Why Science is Awesome!

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:08 pm
maybe_amanda101: (Default)
[personal profile] maybe_amanda101
So there is an article in this week's Economist - Youthful Spirits. It's primarily about how "...the blood of young animals... may be able to ameliorate at least some of the effects of ageing..." which, yeah okay, that's a pretty big MAY there, guys. But the best part of the article (after the line, No jokes about vampires, please) is a description of parabiosis experiments carried out by a dentist named Kamrin in the 1950s. Essentially, he cut a small bit of skin from each of two rats, then sutured them together at the site of the wounds. He discovered that in a matter of weeks the animals' blood vessels began to merge, and the animals essentially ended up sharing a circulatory system. All well and good, but (1) the point of these experiments was to prove that sugar causes tooth decay (no, really, this was the best experimental design he could come up with to prove that) and (2) the revelation that the technique was "...kind of gross and crude..." and that the rats "...unsurprisingly, were not always keen on the procedure."

Rats had an opinion on being sewn to other rats? Yeah, go fig.

And scientists wonder why people have trouble trusting them.


In happier news, Sean Spicer resigned. (Apparently over a matter of principle - no, really) Who had Friday, July 22 2017 before 12 noon in the pool??


Who writes these headlines?

Minnesota Girl Has Surgery after Being Bitten Severely in the Lake.

Which part of her is the lake??


Cinvidiosa sent this my way : Puritan Names.

She's going to be Job-Raked-Out-of-The-Ashes Invidiosa from now on and I am going to be Search-the-Scriptures Wilde.

How about you?


Maybe need Puritan Names For A New Age.

I propose:

Eschew-Facebook Smith
Flee-Snapchat Jones
Erase-Those-Nude-Selfies Lee
Embrace-Mass-Transit Bexington-Smythe
Climate-Change-Is-a-Real-Thing Fumble-Dunce (of the Newquay Fumble-Dunces, natch)
Flash-Flood-of-Mosquitoes Wonderhourse

Any ideas?

I made a thing. Feel free to tell me how unspeakably awesome it is:

Wednesday Book Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:44 pm
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because of all of the kids' books and quickie romances I've been reading lately, I am nine books ahead on my Goodreads challenge. I'm going to have to up the ante by ten books, at least, to compensate.

What I've finished

All the President's Men (1974), Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. I began reading it because of (1.) this article in Newsweek: "The Eerie Similarities Between Alleged Trump Scandals and All The President's Men, and (2.) because we'd just watched the movie based on it. (Note that the Newsweek story was published back in March. Imagine if they'd written it this week.) The book is award-winning journalism but honestly, the movie makes for a better story. Go rent the movie. Download it. Whatever. (We checked it out of the library). You will not be sorry. The movie gets five stars. The book gets four stars. These reporters, their editors, and their publisher are all American heroes.

Beany and the Beckoning Road (1959), Lenore Mattingly Weber. Beany believes that she has lost boyfriend Norbett to another girl: Cynthia. She and Johnny plan to drive from Denver to California to return their nephew to his parents and advertise for passengers to share the travel expenses. What a surprise for Beany when she discovers that one of the passengers is Cynthia. What will happen to a mismatched set of passengers with very little money and a tomato plant in the back seat?

This was better than the previous book in the series. Beany flies off the handle one time too many for my taste but whatever. Three stars for retro-charm and that tomato plant. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue on with the Malone family, but this book was funny and engaging.

Girl in the Water (2016), Dana Marton. I took a chance and purchased (I know!) this book because of how much I liked Secret Soldier. The online reviews were enthusiastic, but I was not impressed. Marton tried to weave together three stories, and multiple points of view, and couldn't quite pull it off. spoilers ) I applaud her attempt to write something more ambitious than your run of the mill romance but this didn't work for me at all. I give it one star.

I returned Sugar and Other Stories (1987) by A.S. Byatt to the library after reading just one story. Actually, I didn't make it through the first story. I can't recall the title. It was about an unpleasant little girl, attending an atrocious boarding school, with nasty classmates and an appalling, sadistic headmistress, who I've decided in retrospect might be a stand-in for the writer. Byatt enjoys torturing her characters in much the same way that her headmistress character enjoyed torturing her students. Halfway through, I found I wasn't liking anything about this story. Enough was enough. I skimmed through the next two stories and they were more of the same. No, thank you.

What's next?

I borrowed another book in the time travel porn series from the LAPL. I think this one is called "The Slayer" but it has nothing to do with vampires.

I'm still rereading the series for my kidlit fic exchange, titles withheld.

I unearthed an old novel of Margaret Drabble's which I'd never read, The Peppered Moth.

I'm carrying around Mirror Dance from the Vorkosigan saga in my purse.

There's a stack of time travel novels from the library at my bedside.

Entering Space: Creating a Space-faring Civilization by Robert Zubrin is sitting around somewhere, too. I got it out of mothballs because there is a chapter on mining asteroids, which is relevant to my interests. Speaking of space-faring civilizations, season two of The Expanse arrived yesterday!

black kitty

genex author letter

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:30 pm
maidenjedi: (Default)
[personal profile] maidenjedi
Super excited about this exchange (as I am about them all, really). It isn't very often that there are opportunities for gen fic in this manner.

So, dear author, here are some things you should know generally, and then under the cut are some fandom-specific thoughts.

