lurkitty: (Default)
2011-08-04 06:26 pm
Entry tags:

Oh Hai!

It's time I actually used this account, given that Russia has declared war on LJ. Over the next few days, I'll be transferring stuff and figuring out how to double post.
lurkitty: (bright inara)
2007-10-15 02:27 pm
Entry tags:

Sing-alongs Closed, Joss reacts

Controversy has sprung up around the "Once More With Feeling" charity sing-a-longs. Fox Television suddenly pulled the plug on the events and is not answering calls requesting information.

The response on Whedonesque has been predictably militant and anti-Fox (since many fans have never gotten over the Firefly fiasco). The Browncoats are organizing again.

Joss Whedon commented thus:

Hi.

This is hugely depressing. I will do everything in my power to find out the exact reasoning for this and try to convince those responsible what a mistake it is. Of course, the words "my power" might confuse my gentle readers into believing I have any. I don't know what I'll be able to do, and I've no idea even where to start. Nor do I think this was done maliciously or capriciously. But it's lousy news and it's bad business. I'm hoping the latter element might prevail. I'll keep you posted.

As ever, -j.

____________________

The organizer of the sing-alongs also responded:

Actually, I could use a good Buffy-fan lawyer who could talk to me about all this. No, no, not to sue anybody, but to find out what I should do next, business wise and everything. Anybody know anyone, drop my a line off-list. buffysingalong@gmail.com

PS - I'm in the NYC area.

adding in the next comment

Oh, and everyone, I want to thank you for your support - Joss especially, since I haven't been in contact with him at all. It's sweet that he knows about the shows and is concerned about our abrupt and unexpected halt.

And yeah, just so you all know, I was trying to do this all officially and make it profitable for everyone (the studio, etc), but now I am indeed in debt. I invested everything in making this show good and working to spread it around the country in hopes that it could soon stand on its own so I could re-coup my investment. And now...well...poopy.

But most of all, I'm just sad that I won't be dancing and singing with the fans for a while. And I just bought a nice blue Zoot Suit so I could start training to be a dancing demon, too. Double poopy.

Buffy SingALong
lurkitty: (geektoaster)
2007-10-13 12:43 am
Entry tags:

Today's Health Update

Ever since I can remember, I've been telling people that cleaners like Lysol and Pine-Sol, and air fresheners make my asthma worse. Many people react with, "But you need it to smell clean!!!"
A new Spanish study bears me out. Weekly use of cleaning sprays, including furniture polish, disinfectants, window cleaners and air fresheners, increased asthma symptoms and medication use by 50%. The incidence was higher among those using them more often.

Exposure to spray cleaning products could account for one in seven adult asthma cases.

Speaking of exposure, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics wants you to know that there is lead in your lipstick. It's not China this time: elite U.S. manufacturers are the biggest culprits.

Quoting the report: In August 2007, members of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in Boston, Hartford, Conn., Minneapolis and San Francisco purchased a variety of red lipsticks from retail stores in their communities. We asked the shoppers to go to local drug stores, big‐box discount chains, high‐end cosmetics shops and department stores and buy red lipsticks at all price levels. Thirty‐three unopened red lipsticks were collected and sent to the Bodycote Testing Group laboratory in Sante Fe Springs, Calif.

Even "natural" products, like Burt's Bees were found to have detectable amounts of lead. Their Lip Shimmer Merlot tested at 0.09 ppm. Both expensive and inexpensive brands were found to contain lead. Different lots of the same shade were found to differ by as much as 0.15ppm. The list is by no means exhaustive.

Lipsticks with lead levels higher than 0.1 ppm )

The average woman ingests nine pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. In addition, lead does not have to be ingested to enter the body. It can be absorbed directly through the skin. Pregnant women and children are the most susceptible to the effects of lead.

The FDA has announced that they will be investigating the campaign's claims, noting that it's own analyses have not supported the claims.

A trade industry spokesman called the levels "quite low" and "not something that is a cause for concern".
lurkitty: (Ron Spider)
2007-10-12 01:11 pm
Entry tags:

Security breach

[livejournal.com profile] docjeff just alerted me to a security problem with a search service called LJ Find dot com.

It is not affiliated with 6A or LJ, but it finds some of your friends only entries if you are logged on to your journal. The problem? It doesn't just find it, it stores the search.

You can go to [profile] ljfind to opt out.
lurkitty: (proud)
2007-10-11 11:07 pm
Entry tags:

National Coming Out Day

.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,** (That was a greeting from Bella. Be honored.)

