing if it goes down at a vote. Why? Then it's over for this year and they can go on to amending the tax code to reward the wealthy and steal from the rest of us. What a thoroughgoing scoundrel!

I don't want to say this, but there are strong rumors that Supreme Court Justice Kennedy may want to retire at the end of this term. That means either we go back to an 8-person court or we get another retroRepublian, for the next 30 years. But, in the meantime, the Court has agreed to hear a bill on gerrymandering that will affect Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maryland (and probably others as well.)

Bill Cosby, who will face another trial in the aftermath of his mistrial,
plans to give speeches on how not to be arrested for sexual assault. No printable comment on this is possible.

More on Yellowstone grizzlies losing endangered-species listing. Thing is, they don't always stay in Yellowstone, and they can be hunted if they stray outside.

Here is a graphic from NARAL that you are free to share where you will.

I am a rose

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:02 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

This is the first of our rose plants to flower.
The plant's name is Sheila.


I've been growing roses all my life.
I wear a necklace of rosewood.
In many ways, I am a rose.

Roses aren't naturally climbing plants, like bindweed or grapevines. They must be cared for, and bound to a structure. And I've learned that I need to give myself a structure, or I can't naturally climb.

I am a rose.

Roses need work. They must be pruned. The pruning is painful, but without it they won't flower.

I am a rose.

Nobody cares about dog-roses, nobody notices them, but they grow wild wherever they please. The popular roses that everyone admires are sterile and can't spread: they survive because they're grafted onto a dog-rose root. The roses nobody cares about are the roses that keep the others alive.

I am a rose.

I grew up near one of the biggest rose nurseries in the country, so everywhere there was me, there were roses too. I fell into many a rosebush while I was learning to ride a bike. I carefully grew one up the side of the house, a yellow rose with a mind of its own: soon I had to leave it to its own devices because it had grown taller than my arms could reach.

I am a rose.

When I was about six I had a dream of a concentration camp. I had been imprisoned, along with many other humans, by gaseous aliens who lived on methane. The armed guards would float around our cabins and the parade ground, terrifying us as much as they intimidated us.

Of course when you're sent to the camps, they take everything away from you: all your property as well as your dreams and your name. But I'd smuggled in one memento: a small twig of rosewood. I kept it in the pocket of my grey uniform and squeezed it tight whenever I was homesick.

One day I realised that roses have thorns. And that was the day I used the rosewood to burst and kill the guards at the gate, and run free into the outside world. One small piece of reality had torn a hole in the nightmare.

I am a rose.

QotD

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it's more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it's a very powerful combination." -- Jerry Greenfield

[Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating! And unrelatedly, distant greetings to all my friends gathered in NYS for ice cream and camaraderie this weekend -- hoping next year I can manage to make it up there myself again, after too many years absence.]

good? bad? who knows?

Jun. 24th, 2017 04:24 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It's been a day and it hasn't stopped.

There are two farmers markets locally that we go to; the SU goes to the one by the railroad tracks with the good meats, and I sometimes go to the one downtown (locally, not DC), which has good veggies and fruit. I got ready to go to that one today. I got less than a mile away when my stomach said, loudly, "I don't feel well. I may give you back what you've eaten if you keep going."

What could I do? I took the next cross-street, which is a fairly direct route home, and came home and took something to settle the stomach, which continued to grumble.

I had put down my glasses for some reason; when I picked them up, one side piece fell off, behind the hinge. We went to Kaiser; no, they couldn't fix it, but they recommended a shop some distance away that was going to close in about 90 minutes. It took half an hour to get there, but we did. The cost isn't bad -- $65 is a lot better than ordering new glasses and going without for two weeks because the old ones hurt to wear -- and I can pick them up Monday.

The guy who does the repair also does lenses, replacement and new prescriptions, and I may take my very old Bausch & Lomb sunglasses there to get polarized lenses for them, or maybe even the distance half of my prescription so I can use them in situations where I'm at an angle to the sun that puts light on the *back* of the glass (which means I see the glass surface or dust or smears and not through the glass).

So, I can't drive till Monday after we pick the repaired glasses up, since I need them to drive (legally). I was going to get tickets for a local play - I know one of the actors - but the computer glitched on me and blew the sale, and I'm too frustrated, so it will be next weekend.

