asterroc: We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours (We Can Do It Sinfest - Up Yours)
A nice little reposted essay on pockets. Note: I highly recommend White House Black Market for mid/up-scale dresses for women: every single one I tried on this past weekend actually had pockets! They rock!

Originally posted by [ profile] hitchhiker at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
Originally posted by [ profile] merchimerch at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
Originally posted by [ profile] kylecassidy at What we talk about when we talk about pockets
This post is about pockets, feminism, design, autonomy and common sense. Please feel free to repost or link to it if you know people who'd benefit from the discussion.

A few weeks ago [ profile] trillian_stars and I were out somewhere and she asked "Oooh, can I get a cup of coffee?" and I thought "why are you asking me? You don't need permission." But what I discovered was that her clothes had no pockets, so she had no money with her.

Mens clothes have pockets. My swimsuits have pockets. All of them do, and it's not unusual, because, what if you're swimming in the ocean and you find a fist full of pirate booty in the surf? You need somewhere to put it. Men are used to carrying stuff in their pockets, you put money there, you put car keys there. With money and car keys come power and independence. You can buy stuff, you can leave. The idea of some women's clothes not having pockets is baffling, but it's worse than that -- it's patriarchal because it makes the assumption that women will either carry a handbag, or they'll rely on men around them for money and keys and such things. (I noticed this also when Neil & Amanda were figuring out where her stuff had to go because she had no pockets.) Where do women carry tampons? Amanda wondered, In their boyfriend's pockets, Neil concluded.

I then noticed that none of [ profile] trillian_stars' running clothes had pockets. Any pockets. Which is (as they always say on "Parking Wars") ridikulus. Who leaves the house with nothing? (It's not a rhetorical question, I actually can't think of anybody).

We fixed some of this by getting this runners wrist wallet from Poutfits on Etsy -- it holds money, ID, keys ... the sort of stuff you'd need. Plus you can wipe your nose on it. It solves the running-wear problem, but not the bigger problem.

Clickenzee to Embiggen!

The bigger problem is that people who design women's fashions are still designing pants and jackets that have no pockets. In fact, this jacket we got last December has ... no pockets. It's not a question of lines or shape, it's a question of autonomy.

Clickenzee to Embiggen

So I'm asking my friends who design women's clothes to consider putting pockets in them, they can be small, they can be out of the way, they can be inside the garment, but space enough to put ID, and cash and bus tokens. And maybe a phone. (And if you can design a surreptitious tampon stash, I'm sure Neil & Amanda & a lot of other people would appreciate it as well.)

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[Roller Derby Portraits]
Just saw a nice set of slides about Impostor Syndrome, and per the suggestion of a slide therein, let's celebrate Monday today (or maybe Tuesday by the time people read this) by bragging about ourselves.

What's one thing you've done lately that you're proud of?

I want us all to see them all, but feel free to post anonymously.

Here's mine )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
I've been trying to get a good picture of what adjustments your body makes to cope with high altitude, and over what timescale these different adjustments happen. Since I'm not finding this information clearly in one place, I'm needing to piece it together from multiple sources, and I process information better when I actually, y'know, process it, so here's what I'm figuring out.

  • Same percentage of oxygen, but less overall pressure of it.
  • Less oxygen in the air means less oxygen present in the lungs.
  • Lower pressure of oxygen means that what oxygen is there doesn't diffuse from the lungs into the blood as easily.
  • Less oxygen to many organs, especially your brain.
  • Less pressure of water vapor, resulting in faster evaporation of sweat.

  • Immediate-2 Days:
    • Common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, headache, feeling sleepy, and unable to sleep. Yes, both drowsiness AND insomnia, both T$ and I have experienced this at times due to altitude. It sucks.

  • 2-5 Days:
    • Body responds by breathing faster, which also means you're taking CO_2 out of your blood more quickly, which changes your body's pH balance, which the kidneys try to fix. Increased breathing rate also results in more water loss.
    • Body also responds by attempting to pump more volume of blood, so heart beats faster and pulse goes up, heart beats stronger and blood pressure goes up, and more liquid is added to the blood, dehydrating the rest of your body.
    • Between these two things (and don't forget that you're also evaporating sweat more quickly due to the lower water vapor pressure), if you're paying attention you will notice that you're always thirsty, and if you stop to think how much water you drank you'll be shocked. Please pay attention and drink LOTS of water.

