baratron: (bi_pride)
So my friend [livejournal.com profile] kshandra and her husband [livejournal.com profile] gridlore want to go on holiday for their 25th wedding anniversary. But it's going to be difficult because Doug has worst health than me. I mean, seriously, the poor guy has had cancer twice (plus another malignant growth that was small enough to be removed by a dermatologist) and has suffered horrible side-effects from the anti-cancer drugs which saved his life. Like his jawbone started rotting away and his teeth fell out so he couldn't eat, and then he got a potassium deficiency and almost died, and he has no spleen so he can't fight infection... And it really says something when you're talking about your friend's husband's bad health to your other friends, and the list of problems is so long that you actually forgot that he'd had a stroke.

Anyway, they are great people, if perpetually short of money, and they deserve the chance to have something fun happen to them for once. So they want to go to Istanbul. It won't be cheap - the travel insurance alone will be a small fortune - but they have friends and friends of friends who can help. Even US $5 will help. If you're able to give then here's the link, if you can't then would you consider boosting the signal? I've known Kirsten for something like 13 or 14 years, I can personally vouch for the situation being genuine.

Also, some of my friends have written a book. Purple Prose is all about Bisexuality in Britain. I'm sure a lot of it will be relevant to bisexuals outside of Britain, too. It's only £5 for an e-book or £15 for an e-book and paperback, so please buy one if you can! The closing date for the funding is 11th November.
baratron: (what's this?)
Have some links:

Slate.com: The Snarky, Clever Comments Hidden in the "Acknowledgments" of Academic Papers. A few days later, this article appeared in The Times, hardly edited at all. Hrm.

Twitter picture: Just wrapped the other half's Xmas present. I should have kept it in the box. May be NSFW?

Fungal Christmas tree. Yeah, I should have posted this link about a month ago.

Short story: The Racist Tree by Alexander Blechman.


Webcomics:
BBC News: Amiir and Family: Somalis in Norway. Rather moving webcomic in the style of Persepolis and Maus.

The Dwarf Bride by Sammy Montoya. Awesome 8 page comic with queer theme.


Random Tumblr stuff:
Real bear with a teddy bear.

Fifty Shades of Grey as read aloud by a Kindle.

Books I Like by Katie Viggers. Children's picture books reviewed.
baratron: (endurance)
Issues:
xoJane: Fat kids and formerly fat kids are at significant risk of eating disorders, yet are more likely to go undiagnosed and untreated. Something that I only really thought about based on the experience of a friend, but it should seem obvious once you think about it.

Slate.com: How would American media report on the Government shutdown if it were happening in another country?. A bit out-of-date now, but certainly interesting.

Society's New Rules (According to the Internet)

Adorable:
Not Always Romantic: Three is a Crowd, but also Allowed. The last line just makes it.

Amusement:
The 50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos Ever.

IKEA or Death? Does that shouty Scandinavian name belong to an IKEA product or a death metal band?

Knitted nautilidae!

Snakes Wearing Tiny Hats.

Pet snake playing Pokemon X/Y.
baratron: (pokemon fan club)
My web browser is lagged to hell and back, so it's once again time to clear out the links that are cluttering up my tabs.

Warning: Do not click while eating. THIS is literally just round the corner from where I live. It explains A LOT about why there are suddenly humungous traffic jams in Kingston. It's because there's a "bus-sized" "fatberg" blocking the drains, and Thames Water is doing emergency engineering work to try to get it out. EWWWW.

xoJane: My Starbucks name is Rebecca. As someone who has a deep-seated phobia of telling strangers her name, I really empathise with this article. And the comments. Oh my.

Worst Album Covers of All Time. Okay, one of these is clearly female body-hair shaming, and one of the others is non-conventionally attractive woman shaming, but most of the rest? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with that Orleans album cover apart from the fact that one of the men does not have a beard, and one of the others has a hairless chest.

BBC Nature News: Wolf howl identification technology excites experts. ARROOOO!

Pervocracy: I just figured out why I get patted down every time I fly! Anger-making, but also funny: like all the best rants.

