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1. California University at Northridge: College of Humanities

The program explores how heterosexism, heteronormativity and transphobia intersect and collide with national, ethnic, racial, class and other identifications, fostering a community of learners who grapple with issues of diversity, gender, sexuality and social justice.

2. Denison College (Columbus, Ohio)

To that end, queer studies examines the cultural, social and political implications of sexuality and gender from the perspective of those marginalized by the dominant sexual ethos. It explores the ways that culture defines and regulates sexuality as well as the ways that sexuality structures and shapes social institutions.

3. Hampshire College (Amherst, Massachusetts)

Queer studies at Hampshire utilizes gender theory/philosophy, historical analysis, critical race theory, and contemporary critique to further the discourse on queer identity and community, as well as notions of queering heterosexualized relationships and identities. Courses and projects within queer studies focus on the law, family structure, media representations, public health, religion, the arts, cultural studies, sexuality, and biology.

4. Oregon State University

Queer Studies teaches students, through theory and practice, to:

  • Recognize and articulate entwined relationship between heterosexism, patriarchy, gender regimes, racism, classism, colonialism, and xenophobia
  • Critically engage oppression and inequality through intersectional analyses in scholarship
  • Practice tactics of intervention in their scholarship and activism that challenges all systems of oppression and inequality
  • Interrogate one's own multiple and shifting social locations in relationship to intersecting systems of power
  • Practice social justice and transformation through scholarly, artistic, and organizational projects that engage both the OSU campus and local, national and international communities.

5. Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

As an interdiscipline, Queer Studies focuses not only on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans) lives and communities, but more broadly on the social production and regulation of sexuality and gender. It seeks intersectional, social-constructionist, and transnational understandings of sexual and sexualized embodiments, desires, identities, communities, and cultures both within the U.S. and beyond.


As a direct result of student activism, Wesleyan made its first faculty hire in Queer Studies in 2002. Students in Wesleyan’s Queer Alliance lobbied the administration, secured faculty support, and staged a kiss-in in front of the admissions office.

You know, when I was in high school, and starting to think about what I'd like to study and where I'd like to study it, it was a toss-up between Peace Studies (Wikipedia) and English/Creative Writing. And if Oberlin College had been more barrier-free in 1983, that's very likely the degree I would have gone for. But it wasn't, and Peace Studies are thin on the vine, in academia. So I went the English Major Route at a college closer to home, instead.

But reading these course descriptions recently (prompted by young'uns on Tumblr), I'm realizing that Queer Studies pretty much what you'd get if you through "Peace Studies" in a blender with English/Writing/Art history/Film. And if there had been any paragraph like the ones above in the college catalogs I was reading 35 years ago, I very likely would have signed up for at least one class... and realized I was not straight about 30 years earlier than I did.

Ah well.
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
This week's theme: Thoughts on storytelling.

Because I have them, and though I've said these things "around," before, I'd like to put a collection together here (this could very well end up being much longer than 5 -- but not tonight).

1) Though, to be fair, this first one is Not from me. I found this on the Wordpress Blog "Co-Geeking," here: From the author's unnamed college writing teacher:

“A story is an experiment in moral physics.”

2) Back in April, on the Camp NaNoWriMo fora (in a discussion on whether we prefer happy endings or sad endings, and which is more "realistic"), I made the analogy that a story is like an architect's model, or C.A.D blueprint of the real world -- both are highly simplified version of the real thing they are representing, and both are meant to demonstrate just a few key aspects of the real thing.

Now, in regards to how this relates to happy or sad stories -- if an architect spent most of his energy coming up with designs that failed, and thon was only interested in testing the failure points, I'd be very nervous stepping into any of thon's houses.

3) Someone in that thread pointed out that, anyway, whether a story is "happy" or "sad" depends entirely on when the author chooses to begin and end a story, and one is not inherently more "realistic" than the other (Begin with high school sweethearts and end in the marriage: happy story; begin in marriage and end in divorce: sad, and so forth).

