beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
I'll blog more later, but have a book for now.

I read most of Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet as a teenager, before the modern YA trend got started. And, well, she writes a good blog and is sort of local to me, and I have several friends who are fans of her. And, honestly, once I got past my teenaged years, I got a lot less insecure about reading 'kids books'.

So, I picked up her other world of books, the Magic Circle ones, which follow four orphaned youngsters from different backgrounds who end up having a semi-rare sort of magic for a certain craft or set of things. )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
So, I was thinking about something we find out about Dr. Alexander Kellis from Mira Grant's (aka [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire Newsflesh series. Basically, in the 'Countdown' series of shorts, it's mentioned that Dr. Kellis is married to a nice man who puts up with his workaholic ways. Later, Dr. Kellis happens to create a viral cold cure that ecoterrorists* release into the wild before Dr. Kellis is finished testing it, and the virus ends up making friends with another virus, and they go on to create the zombie apocalypse (except the world doesn't end, it just adapts to the fact all large mammals now occasionally become zombies).

Now, the interesting thing to me is not that a minor character is gay )
beccastareyes: Image of Sam from LotR. Text: loyal (Default)
I finished the second draft of a paper I'm working on for work. Well, I still need to revise some figures and add one more from the modeling I had the laptop churn out* while I was messing around on the Intertubes on Wednesday. The nice thing is that I can do this from home, especially since I am much less easily distracted when not around a Wifi signal -- I have a router, but it's down because it tends to drop the signal more than just hooking the desktop to the modem.

Bit bummed after reading a story about how the DevART mods refused to remove a stamp (little icon expressing support for something) proclaiming that the maker was a proud homophobe. Apparently it doesn't qualify as hate speech. I left a long email to the site mods, and then posted it to my journal there, saying that I'm leaving if stuff doesn't happen within 10 days. Well, mostly -- I'd have to close off loose ends, like transfer modship of the groups I run. Which sucks, because I liked the people I met there, and there doesn't seem to be a good alternative for art communities.

It's really kind of a bummer.

There was a third thing, but I forget what it was. But it was a happy thing, I think. Oh, yes! I have a boatload of Dreamwidth codes, for anyone who needs them. Also I learned that apparently the mods will give out multi-use invites for RPG admins. Dreamwidth still doesn't compare to IJ when it comes to... well, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF ICONS, but I hear talk that they are trying to build in a sort of internalized LJ-Login that will let you link multiple journals together so you don't have to log out and in to post. No idea about when they are coming up with this.

* Basically, I tell the laptop 'calculate what face of Hyperion will point at Saturn three months from this time and how fast it's spinning, compare it to the observations we have of Hyperion, and then do it 27,000 times, with different assumptions about what's going on in the interior'. Computers are good at doing repetitive things over and over.
beccastareyes: Image of anime girl (Amelia from Slayers) posing, text: in the name of Justice... (justice)
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a network with a goofy name. There was also an organization devoted to discouraging GLBT discrimination. The organization noted which networks were doing good jobs of portraying queer folks in a fair light, and which weren't. As it happened, the network got a failing grade. So the network exec made a statement along the lines of 'We will try harder in the future'. Fair enough.

Apparently SF writer John C Wright was not happy with this. Seeing as he was morally opposed to anything other than procreative sex between a married couple, he issued a long rant about how the network was pandering to the evil Gay Agenda.

Most of you in fandom can imagine the explosion. While there are many explicative-laced rants -- I can provide links, or I can happily give you my own -- I am enamored of Hal Duncan's, linked by Elizabeth Bear and Shweta Narayan. It is wordy, but has some delightful turns of phrase, and profanity is used sparingly (I think there is only 'cut the crap') and in a skillful way to provide emphasis.

TLDR: I liked Hal Duncan's letter. )
beccastareyes: (hooray for iowa!)
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a network with a goofy name. There was also an organization devoted to discouraging GLBT discrimination. The organization noted which networks were doing good jobs of portraying queer folks in a fair light, and which weren't. As it happened, the network got a failing grade. So the network exec made a statement along the lines of 'We will try harder in the future'. Fair enough.