More about how I am some other time.
baratron: (gaming)
It's Wednesday, and I have actually READ BOOKS THIS WEEK (!). So I should do that Wednesday reading meme thing. Unfortunately I'm exhausted and have lost coherence, AND still have another 2 hours before I can go to bed. Gods damnit.

So have some links that have been sitting in my browser for weeks:

people say I'm gonna regret this, I say fuck you. A Reddit thread in which a user boasts about his tattoo of an illegal drug... which turns out to be so not the molecule he thought it was that it would make anyone with A-level chemistry laugh their arses off. Mmm. Yeah. Benzene rings are tricky little buggers, aren't they?

On similar lines (perhaps), A Simple and Convenient Synthesis of Pseudoephedrine From N-Methylamphetamine. "In recent years it has become increasingly difficult to obtain psuedoephedrine in many states because of its use as a precursor for the illegal drug N-methylamphetamine (also known under various names including crystal meth, meth, ice, etc.)" "A quick search of several neighborhoods of the United States revealed that while pseudoephedrine is difficult to obtain, N-methylamphetamine can be procured at almost any time on short notice and in quantities sufficient for synthesis of useful amounts of the desired material." Given that it's published in the Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry, somehow I doubt this is real... But any organic synthesis route can be reversed, so... I dunno. I laughed anyway.

Groovy glasses. "Ok let's see if that thing with glasses chicks suddenly becoming super weird feminine when they whip off their glasses works". You kinda have to go all the way to the end to find the really funny pictures.

Introducing 'SheZow,' The 'Transgender' Superhero Cartoon That Will Destroy America And/Or Entertain Some Children. I liked this review. Haven't bothered watching any of the cartoon clips though.

How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement. I have a vague feeling I may have linked to this before, but it's worth reading if you have enough spare time to read the whole, very long, article, and are not already in a stabby mood.
baratron: (Skyrim)
I haven't written anything here in ages, which means I probably should, simply to let people know I'm still alive. Unfortunately I have absolutely no spoons whatsoever today, so I'm just going to drop off a few links and run.

My Blind Date... With Science! Very funny, if not hugely accurate :D

Psychatric Meds Helped Me Become A Better Person. I'm not saying this is universally true, and I certainly lost enough time to the wrong psych meds - but holy crap, is it true for me on the right meds.

From Scientific American: Chocolate consumption and Nobel Prizes: A bizarre juxtaposition if there ever was one. I presume this is a new take on the famous Pastafarian graph plotting global warming against the number of pirates, i.e. showing that correlation is not causation. Except these people seem worryingly serious. Hrm.

The Geology of Skyrim. Oh, what incredibly hot dorkery. I love this woman.

I really must find the spoons to do the Wednesday Reading Meme tomorrow. I've been telling myself I would for the last three Wednesdays in a row...

Songs!

Jan. 24th, 2013 02:33 pm
baratron: (lego)
Shop Vac - Jonathan Coulton. Kinetic typography animation by jmheather.
So ridiculously clever and geeky. Amazing use of fonts and clip art. Really worth watching!


See below for Muppets, and new Eureka Machines. )
baratron: (mages guild)
Still don't have any spare brain to write commentary, and in fact today I hurt so much that even typing is an effort. So here are some links presented without comment:

Me And The Abstracted Persona of the Anti-Ism Community At Large. A couple of years old, and triggery for me by halfway through.

Certain Propositions Concerning Callout Culture, Part Three. Parts One and Two are good too, but they mostly say things that we already know. Whereas this points out a few home truths that people May Not Like.

The battle against 'sexist' sci-fi and fantasy book covers. I'm fairly sure I've linked to Jim C. Hines' website before, but it's awesome to see a big organisation like the BBC report on it.

Studies Raise Questions About Safety Of Personal Lubricants. I take it that everyone reading this already knows that nonoxynol-9 Is Evil, but there are a few alarming surprises in the article.

Five organisms with real super powers that rival their comic book counterparts.