This reminded me, recently, that, in Math, there are no drawn "lines," only representations of "Line segments" -- actual lines are imaginary, and go toward infinity at both ends. Likewise, every story is actually a chapter,

4) Actually came up with this analogy thanks to a discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, over on her journal, regarding the "contract" between Teller/Author and Audience/Reader:

Teller: I will take you on a road trip -- might be just around the corner, or some place distant and strange. But I will show you things you've never seen. And I promise: I will bring you home safe.

Audience: And I'll pay for gas.

5) Might as well put the thought expressed in my Dreamwidth default icon here (after all, might not be my default forever):

"If you want to be a hero, be good to the storyteller." There's an unwritten subtitle to that: Everyone is a storyteller.

--And, here, I've hit the Yawn Wall--
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
Sometimes, I encounter a word, and think: "Perfect name for a cat!"* Though, when new cats actually come into my life, their personalities always trump my fancy notions. Still, I keep a growing list, in case a fictional human under my care needs a cat.

Here's a partial list:

1. First name, Octothorp (OED spelling), followed by any fitting adjective, such as: Octothorp Fuzzy, or Octothorp Trouble -- Inspired by this video: #Octothorpe: A symbolistic journey For a cat-of-common-people, who has no need for jargon (is there such a creature?), "Hashtag" would work.

2. Pheno Menon (Pheno for short). For siblings from the same litter: Pheno and Mena.

3. Grawlix -- the random symbols used in speech balloons for "Bleeped" obscenities. 'Nuff said.

4. (okay, I'll admit I'm drawing a blank, and this is padding to make the list come out to "5," but still, it's character that deserves a nod): Oliver Cob -- the character in Ben Jonson's play who's given the line "Care'll kill a cat." (more truth than "Curiosity!").

5. Mumpsimus -- word I learned this morning. Means sticking with a wrong pronunciation of a word (or idea, or habit) simply for stubbornness, or because you like it.

*Funny how it's never "Dog" that pops into my mind, though occasionally it'll be "Horse".
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
"Cuteness" may, or may not, have been my filter of choice.

1. A Sun Bear

2. A Lumpfish

3. Virginia creeper -- Hey, plants are creatures, too! (Sorry about the human photo bomber).

4. Have some conventional cuteness, if you must, with a guinea pig.

5. And a Rose Breasted Grosbeak couple... Not sure what she thinks of his moves. Is this a mating display, or just an awkward landing?
capriuni: text: "5 things" (5 things)
A mix of Fantasy, Art, and Science, in that order:

1) Nebula (What How to Train Your Dragon SHOULD have been)

2) Jake Shimabukuro sound checks his ukulele

3) We land on a comet!

4) Blessed -- by Patti Durr Patti Durr is a Deaf artist and social justice activist from Rochester, NY. This is a video of a recent mural she's done, filmed through a narrow vertical opening, so the whole thing unfolds over time. There is, naturally, no sound track.

5) And last (but certainly not least): What's hidden among the tallest trees on Earth? (a TED-ed video)
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1) George Formby: Granddad's Flannelette Nightshirt )
My favorite bit, besides his winking at the audience through the camera lens, is the fellow in the crowd, whose "dancing" consists of bouncing on his toes ...

2) Andrea Gibson: Letter to the Playground Bully )
The camera is shaky, but I like this version because of the cadence in her reading, here.

3) Head Squeeze Sci-Guide: How many dimensions are there? )
I believe there was a certain teenage granddaughter who insisted there were five dimensions...

4) Water balloons + High Voltage + High Speed Camera = Science! )
Mad Playful scientists with spare time on a Friday afternoon...

5) Classic 'Electric Company': I know I am a cow. )
A joke written for seven-year-olds that still always makes me laugh..
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1) My guilty pleasure snack is munching on Ramen noodles in their crunchy state. But I can't stand the flavor packet powders most come with -- way too salty, and I can never manage to mix them evenly when I do occasionally soak them in boiling water.

So: please sell ramen noodles singly -- as something snackable. Maybe in bite sizes, even.

2) Most of my evening meals are the frozen entree variety, because Reasons. So I notice that several frozen dinner options still include a dessert -- mostly fruit of some sort in a sugar syrup. While a nice idea in theory, this is always a disaster in reality. I like cinnamon apples, but not spattered as an accidental sauce on my broccoli.

