athenaltena: (Ed/Roy)
This is an interesting little test: Spot the fake smile.

I got 16/20, and though I know it's a cliche the trick really does seem to be the eyes. If the eyes don't move significantly it's a good bet that it's a fake smile. Interestingly the 4 I got wrong were all men, so I wonder if I'm better at telling with other women.

It does back up my assertion that I'm good at reading people, though.

Radio MP3

Oct. 22nd, 2010 06:42 pm
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
Made an MP3 of my radio show in case you wanted to listen and missed it. I also wound up editing it a bit since one song I played through the CD player was missing an audio channel, so I just took it out. Slightly Orwellian, but I figured I'd spare you, and I'll let the radio staff know about that.

Link here.

ಠ_ಠ

Sep. 28th, 2010 06:28 pm
athenaltena: (WHUT)
I knew the people at NOM (whose acronym I cannot read without a snicker because I think of this) were manipulative idiots, but this...?

NOM has deep connections to the Catholic Church hierarchy, to the Mormon Church, to evangelical right-wing pastors and churches and to those who have a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and activity. These are individuals and organizations which not only oppose same-sex marriage, but oppose domestic partnerships, civil unions, hate crimes protections and even fertility treatments for women because some of those women could be lesbians.

What. I kind of see the logic, but it's still incredibly stupid. "Pro-family" my ass, not that we didn't already know that.

ROFL

Sep. 27th, 2010 07:01 pm
athenaltena: (Celty)
This guy hits the nail on the head:

So on behalf of queer folks everywhere, I am willing to negotiate. I promise to stop wearing my orientation on my sleeve and pushing my homosexual agenda on you and yours if you cease wearing your sexuality on your sleeves and stop pushing your heterosexual agenda on me and mine. Fair is fair. I think we can all agree that equality is awesome, Y/Y?

This entails but certainly not limited to:


Read more... )

I've often thought to myself, especially when I see heterosexual couples on the train in the middle of a PDA, that if we're talking about "flaunting" sexuality being annoying people doing that is pretty much the textbook definition.

I'd be for getting rid of romantic comedies, though.
athenaltena: (dance)
Hey, people who poured millions of dollars into supporting Proposition 8? I have three words for you:



Now if you excuse me I'll be dancing to this.
athenaltena: (mischievous)
One good thing about playing DnD with a bunch of queer people is the references that get tossed around. For instance someone rolled a spot check (basically a roll of the dice to see what you'd notice) and got a 1, aka a Critical Failure (they had a low intelligence score). Everyone burst out laughing, and then she wanted to know what that meant she missed.

Someone then pulled up this video:



It took about five minutes for people to stop laughing and go on with the game.
athenaltena: (writing)
Oh hai I'm up too late again (no wonder writers are frequently the crazy ones if creativity keeps you up like this) but I'm mainly here to share this piece of music from the Gettysburg soundtrack, which, as I've mentioned before, is a major source of inspiration, and this track in particular is downright brilliant:



If you've seen it in the context of the movie you know how damn appropriate it is, but even on its own it's amazing. It really captures the moment in the movie and just what it was in the larger context of the war and how it was the symbolic highpoint.

Oh yeah, and it's totally worth sitting through the movie until this particular scene. Even if you don't like history or the Civil War, watch until the Pickett's Charge scene just to see it.

Yes!

Jul. 8th, 2010 07:06 pm
athenaltena: (happy)
Judge declares DOMA unconstitutional

Judge Joseph L. Tauro ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage law violates the Constitutional right of married same-sex couples to equal protection under the law and upends the federal government’s long history of allowing states to set their own marriage laws.

"This court has determined that it is clearly within the authority of the Commonwealth to recognize same-sex marriages among its residents, and to afford those individuals in same-sex marriages any benefits, rights, and privileges to which they are entitled by virtue of their marital status," Tauro wrote. "The federal government, by enacting and enforcing DOMA, plainly encroaches upon the firmly entrenched province of the state."