Crime Against Nature: an inclusive children's book. Digital version available free.
baratron: (endurance)
I'm trying to drag my sleep pattern back onto something approximating normal for my time zone - or at least, normal for me. Today I woke up at 1.30 am and will be going to sleep sometime around 3 pm. So tired. I'm sitting here in brilliant sunshine nodding off and ready to fall over. Oddly, I actually woke up feeling like I'd had enough sleep.

I have far too many tabs open, so in an attempt to clear them, I shall share links.

Random gifs (or jpegs):
In Case Of Fire - Hostel priorities.
If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain? - So very true.
I've found the ideal job for some of you - Feline Lap Surrogate.
OMG, I want this octopus sculpture. The plant/wolf hybrid as well.
Oh, the Huge Manatee.
Inside the Robot Restaurant. Sadly not wheelchair accessible.

I also have serious links, but am far too tired to write commentary... so I'll leave those until I have a brain.
baratron: (gaming)
Live American black bears with PLUSHIE American black bears! Very, very cute. Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

Ubisoft ports its games to the Post-It note platform (Kotaku article from last year) and updated gallery.

Webcomic that will cause earworms for anyone who's ever played the game: Katamari. Official licensed webcomic. Very funny and sweet - and yes, it made me want to go and boot up the game again.

An earworm to get rid of the last one: "Pop Star" by Eureka Machines. A very good pop/punk band indeed, and this video is hilarious and worth watching even if you're not a fan of the music.


I am waiting impatiently for my next Alix & Martin picture. This one has them topless :) I've been sent the pencil sketch but now it needs inking and colouring... Feeling sufficiently depressed that only pretty boys loving each other will help.
baratron: (bi_pride)
This story is amazing, and pretty much the definition of intersectionality: How My Korean Mother Gave Me the Courage to Transition. The author is a male-to-female transsexual who was adopted from Korea as a baby and now lives in the US. She found her birth family and came out to them.

Warning: You will almost certainly blub before the end. Have tissues handy.
baratron: (wolfy)
Pink Science, '50s-Style. Interesting comparison of a "Lab Technician Set For Girls" to the hideously gendered "Chemistry" kits of today.

What Milgram’s Shock Experiments Really Mean: Replicating Milgram's shock experiments reveals not blind obedience but deep moral conflict, from Scientific American.

Maps of the 2012 US presidential election results, organised in a number of ways. Interesting but slightly freaky.

Positive pregnancy test diagnoses man's cancer. From Reddit, apparently.

BEST VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE YEAR!!! Two very good dogs teach you chemistry. This is beyond amazing. If you have ANY interest in chemistry or dogs, or even if you don't but you don't actively dislike dogs, WATCH THIS VIDEO.
baratron: (willpower)
You know what I've been really missing since people started spinning off to other types of social media? Awesome links that people found. I only have a couple of people left on my friends list who post cool links, and it tends to be one or two at a time rather than massive linkspams. I miss them!

I myself am terrible at getting round to posting linkspams (indeed, I usually have 20 or more tabs open waiting until I have spoons to write coherent English), but here are some of the links that have been sitting around waiting:

Science Links:
Photos: Bear researcher Lynn Rogers keeps making tracks. This is the guy who's been on a couple of BBC TV programmes, and whose bear research I follow every day. Lovely photos of Ursus americanus. Bears!

So, we all know that people who think that people who think that cilantro is pleasantly astringent are normal, and people who think it tastes soapy are normal, and people who like it because it tastes soapy are complete weirdos. And we've known for a while that whether it tastes pleasantly bitter or soapy to you is because of genetics. Here are the actual genetics.

Carnivores pick meats over sweets. Apparently, lots of carnivores can't actually taste sweet things. I presume that bears are not among them.

Awesome animations. Unfortunately, the version of The Cambrian Sea shown here does not include the Opabinia. ([livejournal.com profile] stellarwind's favourite prehistoric creature).

[livejournal.com profile] otterylexa informs me that 8th-12th October are Cephalopod Awareness Days. All hail our future overlords!

Ada Lovelace Day is on Tuesday 16th October. Rather tempted to go to this event in London, anyone interested?

Cute Things:
Liz Climo's Tumblr. Adorable drawings of bears, bunnies, dinosaurs, foxes, and more.

