deathpixie: (chill)
...LJ is not blocking posts with gay content. The person who first complained is a well-known anti-LJ and anti-Russia troll type with a grudge. Please spread the word, since no doubt the panic mongers are already gathering...



Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge at post
HAHA, it took less than six hours for LJ to find that last post I made and make a statement. Thumbs up on their ability to quash bad PR, given when I was hacked it took 24 hours just to get a response from them.

You can read their comment here for more info, but essentially the report is bunk, at least according to LJ. I stand behind the other 99% of my post, which was less about how awful LJ is and more about how to keep your head, back up your data, and if desired move to a site where we don't automatically, because of their past behaviour, jump to the conclusion that they're evil. :D

Thanks to everyone who commented with info, too. More knowledge is always better than less, except when it leads to nuclear arms races and five different Hulks.
deathpixie: (go where the road leads you)
Interesting thoughts on asking for things by writer C.E. Murphy. Warning for Amanda Palmer. ;)

For me, asking is always fraught with peril. Because I tend to take "no" as a value judgement of myself - people don't want to help with whatever because they don't like me. And sometimes (perhaps not as often as it feels like), I do ask and am answered with silence, or promises to do something that turn up empty, and I feel like I've put people in a position where they don't want to have to say "no", even though they really wanted to. So yeah, asking is incredibly hard for me.

And yet... for the really important things, the things that matter, I've had more "yes" responses that have been followed through. Something to remind Captain Paranoia of, next time I have to ask for something.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mizkit at The worst they can say is no.

I have no idea when my mother first told me, “You can ask. The worst they can say is no,” but it was certainly long enough ago that it’s become an irrevocable part of my attitude toward life: Always let the other guy say no.


You would be *amazed* how much you can achieve by asking.


Which brings me immediately into Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk:



Watch it if you haven’t already, because it’s fairly inspiring, albeit in a “very few people are that brave” way. Amanda Palmer is a master at self-promotion and personal connections, and I’d love to have a tenth of her skill (debate: is it *possible* for a writer to build an audience the way Amanda’s done? Well, I guess so, I mean, giving it away worked for Scalzi and Cory Doctorow, though not quite in the get-out-and-meet-people way that AFP has done…), but for me one of the huge takeaways of her talk is a subtext of always let the other guy say no.


Amanda takes that to an art level (rather literally). She talks a lot about trust in her talk, and I think that’s part of letting the other guy say no. Maybe not even so much trusting *them*, but trusting yourself to ask, and to be able to deliver the goods if the answer is yes.


Because don’t get me wrong: asking is scary. It can be a real ego thing. If you ask and are denied, wow, does that mean they don’t love you? That they’re not interested? That you’re a FAILURE? That you will NEVER SUCCEED on the terms you hope to? Or if you ask and you don’t succeed BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS, does that mean you’re a failure, etc, etc etc?


Really, most of the time? No, it doesn’t mean that at all. Most of the time it means you’ve asked the wrong question of the wrong person or at the wrong time. Case in point: my own Kickstarter had about 500 backers. I have access to, say, 3000 or so distinct individual readers. I asked all those people to throw into the hat, and about a sixth of them responded. I just went and checked: Amanda Palmer’s got 800K followers on Twitter right now. 25K of them supported *her* Kickstarter. That’s a hell of a lot less than a sixth of them. For the rest, my takeaway is that it was the wrong time, the wrong project, the wrong request. One or many of those. (Know why I supported her Kickstarter? Because the video for it was worth five dollars to me. It was charming, delightful, sweet, and wonderful. I haven’t listened to the album. I probably won’t. But in the end, the manner of asking pleased me so greatly that I was happy to help out a little.)


Publishing works this way too. You query, you revise, you ask again and again. You get a lot of rejections. But if you don’t keep asking, you’ll never get to the one person who’s going to say yes, and so you just have to keep letting the other guy say no.


Life works this way. I really believe that. I don’t know if AFP thinks it in so many words, but I’m guessing it’s part of how she works, too. She is hoping–trusting–that if she asks, people will say yes. That they will find a way to respond positively.


An anecdote: when I was in high school, a friend and I wanted to cut class for some reason, and went to ask the teacher if we could do so. On the way, my friend remembered that we had a substitute that day, and said we were never going to be let out of class. “Oh,” I said airily, “that substitute likes me. She’ll let us out.”


