August 2017

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Cut for Discussion of Religion )
I'm putting the rest behind the cut because it's strongly opinionated and I don't want to unwillingly subject anyone to my rantishness.

Comments are welcome, as always, but I ask that people be polite (to me and all others) and keep in mind that this is my opinion and my journal and, yes, I need to rant sometimes in my journal.

Dumbledore Is Gay?! )
I'm rewarding myself for finishing (maybe?) the Green Knight story this afternoon by writing a journal entry. w00t!

The other day, via [ profile] metafandom, I found yet further evidence of LJ digging themselves deeper and deeper. This time, it has to do with hyperlinks: what one can legally link on LJ, what one cannot, and how LJ will handle instances of previously "legal" links becoming "unsafe." LJ's conclusion on the matter: We are responsible for the content that hides behind those links, and if the links contain content that is barred according to the ToS, then we can receive a "strike" or be suspended for linking to it. The kicker: even if the original link has changed to something "unsafe," we are still responsible and should therefore check our links regularly.

But Is This Important? )
Perhaps because it is Monday and I am tired from shifting back to my normal nocturnal schedule over the weekend or maybe because I'm PMSing, things have just been getting on my nerves lately. Now I could grumble about my coworkers and their inability to use technology that's been prevalent since the '80s or the way that Maryland drivers drive when they perceive that there might be snow nearby ("like OMG it's piled all next to the road!") or any number of small things, but I'm choosing instead to write about some thoughts that have been on my mind lately about sports, religion, and escapism and how they intersect.

So, yes, I'm ranting. Hopefully not incoherently but ranting all the same. And since it does not always seem to be clear that my journal contains my opinions, then please be forewarned that my journal contains my opinions. You're welcome to disagree but please do try to be civil about it.

Best Served with a Can of Worms.... )
The [ profile] psychologytoday syndicated feed has recently posted a couple of interesting articles about detecting personality and intent from online communications.

This one is about whether details about a person's personality and gender can be determined from online conversation.

This one discusses how the lack of non-verbal "nuances" in online communication can lead to wild misinterpretations of a person's intent in email.

As many of you know, one of the 'gund's chief pet peeves in life is Internet drama. I know that some people are drawn to it--and feed off of it--like sharks to blood, but I get online to relax, have fun, and get away from real-life stresses. So making myself sick or losing sleep over whether DramaQueen1072 doesn't like a story or opinion I've posted or whether IhAvEn0lIfE44 has reconciled with Anita_Grow_Up5 over the "scathing" review the latter left the former really has no place in my life.

So My Thoughts on Internet Drama and Misread Communication.... )
Bobby is a wonderful man. Have I said that lately? He knows that his poor, soft-hearted, easily upset wife gets depressed by reading the news too much, and so he sends me the articles that he knows will interest me. And probably get me all fired up and ranting from my soapbox. (While he laughs.)

It seems that a higher-up from the Catholic church has admitted that "intelligent design" has no place in science--least of all, in the science classroom.

I had trouble opening the article at first. Of course, that could just be my wonky State computer. Either way, here's the article, in case you want to read it but have a dinosaur like mine that doesn't want you too.

(God's hand at work? :-o)

Yahoo! News: Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design )

And of course, my thoughts on all this. (Cut for language...beware, virgin ears!)

And Felak Says.... )
I had jury duty today. (For those of you who don't live in the good ol' USA and therefore have no need to have knowledge of our judicial process--if anything that slow can be called a "process"--jury duty involves random selection from a list of registered voters and drivers. It is basically considered to be one of the banes of life: a pleasing combination of boring and inconvenient. Oh! But they pay you $10 a day, which makes it very worthwhile to miss a day of work, especially if you don't get paid time off.

(Which, believe me, if I didn't get paid for the day I took for jury duty, I would have been out of the state this week.)

But, I do, so alas, I did my civic duty and went.

It was...interesting.

They kicked things off by showing us a video about jury duty. It was all grand-sounding and called "Your Turn to Serve" and included personal testimonials from jurors, beginning with how inconvenienced they felt and ending with--literally--testaments along the lines of, "This was such a wonderful experience! I can't wait to do it again!" (Seriously, one woman said that.)

I laughed through the whole thing.

I felt really bad about that. Well, not really bad; I felt a miniscule amount of badness because some underpaid bureaucrat (like myself) is probably so freakin' proud of that thing. I was thinking, "Do people actually buy this?" Yes, well, I suppose they do. They've bought worse.

