effex: Something doesn't make sense (Something doesn't make sense)
 I just rewarched the Psych episode with the cat witness - you know the one - and am in the middle of a Suits fic. Both are awesome and both make the same mistake: they have a male calico cat. It's bugging me.

Calico and tortoiseshell are colors, not breeds, and they're linked to the sex genes. You only get 'em when a cat's XX (female) or XXY (very, very, rare, and probably sterile). You can't have a 'calico mix' and if your calico is miraculously male your vet's sure as heck going to comment on it. The more you know!

Stay tuned for next time on Animals In Fiction, when I'll explain why it's impossible for a galloping horse to pace a walking human.

effex: Kick me! (Kick me!)
Last Thursday I was working on my X-men fic and, at one point, I thought 'Raven's at the lake...where's that in relation to the house, again? I need a map.'

Google gave me one pretty quick but it's (one of) the comics!mansion and nothing like the mansion in the movie, which was filmed at the Englefield Estate in Berkshire. Englefield House is still mostly a private residence and there's not many interior photos or a floor plan online, so I decided to look up similar houses and mock-up something quick. I would not, I told myself, get too into it. I would not download and watch the movie for layout hints, I would not worry too much about Getting It Right.

That lasted about five minutes.

Floor plan under the cut ) (Reuploaded 9/23/12)

Notes )

Meta )
effex: Letter to your mama (Letter to your mama)
I didn't originally think this needed comment, but I've seen it linked a couple of places now and the Wrong is making it hard to focus on dinner. So.

There's a post, titled On the difference between Good Dogs and Dogs That Need a Newspaper Smack, that's being passed around the atheist blogosphere as a good Privilege 101 teaching tool.

It's not - not a good tool, that is - and if this is the level the progressive folks are at I can start to see the problem.

The fact that people are stupid isn’t news, however. And actually that’s kind of why the concept of privilege is important – because privilege isn’t about being stupid. It’s not a bad thing, or a good thing, or something with a moral or value judgement of any kind attached to it. Having privilege isn’t something you can usually change, but that’s okay, because it’s not something you should be ashamed of, or feel bad about. Being told you have privilege, or that you’re privileged, isn’t an insult. It’s a reminder! The key to privilege isn’t worrying about having it, or trying to deny it, or apologize for it, or get rid of it. It’s just paying attention to it, and knowing what it means for you and the people around you. Having privilege is like having big feet. No one hates you for having big feet! They just want you to remember to be careful where you walk.

This is the main issue throughout the post - the idea that privilege is just something that happens, like big feet or a thick fur coat. Privileged people are born with an advantage (true!) and it's not their fault the world is set up to support men/white people/straight people/the able-bodied/cisgendered folks/etc/etc/etc, that's just the way it is. Like magic (false!). You should be nice to people who don't have your privilege because it's the right thing to do, but don't worry about getting rid of it.

No. Privilege is a constructed reality, it exists because humans created it. Because of a long, terrible history of deliberate and non-deliberate choices/actions setting one group over another. It is constantly perpetuated by the people who benefit from that history, i.e. people with privilege. We should absolutely be working to tear it down. To tear white privilege, cis privilege, straight privilege, male privilege, able-bodied privilege - the whole damn kyriarchy - apart.

Back to the post, which consists mainly of a parable:

Imagine, if you will, a small house, built someplace cool-ish but not cold, perhaps somewhere in Ohio, and inhabited by a dog and a lizard. The dog is a big dog, something shaggy and nordic, like a Husky or Lapphund – a sled dog, built for the snow. The lizard is small, a little gecko best adapted to living in a muggy rainforest somewhere. Neither have ever lived anywhere else, nor met any other creature; for the purposes of this exercise, this small house is the entirety of their universe.

The dog, much as you might expect, turns on the air conditioning. Really cranks it up, all the time – this dog was bred for hunting moose on the tundra, even the winter here in Ohio is a little warm for his taste. If he can get the house to fifty (that’s ten C, for all you weirdo metric users out there), he’s almost happy.

[...]So one day, she sees the dog messing with the A/C again, and she says, “hey. Dog. Listen, it makes me really cold when you do that.”

The dog kind of looks at her, and shrugs, and keeps turning the dial.

This is not because the dog is a jerk.

This is because the dog has no fucking clue what the lizard even just said.

It goes on like that for a while. Again, no.