My friend stopped dead and snarled, “Jesus, Catie, you think everybody likes you.”


Nigh unto a quarter century later and I’m still bemused by that. Well. Yes. As a rule, I do think everybody likes me, or that they *will* like me if they get to know me, because why wouldn’t they? *I* like me, after all, and I have to live with me all the time, so surely if you have a shorter window of exposure in which I can potentially annoy you, you’ll probably like me too. I mean, I’m aware there are people who *don’t* like me, and that’s all right too, but by and large? Yes. I assume people will and do like me. I expect the best of asking.


If you expect the world to be a positive place, it is far more likely to be a positive place. So go ahead and ask. The worst they can say is no.


(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

deathpixie: (never give in)
I want to be able to do this, this year. No more being worried about what might happen or if I might get hurt. Time to be brave and to find joy.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] officialgaiman at My New Year's Wish...
posted by Neil




It's a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world. 

So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we're faking them. 

And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it's joy we're looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation. 

So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.


...

Fifteen minutes ago I was terrified, having just written this, and about to walk up onto the stage to perform the Fireball XL5 theme song with Amanda and the Grand Theft Orchestra. And I thought "You just wrote a New Year's wish. Listen to yourself. Put it into practice." I went out bravely. I sang in front of a thousand or so people with joy. 

And you know, it was wonderful.

(for a collection of the previous New Year's Wishes: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2011/12/my-new-year-wish.html)




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deathpixie: (kitty)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] lheena at I need help.


This is my cat.

His name is Bart. He's named after the Flash. He's the smartest cat I've ever had; he knows how to play fetch and loves it (with hair ties!) He talks back when I tell him to get off things. He was the runt of his litter, and I've had him since he could fit in a teacup, four and a half years ago. He's always been curious, and I think it may be why he ended up eating something he shouldn't.

Bart's in the hospital as of today, because he hasn't eaten anything in four days. I took him in Monday, and they gave him fluids and a shot of anti-nausea meds, but they admitted him tonight. Already, the bill's approaching $1000 - and he's likely to need surgery, which is going to add on another $2500 to the bill, and that's not including the hospital stay. I've always tried to help out people when I can; if I have and someone else needs, it's better to help and just tell them to pay it forward. I'd rather someone help someone else, than pay me back. But right now, I need help. First, and the most important thing: If you need some sort of graphic or webdesign work, I'm a professional web designer. I've been doing it in some form for nearly a decade. I do business cards, websites, email, logos, resumes, stationary, you name it. Please, if you have any work you need, I'll do it. I'm desperate. I'm calling my student loan company in the morning and begging them to refund what I've paid them and put my loans in deferment so I can pay for this.

Second - I need help. If you don't have work, but you do what I do (helping those in need, and either would like to be repaid OR want it just paid forward), I'm seriously asking. I'm terrified, and he's still a baby to me - he's only four and a half, and he's so full of life and loves everybody.

So, yeah. Please, please, consider either hiring me, or if you have it in your heart and money to spare, donating. I will either pay you back (if you want!) or pay it forward. I promise. If you are possibly okay with donating, my address is asoehnlen@gmail.com with both Amazon Payments and paypal, and let me know if you'd like me not to pay you back. If you are potentially looking to hire, message me and I'll send you my portfolio website, and believe me, you'll get a deal of a lifetime.

Thanks again,

Amanda
deathpixie: (creature of grace)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] officialgaiman at A Letter from a Scared Actress.
posted by Neil


A few years ago, a message came in to this website on the FAQ line from a young actress from Georgia (the one from the former USSR, not the State with Atlanta in it) called Anna Gurji. She sent a link to her webpage and to films she had made in Georgia, and told me she was a fan, and if she ever came to the US, she would want to be in something of mine.



She made it to the US, and although she has never been in something of mine, she read the female lead (with Wil Wheaton as the male lead) in the first read-through of Michael Reaves' film BLOOD KISS. I was not there as a writer. I was there because I will actually act in it, playing a Hollywood director with a dark secret. So I've acted with Anna and spent time with her. She's a good sort.