Apparently SF writer John C Wright was not happy with this. Seeing as he was morally opposed to anything other than procreative sex between a married couple, he issued a long rant about how the network was pandering to the evil Gay Agenda.

Most of you in fandom can imagine the explosion. While there are many explicative-laced rants -- I can provide links, or I can happily give you my own -- I am enamored of Hal Duncan's, linked by Elizabeth Bear and Shweta Narayan. It is wordy, but has some delightful turns of phrase, and profanity is used sparingly (I think there is only 'cut the crap') and in a skillful way to provide emphasis.

TLDR: I liked Hal Duncan's letter. )
beccastareyes: (hooray for iowa!)
So, about a week ago, I pinned a rainbow ribbon* to my coat, and tied another to my bag. I also had a white knot pinned to my coat.

* Not quite proper colors -- it should have a purple stripe. It just has red-orange-yellow-green-cyan-blue. But most people don't glance at rainbows in that much detail.

I'm fine walking around campus with it, but I noticed that in nice weather, when out at shops, I tend to self-consciously fold my coat back so the ribbons aren't visible. It's kind of embarrassing -- I mean, hell, if I'm going to be out in the open, I should do it. And I do have a choice -- it's not like racism or sexism or cisgenderism/transphobia**, where it's harder to pass, and it's not like I'm in an actual relationship***. But I feel like I should, especially since I see Ithaca as generally a safe place. And maybe act as a reminder that not everyone in the world is straight.

** Whatever you call discrimination based on how someone presents hir gender, or transgender/genderqueer individuals.

*** Someday there will be a emo post about how my social ineptness condemns me to perpetual singlehood. The day is not today.

The only person to comment so far was a clerk in a convenience store/truck stop in rural Virginia who wanted to know what the ribbon was for.

Five!

May. 6th, 2009 01:52 pm
beccastareyes: (hooray for iowa!)
Expect a post on my Continuing Adventures in travel later. I had to blog about this.

Maine is now the fifth* US state to legalize same-sex marriage fifth state to have same-sex marriage and sixth to legalize it*, the second to do so via legislature, and the first to have the governor sign off on it. I especially like the bill name: 'An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom'.

Note the two elements in the title. The first notes that the government of Maine speaks to civil marriage only, and this should be free from discrimination. In other words, there's no reason to not allow same-sex marriage between two eligible people. The second probably says 'hey, churches retain the rights to religiously marry whoever the heck they want'. In other words, UU folks can still allow folks to marry without regards to gender, Baptist folks can still refuse to marry same-sex couples, LDS folks can require one belong to their religion in order to be sealed in the temple**, and all of them can look at someone funny if s/he wants to just borrow the church for the ceremony without actually being a member. Which is... pretty much what happened before***, except same-sex married couples now have to remember to bring the marriage license in and get more than just a civil union.

Good quotes by the governor that pretty much says what I just typed -- he also notes that he was undecided and had previously supported civil unions only, until hearing the arguments presented during the approval of the bill that denying marriage to same-sex couples would go against fairness and equality written into Maine's constitution, and that even a civil union (which Maine has), would not be equal to marriage.

* Okay, so technically California legalized it for under a year. Stupid Prop 8.

** I'm not showing my ignorance here of LDS marriage custom, am I? ETA: Discussion in comments on my LJ about this.

*** I recall there's some anti-equality ad circulating with a New Jersey(?) church claiming they did have to marry same-sex couples. What actually was happening was that the church had a beach-side gazebo they got a tax break on from the city if they allowed it for public use. The city told them: 'Listen, if you want the tax break, you got to follow our anti-discrimination laws. In other words, if a gay couple wants to use it for a wedding on the beach, or a group of Wiccans want to use it for a Solstice party, or Planned Parenthood wants to use it for a celebratory barbecue for their doctors, or whatever, you can't decide to refuse because it goes against your beliefs. If you want to be able to refuse people on grounds of your religion, keep the gazebo as your private property'. Apparently, the church wanted both the tax break and the ability to refuse anyone they wanted, so they cried religious discrimination.

