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Ramblings of a Conuly
Believing in six impossible things before breakfast
conuly
Linking to an article by Alfie Kohn to try to prove that assigning homework *might* be an evidence-based best practice is rather like linking to Das Kapital under the expectation that it's about the wonders of capitalism.

Lazy, lazy. Next time you ought to try reading to the things you link!

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conuly
High School of Art and Design, which is apparently going near the top of her list if she ever gets her portfolio in order.

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This, I feel, is at best a waste of money and at worst a complete tactical error.

Obviously the Trumpers don't really care about her DNA. They just want to mock her in the most offensive way possible. They're not going to believe her (or even remember that they didn't bother to believe her) any more than they believed Obama about his birth certificate. Responding to them just lends them credibility and dignity that they thoroughly don't deserve.

Instead, she ought to be focusing on the people who matter, which is, those of us who might ever vote for her. And I don't think any of us care either. A great many people who aren't Native still have some Native American ancestry. Big deal! What she ought to do is mea culpa about calling herself Native American when she isn't tribally enrolled, which would show that she took the time to educate herself, which I think we all do care about, at least a little more than whether or not one of her distant ancestors was maybe Native American or not.

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Well, I don't blame her!

Here kitty, kitty, kitty, come take your yummy medicine...!

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Brr!

I must get the doggies new sweaters, and also a new hoodie for me. Oh, and Eva urgently needs new pants - she's as tall as her mother now! When did this even happen!?

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conuly
This is an enormous pity, as that tree both keeps this house 10 degrees cooler in the summer and also blocks north winds in the winter.

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Transphobia An Unacceptable Part Of A VA Middle School's Mass Shooting Drill

So, I can sort of see the "omg trans" argument for locker rooms because people are changing their clothes. I don't agree with it (except inasmuch as I think we should provide a reasonable number of private changing cubicles for those people who prefer a curtain), but I can sort of see the point about nudity/privacy, especially as locker rooms are gender segregated in the US. (I don't even get that far with the same freakout over bathrooms. People, this is why we have stalls!)

But unless this school has an extremely novel approach to gun safety, these students weren't naked, or even in their undies. They were simply sheltering in locker rooms and bathrooms until the end of the drill*. What possible harm could anybody imagine could come from clothed students being fully clothed together in the locker room!?

* Active shooter drills are a whole 'nother issue I don't intend to tackle here.

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I'm sure she'll be back, but she's missing these antibiotics.

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(Also, I'm carefully corralling current events into LINK LISTS and not MY THOUGHTS, so my thoughts are pretty banal.)

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If you are from Texas, check your voter registration right now. Especially if you used Vote.org to register to vote.

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awful awful awful

i do not like this timeline

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Took her to the vet. Had to stay until midnight and now we have to dose the cat twice a day for the next ten days.

Ugh.

(Plus, although the vet reassured us that she probably will not get sick from rabies, that not being terribly common around here, I'm well aware that her shot is expired by a few months and we were too late for her to get an emergency booster. We're officially "observant but not concerned" and unofficially "worried as hell". I only don't like this cat because she doesn't like my cats, otherwise I like her fine. I like all cats. Anyway, stopping the spread of rabies is everybody's responsibility.)

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"I just don't understand why light sources and vision would evolve on a lightless planet!"

This is your problem with the setting? Once we accept a habitable planet with no sun* and no light, why wouldn't much of the native life evolve to glow and see by their glows/the glows of other organisms? Sight is an enormous selective advantage**! And once one animal can see or one plant can attract pollinators by sight, the arms race is well and truly on.

"But I don't get why the people are so dependent on light producing plants and animals! Wouldn't it make more sense for them to adapt to use their other senses?"

In ~200 years!? Exactly how fast do you think evolution works? Also, the parts of their world that don't have glowy plants are too cold to settle in, so there isn't much incentive to practice their echolocation for realsies.

* It's possible the planet is not literally sunless but simply tidally locked. Our viewpoint characters have absolutely no way to know this, or even comprehend the distinction.

** So says a member of a species that heavily relies on sight. Still....

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But I don't particularly want to spend time tweaking it either.

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She had him for a time after he "got loose" from the old owners - got rid of the fleas, got rid of the worms, took him to the groomer and all - but when confronted a few weeks later felt she had to give him back. The first time she saw me with him, she actually thought he was some different dog, that her granddaughter must be mistaken! It just goes to show the importance of love, affection, and food when it comes to animal care. (How you can not feed a toy poodle adequately, I simply don't understand. I suppose they can be picky, that's what google says, but this one isn't even a little picky, so.)