She wrote to me the other day, worried.

She said,


Something very bad happened. I desperately need everyone's help right now.

I don't know how to start writing this letter. It's crazy, the world is.. life.. I'm so shattered right now, I don't know.. I feel very dead inside. 

Last summer I auditioned for an indie low budget feature movie and I landed a supporting role. The movie was about a comet falling into a desert and ancient tribes fighting over it for they thought that the comet had some magical powers.

A year later, the movie was dubbed (without the actors' permission), the lines were changed drastically and the movie was morphed into an Anti-Islam film. Even the names of the characters were changed. And the character I had scenes with GEORGE became MUHAMMAD. 

I really need your advice right now? How can I have my voice shown to the world so that I can tell them the real story.

All these media people that keep calling me are using my real story and then chopping or manipulating the interview the way they want to. 

I don't know what to do. It's very scary, Neil.



I told her to write her story for me, to say what she wanted, and I would put it up here for her, as she wrote it, to get her message to the world. The best weapon against lies is the truth, after all.

So here's what Anna knows about the truth:



Everyone who wishes to find out the truth about the movie now known as the Innocence of Muslims, please read the letter below. I, Anna Gurji, as one of the supporting actresses in the film will share with you what really happened.

A year ago, in the summer of 2011, I submitted my materials to various projects on the Explore Talent web-site. I received a call from the casting director of the movie “Desert Warrior”, and my audition date was scheduled. I auditioned for the role of Hilary. Several days later, I was informed that I got a callback. I did the callback. Several days later, I was informed that I landed the role of Hilary in the movie called “Desert Warrior”.

The filming of the movie was done in August of 2011. We were filming the movie in a studio warehouse with a green screen in Duarte, CA. The project was a low budget, independent feature movie.

The filming of the movie was beginning soon after the day I was told I got a role. The script was not sent to me. When I got to the set, I was merely provided with the scenes my character was in.

I did not consider this to be an unusual thing, seeing as I have had an experience with something like this before. I did a movie once where the script was written in a foreign language and only my parts were translated into English and accordingly, I was provided with my scenes only. Having experienced that, I thought the same thing was happening with “Desert Warrior”. Aware of the fact that the supposed producer and the script-writer of the movie (known as Sam Bassil) was a foreigner (thanks to his accent), I thought that the original script was written in his native tongue and that not all scenes were translated into English. Also, the filming dates of the movie had to be rescheduled last minute to fit my schedule (I had other films to do right after the “Desert Warrior” outside CA). Because of this rushed rearrangements, I thought that the production first forgot and then did not consider it necessary to send me the script, and again - I did not find this unusual, since I knew what role I had, I knew about my character and I knew about the story of the film.

My character Hilary was a young girl who is sold (against her own free will) by her parents to a tribe leader known as GEORGE. She is one of his (most likely, the youngest) brides in the movie.

The film was about a comet falling into a desert and different tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it for they deemed that the comet possessed some supernatural powers.

The movie that we were doing in Duarte was called “Desert Warrior” and it was a fictional adventure drama. The character GEORGE was a leader of one of those tribes fighting for the comet.

There was no mention EVER by anyone of MUHAMMAD and no mention of religion during the entire time I was on the set. I am hundred percent certain nobody in the cast and nobody in the US artistic side of the crew knew what was really planned for this “Desert Warrior”.

The atmosphere at the set was as friendly as possible. We all knew that we were doing an adventure drama for a very low budget financing. The director Alan Roberts even had plans that with this low budget product he would be able to get some more money to make a good quality version (by shooting it in the real desert and having better product in every category) of the “Desert Warrior”.

I had interactions with the man known as Sam Bassil on the set. He was very amiable, respectful, soft-spoken, always making sure that the filming was running smoothly and everyone was satisfied. He even told me the premiere of the movie was going to happen sometime soon and I would get a good amount of tickets to invite my friends and family.

I have never been informed about the premiere after that (if it ever happened) and have not seen the final product (if there is any, except for the short one that is uploaded online).

People ask what’s my reaction after seeing that.

Shock.

Two hours after I found out everything that had happened I gave Inside Edition an interview, the duration of which I could not stop crying.

I feel shattered.