So: please put a frozen dessert with your meals. Make the little plastic cup it's in detachable from the main tray, so it can be set aside to soften while the main course is duly zapped. That way, I could have a little lemon sorbet (or whatever) after my lasagna (or whatever). And if I don't feel like having dessert today, I could put the cup of it back in the freezer to save up for another time.

3) Speaking of freezers: as a wheelchair user, I need a side-by-side fridge-freezer unit (can't reach a freezer either Up Above or Down Below). Also, being in a wheelchair, I have to pull up alongside the freezer, and lean sideways over my armrest to get anything (if I pulled up facing the freezer, my knees and feet would get in the way, preventing me from getting close enough). Side freezers are deep and narrow. And things that slide all the way back to the shelves are nearly impossible to reach.

So: please make a side by side freezer with pull-out drawers, like you have on the fridge side. That way I could get to things in the back without risking knocking all the things in front onto the floor... I imagine ambulatory folks would also find this convenient.

Leaving the kitchen:

4) Windows 8 has a pack of X-Box versions of their Solitaire card games, complete with Achievements to be unlocked. But one achievement that would make me really proud is one they don't even recognize.

So: please make a "Won a game without using the Undo Button" medal...

5) There are two ways, in the Windows Paint app, to come up with colors that are outside the predetermined ones in the Windows pallette. The first is through "edit colors," which pulls up a dialog box that lets you determine the color you want in 3 ways: 1) a pair of click and drag sliders to adjust the hue, saturation, and luminosity, 2) an option to type number values (from 0 to 240) for Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity, or 3) an option to adjust the balance of Red, Green, and Blue (by typing numbers from 0 to 255). The second way to get "custom" colors is to use the eye-dropper tool, which lets you pick any color in any picture (even a photo) by clicking on it.

I like the first option because when I play around and a color I really like, I can note its numerical values so I can recreate it later. I like the second option because I can get truly naturalistic colors by picking them from a photo of the real thing.

But: I can't then edit a color I grab with the eye-dropper (for example: if I'd like to see what that autumn tree red looks like if it were just a bit more muted)

So: please make a Paint Eye-dropper tool that can tell me at least one numerical set for the color I want to grab (either Hue, Saturation, Luminosity, or Red/Green/Blue balance). These numbers could appear in the bottom info line, beside the cursor location, whenever the eye dropper is hovering over a color).
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1) Had an interesting discussion with the nurse at the Wound Clinic on Wednesday. I'd asked if using the antibiotic ointment I had left over would help, and she said, actually, it's better if the silver-impregnated foam pads we're using now are in direct contact with the skin, because silver is so good at killing germs... And then, she mentioned that this property was discovered way back in the Civil War. Back when silver coins actually were silver, they'd put the coins on soldiers' wounds to keep infection down.

And I speculated that maybe that's the origin for the belief that silver protects against witchcraft (thinking maybe this property of silver was known earlier, but evidence just doesn't survive in the written record): A wound that starts out healing nicely, starts to turn putrid, instead. If you have no knowledge of germs, you're likely to blame black magic. But silver stops the deterioration, and the wound starts healing again. Therefore, silver must stop black magic, and women suspected of practicing witchcraft get silver coat buttons shot at them, instead of lead bullets...

2) National Art-Making Month is now over. Other than my Annual self-portrait (satisfying because it's long-form observation drawing), the two pieces of which I am most proud are this video (I drew the image with the music in mind, composed the music with the picture in mind -- on separate days -- and put them together on a third day):

And this image/slogan/poster (what-you-may-call-it):

3) Realization I had, while Art-Making: There's a thin line between "Whimsical" and "Creepy," but what the common thread, and/or tipping point, is, I'm not yet sure.

4) A while back, probably because one of the musician YouTubers I subscribe to was posting a lot of songs accompanied by a banjo-ukulele, old George Formby clips started showing up in my "recommended for you" lists (Brits in my circle will likely know who that is), and I watched a couple and moved on... And then, for some reason I can't quite put my finger on, this last week or so, I got a craving to hear them again, and have been watching them a lot. Of the songs I've caught so far, these are my favorites: They can't fool me, Pardon me, and Talking to the Moon about you ...