  • 2-6 Weeks:
    • Lungs increase in size to help you take in more oxygen.
    • Build additional hemoglobin-containing red blood cells to help you absorb more of the oxygen in your lungs, and carry it to the cells.
    • Additional capillaries are grown throughout the body and/or existing arteries/veins/capillaries dilate in diameter to let oxygen get to the cells more readily.


I'm not finding any good info on the cause of the edema (increased fluids causes swelling and/or pressure) which can take place in the lungs (pulmonary edema), brain (cerebral edema), or even the extremities, but my guess is that when the body tries to pump more blood places it just goes overboard.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
My father's baffled by the gas shortage in NYC, so I cobbled together my best explanation of why, revised below.
  1. Right after the storm, early last week: NY Harbor closed to tankers. Some gas stations had no power so there was less gas to go around. There's a gasoline pipeline into NYC, which may have been barely enough to meet the demand at first. At this time the main demand for gas is to run generators where there's no power.

  2. A day or two after the storm, middle of last week: Those gas stations which did have power began running out of gas without sufficient resupply. Businesses reopen, but much of NYC public transit does not, increasing the usage of gas as people drive to work.

  3. End of last week: NY Harbor opened around Thursday last week, but it takes time for that gas to work its way into the system. Meanwhile, people driving to work are starting to need to gas up.

  4. Last weekend and early this week: More of the same, but panic buying sets in, which more than offsets the reduced need for gasoline for generators.

  5. Middle of this week: The gasoline pipeline into NYC suffers some sort of damage, and I think that was the straw that led Gov. Cuomo to ration gas in NYC and Long Island.

The NY Times seems to confirm aspects of my points 1-4.

Does anyone have things I left out, or different explanations?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Meme via [personal profile] rosefox, and altered because I wanted to. Original list source.

Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year
Italicize the ones you have and don’t use
Strike through the ones you have had but got rid of
Underline the ones you don't have but want to get

pasta machines
deep fat fryers
egg boilers
melon ballers
sandwich makers
pastry brushes
cheese knives - well, I have small knives I use for cheese
electric woks
miniature salad spinners
griddle pans - maybe
jam funnels
meat thermometers
filleting knives - I think my Japanese knife fits this
egg poachers
cake stands
garlic crushers - isn't it called a garlic press?
martini glasses
tea strainers - if by this they mean for individual servings of tea, oh do I ever, and I got rid of more that I want to replace
bamboo steamers
pizza stones
coffee grinders
milk frothers
piping bags - technically the bag broke, but I kept the nozzles around until the February move
banana stands
fluted pastry wheels
tagine dishes
conical strainers
rice cookers - if I could find one without any non-stick, I'd seriously consider it.
steam cookers
pressure cookers - could really use one here due to the altitude, and I also want to try canning
slow cookers - left a medium-big one with T$ (no clue if he kept it, but probably not) and picked up a small one here
spaetzle makers
cookie presses
gravy strainers - I have a mesh thing which I use for both this and draining pasta/veggies
double boilers (bains marie)
sukiyaki stoves
food processors
ice cream makers
takoyaki makers
fondue sets
popcorn maker - got rid of in the move and thinking of replacing
toaster oven - ditto
hot pot/electric kettle - double ditto
teapot - triple ditto, though I've been told that microwaving water to heat it is the most carbon efficient way of producing hot water for tea (etc.), so I'm waffling on the hot pot and teapot.
singe-serve coffee machine (aka K-cup) - I mostly used it for the hot water for tea, but also the occasional decaf coffee (until three days of decafs straight gave me migraines upon both drinking and withdrawl). T$ kept this. Anyone know a better name for this category of device?
electric grill (Foreman grill)

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
One of the PostSecrets this week was from a multiracial person who is embarrassed when she(?) passes as white. This of course resonated with me greatly due to that being my own life story (well, I wouldn't say "embarrassed", but there definitely are non-positive emotions associated with it when I stop to reflect).

This led to two very interesting threads in the PostSecret LJ syndicate: this one starts with the post card itself, and this one also. I admit I speak a lot in those threads; what people have to say there is really interesting to me, from the POC, the (assumed) whites, and the other multiracial people.