I am Bisexual (actually pansexual) and poly.

My mom knows and thinks it's great. My sisters prefer not to know. When I hinted at it, one sister called another and they were discussing checking me into the little sister's mental ward. Mom talked them down and we haven't discussed it since. I am very open with my new friends. My older friends, well, that's not the kind of information they want to know (the exception is one long standing gay friend). When I got my cat, I announced that I had a new roommate, and that she slept with me every night. That stopped the room dead, with horrified looks. The sole comment was, "wow, that was sudden."

What that really says is that there are relationships that I have grown out of, and relationships that I am very grateful to have developed. *waves*
lurkitty: (proud)
2007-10-10 10:02 am
Entry tags:

Small victory

It isn't marriage, but Oregon has survived another assault to its new Domestic Partnership law, set to go into effect on Jan 1. Opponents of the law failed to turn in enough valid signatures to suspend the law and put it in the Nov. 2008 ballot.

Opponents have vowed to continue the fight.
lurkitty: (geektoaster)
2007-10-10 12:44 am
Entry tags:

LJ Client

I just have to say, after using Xjournal for years on my Mac, I had been pretty impressed with it. But it hasn't kept up with the changes in LJ code, and I recently found out that the developer has pretty much abandoned it. I was getting tired of the program crashing every time I changed from posting in my journal to posting in a community.

I have been doing a trial run of iJournal, and the jury is in. I'm sold. It now has a place on my dock.

I can even post to other journals with it (but I have to close it and reopen it).
lurkitty: (maneki neko)
2007-10-09 11:58 am
Entry tags:

I can feel the music

In the wake of the $222,000 judgement against the Minnesota woman for music file-sharing, I have been thinking about music sharing lately. I do understand protection of intellectual property, and the very pressing need of musicians to make money from their work. That is a given.

I really hate buying music without hearing it. Those little 20 second previews on iTunes are not enough. I want to hear the song. I want to hear most of the album before I buy it. Back when radio stations were independent, and not all owned by Clear Channel, there was a chance that you could hear a variety of music and buy on that basis. But now, I rely on my friends to introduce me to new music. The problem is, my friends are scattered across the globe. They will introduce me to a new artist by an undisclosed method. If I like a song, I will go buy an album. I'll play it for my for my friends. I'm a fantastic viral saleswoman. I think I've sold at least 5 copies of Devil Doll's Queen of Pain alone. The Grateful Dead made a handsome living by encouraging music sharing throughout their career. I'm also a sucker for buying albums at concerts, but the reality is that Oregon is not on everyone's tour schedule. Sometimes we have to actually tell people that there is an entire state between San Francisco and Seattle (hey - Eugene was one of Jerry Garcia's favorite stops!).

Regardless of the impact of music stealing, I do think that the RIAA is cutting its collective PR throat by going after a single mom with a yearly income of $36,000 as their watershed music sharing case. It's not going to scare all the bulletproof college kids who know how to cover their electronic tracks. It is going to paint the RIAA , and the record companies, as capricious and cruel. It will do nothing to promote the reputation of the artists whose works were stolen. Will the artists see any of the money from this case? Or just the bad publicity?

It could be worse. In the UK, their equivalent of the RIAA, the Performing Rights Society, is suing a car mechanics firm called Kwik Fit because its employees play personal radios at work. According to the Performing Rights Society, this amounts to public performance of music and is a copyright infringement. But. it. was. on. the. radio....aaagggghhhhhh...........
lurkitty: (jane)
2007-10-08 05:09 pm
Entry tags:

Now you're cooking with anarchy

This bit from SlashDot showed up on one of my mailing lists this morning:

Your Rights Online: In the UK, Possession of the Anarchist's Cookbook Is
Terrorism
Posted by Zonk on Mon Oct 08, '07 03:22 AM
from the orwell-would-have-been-so-proud dept.
[ The Courts ]
Anonymous Terrorist writes "Back in the midsts of time, when I was a lad
and gopher was the height of information retrieval I read The
Anarchist's Cookbook in one huge text file. Now it appears the UK
government considers possession of the book an offense under the
Terrorism Act 2000 and is prosecuting a 17 year old boy, in part, for
having a copy of the book. 'The teenager faces two charges under the
Terrorism Act 2000. The first charge relates to the possession of
material for terrorist purposes in October last year. The second relates
to the collection or possession of information useful in the preparation
of an act of terrorism.'"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anarchist's_Cookbook
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7030096.stm

I admit to a flash of ZOMG!CivilRights!WTF! and went to the BBC News link. It said exactly what the SlashDot article said.