You know, I tried looking him up on IMDB, to get some synopses, so I know more context for these songs. And IMDB doesn't have anything on him (!); there's one entry for his Vaudeville-star father, George Formby Sr., but none for his apparent cultural icon of a son. I find this odd.

5) Then, last night, while waiting to finish digesting my late-night snack & and Benedryl (clone), I was surfing YouTube, and this video showed up in my recommendations: Heterosexuals: the first perverts. And after I watched it, I knew I had my fifth thing (social justice history! Aesthetics history! Word History -- All rolled into one!). \o/
capriuni: Illustration of M. Goose riding a gander; caption reads: Beware the magic of words (mother goose)
1) One good thing about watching online, long after the original release, is that I don't have to worry about dealing with that 3-D nonsense.

2) I'd read on Wikipedia that there was a controversy about the title -- with the accusation that Disney removed the female lead's name from the title in a crass and manipulative pander to boys in the audience. I don't know if that's the actual reasoning or not, but I'm glad the change was made. Because that film is to the original story what pureed parsnips are to maple vanilla ice cream: They look kinda similar, from the far side of the room. But get closer, and they smell different, taste different, and feel different. So it's good they put a different label on the carton.

3) This may come across as heresy to some... But I like the movie better than the original. Then again, the original is my second least favorite Grimms' tale (my first least favorite is Sleeping Beauty)

4) Still, this movie did take up a lot of time with a pet peeve of mine: Horses are not dogs! Don't spend all your animating and voicing talent creating a magnificent stallion, and then have him sniff the ground, wag his tail, and sit on his haunches like a dog (you're already giving him human expressions and mannerisms to make his emoting familiar, after all). The gags aren't that funny. There will be kids in your audience who know what real horses are like. And the kids that don't know can learn.

5) So -- This movie did remind me of the original (because of names), and that got a plot bunny hatching in my brain. So, this is how the original ended (1857 version, translated from the German by D. L. Ashliman):

The prince was overcome with grief, and in his despair he threw himself from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell poked out his eyes. Blind, he wandered about in the forest, eating nothing but grass and roots, and doing nothing but weeping and wailing over the loss of his beloved wife. Thus he wandered about miserably for some years, finally happening into the wilderness where Rapunzel lived miserably with the twins that she had given birth to.

He heard a voice and thought it was familiar. He advanced toward it, and as he approached, Rapunzel recognized him, and crying, threw her arms around his neck. Two of her tears fell into his eyes, and they became clear once again, and he could see as well as before. He led her into his kingdom, where he was received with joy, and for a long time they lived happily and satisfied.

So... Rapunzel spends the first part of her childhood hidden away in a walled garden (and she's not a princess; her parents were commoners), her pubescent and young adult years hidden away in a tower, meets and falls in love with the one man who finds her, and the only man she's ever seen in her life, and then spends "several years" as a young single mother in the middle of the forest raising the twins that one man has fathered (so she survived... and made a life for her family. She couldn't have been utterly miserable).

From there -- from a life where she has known nothing but almost complete solitude from birth-- to get whisked into the world of royal etiquette, protocol, and political intrigue (married to a man with depressive and suicidal tendencies). ...Seems to me, that's where the story really gets interesting.

So I have a plot bunny where there's a threat of treason at the castle, or a war, and Rapunzel helps the royal family escape the castle, back to the forest, where she uses the magic she learned at her foster-mother's knee to help defeat the evildoers, and she saves the day. And/or her son and daughter could grow up to be adventurers...
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1) A wonderful piece of writing on sexual objectification, from [personal profile] kestrel: For Sale: The Joy of being sexually objectified (content warning: sexual microagressions treated in a satirical manner)

2) Any time I buy raisins, the package always specifies that they are "Seedless"... I know seedless grapes are a (relatively) new thing, in the history of agriculture... But is it even possible to buy raisins with the seeds in, anymore?