Now this is far from over and an appeal to a higher court is almost guaranteed, but that's a very very good sign for DOMA's days being numbered, and even if they don't take this one to a higher circuit (this current ruling only applies to Massachusetts) it tells other DAs that they can take this to the court and win for their state.

*dances*

There's also a delicious irony in that the people who tend to be the most anti-gay marriage tend to be the biggest states' rights advocates too, and this rather succinctly puts them in an awkward position that I'm unashamedly loving seeing them in.
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
The original singer has said she loves it too.

(Oh yeah, video contains lots of guys dancing around in little swim trunks)



I have some friends I have to send this to. :D
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
Oh yeah, there's also a news story about the parade that covers some stuff I didn't catch. And the person dressed as Harley Quinn actually works at the comic shop I usually go to, so I was happy to see her there.

More photos here too. #6 in there was actually taken right by where I was standing for part of it and saw Patrick going by, and though I can't see myself I'm probably somewhere in there. I actually almost missed Patrick himself but spotted his big burly bodyguard walking and then found him. I actually once literally ran into him at the State House a few years ago and it turns out that he's shorter than I am, which is a bit surprising (note that they used a low angled shot on him in that photo).
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
Well besides the phone flaking out on me again I did not in fact kill myself yesterday at the gym, though my arms are a bit sore. It's better than last time when I could barely sit up for a while.

And as my slightly unhinged post from around three in the morning shows I did make some progress on Project Samurai at the cost of some sleep, in fact it's the most progress I've made for a while. Basically I finished a scene that I knew would be one of the hardest to write and took a draft version from a few years ago into the current version with some major revisions (basically cutting down stuff I'd already said or that didn't' need to be said). It's getting there, it's been about 6 years now and I can't even look at the original version without dope slapping myself, but hey, I was 14 when I started it and I know I didn't know shit back then.

Preach!

Jun. 4th, 2010 11:19 am
athenaltena: (Sweden thoughtful)
T courtesy is a two-way street

The best thing the MBTA can do to promote civility is to eliminate the factors that promote anxiety and conflict among riders. When a long-delayed bus arrives with little room for new passengers, or when there’s no way of knowing how soon the next train will arrive, riders are more apt to take out their frustrations on one another.

Yah. Yesterday when I got out of the gym I was waiting nearly 20 minutes before my train showed up, and by then I was sweaty, sore, tired and pretty pissed off. And because you have no clue when one is going to show up (they've just now started giving time estimates with buses) it's hard to call ahead to let people know if it'll be five minutes or 20. It's really hard to schedule around the T, which is one thing my move next year is meant to address since I know how long I usually take on foot.

I'm usually fairly polite on the T, but yes, after that long waiting and especially after a long day I just want to sit down. I'm human, forgive me, but the MBTA does not help at all.
athenaltena: (Believe)
Stephen Perry, writer of Thundercats, is missing and presumed dead in Florida

This is just awful news all around. The poor guy had been having a terrible couple of years and battling bladder cancer, and now it appears he's been murdered just as things were starting to look up. The worst part is that they've found a severed arm in the van he was living in for a time due to financial issues and human remains near his house. It doesn't look good for him.

I sent a small donation to the Hero Initiative organization in his memory, since they had been helping him stay in his home and with his young son.

Oh Rufus

May. 20th, 2010 01:41 pm
athenaltena: (Hakkai)
I'm only half kidding when I say that I'd agree to have his babies the second he asked.

I Don't Know What It Is (link because I can't embed the video for some stupid reason)

That's just... perfect, somehow, it's just a perfect song. It also kind of reminds me of James Taylor with the way he sings certain phrases.

One thing I find about his songs is that I want to start conducting when I listen to some of them. He certainly loves spectacle and theatrics, but as I saw live he's just as good with just a piano or a guitar.

I ♥ you, Rufus. It doesn't help that he's just so damn huggable. Seriously, he's adorable.
athenaltena: (Sweden thoughtful)
And this is why it's a very good thing that the Matthew Shephard Act finally passed, among other things:

Bullies home in on gays, study finds

Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and Children’s Hospital found that gays, bisexuals and heterosexuals who have had a same-sex partner are 1 to two times as likely to experience violence, especially in childhood, and have double the risk of experiencing PTSD as a result.

