• The first one... being asked which, in his opinion, were more numerous, the living or the dead, said that the living were, since the dead no longer existed.
• The second, being asked whether the earth or the sea produced larger animals, said the earth did, since the sea was but a part of the earth.
• The third, being asked what animal was the most cunning, said: "That which up to this time man has not discovered."
• The fourth, when asked why he had induced Sabbas to revolt, replied: "Because I wished him either to live nobly or to die nobly."
• The fifth, being asked which, in his opinion, was older, day or night, replied: "Day, by one day"; and he added, upon the king expressing amazement, that hard questions must have hard answers.
• Passing on, then, to the sixth, Alexander asked how a man could be most loved; "If," said the philosopher, "he is most powerful, and yet does not inspire fear."
• Of the three remaining, he who was asked how one might become a god instead of man, replied: "By doing something which a man cannot do";
• the one who was asked which was the stronger, life or death, answered: "Life, since it supports so many ills."
• and the last, asked how long it were well for a man to live, answered: "Until he does not regard death as better than life."
-- Plutarch, "Lives", late 1st century
In honor of the way Twitter enriches and enweirdens our lives, here are three great things I found there recently:
- HAMILTON Ham4Ham with Lil Buck 4/27/16: A Schuyler Sisters remix is the foundation for an amazing solo dance by Lil Buck. Lin joins in briefly and your humble videographer had to struggle to keep up.
- Visual Artist Pierre Jean-Louis Makes Black Women's Hair Even More Beautiful: Using the Enlight app, Jean-Louis transforms his muses into marvelous works of art, turning their natural curls and coils into some of the most alluring sceneries nature has to offer.
- Phil Collins Reshot All His Original Album Covers for the 2016 Reissues: Famed musician Phil Collins began reissuing some of his most loved albums in November of 2015 as part of a collection called "Take a look at me now..." But keen-eyed fans of Mr. Collins noticed something curious about the reissues: the Phil Collins on the new album covers looks quite a bit older.
So I've gotten four calls today from numbers without a custom ringtone (which means I'll usually ignore them) ... they have all been out-of-state area codes that I've just ignored and then listened to the voicemail. None of which has had anything to do with the job, of course: three hang-ups and one scam.
In a time of death, some men—the resisters, those who work hardily for social change, those who preach and embrace the unpalatable truth—such men overcome death, their lives are bathed in the light of the resurrection, the truth has set them free. In the jaws of death, of contumely, of good and ill report, they proclaim their love of the brethren. We think of such men, in the world, in our nation, in the churches; and the stone in our breast is dissolved; we take heart once more."
The odd thing about visiting this time of year is that spring is much more advanced in Boston than in Montreal: a lot less is in bloom here (the forsythia are just starting, and they were close to done by the time I headed to the Boston airport Friday morning), and most of the trees are bare. (Montreal in January, or for that matter August, is probably going to be colder than New York or Boston, but it's not so visually different.)
Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many SF/F Being Awesome posts.
For close to 20 years, Balticon and the Baltimore Science Fiction Society have been raising money to provide books to kids — particularly kids who might not otherwise be able to afford them — and to school libraries as well.
I spoke with Kelly Pierce, who’s been coordinating the Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction at Balticon since about 2002. The auction raises the bulk of the money for Books for Kids each year.
In the beginning, BSFS Books for Kids worked with RIF (Reading is Fundamental) to buy and hand out the books. When RIF stopped operating in Maryland, BSFS Books for Kids chose to continue, and to distribute the books themselves.
The auction is named in honor of Bobby Gear, who was a BSFS volunteer and teacher at Buck Lodge Middle School, one of the first schools to benefit from the generosity of BSFS Books for Kids.
Since it all began, Balticon and BSFS has probably raised around $50,000 to provide books to libraries and kids in need, with the bulk of that money comes from the annual auction.
Think about that for a moment. Think about how many books this group of fans has passed out. Think about how much that means to kids who might not be able to afford books of their own.
This is what I love about fandom. People don’t just get together to celebrate the stories we love. They pour in hundreds and thousands of hours of work to help others, to share those stories and books with others. To share that love.
For more information:
- BSFS Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction Page
- Bobby Gear Memorial Charity Auction Facebook Page
- Balticon Web Page
Thank you Kelly for taking the time to talk to me, and thanks to everyone who’s volunteered and donated and supported BSFS Books for Kids over the years.
Do you have a suggestion for a group, organization, or event to be featured on the blog for general awesomeness? Email me at jchines -at- sff.net, or through my Contact Form.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
In DC, MD and VA, federal safety inspectors find more problems that Metro inspectors missed.
The illusion of justice for sexual abuse victims.
Who protects the "brand" of journalism?
Scientific American: Your thoughts can release abilities beyond your normal limits.
from Religion Dispatches:
--World LGBT News Roundup includes: The Norwegian Catholic Church may stop performing civil weddings, since it wishes to distinguish itself from the Norwegian Lutheran Church, which performs same-sex weddings; Anglicans still divided; reactions to the Pope's letter that does not go far enough to embrace same-sex couples; also more from Australia and Scotland and elsewhere.