3) Songs originally written for the Hearing, and translated into Sign for the Deaf often make me go "hrm," because a) it often comes from the assumption that the Deaf are "deprived" of music (music, like language, resides in the human mind, and Deaf have their own forms of [visual] music, thank-you-very-much), and b) the qualities of a song that make it musical to the ear are usually lost when translating the lyrics into Sign. But this video gives me all the feels. For one thing, the signers are, themselves, Deaf, and each of the performers has translated the meaning of the English lyrics in their own way -- showing the flexibility and nuance that's possible in Sign. And also, the message of the song itself:

(BTW, at the very last line, the final two performers are signing "We support you.")

4) Oh! The most recent "Inspector Lewis" episode on Masterpiece: Mystery! passed my Disability Test... The young brother-in-law of the murder victim was paraplegic, and a wheelchair user, and he wanted: to get free of his overbearing mother! \o/

5) Another bit of writing that's not from me, but I wanted to share... This time, from Dave Hingsburger: Red and white
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One Unusual Dream: Writing this down so I don't (entirely) forget it: Woke from a dream on Sunday morning that was odd because Nothing Weird Happened. It was incongruous with my waking life, because I was back in college (though my current age), and my mother was alive while my father had died.

But the whole dream was just a community meeting held in the college's student lounge, with invited members of the community (such as school-aged children and their parents). And the project at hand was figuring out how to put on some sort of theatrical festival, and who should be in charge of what, and trying to come to some sort of consensus on structure and theme. And people were talking over each other, and it was hard to keep track of side conversations and make sense of what decisions were actually being made.

But ... That was it. At some point in the middle of thinking: "Man! we have some great ideas, and this could be great, but first, we really need to get our act together..." I woke up.

The only really unusual thing was that the student lounge had a working fireplace at one end of the room, and at one point, I was chatting with a woman while she cleaned out the ashes. But then again, this was an artsy-fartsy Liberal Arts college in the Northeast USA, somewhere, so even that wasn't really weird.

I mean, a dream where no articles of clothing disappeared, ninja octopus assassins were not trying to break in, no getting lost in the hallways on the way to the meeting, only to enter an elevator that's a mini-Egyptian museum. It was weird for being normal.

Two Posts from "Rolling Around in My Head" that have got me thinking: The News in Plain Language (making the news accessible to those with intellectual disabilities) and Forgiveness: A Guest Post by Donna Lee (Why forgiveness is often a stumbling block to healing)

Three things I'm pondering:

A) Coming into social awareness amid the Feminist Pride of the 1970s, I never would have thought that, 40 years later, adolescent young women would be subject to online "slut shaming" and bullying, while their adolescent young men partners are not shamed for the same behavior... Excuse me, but: where-T.F. did That come from?!

B) Related to the "Plain Language" post, above: That Up-Goer-Five text editor demonstrated for me that "Plain Language" =/= "common language," especially if it means a) using an uncommon secondary definition of a common word, and (even more important) creating unusual strings, and long strings, of common words when a single, uncommon, word can convey the idea much more clearly (For example: "Teacher" is in the top thousand, and therefor allowed, but "Teach" is not). Sometimes, jargon really does give us the best words.

C) On the possibility/probability that human beings never will explore the universe outside our own solar system: At first blush, that seems depressing. But then again, maybe alien planets and alien beings need to remain fiction, so that we have a storytelling space for exploring alternate philosophies and historical implications.

Four songs/videos I look up, when I need cheering up:

Die Gedanken sind frei (my try) (in German)

"Experimental Film" with Jim Henson and the Muppets

Symphony of Science - "We are all connected"

Classic Sesame Street - Fruit Song (more often than not, this song pops into my head whenever I'm in the produce section of the grocery ^_^)

Five Favorite Flavors:

Black pepper
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Going back in time, from now to this morning early this afternoon:

5) someone posted this in reply to a YouTube video:

(begin emoticon quote)

(-_-) -> (' . ') -> (o.O) -> (O.O) -> (^_^)

(end emoticon quote)

4) Discovered that This video I made, last week in response to a Vi Hart video, was accepted by Vi (she did not deem it irrelevant or objectionable).