People who were tricked into believing that we were making an adventure drama about a comet falling into a desert did nothing but take part in a low budget indie feature film called the “Desert Warrior” that WAS about a comet falling into a desert and tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it.

It’s painful to see how our faces were used to create something so atrocious without us knowing anything about it at all. It’s painful to see people being offended with the movie that used our faces to deliver lines (it’s obvious the movie was dubbed) that we were never informed of, it is painful to see people getting killed for this same movie, it is painful to hear people blame us when we did nothing but perform our art in the fictional adventure movie that was about a comet falling into a desert and tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it, it’s painful to be thought to be someone else when you are a completely different person.

Like I explained to Inside Edition, I feel awful.. I did not do anything but I feel awful.

I feel awful that a human being is capable of such evil. I feel awful about the lies, about the injustice, about the cruelty, about the violence, about the death of innocent people, about the pain of offended people, about the false accusations.

I don’t know what else to do but speak the truth. I will not go into hiding (since I have nothing to hide), because if we don’t speak the truth, there is no world worth living for.

I grew up in Georgia Republic (ex-Soviet Union), I have witnessed the strikes, protests, demonstrations, injustice, cruelty, violence in my life. I was there during the war between Russia and Georgia, sleeping in outdoor clothes and packed backpacks waiting to be bombed. And I left my country, knowing that there was no future for a film actress there (seeing as the film industry is still in the process of recovery after the collapse of the Soviet Union).

Why did I want to pursue acting? I had a role in a short film when I was thirteen. There was a scene in the movie, where my beggar character and my character’s blind father were thrown off the bridge by police officers. During the filming of the scene, I was attacked by a huge lump in my throat, witnessing what the police were doing to my blind father. I wanted to cry, but knowing that my blind father would worry about me if he heard me cry, I swallowed the lump and stayed strong and did my best to defend him against the injustice. Experiencing the magic of acting (losing yourself into the character) was what had me fall in love with the craft. After a long journey and fighting to somehow get to the States, I managed to come here with my mother.

It’s so difficult for an actor (especially the one from a foreign country) to begin a career. People think that once you are in the States, you have all the doors opened before you. It’s not so. It’s very difficult to join the union, to get an agent, to lose your accent and to land roles if you don’t have connections. For four years I have been struggling to slowly move ahead and not give up. A year ago, when I got the supporting role in this indie feature film “Desert Warrior”, I was so excited.

I don’t understand why was this happened to me, when all I wanted to do was pursue my acting career.

I have to admit I wanted to pursue my acting career because I loved the process of transformation into a different character – a selfish reason.

A few months ago, I just finished writing a script with my father about world peace, which helped me understand something – forgive and care for your enemy. Then, I understood that there is a bigger reason for acting. When we act, we help people see all different characters that exist. When people see about all these different characters, they start to understand them. When they understand all these different characters, they come close to accepting them. When they come close to accepting them, they come close to being united. And when they come close to being united, they come close to loving and helping each other.

I was thinking about something a week ago. We are like cells in the body of Earth. Why won’t we work together and support each other instead of killing and destroying each other. If cells kill each other, eventually the body will die. By always speaking the truth and supporting the world peace, I hope we will be able to save the Earth from dying.. someday. 

Growing up in a family that was extremely open-minded and respectful to all the differences in the world (all the religions) and growing up peacefully with people with so many different religions around me, it is devastating for me to have my face put into something that is completely opposite of what I believe in.

I want to send my condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives. Everything happens for a reason, they say. I believe this is a trap of evil to separate us from our humanity. We must stray strong and not forget that violence has not been able to get us anywhere spiritually and has not been able to make the world a better place. Understanding and love will.




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deathpixie: (between friends)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] just_shai at Fund Raising for Kym's Asthma Meds
So, I need to start this by telling you about my roommate, Kym. She's amazing. She's a photographer, a cook, she practically keeps our house cleaned single-handed because my brother and I are lazy bitches. She's also one of the best friends a person can have.

She also has some pretty severe asthma. As she is a student who works only part time, sometimes she can't afford her medication. With the merciless wrath of the Ohio River Valley this year, she's been surviving on a rescue inhaler.

So, I'm setting up a fund-raiser for her. There will be auctions, but I'm going to start with a donation button.









