tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (twirl on)
Hello, Internet!  I am largely absent this weekend because it's time for Contra Carnivale, a dancing weekend event in San Luis Obispo.  There's gorgeous music, thrilling dancing, and the chance to hang out with some fun dancers from out of town. Also, the weather is mysteriously drop dead gorgeous.  Even for California, this is weird for this time of year, but welcome.  I wish I could share it with all of you!  *blows warm, sunny kisses to the f-list*

Meanwhile, in the Department of Globally Important News, the BBC website warns us that there are two potbellied pigs loose in Southampton.  Yes, readers around the world needed to know that, BBC! 

Right, time to pry myself off the computer. Hope y'all are having a super weekend.
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (top hat eccleston)
Has anyone heard about the giant traffic jam in China and thought of cat-nuns and giant crabs?  That's definitely where my mind went.  This traffic jam is 60 miles long, has traffic moving at a third of a mile a day in the worst part, and is predicted to last until mid-September.  Most of us are officially never allowed to complain about traffic again.

I've been painting plastic stuff to look like metal for my steampunk outfit for this year's Dragon*Con.  I'm making some goggles look less plastic, because steampunk and goggles are an OTP, and I'm working on modifying an insect suction collector thing, though I need to make up my mind if it's just going to be a steampunk insect collector, a weapon, or something else.   I really need to hurry up and get all of that finished, because the con is not that far away.  Fortunately, my femme!raggedy Eleven costume is done except for the ripping and tearing.  That'san important part, but I'm happy to finally have all the component parts, including a silk scarf I've painted to look like the swirly tie.  Mostly, instead of the last costume details or stuff like doing laundry and cleaning the house, I keep getting distracted by the abundance of good Sherlock fic.

So, what's new with you, Internetland?
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (toshiko b&w)
I bring you some interesting things from around the internet.

-News that sounds like the start of a movie:  Neuroscientist who studies the brains of psychopaths discovers that he has multiple murderers in his family tree.  He tests himself and finds that both his brain activity and some genes match traits of psychopaths.  In movies, this discovery would fairly quickly lead to a murder spree.  In real life, it led to an NPR article and some thankfulness for a happy childhood, which makes the nasty inherited traits much less likely to be expressed.

-Doctor Who Series 5 Can-Can.  This is a really fun, fast-paced video putting the entirety of Series 5 to the familiar can-can tune.  Why?  Why not!

It was made by [livejournal.com profile] elderberryink , and the LJ post where you can comment or find the downloadable version is here.

-The amount I relate to this blog post is scary and sad.

-This macro makes great use of photoshop to show the most popular hangout in the Whoniverse.(SPOILERS though The Big Bang)

-Science says to drink more coffee!   There is some evidence that it might lower the risk of Alzheimer's, though the jury is still out. 
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (martha fierce)
Time for a gloomy news roundup!  It's time for some crude talk about oil spills.

scary yet visually striking photo (no animals in distress) )

The estimate of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico is now up to 60,000 barrels a day.  That's 2,500,000 (2.5 million) gallons. Every. Single. Day.  For those of you who prefer metric units, that's about 9.5 million liters/day. Pretty devastating, right? 

In Nigeria there are around 11 million gallons of oil spilling a year (over 30,000/day), which is slightly more than spilled from the Exxon Valdez...and this has been going on for the past 50 years.  (Figures based on this NY Times article. This Guardian article describes the situation with even more frightening detail with slightly different figures. Since it's few weeks old the Guardian's Gulf estimates are out of date; enormous uncertainty surrounds the Nigerian estimates.) I'd known that Nigeria's oil drilling resulted in really nasty environmental impacts, but I hadn't realized it was quite this horrendous.  Of course, since all this is going on a long way from where Americans vacation or buy lots of seafood, very little is done in the way of environmental cleanup or compensation for those whose health and livelihoods are damaged.  On top of all that, armed conflict and governmental corruption gush up like crude around the Nigerian oil industry. 

Well, shit.  For anyone who's boycotting BP, you might consider that Shell is the biggest culprit in Nigeria.  ExxonMobil also does some nasty business there, not to mention being perhaps the worst of the bad lot in terms of fighting against climate change regulation.  Chevron is responsible for some horrendous oil pollution in the rainforest in Ecuador.  If boycotting BP makes you feel better, go for it, but don't be under any illusions that you're supporting a more ethical way of doing business unless you are buying less total gas.  Letting our money do the talking is a fine idea, but when it comes to purchasing gas and oil there is not really any company that will let those dollars say anything other than "screw you, Earth!" 