3) Snyder's brand Crispy Sweet Potato chips, with sea salt. Om-Nom.

2) A photograph of a butterfly, posted by [personal profile] spiralsheep

1) Today's strip from Heavenly Nostrils by Dana Simpson

(Marigold Heavenly Nostrils explains the different levels in her "SHIELD OF BORINGNESS" to Pheobe [used on occasion of meeting Pheobe's parents]:

A) Shield of Humoring a Child
B) Shield of Mild Interest
C) Shield of Eyebrow-raising Novelty ...
was also (briefly)
D) Shield of Annoyance... because she forgot to carry the five)
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1. Happy Fourth of July! ...Even if you do not celebrate the commemoration of American Independence from Britain, it's still the Fourth of July (except in those parts of the world where it's not). And in any case, I want the day to be happy for you. Or you to be happy for the day.

Here, have a compicatedly-patriotic poem read my good friend and mentor for the last ... 25 years? )

2. On American Father's Day, I posted a picture of my dad as a young man (around 40 -- younger than I am now o_O). On American Independence Day, here's a picture of him toward the end of his life, posing with two of his fellow Coast Guard veterans:

He's the one on the far left, with the Santa / Father Christmas Beard )

3. They found the Higgs boson (kinda, sorta... maybe?) Father would have been pleased. He was a great fan of bosons.

4. Good in the "Weird and wonderful way Real Life decides to act like a fantasy or sci-fi novel": This morning, I couldn't find my glasses. That's not unusual, or weird or wonderful; I often don't start for bed until I'm already so tired I'm half-way to REM sleep, so I could put my glasses down anywhere between my computer room and bedroom and have no conscious memory of where'd I put them, upon waking again.

The weird and wonderful thing is where I finally discovered they were: they were in the precise point I habitually put them down, on top of my bedside table -- same orientation, position, distance from all four edges of the table, Except they were on the floor under the table.

It's as if there was a shift in the particles, either in my glasses themselves, the table itself (or both) and my glasses did a little tiny quantum through "solid" matter, landing two feet straight down. Or maybe they jumped to a parallel universe, and miscalculated the jump back. Or Douglas Adams was right about the universe disappearing and reappearing the moment its secret is discovered, and we're in a totally new universe, with just one or two things different then they were before... (this is precisely the kind of thing that makes fantasy and sci-fi feel more realistic to me than so-called realism of mainstream fiction... doesn't happen often. But often enough)

5. Cheez-It crackers now come with a "Scrabble" design. I'm geeky enough that I bought some today (I was thinking of getting cheese crackers anyway). And no, the serving size is not seven crackers ... I'm geeky enough to have checked for, too.
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1) A thought which came to me, recently, about why sports fan enthusiasms are publicly celebrated and applauded (stripping off all your shirt in February, and painting your torso in your team's colors is terrific and will get your mug on TV, and the local paper!) but geeky enthusiasms are publicly derided (dressing up in a Third Doctor costume, accurate to a specific episode, and being able to name the costume designer who came up with it and why means you must be psychologically broken, and you probably still live in your parents' basement) --

"Geek," at root, originally meant "village idiot." Thus, it's someone who does not understand, nor values, the commonly held biases of the overarching culture. This makes "Geeks" suspect, especially by those who have a vested interest in maintaining the social status quo.

But Sports act as a proxy for society -- loyalty to "your team" equates to loyalty to your city (or high school, writes she who is currently living in the part of USA where high school football gets twenty minutes coverage on the news, every Friday night). And so this does not raise suspicion.

Geeky enthusiasms (gaming, comics, "genre" television and lit., etc) tend to be things where individual devotion and study yield as much or more satisfaction than organized group activities like sports.

Now, what this means in regards to Geek becoming "chic"... I don't know...

2) My cat Trixie has recently decided that my lap is the center of the universe, and she must be attached to it three-quarters of our mutually waking hours. As much as I love her, and enjoy having her flump over one forearm or the other... it does tend to slow down my typing...