Before assailing you with a diatribe on civil rights, I decided to get a few more details.

The Yorkshire Post reports that there were two teenagers arrested for terrorism in Yorkshire. The first was allegedly using the Anarchist Cookbook to construct a bomb with the chemicals he was arraigned for possessing last month: some 950g of potassium nitrate and 250g of calcium chloride. The boy had recently returned from Pakistan.

The second boy was from the same neighborhood and was also charged with possession of The Anarchist Cookbook as well as other materials.

Obviously, there is a lot more to this story. There is a big difference between having the Anarchist Cookbook and using it.
lurkitty: (maneki neko)
2007-10-07 01:20 pm

The swinging pendulum

My Great Aunt Francis was a flambouyant woman of the sort whose personality preceded her into the room. Everyone, even friends, called her Auntie Francis. Her husband died early in their marriage, perhaps in the war, I don't recall right now, but he left behind a single son, Kenneth.

At a very early age, Kenneth was found to be mentally retarded, in the nomenclature of the era. He could not control his own body. Her friends and some family members urged her to institutionalize him, but Auntie Francis would have none of that, convinced that no one would care for her boy. Living on the inheritance from her husband, she raised Kenneth herself all her life. He was not allowed to go to school, and needed help doing even the most basic things. He could barely talk, and only those accustomed to his slurred vocabulary could understand him. Auntie Francis always knew there was more to him than those who kept telling her to send him away.

When he was in his early teens, someone gave him a typewriter to play with. Instead of gibberish, Kenneth started typing words. To everyone's surprise, except Auntie Francis, Kenneth was literate. Beneath his palsied body was a brain appropriate to his age. He wasn't mentally retarded at all. He had cerebral palsy. The typewriter allowed him to finally express all the thoughts that had been locked away for years.

My mother corresponded with her cousin by letter for the rest of his life. She found him delightfully witty and possessed of a dry humor she adored. She sent him books and magazines and they discussed them.

In today's news, I came upon an article that made me really think. I have no answer for this situation. The mother of a 13 year old girl with cerebral palsy wants to get the girl a hysterectomy. The parents say the girl would not understand periods, cramps and mood swings. How do they know?

On the other hand, I consider my hysterectomy one of the best things that happened to me. I didn't want children, and it was causing me far too much pain with the endometriosis. The surgeons were overcautious in my case and unnecessarily delayed my surgery because they thought 25 was "too young" for a hysterectomy and I'd regret it when I wanted children. I am not in agreement with the prevailing attitude that women are baby-making machines and that every woman's highest goal in life is to produce a parasite from her loins.

C'mon, people, let's look at this scientifically. Instead of making it an emotional issue about taking away "her right" to decide, what is the real issue?

Looking at it as a practical matter, the parents are probably right: she would be far better off without the monthly cramps and periods. Her doctor should assess whether she could, physically, carry a baby. On that basis, a hysterectomy would be kinder than monthlies. If there is a possibility that, given a treatment for cerebral palsy in the future, she could recover the muscles to make a baby, then refrain.
lurkitty: (bunny waffle)
2007-10-06 10:20 am
Entry tags:

Important Safety Tip

Do not watch the bottom of the Brita pitcher while filling the top.

Oh, and don't try to pour it right afterward....
lurkitty: (Pogo)
2007-10-05 12:53 pm
Entry tags:

The War

Like many on my flist, I watched Ken Burns' series, The War. I grew up with stories from my parents about WWII. On my blood father's side, I had an uncle my mom never met who was killed at Pearl Harbor, but not in the attack. He died in a motorcycle accident. My blood father never saw combat, but had served as an airplane mechanic in Hawaii.

I can remember playing with ration tokens in my mother' s button box, and making cake with vinegar, baking soda and apple sauce instead of eggs and oil like they did during the war.

My Dad (my stepdad) served in the Merchant Marines. During every war since 1775, the Merchant Marines, normally a commercial fleet, have been pressed into service ferrying troops and materiel for US forces. The seamen who served during the war were given veteran status by the government recognizing their contribution to the war effort. But not my Dad. He was black, one of 24,000 African Americans who served in the Merchant Marines in all capacities except command. Black sailors were not recognized for their service nor were they declared veterans until 1988. Ken Burns did not address the Merchant Marines.

