tielan: (books - shiny)
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 10:41 pm
NPR: Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve

From what I understand, the problem is less that 'without bees we won't be able to pollinate anything' and more 'the way we agribusiness is a problem - and the way we use bees in agribusiness is part of that problem'.


NPR: The Astrobiology Of The Anthropocene (2016)

Basically, like the Jurassic, Triassic, and other '-cene' eras, we're now in the Anthropocene. A new way of looking at things.


The Establishment: Adoption Is A Feminist Issue (But Not For The Reasons You Think)

Ties in with abortion and childbearing, and (I think) points out the issue that if women weren't crowded into a place where they have no economic choices/advantages, then both adoption and abortion rates would drop.

Which is pretty much what this article I linked to (from a Christian minister in Sydney) points out - that having children economically disadvantages women, and if we as a society (or culture, or community) are not going to help a woman bear the burden of children, then even the ones who eventually want children are going to abort if they become pregnant at an inconvenient time.


The Atlantic: The Cheapest Generation

What do you do when an entire generation of society largely don't want or can't afford the products you're selling? What does that do to the model of economic growth?


Sydney Morning Herald: Three Women Who Regret Motherhood

Earlier this week, I asked if there was any socially acceptable way for a woman to indicate she regretted having children. The kick for that question was this article.

I think the most helpful thing I got was [personal profile] havocthecat saying that perhaps there needs to be some kind of 'mourning ceremony' for all the things that are going to be lost in having a child. A baby shower is supposed to be the joyful, hopeful, encouraging thing, but we don't talk about the negative side of changes to a woman's status when she becomes a mother.


Racked: The Politics of Pockets (2016)

How and why women's clothing has no pockets.


The New Yorker: China's Mistress Dispellers

The people who are hired to get rid of China's mistresses - chase them off, buy them out - whatever works. And the culture and sociology and reasoning behind the scenes of such a business, as well as an insight into a brief history of Chinese marriage.


The New Yorker: Power To The People (2015)

An article about solar power and the part that utility companies - and regulation - may have to play in that; to their advantage, but in the face of the old model. (Man, how does that sound familiar.)

There was an interesting article that popped up as a result of this (or which popped this up as a result) about solar power in Africa - that's a 2017 article, about startups in Africa selling cheap power to sub-Saharan Africans, the advantages, disadvantages, and moral questions. I don't know where that article is, though - I thought I saved it, but maybe not.


Modern Maker's Retreat: A New Perspective on Modern Quilting

The last few years have seen arguments over what defines modern quilting, and this woman has an interesting perspective on it all (and one which I've lightly touched on in quilting blogging). Quilting used to be a thrift task - done because there were scraps that needed to be used rather than wasted. Now, it's a creative work of art - done for the joy of it, and by people who have the resources to spend on function-specific tools and fabric. She thinks that's the difference between 'traditional' and 'modern' quilting for her. I can't entirely agree; I think colour and fabric and style comes into play as well.
tielan: (PacRim - Mako)
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:45 am
Taking a leaf out of [personal profile] kass' book:

1. Cats who love being petted. A friend came by last night, and her cat is an "I will allow you to caress me at arm's length" kitty, while mine are both "Oh, you have a LAP! We are FOREVER FRIENDS!" cats.

2. The realisation that Diana is all of us who want to make the world a better place: fierce anger, fierce sorrow, bitter defeat at the enormity of our failings, and loving hope at our ability to change the world.

3. #Throwback Thursday on Spotify - soundtrack hits. Currently listening to Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" - I have no idea what this song is about, but I love the harmonics of it, and the 'bridges' between chorus and verse.

4. At some point in the last couple of days, I hit 400 subscribers on AO3. That's 400 people who want to be notified when I post any fanfic, because they'll at least give it a chance.

5. Just how many wonderful people and opportunities and gifts I have in my life. Including the friends I've made on the internet. Thanks, ppls.
tielan: Wonder Woman (WW - bracelets)
Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 08:33 am
Actually, I think it's the same problem that Marvel is facing now for me: heroic heroes vs. world weary Nietzchean ubermensch.

polygon.com: The DCEU has a problem — everybody likes Wonder Woman
With Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins has returned the focus to humanity writ large. She recognizes that superheroes resonate precisely because their stories are familiar. Yes, Diana is better than the rest of us. As a fictional character, she can do things we can’t, from both a moral and physical perspective. However, that doesn’t make her alien. In the film, her actions instill the allied forces with courage and resolve. The later heroics of Steve, Sameer & Co are less spectacular, but their contributions are no less meaningful and the audience is equally able to learn from that example. Diana inspires everyone around her to be better. That gives the film genuine warmth and makes Wonder Woman relevant to anyone watching in a theater.

