wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
TO: Male commenters on a certain science blog
Re: Conversation about a female postdoc's query about what to do regarding her discomfort over being called "dear" repeatedly by a male professor

PROTIP: Nobody cares that YOU don't mind when female colleagues and superiors call YOU "dear." Inverting a historically unequal power relationship IS NOT THE SAME GODDAMNED THING.

Thanks for playing!

(In other news, it totally doesn't bother me when Indian people wear kilts.* Tell your friends.)

(God.)

(*You know that was sarcasm, right? Actually, I would find it delightful, but it has no bearing at all on any OTHER matter.)



TO: Betty Crocker ... if that is your real name
Re: "Five-ingredient rhubarb dessert squares"

PROTIP: Four (butter, sugar, eggs, rhubarb) plus twenty-two [Sugar, Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Dextrose, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Starch, Baking Soda, Propylene Glycol, Monoesters of Fatty Acids, Salt, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Datem, Xanthan Gum, Monoglycerides, Artificial Flavor, Aluminum Sulfate, Colored With (Yellow 5&6, Artificial Color), Nonfat Milk] is twenty-six. Technically.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-totoro-laughing-me)
http://xkcd.com/503/

I mean, it's not like this hasn't been remarked on before, but I always love it when xkcd addresses my particular peeve ranch.

Also, LOL at the comments in [livejournal.com profile] xkcd_rss. Ohhh, it's Amerocentric! Boo! Hiss! Shame on xkcd! Because Eurocentrism is sooo much better!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (get fuzzy-footnotes-me)
I keep seeing or hearing these (admittedly very minor) errors over and over lately. I ran into all three today, actually. They don't interfere with meaning, so I shouldn't be annoyed by them, I guess ... but they drive me up the wall anyway!

1. Phenomena: It's a plural. "Several phenomena." The singular is phenomenon: "A phenomenon." I've heard multiple financial experts using "phenomena" as a singular this week on the radio. Argh! IT'S A PLURAL NOUN. You want "phenomenon!" (Doot doodoot doo!)

2. Withdrawl: A misspelling. Or, as the old joke goes, "how Southerners speak." The correct spelling for the state you enter when you can't get something you're addicted to or what you do when you panic and take your money out from the bank is withdrawal. Don't withdraw the second a from "withdrawal!"

3. Weary: It means "tired" or "worn out." "Wary" is the word people intend to use, and it means "cautious of," suspicious," etc.

What's been bugging you lately?
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I still can't quite sort out whether Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero: World Tour for Wii is going to be the more fun and playable game, because the partisan fanboys just blather on with little attention to anything objective.

Geek politics drive me nuts. I used to use 3 (or was it 4?) different OSes in a day. I only use 1 (usually) now, but that's not because I worship Apple; it's because OS X works best for me. We have a Wii and a PS2 and a DS Lite because they're fun, not because of any beliefs we have about Nintendo or Sony or whether C.'s manhood is threatened by owning a Wii rather than an XBox 360.

It's very hard to get the straight story from reviewers sometimes because they're often simply arguing their crusade on behalf of their favorite brand or their vendetta against a despised brand, with no eye toward usability or anything else. Sometimes it's in code and sometimes it's not.

I don't expect people to be able to agree on objective criteria for everything, but I do expect people to be able to occasionally say "I like this because it suits ME" or "There's really no difference between these two things; it's just a matter of personal taste."
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (chii-pissy-me)
I think it's really bizarre that our medical system depends so much on patients having friends or family members to care for them.

Seriously, what do you do if you don't HAVE a friend or spouse or family member to drive you to and from the hospital and sit with you afterwards (which the office just told me is necessary)? (or if you have those people but they can't manage to take off work?)

If I didn't have C. I'd be in trouble. I have no family out here and I'm an introvert. I don't have a ton of friends. I do have good friends out here, but they have work demands and many of them don't live in my specific town. You know, people are shy, people have friends who aren't wealthy, people move into new states or countries and suddenly get sick ...

I think it's ridiculous that our medical system just assumes that everyone over the age of 20 has a significant other, local family, and/or friends with tons of spare time. In a lot of countries any procedure that involves general anesthetic would include an overnight stay, at least as an option.

It's also kind of amusing how this contrasts with the other cultural narrative/internal and external stereotype of American rugged individualism. (Edit: and also, I should say, anti-communalism, in contrast to societies we characterize as communally-oriented such as various East Asian cultures).

Bah.