I like world-building, stories that take place in unexpected places or that include some detail about surroundings. I like character-driven stories, ones that include backstory or off-screen speculation and events. I'm fond of secondary and minor characters, their perspectives on the bigger events. I like main characters, too, and getting different viewpoints from them. Angst is my cup of tea, though not sexual violence of any kind.   Non-canonical character death is okay if it furthers your story.  Seeing as how this is a gen exchange, and some of my requests are more traditionally shippy, I need to clarify that I really enjoy friendship stories or stories that deal with non-romantic aspects of a relationship that may BE romantic later. Team-building is awesome, partnerships between people who aren't very connected in canon or have very little screentime otherwise.

Okay, on to the fandoms.

Read more... )
maybe_amanda101: (Default)
[personal profile] maybe_amanda101
The Mom: Grayson, put down the gum.
The 6/7 year old, apparently named Grayson: No.
The Mom : Grayson, please, put down the gum.
Grayson: No, I want gum.
The Mom: We don't buy that kind.  We buy the organic kind.

(Author's note: They make organic chewing gum? Why do they make organic chewing gum?)

Grayson: Can I have this chocolate bar then?
The Mom: Grayson, would you help me empty the cart?
Grayson: No. 
The Mom: Grayson, please, I would like you to help me empty the cart.
Grayson: No, thank you, I don't want to. 
The Mom: Grayson, I would like for you to help me empty the cart, even if you don't want to.  Sometimes, to help other people, you have to do things you don't want to.
Grayson: No, I don't. That's just moms.


87% Humidity is Too Much Humidity

Jul. 12th, 2017 01:33 pm
maybe_amanda101: (Default)
[personal profile] maybe_amanda101

The weather network tells me it's 26C (79F) but feels like 36C (97F).  Walking into a sauna is what it feels like. So sticky.  Sooooooooooo grossly sticky.


They are predicting a major thunderstorm.  Because, you know, it's 26C and 87% humidity!


Had to go to Lansing, MI overnight last week for a brief family visit.  The downtown is full of beautiful buildings and the parking is free after 6 pm. It was hot even after dark and the mosquitoes feasted upon every damned millimeter of my exposed flesh.  I was shocked and appalled to discover that a can of Rustoleum 2X spray paint (a.k.a.The Good Stuff) only costs USD $3.47 at Wal-Mart  - even with the gawd-awful exchange rate, that is CHEAP spray paint. On the upside, there was Sonic.  Green apple slushes are the best thing ever.

Speaking of spray paint, is Robert Del Naja actually Banksy?  Are you actually Banksy?  Are you sure?  If you were, could you prove it?  Would you want to? 

The modern art scene is complicated. ( For proof, read anything about Damien Hirst.  Or about a very award-winning piece called shedboatshed.  Or watch Exit Through the Gift Shop )


Trying to think of something interesting to say...nothing is happening.  Here is a cute puppy instead:

super cute puppy

That is a super cute puppy. 

Books Wednesday

Jul. 12th, 2017 07:51 am
wendelah1: quote: take these broken wings and fly away (take these broken wings)
[personal profile] wendelah1
If I seemed overwhelmed and overwrought yesterday, I was. I am. I hope and pray that the democratic institutions in my country are strong enough to withstand the onslaught of avarice and deceit that has been set in motion by this corrupt, incompetent, evil administration and its supporters. Democrats are patriots, too. Believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to be told, the last thing I expected to have happened during the last presidential election.

Okay, so, books. I read more books than usual last week because of my quest to find a suitable romance blurb on which to base my Timeless story for [community profile] unconventionalcourtship.

Before I stumbled onto that treasure-trove of scifi porn, the Time Raiders series, I looked at a number of possible choices.

Secret Soldier by Dana Marten

Read more... )

Sundial by Carrie Lofty

Read more... )

I checked out three of the nine books from the Time Raiders Series.

Read more... )

Leave it to Beany by Lenora Mattingly Weber

Read more... )

This week needs more cats. Did you know that there is a Pinterest board devoted to books and cats?

Cat sitting on a bookshelf

This is Bartleby who resides at my favorite bookshop in San Diego, California.

It worked!

Jul. 9th, 2017 03:32 pm
wendelah1: Scully smailing at Mulder, text "I'm happy now" (I'm happy now)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Thank you to [personal profile] amindamazed and [personal profile] monanotlisa, for suggesting that I use Dreamwidth for image hosting. Thank you to [personal profile] thatwasjustadream for oh so tactfully explaining where "manage images" was located (under Organize--who knew) and how it works. I have had trouble for years using the scrapbook at LJ. For some reason, the upload button only works if I access it from the LJ Help Page. WTFLJ.

I have 1024 GB of storage in my scrapbook at LiveJournal. I have no idea what that number means, by the way. Is that a lot of storage, a little bit of storage? Medium amount? Apparently, I can also upload videos there, although I bet that uses up the space faster. Video sure uses up...whatever it is that smart phones use faster.

Long story shorter, I managed to upload my journal banner to the scrapbook and changed the link in the custom CSS. It worked, as far as I can tell. My LJ [livejournal.com profile] wendelah1 has a "Permanent Package of Service," as the Russian ownership now calls a permanent account. I figure if Livejournal goes down for good, I won't care if my banners go down, too, and I would rather save the limited storage space at DW (500 GB) for DW.

I will still need to find a free and simple-to-use graphics program, and, you know, figure out how to use it. But, as Master Sergeant Wyatt Logan (gratuitous mention of Timeless for the win!) likes to tell his time-travelling teammates, "One problem at a time." It sounds better when he says it, I swear. Next on the list, locating the banner for [livejournal.com profile] xf_book_club. I know I have it saved...somewhere.


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