Queer Things:
Illustrated Kinsey Scale. NOT SAFE FOR WORK. Now I want someone to do a female version, please. And a bi version with all genders of people.

Disability Links:
Found by accident: Sign language that African Americans use is different from that of whites. Very interesting.

Linked from that, and on a similar note: Gallaudet University’s new dorm designed with deaf students in mind. Will be generally interesting to anyone who cares about access issues.

How Things Work When Your Lover Is Also Your Caregiver. This is great.
baratron: (squid!)
I am stressed and headachy. If anyone else is also feeling this way, please enjoy this photo of a bear falling from a tree onto a mattress, with accompanying story.

Machine pareidolia - exploring the tendency for humans to see faces in inanimate objects. (I'm curious - do people with faceblindness also recognise faces in inanimate objects?). Very nerdy. If you prefer the art version to the computer science version, please enjoy the Hello Little Fella! pool on Flickr. My favourite so far is this (though this, er, human brain has to be a close second).

I have a particular reason, even beyond loving Portal 2, for approving of the Perpetual Testing Initiative video. And yes, it HAS SUBTITLES.

I also have lots of political-type links that are anger-making, but my head hurts too much to want to inflict those on anyone else just now.
baratron: (gaming)
Okay, no matter what your opinions of Google since the Google+ real name policy fiasco, I highly recommend that you go to your local region's version of the Google search page and click "Play" on the Google Doodle of today. It's amazing!

I didn't know that Google Doodles could be videos, but there you are. Now I'm wondering what other ones I've missed. Heh.

In other news, I am home from BiCon and very slowly re-spooning.
baratron: (octopus!)
Yesterday my Mac suddenly lost the ability to connect to the internet. I thought this meant that our ADSL was down, or the router had crashed (we've been having fairly lousy connectivity the past few days), but rebooting the router didn't help. It later transpired that I had perfectly fine connectivity from the eeePC. After trying various sensible things myself, I waited for Richard to get home - and it turned out the Mac's keychain had randomly corrupted itself. People who know about Macs say this is a Bad Thing.

The thing is, I'm sure that usually when users go to tech support people and say "I haven't done anything to the computer, it just stopped working", usually they have changed something and forgotten about it. In this case, I hadn't done anything at all. Half an hour previously, it worked. Then suddenly, it didn't. Huh.


I really need to clear out some of the tabs that are sitting around in my browser waiting for me to write about them. But I still don't have a lot of energy, so anything I say will be brief.

Videos:
Topless Robot: I Would Not Like to Fight 300 Naked Orcs, Personally. A load of level 1 characters in World of Warcraft teamed up to attack one of the toughest bosses in the game. The video is hilarious even if you don't know anything about WoW (as long as you're vaguely aware of video games in general, I suppose).

Sparkfun: Yarn Monster. Richard found this on Sparkfun's site and told me I should link it for all my knitting friends. It's a robot that turns messy yarn into neat balls. Awesome!

Storycorps: Q & A. Animation drawn over a real-life soundtrack of a 12 year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome interviewing his mother. May require tissues, may be triggery (e.g. if you are on the autistic spectrum and do not have such a loving, accepting parent).

Top Five Panda Cheese commercials. Very odd TV adverts for an Egyptian cheese, featuring an utterly adorable panda. Or is he?

Articles:
Fire and Ice on a Platter. I can't remember quite how I found this, but it's an article about the science behind the dessert Baked Alaska. It's very interesting for cooks and science-types alike.

Autism's First Child. Article about/interview with the first person ever to be diagnosed as autistic.

BBC News: A Real Good Samaritan and Your Good Samaritan stories. It made me cry.

Bad Science: Putting a number in its context. The rebuttal to the rather scary recent news story that 600 women had become pregnant despite the contraceptive implant. On a similar note, A new and interesting form of wrong. What's wrong with the recent Stonewall report that “the average coming out age has fallen by over 20 years”.

Silliness:
WALRUS ALLERGIES ARE A SERIOUS ISSUE. From [livejournal.com profile] sherlockbbc_fic.
baratron: (richard)
Also, this little guy is too adorable for words. He looks just like our plushie Mookiee - only he's a real, living creature!