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Or if you insist, then instead of blowing things up you should stick with cake.

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It's like a superpower!

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based on Jem and the Holograms, a show I never watched even once growing up.

I checked out the Wikipedia page, and I feel like there are a few gaps in my understanding here. Why is there a secret identity thing going on?

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Not worth it, really. The plot never gelled properly. Our main character just sort of goes along with creeper stalker not-a-villain insisting he needs her help (and why her instead of literally anybody else?) even though she never does any of the research he keeps insisting she's the only one he can ask to do (the real reason here is that he has a huge crush on her, but still), everybody acquiesces to the Sekritly Evul plan of universal microchips waaaaaaay too easily (why even bother with behavior modification when people don't question this extreme step?), and the (actual) villain, when confronted, veers wildly between sincere "oh, no, my brother died in this crime wave, we must take extreme steps" and maniacal cackling. Plus, the gender ratio is heavily - and, I'll say, needlessly - skewed, something like 3:1 m:f. Complete waste of $9. It's going in the nearest Little Free Library.

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I visited this school with Ana two years ago, so it shouldn't be too new to me. I can skip the "Do you run this school like a prison" check, and as they're done by lottery I don't need to ask about grades - I just need to ask about dyslexia and if that's an issue. Need help with my wording here.

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And gasp! everybody in NYC has noticed they're missing. Read more...Collapse )

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But it later transpired that apparently they're not sending out HS applications this year, you have to pick them up in person (because, in the words of the person in the other office, "they claim they can't get on our new system") and whether or not that claim is strictly valid, if she's been dealing with irritated parents the past couple of weeks I guess I can see why she's in a bad mood. I'm very generously assuming that this was the reason, anyway.

Because her pissiness was directed at me she actually supplanted the first unpleasant person I encountered today, who was probably worse. I just had bad luck! Tomorrow I'll only meet happy, cheerful, kind people.

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it sounded like it must be twice as close to the house as it actually is. (And then after every blast I'd hear some little kid outside carefully mimicking the sound.)

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"Girls read more than boys, it's awful, how can we fix this!?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/09/why-girls-are-better-reading-boys/571429/

But the commentary I've seen elsewhere positively infuriates me.

I'm all for stocking schools and libraries with a wider range of books to appeal to a greater variety of tastes. We should definitely increase funding with an eye towards this goal.

But it absolutely kills me to see the same people who either a. earnestly explain that we can't have gender parity in films because men and boys won't watch movies about girls and women and then the filmmakers wouldn't make any money (women have to suck it up, I guess) or b. who huffily insist that pushing for more diverse books is insulting because only reading about people who are "like you" means you don't stretch yourself (reading about white people is automatically stretching yourself even if they're basically your clone) are now falling all over themselves to say that of course we can't ask boys to read about girls and never should have suggested it. Boys never have to stretch themselves and never have to suck it up, I guess.

Is this what they mean when they talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations?

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Today's prompt is: "Here we go again"

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Eva was pretty impressed with the school - I remember Ana wasn't that interested! They're so different in so many ways. This school had already passed my "do they run this school like a prison" test, and I got the opportunity to ask my Eva-specific questions, which were answered to my satisfaction.

Today is also Sukkot, which means that there were an awful lot of Orthodox Jews on the boat (and presumably other ones who don't dress so visibly), causing Eva to ask carefully if there's a holiday today. Now, here's the thing. I can look it up. I can hear people say it. But for whatever reason, if I ever am called upon to say "Sukkot", I find myself stalling out and asking "Wait. Was that a long U or a short U?" and I certainly don't want to make a mistake where other people who know how to say it can hear me. Fortunately, Chabad was also out in force asking people if they were Jews, and normally I wouldn't give them the time of day but since they approached us I felt it was okay to counter-ask how to say the name. And whoops, I've already lost it.

Eva also took the opportunity to peek in a public sukkah while nobody was using it, so all and all it was an educational outing. We have another open house Saturday morning.

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Sign-ups for [community profile] therealljidol (at DW, oddly) are open until the end of the month.

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Flashback to 994 Scotland, and we note that a cottage has a hole in the middle of the roof to let smoke out rather than a chimney near the wall. Chimneys are a much more recent invention than many people realize.

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Something I'd forgotten until this rewatch-binge is how very much TV back in the 90s harped on how dangerous things had gotten, how times had changed, especially in the big cities. In fact, as far as the crime rate goes, 1994 marked the start of a long-running downward trend in most American cities - especially NYC. The city wasn't getting worse and worse, it was getting safer and safer.