In the meantime I'm not even sure if I can schedule this.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (nicklylee-boxer-unfinis)
All the back-patting (mostly by white male political figures and commentators) about how FAR we've come and isn't this all MARVELOUS and *gush gush gush*.

I haven't heard a single person say what I've been thinking:

WHAT THE HELL TOOK US SO LONG?!

Seriously, tons of other nations have elected leaders who weren't from the majority ethnic group (or who weren't from the privileged ethnic group) and/or who were female. And never mind that there's still no chance of either party nominating anyone who's atheist or gay or Hispanic or ... yeah.

We have a LONG way to go, and we need to move a lot faster if we're going to catch up to where we should be!


(I promise I'll lay off the politics now. Just had to get that off my chest.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
The "Disinterests/Dislikes" thingie that someone had written for LJ is kaput, so I'm deleting it from my profile. But here's what I had listed:

99% of all fanfic, alcohol, arbitrary gender roles, astrology, bad grammar, bay area housing prices, being embarassed, being out of shape, being poor, bland food, boy bands, breast implants, christians with no knowledge of history, cigarette smoke, cleaning, cleaning the litterbox, coke, cologne, comic book artists with no knowledge of anatomy, commercials, commuting, cut-rate chocolate, driving on ice, drunk people, fad diets, failing to express myself clearly, false friends, fatigue, feeling stupid, forgetting things, ganglion cysts, hard sells, heterosexism, high heels, holistic medicine, horoscopes, horror movies, idiotic stereotypes, insects that bite or sting, intellectual laziness, jingoism, job-hunting, leetspeak, libertarianism as generally practiced, living far away from my friends, lots of things, machismo, mainstream definitions of beauty, mainstream fashion, mcdonald's, migraines, mindless patriotism, missionaries who ring my doorbell, misspellings, most people's idea of marriage, most perfumes, most tv shows, msg, my lack of fluency in various languages, my own materialistic urges, name brands, nationalism, neocons, nihilism, not having enough information, not having health insurance, not knowing what to do with my life, oreos, pagans with no knowledge of history, people who don't check google.com, people who don't check snopes.com, people who think bisexuals don't exist, polyamory, poorly-edited publications, postfeminism, potpourri, processed food, proselytization, pseudoscience, razors, reality shows, reckless drivers, right-wing christianity, rude people, screeching children, shrimp, sleep apnea, summer, superstition, surly teenagers, tans, tearjerkers, the general lack of teleportation devices, the idea of being skinny, the idea of getting a tattoo, the idea of getting pierced, the phrase "i'd hit that", the protestant work ethic, the public, things being up in the air, too much makeup, unpacking, wangst, willful ignorance, women's magazines

Eh, that should be "mainstream women's magazines." And "delusional homeopathy" rather than "holistic medicine." Anyway, do note it was a list of "disinterests," not "condemnations," as there are several things on there that I am perfectly neutral on as far as other people are concerned (have all the Oreos and polyamory you want! at the same time even!) but just do not desire myself.

Although technically they were misusing the word "disinterest" anyway, so ... "uninterests" would have been better. :p

Perhaps I should add "KGO 810's incessant and obsessive Barry Bonds coverage." I was SO HAPPY when he hit that last home run, because it meant that they would soon STFU. But now the indictment! They're back to all "zOMG BARRY BONDS!!!11!!!!1" all the time. Grah.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I had a lipstick that I'm pretty sure I bought within the last year. It had a metallic lavender case and was some ordinary drugstore brand. I loved it because it actually stayed on but didn't feel gross. I misplaced it recently and want to replace it. Whatever brand it was, they've changed their packaging or something, like they do.

(Another thing I hate about cosmetics and other geared-to-female products--I find something I like, I come back to buy it again 6 months later, and I can't find it.)

Anyway, does this ring a bell with anyone? I'm really hoping they still make it and have just changed the tube.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
Hot Topic had a clearance section with a $20 corset-style top and a cute PotC tank top, and they had GIR SHOES. That's right: GIR. SHOES. They had half a dozen other corset-style topics and a bunch of cute neo-Victorian blouses.

Torrid had ... um ... well, no clearance section. No GIR shoes. One Frederick's style underwear-only corset. No neo-Victorian anything.

I really miss the days when Torrid was genuinely a plus-size version of Hot Topic.

Also, I walked past Victoria's Secret and they had a kids' section on display. VICTORIA'S SECRET. FOR KIDS.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
"Donut" *may* be an acceptable spelling, but "doughnut" is damned well not incorrect!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
The following phrases have been found in Chronicle headlines on SFGate.com in the last day or two: "arson school," "molest charges," "maul couple."