(I am very glad that I did not agree to be in the Second Life fundraising event today -- which took place about the same time we were driving along the six-lane looking for the address for the glasses repair place.)
(Oh, yeah, I got locked out of my credit union account on Thursday -- their new 'security system' sent my passcode slower than their time limit for entering the passcode, so I had to repeat the process, and then it said that was the wrong passcode... I got in this morning, no problem.)

And I discovered one of the two soprano coyotes -- it's the collie that belongs to what must be new people in the house behind us (none of the people look familiar and the others had a beagle.) It was listening for the *real* coyote in the park and singing replies. The baritone coyote is still out there being a coyote somewhere, I suspect.

But the contractor who bid on the masonry work we need looks very good and we said yes. And the garlic and onions I planted seem to be doing fairly well; I need to trim back lemon balm from shading the garlic, but that's all.

So the world is slightly fuzzy around the edges, but it's not that bad.

QotD

Jun. 24th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We're at a party at a Chuck e Cheese. This place is like something you'd subject a Panamanian dictator to. Why does it exist?" -- Zinnia Jones, 2017-06-03

QotD

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We stand on the shoulders of giants who bothered to login to StackOverflow and explain their problem in words easily indexed by Google." -- SwiftOnSecurity, 2017-06-01

[But also, of course, to the ones who came before StackOverflow, such as Alan Turing (b. 1912-06-23, d. 1954-06-07)]

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why a so-called "pro-life" world has a lot of dead women in it. It isn't really pro-life unless it includes food and shelter and clothes for everyone, health care for everyone, and income for everyone. That's pro-life. RetroRepublicans are only pro-birth; they don't give a damn what happens once that baby is here.

In Missouri, if you use birth control, had an abortion or are pregnant (covering all bases, you notice), you can lose a job, be fired, be not hired. I assume they are not counting condoms as birth control, or they'd have to fire a lot of men, and that just wouldn't do, would it? ::sarcasm filter on full blast:: More on this ignorant stupidity here.



***

Police are literally dragging people away from Sen. McConnell's office as protests break out over the Republican anti-health bill. I refuse to call it a health bill; it is against health.

The Trump occupation will allow nursing homes to strip residents of their legal rights. I want this one to go all the way to the Supreme Court so it can be slapped down so hard it echoes. And Trump has removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies. Can we have *him* tell the grizzlies that? Up close and personal?

Oh, and His Trumpetness's minions say diabetics "don't deserve" health insurance.

***

The Supreme Court unanimously made it harder for the government to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Why aren't bisexuals more welcomed at Pride?

A hospice for elderly dogs who have been abandoned by owners who can't/won't deal with the medical costs that come with age, or whose people have died and have nobody to take them.

Unexpected encounters, part 2

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:32 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The new campsite was a dozen or more miles away, next to a creek, and the only sign of bear was aged dry bear scat that was old and dry enough that it didn't smell. Scotty headed for the outhouse -- and backed out. I took a look in -- I've seen pincushions less full of needles. It seems that a porcupine had climbed in through the outhouse's tiny window (chewed a bit larger for the trip, from the teeth marks) in order to gnaw on and lick salt from the toilet seat (yes, sweat contains salt.) Scotty took a pair of plyers from the car and spent half an hour pulling the most obnoxious of the porcupine quills so the place was usable. (I kept a handful of them for years; I think they vanished in a move.)

We put up the tent, hiked a bit more, cooked dinner, put the rest of the food in the car (the creek was too nearby, and we'd used up the things that needed to be chilled. It was a dark night, clouded over, so we went to sleep fairly early.

And in the middle of the night I woke up.

I had the sense that someone was watching me.

It wasn't Scotty. He was asleep, like a rock.

I could barely hear something walking around outside the tent, circling, looking in at the flap (which was zipped to keep out mosquitos but had a gap where it tied,) and circling again. And again. A faint sense of someone breathing. Not as big as the bear, but with more intention and curiosity. It must have circled half a dozen times before it left.

I fell asleep again.

In the morning, it was plain that we'd had a visitor -- a wolf whose paw prints, with the clearly marked claws, were longer than my hand (and I have long fingers). He'd left us an indication that this was *his* territory -- a small mountain of wolf droppings at least a foot high, right in front of the Mustang's fender. We didn't see him again, and I didn't sense him, but I wished I'd had a bit of plaster of paris to make a cast of one of those tracks, and find some proportion chart to learn just how big he was.

We didn't have any more encounters, and stayed there the rest of the time -- but I had my ears and eyes open in case that wolf was keeping an eye on us still.

