Posts Tagged: 'world'

Jan. 17th, 2012

the Internet wants to be free

SOPA/PIPA copyright enforcement could cripple free speech, and fanworks too. US peoples, please contact your Senators and Representatives and tell them to kill these stupid bills!

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Aug. 20th, 2010

fandom happies

[ profile] help_pakistan is a fandom auction set up to help Pakistan recover from the recent floods, with 180% of normal monsoon season rain. Apparently the causes include deforestation, population growth, and climate change. The community is a nice way to give together.

Fanvid! Love the Way You Lie, The Gay Hobbit Remix - Merry and Pippin instead of Dom and Megan Fox, it's fabulous!

Orlando 'really excited' over baby )

Late to the party: we saw Inception. We didn't buy most of the premises and the emotional distance, and even Ed got bored with the video-game chases, shootouts, and bombs. Inception is full of hot men (yay!), and Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard (yay!), but wow, it needs lots of fix-it fic, and my slash goggles are apparently non-existent. Eames/Arthur??? Convince me?

Jul. 17th, 2010

random shit

abundantlyqueer is posting fic again! She's done more of the Elijah/Orlando "Dragon Slayer" AU, lots of plot and character tension, still in suspense. And a fantastic Green Street Hooligans fic, Matt (Elijah's character) / Pete (Charlie Hunnum), dialect written so well I could hear his voice: Kick Off.

funny things, free Mac thing, that word doesn't mean... )

More seriously: LiveJournal is purging old journals, the old suspended ones (kicked off for cause), and possibly some deleted by the users. And they're doing it now. Which means that familiar names may show up but are not the same people as they were before. Be careful before friending, k?

off to bed

May. 19th, 2010

News on student loan debt relief

A friend of mine has gigantic student loan debts, and I want to help so I did a little research and found a newish law which implements Income-Based Repayments so there's a limit to how painful they will make your monthly payments:

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) caps monthly federal loan payments at an affordable level based on your income and family size. If you owe more on your federal student loans than you earn in a year, you can probably benefit from IBR. The lower your income, the lower your monthly payment will be: in some cases, as low as $0. IBR is available for almost all federal loans

Essentially, they can set it up so you don't have to pay more than 15% of your income if you are working, maybe nothing but accruing interest if you are unemployed or broke. If you repay under the IBR plan for 25 years and meet certain other requirements, any remaining balance will be cancelled (from

More information: - tons of info, including an animated video (!) and a repayment calculator, and a May 2010 New York Times series Answers About Student Loans.

Better things to come from the new new education law attached to HCR in March; no surprise, it passed with no support from Republicans. No more publicly-supported private loans any more, and as of 2014 new loans will set future repayment amounts limited to 10% of income, forgiveness after 20 years. USA Today and NY Times

For people with lots of different loans and private loans, start by looking at government debt consolidation options. Right now, if you have private loans and a nasty bank, you are screwed: you can't even discharge them through bankruptcy, and the interest just keeps piling on. However, there are bills in Congress to limit unfair practices and fraud, and limit repayment burden, including bankruptcy protection. These are being pushed by Obama and the Democrats, of course. For more, see the Project on Student Debt

(my links go to legit sites -- there are ugly scams out there: good advice from the feds)

ETA: National Student Loan Data System - see how much you owe, and to whom. I'm glad that's available, it's clearly worth filling out the forms.

Mar. 27th, 2010

USAians, don't be shy

Health care reform is all very well and good, but I want all my fandom friends to be well and secure right away dammit! So I found some places that might help.

I had a boyfriend working for the 1980 Census (yes, I'm that old), and they kept him on for months after the first wave was over. So please consider applying: it can't hurt.

apply for jobs with the Census )

Americans tend to be conflicted about asking for government help except when they are automatic and/or we feel we've earned it, like unemployment benefits. But we can't really be self-sufficient, not now or here. We need backup, and that's what government should be for.

You may be eligible for medical coverage )

more possible benefits )

Jan. 24th, 2010

fandom love

I've really admired the fannish generosity in the [ profile] help_haiti community. They already have over $45,000 in confirmed donations, and may double that.