Five!

May. 6th, 2009 01:52 pm
beccastareyes: Image of anime girl (Amelia from Slayers) posing, text: in the name of Justice... (justice)
Expect a post on my Continuing Adventures in travel later. I had to blog about this.

Maine is now the fifth* US state to legalize same-sex marriage fifth state to have same-sex marriage and sixth to legalize it*, the second to do so via legislature, and the first to have the governor sign off on it. I especially like the bill name: 'An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom'.

Note the two elements in the title. The first notes that the government of Maine speaks to civil marriage only, and this should be free from discrimination. In other words, there's no reason to not allow same-sex marriage between two eligible people. The second probably says 'hey, churches retain the rights to religiously marry whoever the heck they want'. In other words, UU folks can still allow folks to marry without regards to gender, Baptist folks can still refuse to marry same-sex couples, LDS folks can require one belong to their religion in order to be sealed in the temple**, and all of them can look at someone funny if s/he wants to just borrow the church for the ceremony without actually being a member. Which is... pretty much what happened before***, except same-sex married couples now have to remember to bring the marriage license in and get more than just a civil union.

Good quotes by the governor that pretty much says what I just typed -- he also notes that he was undecided and had previously supported civil unions only, until hearing the arguments presented during the approval of the bill that denying marriage to same-sex couples would go against fairness and equality written into Maine's constitution, and that even a civil union (which Maine has), would not be equal to marriage.

* Okay, so technically California legalized it for under a year. Stupid Prop 8.

** I'm not showing my ignorance here of LDS marriage custom, am I? ETA: Discussion in comments about this.

*** I recall there's some anti-equality ad circulating with a New Jersey(?) church claiming they did have to marry same-sex couples. What actually was happening was that the church had a beach-side gazebo they got a tax break on from the city if they allowed it for public use. The city told them: 'Listen, if you want the tax break, you got to follow our anti-discrimination laws. In other words, if a gay couple wants to use it for a wedding on the beach, or a group of Wiccans want to use it for a Solstice party, or Planned Parenthood wants to use it for a celebratory barbecue for their doctors, or whatever, you can't decide to refuse because it goes against your beliefs. If you want to be able to refuse people on grounds of your religion, keep the gazebo as your private property'. Apparently, the church wanted both the tax break and the ability to refuse anyone they wanted, so they cried religious discrimination.
beccastareyes: (OMGYEY!)
Westboro Church protest meets students’ mocking
Over 100 students waived signs, bearing such slogans as “God <3’s internet porn” and “God hates the new Facebook."

This article made me laugh. I mean, I generally think that the Westboro Baptist Church and the Phelps clan is the real-life equivalent of Internet trolls. I mean, what else do you call it when people show up where they aren't wanted (and in places where it is generally considered inappropriate to protest, such as soldiers' funerals and high school graduations) with signs that seem obsessed with (hating) gay people.

Now, really, if they are trolls, the best thing to do would be to ignore them until the moderator gets out the ban-hammer. Sadly, real life is deficient in 'block' buttons and killfiles and the moderator is apparently out playing skee-ball.

So, the University of Chicago students do the next best thing -- they have a troll-baiting party. The fraternities break out the gay anthems and the dancing, the students make signs that show that they are just as good at quote-mining the Bible (or good old-fashioned silly signs), the campus has a diversity celebration, and students from the Chicago Theological Seminary came out to cheer on their fellow students.

It makes me feel good to read it. Because it sounds like such a vibrant celebration of student life -- both the silly and the serious.

Also, Shirley Phelps-Roper comes off as 'ewslash' type of troll when the only thing she mentions specifically about the counter-protest is the frat boys dancing. Seriously.

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