But the quotation that I found particularly interesting in the context of my (rapidly dying) love of the MCU is this:
He [Snyder] wants to see Batman have a dustup with Superman, and he’s not overly concerned about how mere mortals relate to the personal struggles of gods.
Which is pretty much how I feel about CACW: the point that would have made for the most interesting movie regarding the nature of heroes - the Accords - was pretty much just a McGuffin so we could eventually see Iron Man fight Captain America (and the Winter Soldier).
tielan: Leia, RotJ, concerned (SW - Leia concern)
Monday, June 19th, 2017 11:16 am
I'm trying to think of whether there's any societally acceptable way (offline, outside of the kind of circles that we encounter here in online fandom) for a woman who's already had kids to express the sentiment that she wishes she'd never had them and I'm coming up blank.

The ones I can think of would mostly get waved away as "selfishness" - ie. career interruption, limitations on lifestyle - or "that's part of the role" - ie. emotional/physical/mental struggle, dealing with the children 90% of the time.

Can you think of one?
tielan: (mr president)
Sunday, June 18th, 2017 09:22 am
It used to be that my LJ flist would move through 40 posts in a day or two, while my DW readlist would struggle.

These days, it's quite the opposite.


I've had a busy week and a pretty busy weekend, and came home to a little sister (B2 - she comes and stays over weekends, as compared to B1 who lives with me) who's really more like having a male partner - you have to ask her to do any housework, and be pretty specific about how it should be done and when, or else she assumes that it doesn't need doing, or that it's not her responsibility.

She had five hours from the time she got home last night until the time she went to bed to wash some dishes, and now she's reluctantly saying that "she'll stay overnight to get the dishes washed if necessary". It wouldn't have been necessary IF SHE HAD DONE IT LAST NIGHT. Thirty minutes. Maybe an hour (she takes forever to wash dishes, honestly). But, no.

I had a little dummy spit. Told her to do one thing that needs doing - and no, hanging out the washing (one of the functional reasons she comes around and stays) doesn't count.

So today - as much of a day off as I have - I get to spend cleaning the house and washing the dishes which have sat there for several days already.
tielan: (LOL)
Friday, June 16th, 2017 03:26 pm
Except I have no gifsets. So here, have some links instead!

buzzfeed: Australians Are Using Turnbull's Leaked Trump Impression To Troll Stupid Americans: Remember that woman who planned to move to Australia after Obama was elected, because the PM was a Christian, and it turned out that our PM was a redheaded female in a defacto relationship and we had gun control?

Well, this is kind of the same thing. Although in this case, the Aussie PM made fun of Trump at a media dinner and someone leaked the footage. And, of course, a lot of Americans got mouth-frothy at the disrespect. Of course, us being Australians, we can't resist sallying back - with extra mockage. Because we're Australians: we'll laugh at just about anything...


Why Are Republicans So Cruel To The Poor:
The myth of meritocracy and its cousin, the myth of individualism, exert a powerful hold over many Americans. Social scientists and others have repeatedly demonstrated that American society is not a true meritocracy. Other research has shown that intergenerational income and class mobility are also relatively uncommon in the United States.


everydayfeminism: Equality vs. equity.

There was a really good article about equality vs fairness that I read linked off FB, but thanks to my FB app reverting back to the most recent post in my feed when I back out of an article, I can't find it anymore. It had a good explanation of the question of fairness - the idea of deserving and undeserving.

I think that's something worth considering when discussing things with conservatives: their idea of 'fairness' doesn't match the ones that liberals tend to hold - "all men are born equal" they say, even as liberals cry out in the voice of Meg Murry: "equal does not mean the same!"


the guardian: Indian Muslims are setting up a system whereby they negotiate for their daughters to marry without dowries

“We travelled to different Muslim areas and held seminars and meetings and explained to people how the practice of dowry goes against the teachings of Islam. We have involved imams, qazis and community leaders in all Muslim villages in the three districts,” Ali said.


the guardian: The Universal Basic Income, arguments for and against.

including this comment which I have reproduced in its entirety )


Tumblr: Wonder Woman: "I believe in love." The argument that it doesn't have to be romantic love that changes the way Diana looks at humanity - their capacity for great good and not just great evil.