Men and women, queer folks and straight folks, etc etc etc, are not separate species. Our needs are not wildly divergent, we are not incapable of empathy and understanding. The house does not simply exist. People who abuse their privilege are not dogs that need a smack on the nose.

If you want posts that actually work as Privilege 101:

* White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
* Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog
* Privilege is "not."
* I Didn’t Dream of Dragons
* White people, its not all about you, but for this post it is
* "comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable" is not just a bumper sticker for me
* All of [delicious.com profile] starkeymonster's 'for clueless white people' tag
* The Dos and Don'ts of Defending Muslim Women

Additions or corrections are welcome in the comments - I know other folks have made better link lists than this, but I can't remember where. Fixing typos and closing logic gaps will wait until the morning; it's somehow 11pm and past my bedtime.

effex: Specificity (Specificity)
I'm completely incapable of pronouncing 'Sean' correctly in my head. It rhymes with 'bean' every. time. I read it. This would not normally be a problem, but Sean Cassidy is all over the recent spat of X-Men fic and it bothers me.

I have the same trouble with Eames (sounds like 'aims', strangely enough), but I've been dealing with that since History of Design and have made my peace.

Anyone else have a similar problem?
effex: default (Gratuitous Megamind/Roxanne/Metro man ic)
Finished watching The Tourist with the family. Now I want epic threesome with Chaucer the Interpol dude because you can never turn the shipping off. Not that I'd want to.

Seriously, he was incredibly invested in their relationship.
effex: Those are KINDS of evidence (Those are KINDS of evidence)
Hey, USian types! I you're in the US and able, GO VOTE. It's important!

Your vote helps determine who runs our state governments, who runs our congress, who rules in our courtrooms and who controls our schools. It helps determine what propositions get passed - propositions that dictate the way our cities are run, what kind of access people have to services, who gets funding, which potholes are going to get fixed.

The people who we vote into office are in charge of a large chunk of our lives. We give them the authority to be in charge. They can tell us if we have to have an ultrasound before having an abortion, if we can buy hard liqueur inside our city, if people can be openly queer in the military, if you can be pulled over for having brown skin, if your phones can be wiretapped.

I know there's rarely such a thing as a good politician, that politics are fucking depressing, that even the best choice can be a bad one. But if we give up, if we ignore it, if we give into apathy, it'll only get worse. Voting matters. Go vote.


What The Fuck Has Obama Done So Far? (hint: a lot)

Eight False Things The Public "Knows" Prior To Election Day

L.A. Latinos Told to Vote on Nov. 3; Watchdogs Cite Trouble Nationally

effex: default (Gratuitous Yusuf icon)
I've been reading a lot of Inception fanfic, as you do, and I have noticed a trend. In fics taking place in the canon'verse, Yusuf is often regulated to the background or used (with Ariadne) as a greek chorus, if he's present at all. He's around in most AUs, where he's usually cast as greek chorus (with Ariadne) or a stoner (or a cook. Mafia AU, I’m looking at you).

It is (wildly) out of character for Yusuf to be:

1) A stoner
2) Manic/careless/irresponsible/in need of supervision with his work
3) A stoner

To be blunt: fandom is taking the only brown character, one of only two characters of color (Saito gets better treatment but not by a lot), and turning him into a caricature. Warping and dismissing his character when its not ignoring him entirely.

Which, just. No. No. We can do better than this.


It’s an easy fix - we get about the same amount of information for him as we do for Arthur and fandom has shown that is plenty. Let’s sit down and go through it.

Dileep Rao describes Yusuf as “an avant-garde pharmacologist, who is a resource for people, like Cobb, who want to do this work unsupervised, unregistered and unapproved of by anyone. Yusuf obviously has a monetary interest in helping Cobb, but he is also motivated by a burning curiosity. He has been experimenting with this stuff for so long and now he wants to see what it’s like.”

“The role of the chemist was particularly tough because you don’t want him to seem like some kind of drug dealer. He’s absolutely not,” says co-producer Jordan Goldberg. “He’s someone who is committed to the art of dream sharing and making it work in ways it hasn’t before. We needed Yusuf to be funny and interesting and obviously smart, and Dileep is all of those things.”

These are basic things we know about Yusuf: He's a chemist and pharmacologist. He lives in Mombasa. He's desi. He has an Arabic given name.