And critically endangered. Bum.

I like this little guy too - not a pygmy sloth, but some other kind. Possibly a two-toed sloth, and certainly a live ewok. As is the three-toed sloth, who is pretty much the living image of Wicket. Hmm, I'm spotting a theme.

You've probably seen this linked by someone else already, but if not: George Lucas Stole Chewbacca, But It’s Okay. And here is Chewbacca the dog, or another live ewok.

I like ewoks, okay?
baratron: (silly)
I'm reading bad fanfic. Currently laughing my arse off at the following phrase that appears in each of the first 8 chapters...

THIS IS A YAIO which means… BOY/BOY. May also have girl/girl buy most likely not.

A YAIO!

I know some people have spelling difficulties and/or typing difficulties for whatever reason - but surely, surely you'd use a spellchecker and/or get a friend to read over a story before posting it to a fanfiction site? Wouldn't you? Especially the most important words, like characters' names and Japanese terminology... I can only assume she was writing the story on a Sony Vaio and got confused.

Mind you, it's not as bad as the story I read a few minutes ago that was written by someone who has "a BS in English, with minors in Professional Writing and Art", who didn't know the difference between accept & except, insure & ensure, and other such primary school howlers...

Any minute now I'm going to stop this and do something more useful (like feed myself or clean the kitchen), but the horror is too compelling.

Here is some deliberate horror, from [livejournal.com profile] weepingcock. Of course, not even vaguely safe for work.

I also recommend the past week or so's Questionable Content (read from 1786 to 1793), and then read Marigold's horrible fanfic for yourselves. Argh! (Though I genuinely approve of "Let's get married, because wizards believe in Equal Rights and anybody can marry anybody else").
baratron: (aibo)
Wow. I am apparently a very sad individual, because my internet connection broke half an hour ago, and all I have managed to do in the intervening time is PANIC! I thought that maybe my computer was trying to get me to do some work, but that isn't working because I can't concentrate because I have no internet.

Well, I have too many windows open anyway, so perhaps I should dump the ones that are only open because I want to write about them.

BBC News: Hospital robots cut hospital pharmacy bill (article with video). Technology of the future! Very cool!

BBC News: Tech Know: BBC Micros used in retro programming class (article with video). Technology of the past! Awesome! Actually, I've been trying to tell some of the kiddies on PokeCharms what computers was like When I Was Your Age, and a lot of them just don't get it. Much as we don't get what it was like not to have a TV.

What's so wrong with Comic Sans? The BBC catches up with the BanComicSans people (with bonus Questionable Content picture, too). I am shocked and horrified and slightly amused to discover that the man who designed Comic Sans also designed my arguably favourite font, Trebuchet.

[I like the following: In case you don't care. )

BBC News: Gene linked to depression 'fixed' in mice. Scary stuff, but I'm always pleased to hear about potential new therapies.

[In case you care, my internet was down for around 50 minutes. It was TOO LONG.]
baratron: (lego)
I have reached a stage of ARGH with my work, so I'm going to post all of the links I have cluttering up my "working" Firefox profile :)

From [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj: Hollywood's Racism Exposed ... by Lego. Interesting.

From [livejournal.com profile] skibbley: New bisexual IKEA ad airs in Austria. It's amusing... apart from continuing to propagate the "bisexuals are cheaters"/"can't be monogamous" stereotype. Or does it? Maybe the boyfriend simply doesn't like to be in the flat when his partner is having sex with his girlfriend!

From Shana Logic: IKEA Let Loose a Herd of 100 Cats Into Store to 'See What Happens'. If you're really interested, the ad was shot in the branch of IKEA we used to go to when I was a kid (Wembley). We don't go there any more because there's one much closer to us now (Croydon).

From Beetlebau on #soc.bi: Night of the Living Trekkies (book trailer). Books have trailers now?

Finally, in case you haven't seen this anywhere else, and care: the Complete Pokedex for Pokemon Black & White.

*hits Refresh a few more times to see if anyone's replied to my message asking for help yet*

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