3) Speaking of which, June and Camp!NaNoWriMo is coming, sooner than I was expecting... But I did buy a box of mini-bunny shaped cookies in preparation (to have on hand to give myself rewards for reaching word goals).

4) Semi-randomly: here's an eleven minute video on YouTube that made me so happy this week, I almost cried: Trevor Nunn Coaches David Suchet on Shakespeare's Sonnet #138 (Thank the gods and muses for unscrupulous publishers who want to profit off a playwright's fame!)

5) Regarding the Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss reboot of Sherlock Holmes: The problem with being familiar with the source material is that the titles alone can be spoilers... So -- does anyone know if there will be a third season?
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There are many more posts up for Blogging Against Disablism Day, but here are a handful that my mind keeps returning to. And I couldn't help punning on the "5 good things" theme

1) "I've never met anybody who wasn't important, before."

2) Truth is

3) It gets inside our heads

4) Toppling Transactionalism

5) Recall to Pride: Blogging Against Disablism Day, 2012

And here's a link to the whole archive: Blogging Against Disablism Day -- 2012
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1. A few days ago, I posted some links by / featuring Deaf film maker Wayne Betts Jr. In the lecture I linked to, he pointed out the main problem he has with captioned subtitles -- namely, that in Signed Languages, the cultural norm is for people to maintain constant eye contact while communicating, even when their walking down the street... But when a film has captions at the bottom of the screen, you have to break your focus on the actor to read the static lines of words at the bottom of the screen, and that pulls you out of the story.

In Gallaudet: The Film (2010), he solved this problem by having the words appear in the air around the actors' faces as they spoke and signed... This effect is shown between ~4:30 - 6:30, if you want to take a look.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning (I think it was this morning... might have been yesterday), it occurred to me that this could be the very same reason that so many American English speakers hate to go see foreign language films: it's hard to get immersed in the story, if you have to keep pulling your gaze away, and wouldn't it be neat if all language translation happened in "3-D" modeling, like that, in the space within the film?

Some might assume it would be distracting, but I think it could really work well, especially if it's a film adaptation of a graphic novel (which is a popular film genre, now), since, in graphic novels, the dialog already happens as embedded in the field of action, so people are used to seeing it.

2. And the day after I posted about Deaf film making, this film showed up in my subscription list: Cinematic ASL That! Establishing Shot, where the vlogger talks about the overlap between cinematic technique and ASL storytelling (I highly recommend this guy -- his captioning is full of Internet Meta-Lulz and GeekSpeak). He also talks about the "Establishing Shot" as a technique in storytelling in general, regardless of format or language.

3. With that in mind, I decided to play around with this sonnet-thingy, which I wrote back in July of last year... I'm experimenting with shifting the "establishing shot" of the opening quatrain around, to see how that changes the flow, clarity, and meaning of the whole. The end result, if I ever get there, may be just a tweaked version of the original, or it may be an entirely new piece. Too early to tell.

4. Random list item is random! I've always been fascinated by why "alphabetic order" is the order that it is... probably because I have a deep-seeded aversion to the totally arbitrary, especially in the realm of human invention.

I mean, I can totally accept that the Earth is 93 million miles from the sun, and this is just the right distance to keep most of our water in liquid form, just because of random chance. But the alphabet is a human invention, and humans are subjective, and have reasons for things. And it bothers me that I'm expected to accept the alphabet without any reason at all.

But whenever I query the Internet on this point, the only answer I've ever gotten is some variation of:

"Alphabetic order is very old, and can be traced back to the early script of the Phoenicians, though some letters have been added, and/or changed before it transformed into the alphabet used by the Romans..."

Yes, yes... All that's fine. But Why?

...It makes me cranky.

5. Is it just me, or was DreamWidth & LiveJournal like a pair of ghost towns on Saturday? Is it like that every Saturday, and I just never noticed? Where were you people?!
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(I'm typing this with a cat firmly anchored in the crook of my right arm. There is no dislodging her)

57 minutes.

I've had this vague thought that I should write something New Yearsy today. But to tell the truth, I've been drawing a blank.

55 minutes.