ETA: If you haven't seen it, here's a post I wrote a while ago listing things that monoracial people take for granted. Some of them are more applicable to white monoracial people than monoracial POC.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Anne McCaffrey was my first introduction to Sci-Fan, or at least the first one that stuck in my memory. Lessa and the Rowen were role models for me, showing me strong women who didn't let men stand in their way. Damia working through her pregnancies instead of being forced into some protective feminine seclusion, continuing to work alongside her husband as they raised their children together, this was the norm. Even Menolly's situation was shown as being a throwback to an older and worse time when men didn't think girl children were worth anything, a backwards and backwater way of thinking. I didn't need to be a feminist in my youth because McCaffrey showed me that it was completely normal for women to work alongside men.

And I knew I had finally come of age as a feminist when Kristin Bjornsen's meek acquiescence, nay welcoming, of her own date rape disgusted me and made me turn away from McCaffrey's works.

For a short period of time. I cannot stay away from her works forever. She is -was- the product of a more backwards age, and like Menolly she was always struggling to leave it in her writing. I hope for her sake that she has found a better and fairer place.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Driving home from the Cape today, I saw two gorgeous male goldfinches fly across the road. In case you don't know what they look like the bodies are a couple inches long, the body is bright yellow, the wings black, and they have a darting flight, wings closing to bullet short distances. They crossed right in front of my windshield from left to right and just as I swerved left just in case it was too late and I heard a tiny little -thud- as one of them hit my windshield on the lower right! I was so stunned I kept driving as my brain flashed through thoughts of stopping, where there were vets nearby, that I had a wildlife rehabber number in my phone, and then I realized I'd gone far enough that if I stopped I wouldn't be able to find the poor little thing. Even if he were still alive. He probably had babies and a mate. He was probably dead. (The poor thing -bounced-! Maybe because he was small and bounced, that means he'll sustain less injury?) If he was alive, he probably wouldn't make it. Normal vets don't usually treat wildlife. Rehabbers don't usually care about small common animals, and even if they did or the vet did and he somehow made it, his babies will still all die. I'm a horrible person.

In the future: if I hit (but not run over) something small I will stop and find it, see if it's still alive, and then decide what to do. (Calling a rehabber and describing the location of a duck might work, but not a goldfinch.)

Anyone else who drives or passengers, what do you do when you or your driver hit (but not run over) an animal?
Just watched the last Space Shuttle launch, Atlantis, on TV.

In my entire life I have now watched a grand total of three Space Shuttle launches (all on TV):
* Challenger, 1986
* Discovery, 2005
* Atlantis, 2011

According to my recollection, I was in third grade when my teacher decided that we would all crowd around the little 10" classroom TV to watch the first teacher go into space. We all know how that ended. I remember the entire classroom being silent for a long time before my teacher said anything.

For nearly two decades after that I was mostly against human spaceflight. It cost too much money, there was too little return on investment, and it was too risky, said the emotional side of me. The intellectual side said that others found it inspiring so we should continue human spaceflight to drive funding of real astronomy, and I also thought it was important to someday colonize other places than Earth so we must start that somewhere.

2005 was Discovery's "Return to Flight" mission, after the 2003 Columbia disaster. That summer I happened to be teaching astronomy at a nerd camp, so my TA on his own initiative arranged to have the class crowd around a TV screen. He and I stood in the back of the classroom chanting to each other, "I hope we don't traumatize them, I hope we don't traumatize them." Thankfully, we did not.

In 2008 the first teacher to actually go into space, Barbara Morgan, originally a backup for Christa McAuliffe and actually flew on Endeavour in 2007, addressed the National Education Association in Washington DC. I remember little of her speech, other than that it was inspiring.

Today I watched Atlantis launch on TV, the last ever Space Shuttle mission. My heart was in my throat and tears in my eyes, hoping that this would not be another disaster. Atlantis did launch successfully at 11:29am (EST). More than an hour later now, I'm not sure if it's already in orbit, or if it's still climbing.
Bad Astronomy (Phil Plait)'s post on the subject

House Committee on Appropriations post on the subject

Write your own letter to Congress (site via the National Education Association, but you'll be writing your own content and can opt out of sending a copy to the NEA or getting on their email lists)

Model letter to congress on the subject )
I am now proud to say I am from both NY and MA. Anyone interested in the gay pride parade in NYC on Sunday? I'm busy much of the day, but going to try and make at least part of it.
Last day of 3 on Beijing. Slowly getting over the jet lag. Strangely, Gmail appears unblocked while Twitter seems blocked. Tomorrow we fly to Urumqi. I've been journalling, and may transcribe them here when I get back. If anyone would be interested in that, let me know and it'll make it more likely to happen. I'm exhausted from a long day in hot weather with lots of walking, and I need to pack, so no more now.
Your job, should you decide to accept it, is to help me to not get another bird, one in particular named Doobie.