I won lotrips fic by: [ profile] sema427 (formerly [ profile] semaphore27, she's back!), [ profile] lobelia321, [ profile] v_angelique, [ profile] viggorlijah, and [ profile] foxtales: fangirl squeee!!!!

So I made my donations to the help_haiti group for UNICEF. and the Doctors Without Borders emergency relief fund. Why that fund and not their Haiti fund? Because non-profits and charities have to work under a zillion constraints, and earmarking donations to specific funds just adds to that, and makes them less able to handle future crises. A good post on the topic.
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Oct. 31st, 2009

USAians and Canadians, time change tonight

This is the "Fall back" switch from Daylight Savings Time, so set your clocks to 11 pm at midnight or whenever: you can always check, just to be sure. I'm going to try and think of it as an extra hour to sleep in or get things done.

ETA to add Our Neighbors To The North

May. 26th, 2009

California Prop 8 Fail

The fail was back in November when a small majority of voters went against equal marriage rights. The state supreme court just upheld the proposition, because they are bound to decide on the law rather than principle. At least they also confirmed the legal marriages during the interim. But it's not the court's fault, it's the voters' fault, so that's where we have to fight it next. has a list of protests and actions (mostly in California). has another list

There are twitter reports from the Sacramento protest at and from San Francisco at with lots of pictures. More coming at twitter #rejectprop8 is proposing a Meet in the Middle demonstration reaching out from the coastal liberal cities to the more conservative inland California.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win -- Ghandi

May. 18th, 2009

WTF, F/SF? Learn to listen, k?

I've been quiet about Mammothgate (Racefail 09 part deux), partly because it's so easy for me to understand the blindness going on there. I doubt I would have even noticed the assumptions, much less thought of speaking out against them. I just didn't see it either, completely missed the wrongness of handwavingly undoing the existence of all Native Americans for the sake of an interesting story.

Though I have learned that listening is a whole lot better than trying to justify oneself about things that matter like this. The author and defenders didn't think: would they have argued so much if it was a huge anachronism they missed, or a quote from someone 100 years later? Why not shut up and learn, and maybe say Oh shit, I screwed up.

Following a bunch of links I found a fabulous essay by a woman of color writing Science Fiction/Fantasy, Nalo Hopkinson: Looking for clues It's all good, articulate, emotional and inspiring. My favorite bit is this:

... by Samuel R. Delany, which comes from a speech he gave at the Studio Museum of Harlem: "We need visions of the future, and our people need them more than most."

Which is true and right and meaningful but she follows immediately with this:

And yet, that isn't really why I write science fiction and fantasy. It's more like the result, not the reason. Or like the air I'm breathing when I sit down to write.

I hope, very much, we can go on from there.
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Apr. 28th, 2009

Swine Flu is not gonna kill you

a) "pandemic" just means it's everywhere, not that it's killing everyone. don't panic

b) there have been no deaths outside of Mexico, at this point

c) my tame scientist says that there are probably a lot of infected people in Mexico who have not reported symptoms, so even if there is a death rate of 0.01%, that's enough to explain the numbers

d) wash your hands, a lot. If you work with kids, make them wash their hands

e) some good sources of real information (inspired by linaelyn )
panic is silly

Jan. 22nd, 2009

I am a happy American (also GIP)

  1. First day in office, President Obama (oh how I love typing that) put limits on lobbyists, and froze the salaries of staff making more than $100k a year (New York Times).

  2. They have good taste in computers: The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos. (Washington Post)

  3. I'm not much of a gamer, but the US Democracy Server : Patch Day post cracked me up! (gacked from [info]kntb )

  4. A commitment to closing Guantanamo. What a pathetic legal fiction, where only the honor of military lawyers and judges kept us from running Stalinist show trials. What a horror that was. POW status would have been much more appropriate.

in foot news: ow ow ow ow ow.