No, no, no.

And no.

These headlines may be short on character count but they're also very difficult to read and understand quickly. (What are they saving, anyway--pixels? Cheaper than ink last time I checked...)

This is why I encourage my English students to read things other than newspapers, or if they must read newspapers, to keep in mind that the headlines are terrible examples of English. And I'm not even objecting in terms of violating grammar rules (such as dropping articles, which is frequent). No, I'm objecting because of the lack of clarity and comprehensibility.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Get your Peter Beagle-approved, autographed new release of "The Last Unicorn" DVD here. Because Beagle has been screwed over, this is the ONLY way to make sure he receives anything from sales of the new DVD. Please don't buy this film anywhere else.

EDIT: I just ordered one, and I had a slight glitch in the order process. I used the contact e-mail address and wrote them to be sure my order was OK, and someone (actually, I believe it was the owner of Conlan Press) answered me back about 29 minutes later. On a Sunday, even. I'm very impressed!


I need to start reading fiction again. So I'm reading Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom in free daily chunks from Daily Lit.


My eyes are SO ITCHY. I'm going to go have to ask for something stronger/different compared to what I'm currently taking (Deconamine + Flonase). I blame the acacia trees. They're pretty, but I'm thinking that I'm allergic. Naturally, acacia trees are one of the main decorative elements at CSUEB. The specific pollen driving me nuts might be something else, but it's more than likely some kind of tree. As several people have said, why do the sex lives of trees have to be so public?


Does it seem odd to anyone else that Harry Potter is about to come to an end? (The series, I mean ... probably ...) It just seems like not that long ago that I thought it would be practically a lifetime before the series concluded. (NB: Youngsters for whom we have always been at war with Oceania there has always been Harry Potter need not reply!)

Speaking of HP--if you pre-order the final Harry Potter book from Borders, the clerk will ask you what you think about Snape. Depending on how you answer, you'll get a "trust SNAPE" or "SNAPE is a very bad man" sticker, or both if you're truly on the fence. I got both and I'm seriously considering putting them both on my car. Side by side, actually--the decorations in the corners line up nicely. I probably won't, since it'll all be resolved in a few short months.


Dear American Library Association, does it REALLY cost you $7 to mail a poster? Maybe it does, but Cambridge University Press, I do NOT think it costs you $6 to mail a fairly thin paperback from New York (not from England, mind)--and then they charge $1.75 for each additional book. Both organizations just lost sales from me; I'll do without the ALA poster rather than pay $21 for a poster, and I'll get the Cambridge book from Amazon. (Cambridge also wanted to charge me CA sales tax.) Cambridge sent me this great-looking end-of-year sale with 30% off all TESOL books, but by the time I calculated shipping and tax, it wasn't worth it at all. Boo.


The real story behind General Tso's Chicken. I am something of a food snob, but there are a lot of fake Chinese Chinese fusion dishes that I really like, and I love a good American-style General Tso's, because I love sweet+spicy together. (I guess that combination occurs more naturally in Sichuan food, like yuxiang qiezi/"fish"(garlic)-flavored eggplant.)

Also, here is an excellent article on easily making onigiri at home. And it answers my question about making yaki-onigiri, which I LOVE even unfilled. I have some fish-free and MSG-free furikake (mostly dried vegetable bits and toasted sesame seeds) I want to try mixed in sometime.


I have another suggestion for people looking for prospective dates and new LJ friends: Check out the page of LJ-using authors at The White List, add your favorite authors, check their userinfo to see who else has friended them, and then check out the userinfo for those people till you find some people who look interesting. Just leave 'em a note saying you saw they are also reading Famous Author's journal, and they look interesting themselves, and so you hope they don't mind if you add them. Yes, this is perfectly polite in the weird world of LJ.

There's Diane Duane, Pat Cadigan, Judith Tarr, Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Kushner, Kij Johnson, Scott McCloud, Pamela Dean, Steven Brust, Suzy McKee Charnas, Tamora Pierce, Roman Dirge, George R. R. Martin (I did NOT know he had an LJ), etc. (NB: For purposes of friends recruitment, you'll want the ones with the little person icon, as in [livejournal.com profile] kijjohnson, because those are real LJs with userinfo, not the ones with the little broadcast RSS icon, like [livejournal.com profile] shetterly.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (get fuzzy-footnotes-me)
I know I've written about this before, but here I go again.