Notwithstanding, I did find that that Burns documentary was well done. It is far more an anthropology piece than a military history. There are certainly better military histories, but this was a very good depiction of the effect of the war on peoples' lives. The striking thing was the impact of the experience on the people at home. They were called upon from the very first to contribute, to cut back, to save and to ration. The war cut deeply into their everyday lives. They were asked to buy war bonds; to invest in the US knowing that when the boys returned, we would prosper again. Everyone had a part to play. Not only was it considered unpatriotic to speak out against the war, it was unpatriotic to profit from the war. People trusted that everyone was making the same sacrifices across the board. They were in it together.

We are continually exhorted to "fight the war on terror", yet, far from being called upon to contribute, we have been informed from the very start that we are all suspects; subject to detention without trial. We are searched at airports, surveilled, caught on film, our phones tapped without warrant. No one is above suspicion. We find that while our soldiers live in barracks and tent cities, they are paid half that of mercenary "private contractor" forces living in posh hotels. Mercenaries who were recruited from the armies of former dictators like Milosevic and Pinochet are making a profit from the billions of dollars that we owe China. Companies like Halliburton cannot account for millions of dollars they were allocated. Iraqi insurgents are killing our soldiers with guns we supplied them.

Yet when we question these expenses and actions, we are called unpatriotic. When our soldiers, exhausted and wounded from tour after tour after tour, begin to question the logic of staying in a country that does not want our help, their patriotism is questioned by people who have never served a single tour of duty themselves.

We, as a country, have been sold a bill of goods. We have been asked to pay with the blood of our best and mortgage our future and the future of our children to line to pockets of a few conniving scoundrels in the name of false patriotism. I challenge them to watch "The War" and learn what patriotism really is, then repeal the obscene "USA PATRIOT Act", restore our Constitution and begin an orderly withdrawal from the quagmire. Our forefathers are rolling in their graves.
lurkitty: (proud)
2007-09-30 10:59 pm

She sang like a peacock

My mother waxes poetic about one of her favorite entertainers: Florence Foster Jenkins.

Born in 1868, Madame Jenkins had a dream. She so adored music that she wished to travel to Europe to train as a singer. Her wealthy father refused to allow it, as did her husband, whom she divorced in 1902. With her fathers death in in 1909, her inheritance allowed her the means to pursue her lifelong goal.

Undaunted and unaware of her lack of pitch, rhythm, or tone, Madame Jenkins began giving annual concerts in 1912. The musical elite soon flocked to hear her because of her hilarious audacity, shouting Bravo! at her worst notes. She appeared complete with elaborate costumes and sets and a pianist who could adjust to her unique sense of rhythm.

Quoting American Heritage blog: The people lucky enough to get tickets cheered her to the rafters, but the critics were, predictably, less enthused. One described her as “undaunted by the composer’s intent.” Another wrote, “Only Mrs. Jenkins has perfected the art of giving added zest by improvising quarter tones, either above or below the original notes.” Robert Bager of the New York World-Telegram was more gentle: “She was exceedingly happy in her work” he wrote. “It is a pity so few artists are. And her happiness was communicated as if by magic to her listeners . . . who were stimulated to the point of audible cheering, even joyous laughter and ecstasy by the inimitable singing.”

Yes, she really was all that they say. Consider yourself warned - here is a link.
lurkitty: (Default)
2007-09-30 05:25 pm

Be sure to eat your chocolate....

A new pilot study suggests that a small daily dose of dark chocolate ( the sort with high cocoa solid content) can help reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Hmm, I guess that means it was the Dementors after all.
lurkitty: (maneki neko)
2007-09-28 01:23 pm
Entry tags:

Burma Update

I am wearing my red shirt today.

The Sidney Morning Herald has a story from an Australian eyewitness of the military crackdown on protesters that took place yesterday in Rangoon.

In another SMH article Myanmar officials claims that the countrywide interruption in internet services has been due to a damaged underwater cable. Troops have sealed off the center of Rangoon with barbed wire.

Even Forbes is reporting in the internet crackdown.

The International Herald Tribune reports that a single Facebook group on Burma has attracted some 100,000 members in less than 10 days in an expression of internet solidarity.

A review of satellite images (download) by the American Association for the Advancement of Science reveal the effects of the junta's program of ethnic cleansing. More details in the Timesonline article.