Jan. 20th, 2009

My country: doing it right this time

I honestly could not have hoped for this a year ago. I did not have confidence that a small majority of our voters could possibly vote for a black man. It really was a choice between the paranoid dangerous past and a rational moderate future.

Obama's not a socialist-leftie, he's a moderate; the Rick Warren thing stinks, wtf about not broadcasting gay bishop Gene Robinson's speech but considering what we've lived with, we have pulled something good from the jaws of disaster.

And I got to watch in a public-school auditorium with kids and parents from all over the world, a wonderful mix of cultures. It made me cry.


Nov. 1st, 2008

US DST and funny videos

Oct. 3rd, 2008

Another Supreme Court Ruling: Dred Scott

I'm not sure where this meme came from, but it's been all over my flist and I love it. The best kind of protest, what we would have called, in my childhood, a Teach-In. I'm not going to repeat the rules, but here I go.

I give you one of the worst rulings ever: Dred Scott (1857), which held that:
Africans residing in America, whether free or slave, could not become United States citizens.
That means that not just those born in Africa, but also their descendants who were born in the United States, were denied the same human rights as all other "races".

It also held that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories, or free states to grant freedom to slaves who entered the states. So, state's rights were great, but not for Free States.

Why? In an appeal to the strict constructionism much like that beloved of our right-wing-looney Supreme Court Justices (Scalia and his shadow, Thomas), the majority decided the drafters of the Constitution had viewed all African-Americans as:
...beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.
That's disgusting.

The ruling, IMNSHO, made the Civil War inevitable. The Slave States were were willing to revolt for the right of states to choose slavery over humanity. Dred Scott encouraged this, going so far pro-slavery as to make compromise impossible.

That was back when the Republican Party had the moral high ground, they were the party of enfranchisement and liberty. Now, not so much. They want to dismantle the public school system so we can give vouchers for suburban private schools, they prosecute mostly African Americans for civil rights violations, they refused to raise the minimum wage for years... I can give details, if anyone is undecided, and is willing to listen to my version of the issues. But I have no interest in debating Republican True Believers, or libertarians, for that matter. Obama's a little conservative for me, but his take on ISSUES is pretty good. And that's honestly the only thing I care about.

Jul. 29th, 2008

LA Earthquake - 5.4 - looks OK

Collective intelligence: people filled in a form to say how much is shook near them, and out comes a map. USGS was doing mashups before there WAS a google maps.

earthquake map

I'm not hot-linking to the dynamic updating one. You can go see the updated map or .report your own experiences. I always check there first, I think it's amazing.

For some reason, this is my earthquake icon.

Jun. 21st, 2008

after fire and hail

The wedding was preceded by a > 100 F / 37 C heat wave, a wild fire about five miles from the house, a thunderstorm, and hail (well, really a small bout of frozen rain). The ceremony itself was graced by sun and light breezes, and was lovely.

Both women were radiant: they said they were married four years ago in SF, which was voided, and again now. And they're "going to keep getting married until it sticks, everywhere!" It made me cry a little: I'm all for love, in all its possibilities.

Apr. 23rd, 2008

If Robert Heinlein rose from the dead, he might propose Boob Groping... that "it's a selfish grasping onanistic power play disguised as utopian openness and universal freedom." (by [info]cesare, used with permission)

Anyone who thinks that male assumptions of privilege and sexual objectification don't exist any more, and female safe spaces are not necessary... )

(cut because I got all ranty and used italics and bold)

And HAH: apparently he is a Heinlein fan.

ETA: when I told my husband about this, he was literally speechless for a while. He's one of the aware & respectful guys, and has helped socialize some of the geeks in his gaming circles, giving them Stern Talks about bad behavior and disrespectful comments and worse. It was kind of fun to watch him open his mouth, shake his head and look pained, as I talked. Because really, what is there to say besides WTF?

Feb. 25th, 2008


I just got an AIM message with a scary content from flakz18:
your private friends-only posts have been stolen: http://
But a quick web search shows clearly it's a malware site that hijacks JavaScript to do bad things to your browser. If you get something like this, block the sender and close the window!