Speaking of angry messages, on Tuesday the ship that's collecting a portion of the Gulf spewage was struck by lightning.  Also, as you may have heard, a six-story "touchdown Jesus" statue in Ohio was also recently struck by lightning and burnt to the ground (one of many articles).  Meanwhile, the more bloodthirsty nerds can apparently buy a lightsaber replica with a real laser powerful enough to blind instantly or set skin on fire.  Ponder that the next time you go to a con.

So, all this is really bad, but it's not like the universe is coming to an end, right?  Think again:  actual space pictures show what appears to be The Crack in the universe!!!  In the name of crispy touchdown Jesus, we're gonna die! 

*deep breath*  In other news, kittens are adorable!  Really, ridiculously adorable!  Like this:

I have watched that video about ten times today and laughed every single time.

And now, time for today's installment of the 30 days of tv meme )
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (christmas TARDIS)
According to the BBC, the adorably named English town of Westbury-sub-Mendip has turned a disused phone booth into an honor-system library. It's a lovely idea, provided you have the sort of community that will take good care of it. However, it would be SO much more awesome if the box in question was actually a TARDIS. A TARDIS-lookalike police call box would be cool enough, and a real TARDIS would be far better. You know you want a library that's bigger on the inside!

Assuming, of course, that the enormous TARDIS-sized library could be prevented from infestations of pests like the Vashta Nerada. (One could also add River Song to the list of library infestations to be avoided, though opinions differ on this matter.)
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (I can kill you with my brain)
-A federal judge found that a hospital was within its rights to allow a woman to die without her family at her side because the family in question was the woman's female partner and their adopted children.   The surviving woman wasn't even kept properly updated on her partner's condition.  How do people working at a hospital have so little sense of compassion?  This is why marriage equality matters; legal documents like power of attorney lack the simplicity and force of a marriage license. 

-Thirty senators apparently don't give a damn about rape victims.  They voted against a bill to prohibit the Pentagon from doing business with contractors that forbid their employees to sue over cases of rape.  This new law was aimed at Halliburton and its subsidiaries, and it was necessitated by numerous serious complaints.   The bill passed, thank goodness, but it utterly appalls me that nearly a third of the Senate, including John McCain apparently feel that gang rape (and suppression of the evidence thereof) is just a minor problem that can be solved in arbitration without any possible recourse to courts.  In this Guardian article about the bill, it says that reasons from the senators who voted against the bill include "claims that the government had no business interfering in a private contract between a company and its workers." NO.  These are government contractors; the government has every right to say that they won't do business with these companies if they don't keep to appropriate ethical standards, such as doing everything possible to prevent rape, prosecuting rapists, and not boiling kittens alive.  The government would certainly care if they were doing something like employing undocumented immigrants.

EPIC  FAIL, America.  
tardis_stowaway: TARDIS under a starry sky and dark tree (reading the paper Nine)
First, this NY Times article about kids coming out in middle school was really heartwarming.  Yes, there are really upsetting statistics about how many queer* youth experience bullying, but plenty of these kids are receiving support from at least some of their friends, family, and school officials in a way that would have been unthinkable not so long ago, and the ones who are out are facing their situation with impressive courage.  The coolest part is that many of the kids profiled don't just come from traditionally accepting places like NYC and San Francisco but also from places like Tulsa, OK.  There's still a long way to go, however,  The article's discussion of how much kids use "gay" as an all-purpose insult is sadly on target.  I work with middle-schoolers and hear this sort of upsetting language all the time.  (I'm pretty forgiving of kids' misbehavior, often excessively so, but insults based on sexual orientation make me put my foot down so hard the ground shakes.)  Still, I like to think our culture is slowly but surely making progress towards acceptance. 

On a completely different note, a story from the Onion: Melting Ice Caps Expose Hundreds of Secret Arctic Lairs

"You spend your whole career concocting a brilliant scheme to wipe out all of mankind, and what happens?" Dr. Raygun continued. "They bring about a major global catastrophe completely on their own, those fools!"

LOL!  I've been feeling pretty frustrated about the wimpy, minimal progress on the international talks on climate change and the even sadder state of affairs within the US, so it was nice to find a bit of black humor at our ongoing failure to do anything to save civilization and the biosphere while there might still be a chance.

*While the term "queer" is still sometimes used insultingly, I follow the practice of the activist groups at the college I attended in reclaiming it as a respectful term that encompasses all the diversity of non-straight sexual orientation without being as unwieldy as saying gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans.


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