After that, we sat. I finished a Joyce Carol Oates collection of horror stories called The Collector of Hearts (highly recommended to those of you out there who like darkfic), started the Chronicles of Narnia (which I want finished before the movie comes out), and wrote my brainstorm list for Nelyo's first official staff meeting (which means Bobby and me sitting on the couch in our PJs and probably eating some evol snack with a hockey game in the background, chatting about the imminent candy biz.) After two hours went by, the head guy (don't know what his position is actually called) came in and told us that no jury trials were going to be held today, and so we would be excused.

(Likely, I would have been excused anyway. The one trial that might have been a jury trial was a criminal case. I work for a law enforcement agency devoted to locking up parole violators. Really, I don't have much of a "cop mentality"--I'm just a statistician after all--but they don't need to know that this is one matter on which I am fairly unbiased. They see "Warrant Unit" and goodbye....)

So for two-and-a-half hours of work, I made ten dollars (four dollars an hour, yay! less than the legal minimum!) and got to go home early and work on my NaNo story.

Which because I know everyone is waiting with bated breath, is up to *exactly* 34,500 words. You don't need to tell me that I'm a sick person. I know I am.

Mini Rant (cut for verbal badness) )
My lovely husband sends me interesting news articles, since I so often am sickened by the news where I don't read them myself. This one appeared today in the Baltimore Sun. Even though the journalistic style of writing tends to make me gnaw my nails in frustration at the one-sentence paragraphs and constant subject-verb, subject-verb sentences, the point in an interesting one, looking at Bush's myopia in terms of current events and perceptions and comparing it to a similar philosophy among fundamentalist religions. (Of which our President and Teh Legion of Cronies are undeniably part.)

Of course, the nature of this article is political, and while I welcome all views in my LJ, please be aware that if you don't go for this kind of thing, you might want to skip this post.

The Limits of Bush's Mind )
Forget the terrorists. Forget the people who have been killed in 9/11, the London subway bombings, and in the other terrorist attacks occuring daily around the world. Forget the efforts of people like my husband and my coworkers, who go out every day and risk their lives to stop crime and terrorism.

Because what we need is protection from pornography.

The following article appeared in The Washington Post on 21 September 2005:

Recruits Sought for Porn Squad )

Commentary from the 'gund--THIS WILL BE POLITICALLY INCEDIARY. IF YOU WILL BE BOTHERED BY THIS, DO NOT READ IT. (Also, there is a discussion of sexuality. ::gasp!:: )
Today has so far been a depressing day for me, and so I am compensating by becoming momentarily lost in a dilemma I have discovered that has absolutely no bearing on real life. Friends are losing friends (and pets--my condolensces to you, Juno) and my boss and I just had a long discussion about the state of the United States. Another hurricane is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. I am pissed off at a group of friends right now for behaving in a heathenish, inconsiderate manner. I tried to do a flip jump on foot last night, in my parents' driveway, and got a sharp pain in the knee of my landing leg...the problems range from petty to profound, and so I am doing what any good writer does: losing myself in unreality.

Attitudes about Finwë and Miriel, Their Choices, and Their Impact on Fëanor )
Six Years Ago.... (WARNING: This is incendiary! Do not read if you cannot and do not want to hear it! )

As I'm sure you all have noticed by now, I am an activist by nature.

Perhaps it stems from being shit upon a lot while I was little. From seeing the cruelty that authorities--and subsequently, the masses--can inflict on little guys. But I started participating in activist events when I was twelve years old and, although I have slackened a bit in my "old age" (largely due to a newfound cynical attitude about the value of acting crazy at a protest versus speaking to people and getting the word out through daily conversation), I still care deeply about certain issues and often express my (contentious) opinions in my LJ.

However, I recognize that most of my LJ friends are here because we share a love of Tolkien and writing. This journal is not a political blog. You may not care to hear about my political opinions. So here are my promises to you:

1) I will love you, whether you agree with me or not. I have had friends who are every bit--or more!--conservative as I am liberal, and I love them no less. If you are willing to lose me as a friend because of my beliefs, then that is your choice. But do not fear that I will *ever* do the same to you.

2) I will put all my political rants behind cuts, with warnings. If you are going to be upset by something and don't want to be, please don't read it.

3) I will always leave comments enabled. And you are welcome to argue, debate, and skewer me for my opinions until the cows come home. And beyond :)

4) If you write into my journal, though, expect a reply. I am a kind and diplomatic person, though, and I will not take attacks to a personal level. I would love to discuss issues with any and all of you. But do not write in with a disagreement and expect that I will go soft on you. No, I will tell you how I feel. I will be nice, but I will also be honest. And I am more than happy if you choose to do the same.

5) Change starts with conversation. This is my conversation. Please participate or don't. That is up to you.