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is harder than I realized. I'm sure I'll adapt, given enough time. I certainly have no emotional attachments to the one I'm used to using. But man oh man, it's turning out to be actually difficult. Habit's hard. Just gotta keep working at this one.

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I better start using my light box. I don't know that it improved my functioning last year, but it certainly improved my mood (or anyway, compared to other years, it at least didn't hurt).

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That was fun :)

Lots of talking about books, but I suppose that's only to be expected when your first, second, and third ideas of where to meet up are BOOKSTORES ARE GREAT.

But now I am sooooooo sleepy. I maaaaay have gotten only four hours of sleep last night.

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watch a lot of "re-runs" of Full House while in hiding, and then become invested in Alias and Buffy while living with an older couple... well, that's one way to avoid accidentally dating your references too fast, but it would have been just as simple for her to never watch TV at all. After all, her life sucks, so who even has the time? Or you could have just set this book during your own adolescence, that works too.

(Also, I would've thought that Little Miss Con Artist would've been tired of all that intrigue and disguises after her miserable adoptive family blew up. Maybe any other show besides Alias?)

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Hurting and hurting every time I wore shoes. Moderately grossCollapse ) And now I can walk a goodly distance again! It's improving steadily every day and should be totally normal by Monday. Which means I can stop taking the bus and start walking again! Good for my budget, good for my health.

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I'm fascinated by this account of old print size names. Of course, we still use the term "ruby" in a specialized context. Picked up the first link, in all places, on a baby name blog.

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https://thefridayfive.dreamwidth.org/82825.html

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After working it out from context, I typically try to connect it to words I already know.

I wonder what it says about me that my first thought when I saw the word "lenitive" was to think "lenition" and not, as they suggest, lenient.

(I don't actually wonder. That's rhetorical. I know what it says about me.)

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(Barely) and I'm starting to think that Elisa could stand to take some lessons from Xanatos on how to win friends and influence people. Read more...Collapse )

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The artists really cared about set accuracy. Sure, there are the inevitable alleyways, but they're relatively few in number. I suppose even Manhattan has a few dilapidated alleyways. Central Park looks like Central Park. The Cloisters look like The Cloisters (and Eva was thrilled to hear that it's a real place and we can go there whenever we like). The MoMA looks like itself, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that somebody went in one day and carefully took note of which painting was where so it could be faithfully reproduced in cartoon format.

On another note, say what you like about David Xanatos, you gotta admire his vision. It may be evil, but it certainly doesn't lack for ambition and style.

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Gosh, I just love that show. In a perfect world, it went on for six excellent seasons, because Disney took its collective head out of its ass regarding their magical 66 episode concept.

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has posted a request for donations to give books to poor Appalachian schoolchildren. Demand has far outstripped their expectations, and the situation is truly dire, with many of their targeted kids stating that they have no books in their home at all. (And in many ways, poverty in rural areas can be worse than poverty in urban areas - no matter how determined you or your parents are, you can't just hop on the subway to go to a museum or library somewhere else if there is nowhere else.)

I am familiar with most of the books on their list, and I think it's a fine collection of "serious" and "just fun" books for fourth graders. Roller Girl in particular is brilliant, and I greatly admire the way the author managed to make all four same-aged female characters into actual, interesting individuals, even the "mean girl" who doesn't get very much screen time. We're not left wondering why Old Best Friend wants to pal around with this other girl.

If I had to make a few suggestions, I might add Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Oddity, and/or Misadventures of the Family Fletcher* to this list, because I love those books so much. I might also consider How Tia Lola Came to Stay and some age-appropriate graphic novel with a male lead - Mighty Jack, Bone, Cardboard - any of those would be a good choice. But they didn't ask me, and their list is more than adequate.

* However, the author has already posted in her blog how at least one teacher had to pull her class from this project due to one of the author's books having a single gay character - and if it's the one I think it is, let me tell you, your average 10 year old would really have to squint to see that! - so this might not be a great choice for this particular group. Sadly, getting books into hands is more important here than fighting for perfect inclusion.

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I guess this is my hint to post some of these.

Painstakingly dragged out of my historyCollapse )

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My mother likes it because it's a lot like Clue except it isn't (and the components are very nice). However, just like Clue there's an awful lot of downtime while everybody else maximizes their guesses and rolls. It's just - guys, we maximize the game when we spend less than six minutes per turn. I swear, next time I'm breaking out an egg timer. We never use the one from Boggle.

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It's got to be fast, and filling, and appeal to a fairly large number of people. Suggestions?

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