I use Wikipedia.org frequently and judiciously. I often double-check information I find there, but I do that with boingboing.net and CNN.com and lots of other sources, too. Sometimes I can tell at a glance that a particular Wikipedia page is useless--poorly written and edited, etc., and I just move on.

That said, for all the clueless first-year students who think Wikipedia is the Voice of God, there are countless people who seem compelled to dismiss it as unquestioningly as some other people accept it. Honestly, I think this kind of knee-jerk reaction demonstrates an equally dire lack of critical thinking.

For example, there's a pretty good (and unusual) FAQ on gamefaqs.com about Animal Crossing: Wild World, in which the author addresses various myths and misconceptions about the game. The sources for these errors include the forums at Nsider (the forums hosted at Nintendo's official website), gamefaqs.com, wikipedia.org, and the official Nintendo guide to AC:WW. The source of the vast majority of the errors? Users at the Nintendo forums, and the official Nintendo guide itself!

Guess which source was explicitly noted as "unreliable" in the FAQ.

That's right. Quote: This is a complete fabrication that originated at Wikipedia, an unreliable source for information.

The AC:WW entry on Wikipedia isn't very good, actually, and someone who's really into the game should go clean it up. But it was the source of only one error in the FAQ, and yet it's the one that's noted for its unreliability--when it looks like Nintendo's guide, the source you'd expect to be the most authoritative, is the one with reliability issues!

The contents of the FAQ and the unreliability of the official information referenced in it are a clear demonstration that what students and information consumers need to learn is not to ignore Wikipedia, but to always verify their information. Official sources, dictionaries, encyclopedias and newspapers are neither neutral nor infallible, and a well-documented entry on Wikipedia is often more useful than a reference-free blurb from Newsweek or CNN.com. Simply telling people to avoid Wikipedia doesn't teach anyone anything. "Consider the source" is a good starting place, but it doesn't go very far. Teachers and librarians (and parents) need to help budding researchers develop basic techniques like noticing signs of bias, detecting emotional tone, looking up sponsorship, cross-checking with other sources, determining the quality of documentation or research, and other tools for critical reading.

Of course, all of that is a lot more difficult to do than just saying "Don't use Wikipedia!"

Anyway, the FAQ writer wasn't trying to educate anyone about how to detect false information about videogames, so s/he gets a pass on this one. But I really wonder why so many people feel compelled to always point out how "unreliable" Wikipedia is, even in the face of piles of evidence about the unreliability of supposedly reliable sources.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
There's a really basic coat that I want: black microfiber outside, removable liner inside, hood, full length. Several companies make it in regular sizes, but as far as I can tell, no one manufactures it in plus-size. It's such a generic/versatile coat that I'd think if you were going to have just one plus-size coat, you'd have something like that! Argh.


It's fascinating how many videogame companies claim they're very interested in marketing to women and girls, and yet how essentially every videogame marketing study/focus group in the Bay Area (and there are a lot) is for men/boys only.

Just sayin'.


Everyone keeps saying their "seduction style" quiz results were pretty accurate. But this result is so vaguely worded I couldn't really say one way or the other. I suppose if you know me really well, you should let me know if you agree with this or not. :p Read more... )


Being sworn in on a copy of the Qur'an? DO IT, Representative-elect Ellison! Sorry, religious right. You don't get to claim that YOUR religious items and actions must be allowed in public unless you accept everyone ELSE'S religious symbols too. That's just how it is: All or nothing. Take it or leave it. Anything else is un-Constitutional and unethical.

P. S. To the commentator who said that allowing this would do "more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9/11"--I hope the families of those killed on 9/11 all turn up on your doorstep tomorrow and tell you what they think of your belittling of their pain and loss.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
Dear Boing Boing, I think you mean "What the hell is wrong with certain WRITERS?" Link goes to post about bestiality case, in which the human is described as "having sex with" the animal. Sorry--as with rape cases, child sexual abuse, etc., the offender should NOT be described as "having sex with" the victim. The offender assaulted the victim, who had no say in the matter. Sex is a two-way act, and bizarre dolphin stories aside, these kinds of incidents are one-way. Writers need to be very cautious with their language; while we all know the literal definition of the phrase may apply here, the connotation is of consensuality and mutual participation.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Not "a 100" anything. Ever. Unless it's "a 100-dollar bill" (etc.).
Otherwise, you're saying "a one hundred (people, times, dollars, etc.)" and you sound like an idiot.

Argh.

(Sadly enough, that didn't even come from my students' essays, which I haven't started yet.)

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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