Things I've been thinking about instead:

1) Douglas Adams and Richard Dawkins. They were sort of a pair when it came to speaking about their atheism -- I think Dawkins invited Adams to read from HHttG at one of his lectures, iirc. So I've kind of been puzzling through why Dawkins makes me clench my jaw after reading through three successive paragraphs, and Adams fills me with warm fuzzies. And I think I've figured it out: As a writer of speculative, humorous, fiction, Adams recognized that even if a story were untrue it still has worth, even if it's a religious story.

2) I'm really liking the way the series Chuck is winding up its final season. The Intersect, the hi-tech pseudo-scientific, quasi-magical plot device which has driven everything in the previous four seasons has been completely written out (saying how would be spoilers), but the story continues without it, based on the characters (who'd of thunk it?), and what they've learned and how they've changed because of the Intersect. Even though it's not there, now.

Really. Characters who are written as people who can be interesting even without the hook that got the show made in the first place. Wow.

I'm going to keep my eye out for this writing team, to see what they come up with in the future. Because that? is something every genre of series TV needs.

38 minutes.

3) My monster bear. That's what I've been working on this weekend. I'm working from the smallest, fiddly pieces up to the large central torso. So far, I have the snout, ears, and one arm sewn. The arm is... a lot skinnier, turned right side out, than I thought it would be. The main body is a "bright" maroon (not bright, bright, but vivid, and more red then blue) and for the highlight color (inside the mouth, the inner ears and inner arms) is gold-ish (recycled sweatpants that I first bought for my second attempt at my freshman year of college ... 25 years ago?) So my bear will be a mix of new and old. I hope the body won't turn out as proportionally skinny as the arms did -- or at least, that one arm.

27 minutes

4) 2011 was a mixed bag. Emotionally, I think I was just sadder than my normal average. But I did some / am doing some nifty stuff (Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream, my Zazzle store)

5) There is a New Year's Carol (which was considered nostalgic and old fashioned in 1647) with this as a second verse:

And now, with new years gifts, each friend
Unto each other they do send;
God grant we may our lives amend
And that the truth may appear.
Now like the snake cast off your skin
Of evil thoughts and wicked sin,
And to amend this new year begin
God send us a merry new year.

(To the tune of Greensleeves)

I wish New Year's was the Big, Gift-Giving Holiday, instead of Christmas. Because it's a (mostly) secular day; even cultures with different Official New Year days (Chinese, Jewish, Persian, etc.) recognize the Common Era calender, for business, if nothing else. So it's got the energy of a global cultural push behind it. And people could exchange gifts without wondering what holiday name to tack in front of it, and worry if they're using the wrong one.

And that global energy is one reason why the New Year (9 minutes) is a bigger, more emotional holiday for me, personally. But, because of all the local emphasis on December 25, nearly every one else around me is burned out just when I'm starting to want to sing.

(I guess this turned into a New Yearsy post after all.)

6-something minutes...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Samhain)
One: The cats are now in a mood to snuggle in my lap, rather than just sit in my general vicinity (and I'm now wearing long sleeves, so Beatrice [Trixie] can do kneading-paws without performing acupuncture).

Two: "Honey Crisp" apples are in season, and in my grocery store (they are sweet, and crisp -- and juicy enough you can almost slurp them like a peach).

Three: Barley is also in my grocery store ("Pearled" -- aka refined -- barley; still, refined barley has as much fiber as brown rice). So I could get some without resorting to buying it off the Internet.

Four: The sun rises later, so it better matches my practically-vampiric sleep schedule.

Five: Halloween's coming. I have no idea why this makes me cheerful; I haven't actually celebrated it in many, many years. And I deliberately avoid participating in giving out candy to trick-or-treaters (because the logistics of hurrying to the door every time the bell rings is a nightmare of stress, especially when you have no backup). But today, while having my breakfast coffee, I discovered I was talking aloud to myself about "How to think up Halloween costumes that work with crutches and wheelchairs." So there must be something about Halloween that makes me happy. Oh, wait. Maybe it's because it's the one and only holiday where it's socially acceptable to celebrate growling and UN-cutesy things.


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