QotD

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"[...]
 For want of me the world's course will not fail;
 When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
 The truth is great and shall prevail,
 When none cares whether it prevail or not."

  -- Coventry Patmore (b. 1823-07-23, d. 1896-11-26), "Magna est Veritas", The Unknown Eros, 1877 [spotted in a tweet by @aristofontes]

Reading Wednesday

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:33 pm
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)
[personal profile] chomiji

I finished All the Birds in the Sky. It wasn't bad, but it just sort of ended: too much build up, not enough resolution. And now I'm annoyed by the title, because although it sounds really nifty, it doesn't have all that much to do with the story. This is not going to be my top vote for best novel, I'm afraid.

Also in Hugo reading, I read through Ursula Le Guin's Words Are My Matter, a collection of recent short non-fiction pieces. I love Le Guin as an essayist, and the first part of the book contains some good examples. But the back half-and-a-bit is introductions to books and book reviews, and I found those less interesting. A number of them were for non-genre literary or magical realism works that didn't sound as though they'd appeal to me. She did mention a couple of Western (as in, Western U.S.) novels that I might want to look up, which I will mention here partially for my own reference: Crazy Weather by Charles McNichols and The Jump-Off Creek and The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss. Also, although Perdido Street Station pretty much put me off China Mielville for life, her review of Embassytown is making me reconsider.

Overall, unless the rest of the Related Works are very mediocre, I don't think this will be my top pick in that category.

I have just started Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, which is short-listed for Best Novel. A number of the readers on File 770 had trouble with this book, but I'm not finding it problematic thus far. Possibly the fact that I actually like Anthony Burgess' A Dead Man in Deptford (link goes to Kirkus review), which was also purposefully written in the style of an earlier era, has something to do with this. I'll have to see where the book goes, of course.

Finally, I'll be re-reading some of Fruits Basket, Because Reasons. Does anyone recall the number of the exact volume in which Machi shows up? It's when she wrecks the student council room, if the Wikia is to be believed.

unexpected encounters, part 1

Jun. 21st, 2017 07:18 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was grad school, and I had a short break coming up. Scotty, the guy I was dating, and I decided to go camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. He was from Alaska; I had gone camping for several years with Girl Scouts. We had the equipment, and we headed off to a campsite in the mountains; you didn't have to reserve one, you could just show up and if it wasn't being used, you could have it.

It was raining the first night we were there, so we slept in the Mustang; Ford should know that Mustangs are designed as road cars, not as hotel rooms. Not the best way to sleep, so I wasn't that awake the next day. I made a fire, we had breakfast, and after we hiked for a bit to find the nearest stream and look around, Scotty went to see if there were any other campsites open, such as ones with a lean-to -- those usually need reservations, but you could get lucky.

I stayed at the campsite, which had an outhouse, a fire pit, and not much more. We'd sunk the food in the creek to keep it cool and also reduce the food smell for any animals around, so I wasn't that worried. It was quiet. I went into the outhouse to do what you do in an outhouse.

And, not long after I'd turned the wooden latch on the door, I heard footsteps outside, heavy footsteps, and the kind of deep-in-the-throat growling that comes from something very large. I thought at first that it might be a puma; they're not common in those mountains any more, but they come through sometimes -- but they're shy. This was a big animal, sniffing and sniffing and muttering to itself. And then it pushed on the outside of the outhouse and made a scraping noise, and I nearly stopped breathing. Then it got quiet. I stayed in the outhouse, barely moving at all, until Scotty's Mustang turned off the road and around the corner into the grassy parking area.

And then I got out, several shades whiter than usual. And told him what had happened.

"Bear," he said. And we both looked up at the scratch marks on the outhouse, about eight feet up. "Marking his territory.

We'd seen a much-rolled-upon area in the tall grass about a mile away that he'd said was probably where a bear had slept -- but neither of us had expected it to visit. It was probably looking for food, which we had not had nearby. We decided to move to a different campsite ....
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Chris Christie's opioid commission and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Re the article on psychologists who were involved in torture, the movie Doctors of the Dark Side is about this, and is supposed to be good.

Where are the nurses trained in dealing with sexual assault, to take the evidence for a rape kit?

The Supreme Court on free speech and gerrymandering.

The NY State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News over claims of sexual harassment and retalliation.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has stopped payments from its casino earnings to state and local governments, based on their interpretation of a contract; the state says the payments should continue, based on further paperwork.