SBS.com: The Supper Clubs that are quietly fighting racism. I think the last time one of these was anywhere near me, it was already booked out.


the guardian: the donut model of economics by George Monbiot. I need to read this more closely - may have linked this here before, but I don't remember anymore.


Finally, here: have Handel's "Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba In Solomon's Court" - WITH BRASS.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra performed this at the last concert my sister and I went to at the start of June and it was BEAUTIFUL in person.
tielan: (AVG - maria)
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 01:28 pm
bleeding out )

I've avoided Tumblr for the last few months; and I'm probably going to continue to avoid it. There's a point after which engagement becomes detrimental to enjoyment - and I really liked watching WW with pretty much zero spoilers. I think I'd like to do the same for Black Panther.
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
Thursday, June 15th, 2017 11:47 am
Went to a work dinner (EOFY celebration) last night, on a harbour cruise in a glass-sided boat.

The Sydney Vivid festival is on at this time of year every year - light shows and audio-visual displays around the south side of the Sydney Harbour foreshore (around Circular Quay and the Botanical Gardens, mostly).

A couple of pics:

three, to be exact )

Definitely a very enjoyable night!
tielan: (quilting)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 10:20 pm
It's got a dark side, it's got a light side, and it holds the galaxy together!


It's just been handed in for the Sydney Quilt Show, 2017.
tielan: (SGA - Teyla 2)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 03:18 pm
Attention span today: utterly thoroughly shot.

On the plus side: got news of an extension of work to the end of July.

Body weight goal for winter: lose 5kg. I'm 63.4 now, I'd like to be around 58.

Discovered the gym that I quit 6 weeks ago has a branch 5 minutes from the office.

It's crazy busy social week again.
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 10:14 am
- Drop flyers in mailboxes up the street for crop swaps.
- label Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt
- finish blocks for Break Free
- write 500 words a day
tielan: (aussie aussie aussie)
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017 08:36 am
So there's been motions to stop Australia Day being a public holiday or, really, any kind of celebration.

I am all behind it. Partly for the same reasons as Columbus Day in the US, partly because we have clusters of public holidays in our calendar: 2 days at Christmas, 1 day at New Year, Australia Day in late January, just before school goes back. Then we have the Easter Long Weekend, which usually comes very close to ANZAC Day on the 25th April (kind of like the US Memorial Day, I guess), and then the Queen's B'Day holiday in June.

And then nothing - NOTHING - through the long, chilly, short-dayed winter, until the October long weekend.

Basically, we have too many public holidays in January, and I think we need one to break up the monotony of winter and I don't see why Australia Day can't be sacrificed (apart from white people tears).

There's an actual movement (petition, what have you) to get it switched to May 8 ("Maaaaay-eight! MAAAAAATE!") but eh, we don't actually need another holiday in the Easter-ANZAC-Queen's b'day stretch.

We need one in midwinter. Preferably right around the start of August so it's nicely balanced between the Queen's b'day weekend, and the October Long Weekend.

This post was brought to you by the realisation that it will be four months before we have another public holiday. FOUR MONTHS.

tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
Monday, June 12th, 2017 11:08 pm
I got a lot done this weekend.

A lot.

And I cooked the best roast beef dinner ever - the beef was beautifully done, the potatoes were crispy and brown...I even made Yorkshire pudding and it was a thing of delicious deliciousness.

Now it is time to sleep and face the rest of the week.

tielan: Yoda, deal with it (SW - Yoda deal)
Sunday, June 11th, 2017 02:52 pm
As I said, the quality of the stories seems really good, and I'm reading a whole bunch of fandoms that I don't usually: ones that I know of, but don't/haven't watched, or ones that I know my friends dabble in.

Sense and Sensibility
Nothing Lost But May Be Found: Elinor would have thought that now that the fatal subject had been aired, her nerves would have calmed; but her hands were trembling, her pulse fluttering even more violently than before.