--LGBT editor in Bangladesh murdered by Islamists.
--How Prince set fire to my Catholic girlhood.
--Catholic News Service editor fired for tweeting opposition to LGBT discrimination.
Color charts for dyeing yarn with Kool-Ade This works, btw. I have done it for years.
Farewell, Daniel Berrigan.
Better aging through practice -- learning something new.
The criminalization of black girls in the classroom.
How to hold space for yourself, first, and then what it means to hold space for others, and tips on doing it well. This is important.
(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Ways to Give:
serah-pounce-a-bell has a fundraising post up for her sister, who needs special medical attention that they can't get in Venezuela. They're raising $300-$500 to get everyone out of Venezuela, where the economy is failing badly, and to somewhere they can get help and medical attention for her sister. You can read more and find a paypal link here; there's also a link to hire her for writing or translation work on Fiverr.
forests_of_fire's younger brother disappeared about a month and a half ago and his body was found on Friday; she needs funds to get home to help with the funeral arrangements. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.
iamshadow21 linked to a fundraiser for Kit, a trans woman in need of temporary housing in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area from May 9th through June 1st after recovering from complications from major surgery; she has housing starting June 1st but needs a bridge between leaving her current residence and starting her new housing. You can read more and get in touch here, and there's a rebloggable tumblr version here.
moonpupy linked to a fundraiser for mickeym, who is facing dentist and doctor bills for her family on top of overdue bills for other necessities. You can read more about the family's situation and find paypal info here, and there's also a gofundme set up by mickeym's adopted daughter here.
linballina linked to a kickstarter by Vina, Natalie, and Holly, who want to open a new community bookstore in Queens, which currently has only one store serving the entire borough. You can read more about the project and support the kickstarter here.
rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.
editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault. She doesn't have a new fundraising site yet, but funds from her ongoing YouCaring fundraiser will reach her, as will income from the Starcat Books online etailer. She also has jewelry for sale on Etsy. (Obviously if you're shopping her etail or etsy there may be a delay in delivery.)
Buy Stuff, Help Out:
dreamwaffles has a shop on Etsy, which is currently her only source of income while she applies for jobs. She's got cool beaded art and earrings for very reasonable prices; you can shop and purchase here!
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
The weekend was better, dinner out with a friend, some reading - Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky - Greek gods are alive and somewhat well in Manhattan.
Watched a Prime Suspect episode with the family. Not sure why but I'm not really enjoying it.
This week at work is going to be difficult again, and I've been fighting allergies so I'm tired all the time.
On plus side I did get up this morning and go for a walk.
Completed my second Duolingo owl on Saturday in French. I had set myself a rather optimistic goal of finishing it by the end of April, and with a rather Herculean effort on Saturday (starting at 7.30am, finishing just after midnight), I completed some 23 skills and probably around 90 lessons on that day. It was quite exhausting and the following day I froze when chatting to a fellow Esperanto speaker - by brain was full of French! In the coming month I am intending to complete as much as I can with German - not my strongest language and I suspect that I'll not finish that until the end of June.
On Sunday was a meeting of The Philosophy Forum with Rohan presenting on Leonardo Di Vinci, Tertiary Education, and Genius. The presentation needed some work but there was some good discussion. I neglected to mention last month's meeting which had Tim Harding speak on Determinism, Free Will and Compatibilism, which had a massive follow-up discussion on Facebook. I had to pen a few words myself on the subject, much to my annoyance as I find the partisanship on the subject when our knowledge is limited to be far too rude.
Today's work consisted on giving another course on high performance computing at UniMelb, along with Martin P., contributing with the use of the NeCTAR cloud. Tonight I'm working on a presentation tomorrow night for Linux Users of Victoria on UNUMS - computation without error.
* I can, in fact, still use coffee as a divination aid.
* Does anyone know a deity or two who might be associated with shit sandwiches and/or lemonade? No, seriously. The deity who is your boon companion when you go "Well, this is certainly a shit sandwich that I have here!" and/or also the entity for "Welp, these are some lemons; I guess it's time to find a big pot and some sugar." Asking for a friend.
* Tumblr is great for creating new mythology. However, anything that tumblr says are true historical fax, double-check that with other sources.
* 90s web design is not an immediate disqualification for a pagan informational website. Presence of information which can be easily debunked via actually qualified historical sources, however...
* Libraries are a thing.
* Divination can be super helpful at some things, but when you're doing it for yourself, you're going to get a lot of internal noise from what you're wanting to happen. Thus, divination is a reasonable way to explore what you personally in fact actually want...
* For fuck's sake, do not get a tattoo on your actual body honoring Bacchus without thinking things through super carefully.
or, in other words...
If you are in need of DW points, or you know someone who is, please leave a (screened) comment here telling me who and as much as you feel comfortable saying about why ("I'm broke and really value DW's paid features" is a perfectly good reason, as is "They would just make me happy"!), and next Monday, I'll divide up the points between people who can use them better than me. I can't promise to give points to everyone, as I want to give enough to each person that they'll be useful, but I will do my best.