asterroc: (Smoothie)
Because I want a place to put all this, here's a bunch of links about why complaining about Chinese food (or other Asian or "ethnic" [non-Western] food) is racist.

  • Why "do Asians eat dogs?" is a racist question. abagond (2015)

  • "Humans have always demonized the cuisine of 'the other' because it's the easiest way to say someone is less human." On racist Yelp restaurant reviews. Andrew Simmons for Slate (2014)

  • On why calling food "ethnic" or talking about food poisoning is racist. Naomi Tomky for The Atlantic's Citylab (2015)

  • Restaurant health inspectors, food handler certification manuals, and of course customer complaints are all racist, and documents for restaurant owners are difficult for non-native speakers of English to read. Joseph Erbentraut for HuffPo (2016)

  • Example of a Philadelphia Chinese take-out restaurant repeatedly incorrectly ticketed by police, fitting a larger pattern of racist code violations in Philly as a whole. Joseph N. DiStefano for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News (2017)

I will post more links as I find them, and if y'all have more to share I'd love to see them.

Also, next time you call someone out on this and they say "but it's true," remind them that something doesn't have to be false to be racist.
asterroc: (doll)
Originally posted by [ profile] zandperl at Massachusetts Boarding?
Is anyone here familiar with either The Bird Guru or Featherbed Resort for Birds, both in Metrowest Massachusetts? Or does anyone have other recommendations for boarders in Eastetn MA? I've recently moved to the Boston area and I'm looking for a place to board Kappa when I travel. These both sound really similar: a bunch of cages near each other, time out of the cage for each bird, feed a veggie mix, full spectrum lighting, require a vet health certificate but not specific tests (e.g., no chlamydia test required), same price.

And below the cut, a few pictures of Kappa in the process of moving. :) Pictures herein )


Mar. 24th, 2015 07:40 pm
In case you haven't heard, it's no longer the Food Pyramid, it's now My Plate (and has been for a few years now). I found myself back on that site b/c I was curious if potatoes counted as veggies (yes, in the subset of starchy veggies), and came across this two week list of recipes. Posting here to share and to remind myself next time I need food ideas.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
I’m looking for a free web or program service that’ll let me make a timeline. I will want a simple image out of it in the end, not a fancy interactive thing. Anyone got suggestions?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
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.
Once in a while the webcomic Sinfest does a really awesome storyline. (FYI it's more typical to have stoners, horndogs, and puppy dogs, though they're usually done in a somewhat self-mocking manner.) Here's one such storyline pasted in its entirety.

The Sisterhood )

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

iPad Apps

Jul. 17th, 2011 02:40 pm
I was asked about iPad apps. If my iPad (and computer backup) were wiped today, these are the ones I'd be sure to get again. In the games category, I've only included the ones that seem to be standing the test of time. What apps do you feel are essential?

- Neu.annotate (free) - PDF reader that lets you jot notes in the margins
- Wikipanion (free) - Wikipedia access in a prettier view, but can't edit and can only see one page at a time
- NASA (free) - lets you see the APOD, mission info, and lots more
- Exoplanet (free) - stats on each new exoplanet discovered
- Wolfram Alpha (paid)
- Show Me (free) - minimalist screen casting 
- Skype (free)
- PCalc Lite (free) - scientific calculator
- Dropbox (free) - lets you share documents across multiple computers

- Twitter (free) or Tweetdeck (free) - Tweetdeck is better for multiple account support, but some installs are buggy

- Words with friends (free or paid) - scrabble, I'm Zandperl of course
- Enjoy Sudoku (paid) or :) sudoku (free) - (icon is the Thinker statue) - great interface for solving sudokus, and hints to help you improve

- Accuweather (free)
q10 and seekingferret, you'll want to read this.

The US State Department is proposing a new Biographical Questionaire for everyone applying for a passport. The form would require all citizens to provide the name and contact info of all previous employers, the address of all previous residences, and addresses of all immediate family members (parents, step parents, siblings) and their citizenship status. In addition, naturalized citizens will need to provide the address of their place of birth, and anyone not born in a medical facility will also need to provide their mother's residence a year before and after your birth (presumably so the government can track those citizen children of fence-hoppers who wish to travel abroad), and contact info for witnesses (presumably so the government can strip your citizenship if you don't provide the info or if they're illegal immigrants who the government can bully into recanting the story of your birth in the US).

A lot more info is available here, including the full form and links to submit comments:

The comment I submitted:
The information requested by this document is ridiculous, and the gathering of the information is prohibitively difficult to obtain.  I am only 33 years old, but I have had six employers in five different states and it would take me around an hour to track down all their contact information. In addition I have lived at somewhere between 10 and 20 different residences and it is not possible for me to find all those addresses.  This high number of jobs and residences is primarily a result of my being in academia, and this form is systematically biased against academics and will stifle international cooperation and research as a result.  In addition, it will seriously hurt naturalized citizens and US-born citizens with foreign parents.  There is no need for this level of detail unless the government is deliberately attempting to prevent the movement of it's citizens, in violation of the UN charter of basic human rights.  

Edit: There is some question about whether this policy might only apply to people unable to provide traditional forms of proof of US citizenship, or whether it would really be all US citizens looking for a passport. There is also some question about the validity of the supposed form hosted at the above link. Unfortunately the .gov website doesn't actually contain any information about what it is we're supposed to be commenting on - what is the form, who would it apply to, etc.
If you can't give big, give small.

  • Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross
  • Shop Amazon using this link to donate 4%+ to Mercy Corps. (Mercy Corps gets a referral bonus of at least 4%, depending upon how much you spend.)

If you have other good links for small donations, let me know and I'll add them.

And if you can't give small, pass this information on.
Does anyone have a source for cow stickers? Amazon seems to only have third party vendors, and the best I could find on Oriental Trading were mixed barnyard animals. I want cows. Only cows.
I am currently listening to an unabridged audiobook1 of Frank Herbert's Dune with a full cast doing the different characters. I am wondering about the editorial/production choice to have a full cast, and about the claim of unabridged.

The conversations as read have very little "Paul said," "Jessica replied" sort of commentary. They tend to be only what the individual people actually said. For example, if Jessica were and Paul were talking about his homework over breakfast, and Leto walked in in the middle of it...

"So did you finish your homework last night?"
"Very quickly, it was just algebra."
"And what did you learn from it?"
"If you drop a book from the top of a building, its motion is governed by a quadratic equation."
"That isn't what I was taught, since you also have to take air friction into account."
"But you can simplify the equations if you make the assumption that there isn't any air friction."
"And we haven't gotten up to air friction yet."2

In the audio book, since there are three different readers for the lines said by Paul, Jessica, and Leto, it is obvious who said what, but there aren't any "Leto walked into the conversation and commented that..." that in a print version of the book would indicate who said what in a long exchange, or if three people are involved in the conversation. Is this lack of "Paul said" actually in the original text, or was there an editorial decision to remove those? If the original text did not include any "Paul said"s, that would explain the production choice to have a cast.

And while I'm asking, is there a name for doing "Paul said"s, or for not doing them?

1The production is copyright 2007 Audio Renaissance, and narrated by a cast listed on as Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton,and Simon Vance, but possibly including more.
2In case you're curious, my intent here was for the speakers to be JPJPLJP, though the last L and J could be swapped and still have it make sense.
asterroc: (xkcd - Fuck the Cosine)
Please do not use the automatic crossposting thing to crosspost anything I write to either FB or Twitter. Please do not crosspost your comments on MY posts either.

[ profile] rosefox has put together a great summary of exactly what the new LJ stuff does, including links to screencaps so you can see that it really does do that.

Reason: I do not not NOT want this account to have any chance whatsoever of being connected to my RL name, and FB's really really horrible about that shit. I've been toying with the idea of considering my FB account entirely and/or ditching my LJ name for a new one.
I was recently talking with [ profile] calzephyr77 about how so few SF pieces include people with disabilities. The only book/series I could come up with, The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey has the same problem with disability as her other novels have with feminism, in that although she puts the disenfranchised individuals in the limelight, she does nothing to challenge the discriminatory nature of either present day or her fictional society. The only movie I could come up with while thinking then was Avatar, though Daredevil could also do.

I'm currently rereading Heinlein's "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls," my intent being to examine his treatment of women with my current understanding of feminism, rather than how I thought about the issue when younger. I have been pleasantly surprised when ever half hour or so something reminds me that the main character uses a prosthetic leg. It's an unavoidable part of the narrator's life and affects fro the little things like his walking speed to his choice to live in a low gravity environment, but it's not something that permeates every moment of his (or the reader's) thinking.

Can anyone make any other recommendations of SF books with characters with disabilities for me to read? The overall read needs to be good, but I'm curious about both good and bad treatments of disabilities.

Monk music

Jun. 22nd, 2010 02:43 pm
Having just re-listened to the Anathem (Neal Stephenson) audiobook with its really nice monkish music at each chapter start, I really want to listen to some monk music. (I'm sure there's gotta be another name for it, but I can't think of it.) Anyone got a link to free downloadable monk music recordings, or barring that anyone want to recommend some that I can buy?

Edit: Is it Gregorian chants that I'm thinking of? I want polyphonic, male choir, acapella, Latin.
I'm thinking of donating to help wildlife (especially birds) in the Gulf due to the oil spill. What charity or charities do you recommend? I'm thinking about the National Audubon Society.
If were pissed off about Racefail, you'll want to promote this. If you write, you'll want to at least think about this. It's a contest for the best science fiction short story about "a world where universal access is a shared cultural value." Deadline Aug 15, word limit of 5,000, prize of $300 or 6c/word.

Wiki needed

Jun. 1st, 2010 10:42 pm
asterroc: (Astro - H-alpha)
I'm looking for a wiki that allows entering and editing complex math formulae (like Mediawiki, I don't care if it's WYSWYG or LaTeX-like), but hosted on their servers (like PBWorks) for an online Physics course that I'm developing for the Spring. My goal is to have the students collaboratively write their own outlines and study sheets.
Okay, someone explain to me, why is the oil gushing out of the well? I picture the oil as being inside an underground lake, with the well being like a straw going down to it. But when you put a straw into a glass of juice, the juice doesn't suddenly start gushing up the straw, it sits inside the glass until you start sucking on the straw. In the case of a juice box, the juice does start gushing out of the juice box, but that's because you're squeezing on the package while holding it to jam in the straw - is there something "squeezing" on the oil in the ground? Or is it heat causing the pressure, and if so then why hasn't all the oil leaked out and stabilized that way?



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