New York State raises the age for marriage to 18, eliminating child marriage. Which confuses me a bit, since I knew a couple who ran off to Virginia to get married because they could do it there but not in NY. She was 18 and he was 17 then; according to this article they might not have needed to cross two or three states to do it.

It will take a village to save the Colorado River.

Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have become the stars of the Russia inquiry, and rightfully so for their incisive questions. And we are told that, despite the possibility of blackmail, former National Security Advisor Flynn had access to the most sensitive intelligence.

The race to solar power in Africa.

A new industry in China: mistress dispellers.

Nora Ephron on making "Julie and Julia", and much more. An older article but a good one.

My body doesn't belong to you.
supergee: (pissed)
[personal profile] supergee
For once, Charles Pierce was too nice to David Brooks today. Here’s Drew Magary (uses language)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The wildcats you've never seen.

Color-linked feline personalities, and more.

And dogs that are trained to find human remains, even just bones, are to be used to find Amelia Earhart. Thing is, they may be looking in the wrong place. In Adela Rogers St.Johns' memoir "The Honeycomb", she writes about getting to know Amelia when she was flying in the US, and, after WWII, long after her plane disappeared, speaking with Marines who told her that they had taken the body of a white woman that had been identified as Amelia from the island where they had found her, and under strict orders to keep it quiet, flew her back to Hawaii and buried her in the military cemetery called the Punchbowl, without a marker. So I don't know. Either Adela was lied to -- and she had a superb bullshit meter -- or someone else was buried secretly by night in the Punchbowl. It's not a large place; I'm not sure how it could have been done without being noticed by someone.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Even the Republicans want more details about the health care bill.>/a> And yes, it is frightening that the health care of millions of us depend on a handful of Senators. In addition, some Senators want to change the rules to avoid reconciliation (of the bill) and proceed more quickly. I would call it a deadly scam in the making if it didn't mean life or death for so many of us. But if Mitch McConnell is going to play dirty, Democrats are willing to match him and raise the stakes.

Meanwhile, RetroRepublican VP Mike Pence explains that the Disney movie 'Mulan' is a ploy to get women in the military. He apparently missed the part where a) it's historical, b) she went in instead of her elderly and ill father, c) it's a movie for kids, it's not Top Gun (which could have racked up a lot of enlistments if they'd had recruiters in the theatre hallways when it opened.) Or maybe he's a bit of a nutcase.

298 million US voters' personal information leaked in a security lapse. Read this one.

Trump is taking action against LGBTQ Americans.

Should Amazon become The Place To Buy Everything? And does it want to be more like Apple?

The Green Revolution will happen -- without Trump. But it would work better and faster if pale environmental groups included more diversity.

New Orleans and the Gulf brace for flooding from Tropical Storm Cindy, who is speeding up. Unrelated to Cindy but still FEMA-related, FEMA is preparing for a solar superstorm that would (not could, would) take down the grid in huge sections of the country. We don't know when this one would happen. At least the Trumpets aren't trying to get rid of this... so far.

No, Han Solo isn't a comedian; he's a cynical, sarcastic, selfish jerk (most of the time). And that's why the directors of his movie have been fired, and are being replaced in mid-shoot.

Laura Dern would like actors to get over themselves, please. She should know; she grew up in the business with her father, Bruce Dern, and mother, Diane Ladd.



What the Watergate Committee taught me. The difficulties that cause problems are political alliances, cynicism and fatigue -- sound familiar? Read this.

Where did 'We the People' go?

A lawsuit filed on behalf of former prisoners reveals details about psychologist-approved torture techniques from the psychologists who approved them -- and who now may be held responsible for their use.

Journalist's notebook: Into the battle of Mosul armed with a camera.

The king of Saudi Arabia has replaced his heir with his son. I have no idea how this will affect things, but it will.

The Supreme Court announces broad protections for Internet surfing rights, including for sex offenders.

New York's governor would like to treat hemp like any other crop. This is somewhere between ironic and hilarious to anyone who went to college in the early 1970s--the Doonesbury cartoon about Zonker being jailed for one weed seed is scarily accurate to the times. Yes, I am delighted that hemp is back, and I look forward to being able to buy comfortable hempcloth shirts here instead of going to Canada for them.

The US is relocating a town because of climate change. And this is unlikely to be the last one.

Cats domesticated themselves. And tabby coloring is relatively recent.

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