Please join us in a community created by [livejournal.com profile] mijan: [livejournal.com profile] the_world_prays as we send good thoughts and prayers for Burma.
lurkitty: (albert)
2007-09-28 12:17 pm
Entry tags:

Give Rush the Bum's Rush

Rush Limbaugh called American soldiers who question the US presence in Iraq "phony soldiers". Many on the Right are saying he was referring to the case of Jesse MacBeth, a washed out recruit who masqueraded as an Army Ranger (Rush and others have claimed that "the Left" was somehow complicit in MacBeth's actions. There is no evidence of this). But the transcript of the show clearly shows that Rush's coverage of the MacBeth case took place after his remarks about "phony soldiers". Anyone listening to the conversation up to that point would be forced to assume he meant soldiers with dissenting viewpoints. Because one person gets caught in a hoax, he generalizes that over all dissenters.

Rush Limbaugh's show is carried on Armed Forces Radio. Is this what our troops really need to hear? After such a big stink was made over an ad about General Petraeus in the NYT, why is this man allowed to broadcast this hate over Armed Forces Radio?
lurkitty: (lolotters)
2007-09-27 11:11 pm
Entry tags:

This one's Be4u

Hey, [livejournal.com profile] be4u (an any other lady who's had trouble on IRC), this one's for you!
lurkitty: (Pogo)
2007-09-27 10:10 am
Entry tags:

Burma Update

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that troops in Rangoon opened fire after protesters hurled rocks and bottles at them, killing a reported 10 individuals, one of whom is reported to have been a Japanese reporter.

Recall the warning that police might use the tactic of dressing up as protesters? How can anyone know who threw the stones?

The junta has now raided the monasteries in Rangoon and have imprisoned some 500 monks, as well as closing the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Democracy Now! is reporting this morning that cybercafes and mobile phones are being shut down in an attempt to stem the flow of videos and blog information about the protest.

They are also reporting that China has effectively blocked any UN action on the situation in Burma.

A burmese blog in Rangoon with video of soldiers shooting in the background.

This Burmese blogger has not updated since the 24th.

There is a movement on to Wear Red for Burma this Friday (tomorrow). Please pass it on.
lurkitty: (Pogo)
2007-09-25 12:39 pm
Entry tags:

The miracle in Myanmar

I am keeping an eye on Myanmar. Something of great, but ultimately harsh beauty is occurring. Buddhist monks have lead a peaceful protest march across the country, formerly known as Burma, in opposition to a crackdown by the ruling military junta.

The ranks of the march have swelled to in excess of 100,000, some reporting 150,000.
Over 10,000 monks met and prayed with political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi Saturday. Sources report, however, that she was transferred to Insein prison on Sunday.

The last time such a protest was launched, in 1988, the Burmese government opened fire on the protesters, killing three thousand or more.

Curfews have now been imposed on the cities of Rangoon and Mandalay. The government is threatening the use of military force to break up the protest.

Some fear that soldiers will repeat a trick used in the past; shaving their heads and masquerading as monks, they will start throwing bricks at government forces, giving soldiers the excuse they need to open fire once again.

The lesson from Myanmar is one of fierce grace. The protesters know they may die in this attempt, but democracy is so precious to them that hundreds of thousands are willing to die in the attempt to attain it.

We in the United States are so fearful of dying that we have allowed our government to erode our democracy to the extent that we sit idly by as a student gets tasered for speaking his mind, that we sheepishly allow the government to collect records on what we read, who we call, who we sit next to on a plane, what we carry in our suitcases and where we go. We allow our government to declare anyone, even a citizen, an enemy combatant without benefit of trial and strip them of the most basic constitutional right, that of habeus corpus.

How do we, as a country, lose our complacency and reclaim the idea of democracy as something to die for? Our soldiers have certainly internalized this ideal. It's time we rose to our duty as well, as have the monks of Myanmar.
lurkitty: (Can't sleep cupcake)
2007-09-24 01:49 pm
Entry tags:

Spam and Livejournal email

I have commented lately that I have been getting a lot of virus laden spam. It really doesn't hurt because none of the viruses affect my Mac. It was just annoying to get six or more of these every day.

Because of an offhand comment in one of the lj business comms (I can't recall where) that I began to suspect the source of the spam. So I conducted a little experiment.

A week ago I disabled my lj email address. I had forgotten that I had, long ago, forwarded that address to my standard email address. In the last week, I have gotten no virus spams. None. From six or more per day to none overnight.

I'd say I found the problem.