...

Using data from a nationally representative sample of more than 34,000 adults, the researchers found that 45 percent of sexual minority women and 28 percent of sexual minority men had experienced violence or abuse in childhood, compared to 21 percent of women and 20 percent of men in the general population.


Granted, the Matthew Shephard Act can't stop all of this, but it does provide a powerful tool to combat it and help policy makers figure out new ways to address it using it as a base.

Anyone with any sense could have predicted the results, but the difference between the female and male victimization rates is a bit surprising to me, since the thought is that boys who are sexual minorities go through more of it. I can think of a few reasons why (girls not being adequately punished or discouraged from verbally attacking other girls -- see my childhood for proof) or it could be how they phrased the question, since traditionally this sort of study has only focused on physical violence rather than verbal attacks.

[Edit: Actually, looking at the researcher's own press release, women generally have higher rates of PTSD, but my point still stands about female on female bullying possibly being a factor, among others. And the PTSD rate is still disproportionately doubled if you're a "sexual minority" of either gender.]

There's been a sorely needed focus on "mean girl" culture lately because of things like what happened to Phoebe Prince, and this just backs up the idea that it really is a problem and is not just "part of growing up" or a "boy thing." No, it's a fucking public health issue that disproportionately affects already vulnerable groups.

Either way, very interesting results and hopefully it'll get people to pay attention to this. Even though this was an obvious result having this data is extremely important when it comes to actually doing something, and just glancing at their method it looks pretty solid, so attempts at punching holes in it to discredit it won't be easy.

And yes, this is why I love my major, since we can find out stuff like this and say "See! This is what's really happening! Now do something, damn it!" (not in those exact words, of course)

I'm also really tempted to get a copy of this study once it comes out, since I actually know what most of the terms mean and how they do it thanks to one of my classes this year. I think I'll also send this to that professor.
athenaltena: (Roy)
Since there's been so much talk about octopi lately...

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
athenaltena: (thoughtful Fuuma)
Obama signs LGBT hospital visitation memorandum

Reads the memorandum: “Often, a widow or widower with no children is denied the support and comfort of a good friend. Members of religious orders are sometimes unable to choose someone other than an immediate family member to visit them and make medical decisions on their behalf. Also uniquely affected are gay and lesbian Americans who are often barred from the bedsides of the partners with whom they may have spent decades of their lives — unable to be there for the person they love, and unable to act as a legal surrogate if their partner is incapacitated.”

It only affects hospitals that receive Medicaid and Medicare funds (which is still most of them) and is not yet "law" at the moment (HHS still has to make a policy, but this is the administrative equivalent of a kick in the ass to tell them to get on it ASAP), but it's still huge thing for him to come out and order the HHS to do. I've heard too many horror stories about people being denied access to their dying loved ones to be anything other than very grateful that he's doing this.

It's sad that it takes something like this to give what you'd think would be a basic right, but one of my favorite sayings is that while the arc of the universe is long, it leans towards justice.
athenaltena: (Saber)
On that same subject, prepare to have your minds blown:

Read more... )

That is officially the coolest thing I've ever seen on the internet.

Valve! Pixar! Somebody! Hire this guy, now!
athenaltena: (Sweden)
Eugene Allen, White House butler for 8 presidents, dies at 90

Mr. Allen was born July 14, 1919, in Scottsville, Va. He worked as a waiter at the Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Va., and later at a country club in Washington. In 1952, he heard of a job opening at the White House and was hired as a "pantry man," washing dishes, stocking cabinets and shining silverware for $2,400 a year.

He became maitre d', the most prestigious position among White House butlers, under Ronald Reagan. During Mr. Allen's 34 years at the White House, some of the decisions that presidents made within earshot of him came to have a direct bearing on his life -- and that of black America.


That's just an amazing story, and to just imagine being a fly on the wall during that time it unbelievable.
athenaltena: (Rakka)
Apropos of nothing, have some dancing Christopher Walken:



The man is pretty much the textbook definition of "sketchy", but damn can he dance!

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