Soft Place To Land: Evenings with the Danvers sisters - then and now.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Five times Queenie almost told Jacob about magic (and one time she found out he already knew): Even without remembering much, even just thinking she was some wonderful girl that waltzed out of his dreams and into his life, he’d gravitated back to her as if she was a bright star whose orbit he could never quite escape. She would have to settle for that, build from that.

Star Wars - Prequel/Original series
Pocketful Of Stories: Ahsoka travelled the galaxy, collecting tales and sowing revolution along the way.

Do I know Ahsoka? Not really. But this is an excellent story about women, rebellion, and stories - tall and true.

Pride and Prejudice
Thorough-bass and human nature: Mary Bennet agrees to spend the London season with the newly married Darcys. She discovers that she would still infinitely prefer a book. But hiding in the library at balls and parties is not the solution, as an odd young man keeps turning up there.

Cute and amusing and a very enjoyable story of Mary Bennet improving both her mind and her marital options.
tielan: (SGA - carter)
Saturday, June 10th, 2017 02:28 pm
Friday night
- write 500 words
- hanging sleeve

- make basil pesto
- turra massage
- chiro appt
- eat soy sauce chicken
- make blocks for Break Free Or Build Upon
- do nails
- make creamy tuna pasta for dinner

- write 500 words

- wash dishes
- preserve lemons

- make blocks for Break Free Or Build Upon
- make green tomato chutney
- make red tomato chutney

- plan make-up roll
- write 500 words
- plant oats in fence bed and mulch over
- go see Wonder Woman again

- roast + leftovers (beef, beets, leeks, potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, garlic, just about anything else that can be thrown into the oven and baked)
- make apple cinnamon muffins
- make blocks for Break Free Or Build Upon
- thread burying on Duct Tape Galaxy

- plant out brassicas
- plant out alliums (garlic)
- plant out umbelliferae (leeks, onions)
- write 500 words

- write another 500 words
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
Saturday, June 10th, 2017 02:23 pm
Lovely as are the men I know who are married, I haven't met a husband yet who has yet made me think it would be nicer to be married[*] than single.

[*] to a man, because I'm het
tielan: (SGA - team)
Friday, June 9th, 2017 03:48 pm
From [community profile] thefridayfive community on DW (spotted through [personal profile] ringsandcoffee).

1) What was the first recipe or food you learned how to cook?

This is actually pretty difficult, because I can imagine the kitchen of my childhood house - old brown-tiled floor with brown cement grout between (a bitch to clean), the lime green laminated benchtop and cupboards (holy 70s decor, Batman!), the black wire grill over the gas stove...

I remember learning to cook there, I just don't remember what...

Mostly, I think, it was cookies and biscuits. Cakes - chilled cheesecakes that my mother excelled at. She's an amazing entertainer, and the dinners with her and my stepdad are spectacular.

2) What recipe or food did you cook most recently?

Chicken pasta bake on Wednesday night. I made a big dish for a friend's family (she's recovering from day-surgery that turned into a three-day stay at the hospital) and a smaller dish for my sister and I.

3) What recipe or food do you cook most often?

Spaghetti bolognaise sauce (mince, onion, garlic, tins of tomato puree, sugar), or roast chicken (lemon, rosemary, garlic).

4) What is your favorite recipe?

Isn't that like proverbially asking a parent which one is their favourite child?

5) What is the recipe you make that impresses other people the most?

I don't know. Either the pavlova or the port wine cheesecake? (Honestly, it's just packet jelly with a jelly glaze; if you decorate it fancy, then it looks amazing and tastes excellent!)
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
Friday, June 9th, 2017 03:25 pm
It's a long weekend - Friday through to Monday - and I seriously have nothing planned, apart from two appointments on Saturday morning and church on Sunday night.

This is almost unprecedented.

Of course, I have things to do.

Quilting things, writing things...

I'd like to go see Wonder Woman again.

I need to get out in the garden and pull up the last tomatoes, harvest the last basil, clear the pumpkin vines, and put in all the seedlings I planted a couple of months ago which seem otherwise to not be growing any larger.

Mulch and spray all the fruit trees.

Trim the rose, mulch around it, build compost for raspberry canes to be planted in late winter.

Also, order in all the fruit and nut trees for the coming summer and the fencelines.

Of course, it's going to be a cool and rainy weekend according to forecast. Which can be considered a good thing when we're talking about transplanting seedlings.