Those are just the essentials, though - there’s plenty more to be picked up from the movie )

Obligatory Fic Recs )
effex: Super hero behavior (Super hero behavior)
Between the constant state of emergency at work (I *hate* prepping for back to school season), the heat, and my brand new allergies, my ability to brain is non-existent. Gone. Kaput. On the upside, I'm too tired to be angry at everything!

Except The Real L Word, which I'm watching with my roommate. Where 'watching' means 'yelling at the screen because some of these women are abusive assholes, holy shit.' Also Hell House, which upset me so much I had to make hot cocoa and mainline some Studio Ghibli. Anyway.

* Your thinky post for the day - Ablism bingo: when you fail, you win!. In which [personal profile] lightgetsin dismantles some common anti-warning/anti-accommodation arguments.

And I've got to say this. Personally, as an artist/writer/designer, my desire to elicit a particular emotion or reaction from my audience DOES NOT PRECLUDE my audience's right not to be hurt by my work.

Warning, brief description of emotional abuse and resulting panic attack. )

On to more pleasant things:

* NASA's website for astronaut photos of Earth is amazing.

* So's the art of Simon Lok. The part of Southern California he paints in is very close to where I grew up; looking at these paintings gives me a wonderful, achy homesickness.

* Via the Digital Democracy Project Einstein Project: Photos by children in Guatemala's Zona Reyna.

* [personal profile] thingswithwings just put up a really excellent Lem/Phil Better Off Ted vid. Yay, Better Off Ted love!

* A little older, but I keep going back to watch [livejournal.com profile] tavven's Jack/Ianto Torchwood vid. Ianto's little face. I miss it.

* [personal profile] brownbetty gives excellent instructions on the correct way to pet a dog.

* Did you know that most of Wodehouse's work is up on Project Gutenberg? And you can download the ebooks for free? No, me neither.

* And speaking of Wodehouse, James Nicholl has a chart up comparing Bertie and Bruce Wayne (I am also firmly in the 'Bertie is smarter than he seems' camp. I mean, the books are told as if he had written them. Think about it.).
effex: Gratuitous Lee/Gaara icon (Gratuitous Lee/Gaara icon)
Yes, I spent all day on this. No, no one is interested (except possibly [personal profile] zanzando. Zan, it grew). Regardless, I present:

My Shipping Manifest* )

This does not include all the pairings I read in, all the pairings I OTP, or all my favorite characters. Just the couples that have moved into my head.

* I couldn’t help myself.
effex: Something going on in her head (Something going on in her head)
And now, some random commentary on:

(Note: There Be Spoilers Here)

How to Train Your Dragon )

Castle )

Doctor Who )

Hayate x Blade v6 )

Ooh, [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw starts today! This probably isn't worth including but I should plan ~something~...
effex: Crazy badass lesbians (Crazy badass lesbians)
You all need to go listen to this podcast (you can also find it on iTunes) and then come back and tell me if Mary/Elizabeth AU rivalslash is a great idea or the best idea. Go on, I'll wait.

Better yet, anyone know if it's already been done? As profic, maybe, or on Yuletide?
effex: Letter to your mama (Letter to your mama)
I watched the news tonight. I don't, usually (GUESS WHY. Hint: It's awful!), but my roommate turned it on while I was making dinner and I'm apparently incapable of walking away.

If you missed it, former President Carter gave a speech tonight in which he said "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American." It's a response to Sen. Wilson and the recent conservative demonstrations and, predictably, the news sphere has exploded with talking heads and accusations and analysis. My roommate claimed Carter was calling anyone who disagreed with Obama a racist, I pointed out the 'intensely demonstrated animosity' bit, she waved it off as 'implied,' we shut down the conversation to avoid killing each other heated argument (hey, it's worked so far). But that's beside the point.

My own feelings on race, conservatism, and Obama are complicated (much like the issue!) - I suggest reading Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Tenured Radical if you're interested in thoughts much more intelligent then mine.

One thing that stood out at me, amidst all the discussion, was the line put forth by both sides - that racism is still around, sure, but (white) Americans (the demonstrators in particular) are Good People Making Their Voices heard, it's wrong to call them racist, some are kinda iffy but it's just a fringe element. The extremists.

And just, no.

I know you've heard this all before, but- )

It's every god-damned where; casual, pervasive, systematic. It's in our movies, our music, our books, our heads. It's on our televisions, telling us it doesn't exist.

I am really not looking forward to the national debate these next few weeks.


effex: default (Default)


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