Random Thoughts and Rules to Live By, Part 14

Friday, April 29, 2016

Chronic, professional lateness is disrespectful. It implies that the tardy person believes their time is far more valuable than mine, and they don't mind if I waste some of this very limited resource waiting on them, instead of being productive. 

Link Me Up, Scotty - Mansplaining Edition

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A statistician talks about how men automatically assume she is unqualified to discuss statistics. And then mansplain how she's wrong to assume they're mansplaining. Angels and ministers of grace, defend us.
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On what it means to be middle class in America. While the Smart Man and I are financially secure now, there were many years where I did not meet the "$400 emergency" criteria. and I remember it like it was burned into my brain with a blow torch.
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Freddy Mercury's voice is unique among rock singers, and now we know why. What an amazing talent.
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There's a suicide prevention and mental health bill in the Senate right now that needs our support. Please consider e:mailing your Senator to help make this bill a law.

H/T Sister Stacey
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How to say "no" with grace. I could learn from this author. I'm much better at saying "no" these days, but sometimes it comes out a bit harsher than I'd wish, as in, "I'm not doing that. Stop asking me." Of course, I'm only that abrupt when someone won't take my gentler "no" for an answer. Because remember kids, when people won't take no for an answer, they're trying to control you.

H/T Lynne
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I love this idea, at least for part of the year. A vacation home on the water!

H/T Tempest
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A fascinating description of what it's like to be aphantashic. This is a Facebook Note, so I apologize to those without a Facebook account.

H/T Sister Carolyn
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Harriet Tubman was a complete and utter bad ass, worthy of our respect and admiration. A true hero, and a fine choice for the first woman to grace our paper currency.

H/T Brother Juan

Link Me Up, Scotty - Science and Engineering Edition

Monday, April 25, 2016

Wil Wheaton on how art can inspire science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students to achieve great things. STEAM is the bomb-diggity, y'all. 
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Your neighbors, the invisible microbes that are unique to your community.
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Retired Marine Staff Sergent Tim Chambers holds a salute for over 3 hours in respect for the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom. He's done it every year since 2006, but this year, he completed his task with a shattered right wrist. Semper Fi, Marine.
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Why it's still a struggle to put women in space. Women (and men) have been advocating for gender diversity in space travel since before the Apollo program, and yet...here we still are.
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Queen Elizabeth is 90 years old, the longest reigning monarch in British history. Her life in pictures.
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Why do so many Inuit die from suicide in Greenland? Loss of community, family ties, and the disruption of traditional ways of life lead to isolation, despair, and a lack of emotional resiliency. Also? Atsa Schmidt is my new hero.
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From the "be careful what you wish for" files: An autistic adult obtains emotional awareness through cutting edge medical treatment, with mixed results.
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From the Mighty Girl Files: This female Indian wrestler is the Bomb-Diggity, and so is her husband.
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NPR reports on the very strange world of Nepal's child Goddess. Moral: People are odd.
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Video of my Heart: AntiVaxx parents take a ride on the Magic School Bus.

H/T Brother Paul


Random Thoughts and Rules to Live By, Part 13

Friday, April 22, 2016

Phrases like "politically correct," and "taking my country back" are, more often than not, dog whistles for someone's intense discomfort in having to give up their unearned privilege. And in many cases, these same people are utterly unaware of that fact, even if it's completely true in their case.

In Remembrance

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Today I learned that my blog circle, The UCF, has lost one of our members. Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon - known to all as "Dr. Phil" - was our resident physicist, author, pusher of deep-dish pizza, funny man, photographer, and all around good egg. He is survived by his lovely wife and companion of 32 years, Debbie, known here as "Debbie the Librarian." We grieve with Debbie, and stand with her in love and remembrance.

Back to the stars, Dr. Phil, from whence you came. The night sky will shine a little brighter in your light.

photo by Al Bogdan

Link Me Up, Scotty - Justice Edition

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Marine officer who was teaching at the Naval Academy is found guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer, indecent conduct and fraternization with two Midshipmen. He thought he was getting a raw deal, so he convinced an investigative reporter from The Washington Post to do an in-depth investigation of the case in an effort to boost his chances of exoneration. Be careful what you wish for, cupcake. There's not a single person in this story that didn't exhibit poor judgement at the very least, and Major Mark Thompson deserves whatever he gets as long as it's not full retirement.

H/T Shipmate Jim
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Porn sites have banned NC users from their sites due to their discriminatory bathroom law. Karma, you are a spiteful bitch, and I love you for it.

H/T Brother Juan
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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sottomayer on why the Supreme Court needs more diversity, not only in terms of race, gender and creed, but in educational backgrounds, too. The more I read about her, the more she's becoming my platonic, semi-celebrity, same-sex girlfriend. Although she'll have to work pretty hard to displace the Notorious RBG.
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The Daily Show takes on trans bathroom panic, with predictable results. Featuring none other than our old friend Gordon "Chaps" Klingenschmitt, famed asshat, whackadoo, bigot and purveyor of fantasy.*
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From the I'm apoplectic with rage files: Mental health professionals in Tennessee will soon be able to refuse to treat members of the LGBTQ community because their religious bigotry trumps their oath to heal. I find this particular piece of shitbaggery to be especially infuriating and hurtful, for what should be obvious reasons.

H/T Sister Stacey
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Overlanding the Silk Road is a film by Nicolas Bori, who spent 120 days following the ancient route of the Silk Road, which took him through China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. Fascinating.

H/T Brother Juan
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It appears the Republicans in charge of the Benghazi investigation doctored the records to make Secretary Clinton look bad. I'm shocked - shocked! - that the partisan nonsense in Washington would lead to such an event, said no literate American ever. Make sure you link through to the source document to guard against bias.
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Sarah Palin agreed to debate Bill Nye the Science Guy, but then thought better of it. So she's not a complete moron, then.

ETA: Oh, wait, yes she is
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A fascinating article on the alien intelligence of Octopus, in the wake of the now-famous Inky's clever break for freedom from a New Zealand aquarium. I love octopus, and now I have a new book in my wish list.

H/T The Incomparable Anne
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*He still embarrasses me to death, y'all. 

Random Thoughts and Rules to Live By, Part 12

Friday, April 15, 2016

The key to a successful relationship of any kind is a reasonably equal distribution of emotional labor.