parrot rambling )
Reading over a list of things that people with white privilege take for granted, I am reminded of how I feel every time I am told to "check only one box." This list is things that people of only one race take for granted.
  1. You can check only one box.
  2. You won't have complete strangers walk up to you and ask you what you are (as if maybe you're not human, after all).
  3. You can answer "where are you from" with the place where your house is located, or where the hospital in which you were born is located.
  4. You can answer "where are you from" in under ten minutes, without any follow-up questions.
  5. You don't have to worry if someone is hitting on you because you look "exotic". 
  6. You don't have to wonder if the person you're talking to would treat you differently if they knew what you "really" were. 
  7. You don't have to correct people when they describe you. 
  8. You can talk about white privilege or racism without having people give you funny looks.  ("How would she know?")
  9. You don't feel constantly torn in two directions about common cultural norms and values.
  10. You don't have to think about whether the clothing, jewelry, or make-up you're wearing makes you look too much like race X.
  11. You can wear hand-me-downs without worrying if they're too "ethnic". 
  12. You don't have people turn to you as a representative of either/all of your particular races/cultures.
  13. You don't have to check only one box (multicultural) that lumps you in with people of entirely different backgrounds.  (Tiger Woods and Obama would check that multicultural box, but their experiences are nothing like mine.)
  14. You can nod and agree when someone says to you "I'm multicultural: Italian and German!" 
  15. People don't expect you to laugh at jokes that slander your own background. 
  16. You don't have to feel simultaneously guilty about your advantages and angry about your disadvantages.
Time to run to work.  Got any more I can add?

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Is it bad if the block of text I used for this was a union email I sent to all my members?
Today I had the honor of hearing a beautiful soulful rendition of "Solidarity Forever" while at a gigantic union convention in New Orleans. The singer accompanied herself on acoustic guitar, her phrasing was lilting, taking liberties with the pitch and rhythm in a way that added to the meaning of the lyrics, and her voice was rich and sweet. The part that brought tears to my eyes though was the final verse in this version, describing our brothers and sisters who ran back into the towers as they collapsed - the union makes us strong. If anyone can find me that verse's lyrics, then you rock.
Here's a mirror image of the chop, so it should be "readable" this way.


People are still stumped so far, so my plan is to bring it with me to NYC next time I go, and see if I can track down someone there who can look at it in person and read it.
I have a Chinese chop, in traditional characters. It is possible that it contains my name in Chinese (Szu Sung-Eh), or it could be something else entirely ("licensed prostitute"). I can no longer write my Chinese name, but I think I would recognize it if hand written, and certainly the last symbol doesn't look like anything I recognize (that and my name is three parts, not four).

Below the cut are images of the stamp/print, and the chop itself. Click for bigger.

Chop chop! )

If you know what it says, please enlighten me.

Edit: A mirror image of the chop and further discussion can be found here.


Apr. 19th, 2010 09:19 am
Oh that's right, the rest of the world doesn't get today off, it's a state holiday. (And yet I woke before 9am.)

And I work from home Tues too, so it's a 4-day weekend for me, yay!


Apr. 8th, 2010 08:39 pm
asterroc: (Smoothie)
7:00pm: T$ declares he ate something weird for lunch, so his stomach isn't feeling quite right.
7:30pm: I ask if I should just eat leftovers, he agrees. I pick up my laptop and go through last year's physics quizzes so I can use one for tomorrow.
7:45pm: I realize I haven't put Kappa to sleep. I do so, and say "I should eat something" aloud in T$'s vicinity.
8:00pm: T$ asks me if I'm going to eat something. I say "yes" and work on the slideshow for physics.
8:10pm: I ask T$ to remind me to eat in a while.
8:15pm: T$ reminds me to eat. I say "oh yeah" and go back to work.
8:20pm: I finally get up and nuke some leftovers
8:25pm: I take them out of the nuker, put them on the table, pick up my laptop, and start elljaying.
8:30pm: T$ starts eating my leftovers because I'm not. I guess his stomach's feeling better. Why doesn't my physics textbook list AUs in meters in the front cover?

This is why I used to be 14 lbs lighter when I lived by myself - I just don't have a strong eating drive. Not that that's particularly a bad thing; I'm sure yo-yoing weight by as much as 10 lbs as I used to do wasn't good.



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