Kym will be offering pairs of crocheted wrist warmers/fingerless gloves/mitts or scarves. She's flexible! We have a wide variety of yarns which are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Next season of Deadliest Catch might feature her hat-making skills!




Next up are the auctions! Bidding is open from now until 7pm EDT on Monday, May 28th.

I will be offering up for auction, some knitted jewelry. I use crochet floss, 100% mercerized cotton, a key charm, and two small buttons for closure.




The amazing Skyla Dawn Cameron, (OMG, you guys, BUY HER BOOKS), has offered a critique for our auction.


The most excellent Vae has offered up the Worlds of Whedon issue of SFX.



deathpixie: (WTF?)
Update: The English post is now up here. There will also be no change to the 10G limit to the Scrapbook size, although that is yet to be solidly confirmed by someone in charge. Either way, I'm keeping the advertising cards on the Wiki - at least I know that's secure and won't change without warning.

Wow, I'd better go back up the advertising cards for X-Project. And change the links on the character ads. Again. So not impressed, especially with the part where they don't actually communicate any of this to their English-speaking users.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] poisonivory at Livejournal, come on.
I never use Scrapbook, but I think people who pay for a service should, you know, know when that service gets severely diminished. Via [livejournal.com profile] caiusmajor:

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] zeitgeistic at Livejournal, come on.
Alright, I am not drunk enough to deal with this, so I'm just going to put out this PSA:

Livejournal Scrapbook is going away. Your 10GB of Paid Member space is now 2GB. If you care, there is an explanation in Russian on the Russian news page. There's also a user-submitted translation.

+ You will no longer have access to your Scrapbook once this goes live.
+ Your images will redirect, but the URL will be different.
+ Unable to tell what will happen to any photos you have that put you over the 2GB limit.
+ Back up your Scrapbook just in case.
+ If you want your photos transferred over now instead of waiting, let them know here.

deathpixie: (meep)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] wendymr at Be warned: Release 88 is about to degrade LJ further
I haven't seen this discussed on my flist, so thought I should alert people to it who aren't following [livejournal.com profile] news. Release 88 is apparently going live on Tuesday and it contains changes to the comment interface and display that are very, very unpopular among a lot of LJ's users.

The most recent [livejournal.com profile] news post mentions the release is coming without giving any details. However, people have been busy tracking down information, via a post by [livejournal.com profile] igrick (apparently LJ's senior site design developer). The post is in Russian, but the screencaps show the appearance of the comment screen and comment display under Release 88. The changes are summed up in this post on [livejournal.com profile] fail_fandomanon

The biggest change is the removal of subject-lines from comments, stated by [livejournal.com profile] igrick to be non-negotiable. Apparently, according to people who have translated his post and comments (or waded through the dozens of pages of comments to find a few where he has commented in English), he believes that they are ugly and used by less than 1% of LJ users (for which he apparently acknowledges he has no statistical evidence). The fact that subject-lines are used in many important organisational and safety ways on LJ has apparently escaped his notice:

- to organise threads in fandom auctions
- to organise fic posts and comments in anon fic memes, and comments in other anon memes
- to indicate the kind of content of the comment when threads are likely to become collapsed
- to provide spoiler or trigger warnings
- to carry on conversations
- to organise posts in RP comms

Once the change goes live, also, all existing subject-lines will become invisible - try navigating [livejournal.com profile] sherlock_bbc or other fic/kinkmemes then!

Without subject-lines, it appears to me that a lot of LJ usage would become non-functional, or very difficult. Yet the only official response at all to that news post is in this thread, telling us that we can use customised comment pages to see subject-lines, or hope the community we're viewing uses them. Right. From what I understand, customised comment pages simply don't work for entries with large numbers of comments.

Another unpopular change is that the drop-down icon selection menu will disappear. Icons will be selected only through the browse menu - in other words, anyone with a lot of icons will have to wait for all their icons to be displayed (which is slow as it is). Icons in this menu also aren't displayed in any logical way, unlike the drop-down menu which is organised alphabetically by keyword. I have almost 300 icons - I do not want to lose the drop-down menu!


What can we do? Many people have commented on  [livejournal.com profile] igrick's journal in an attempt to educate him about the impact of the changes. Unfortunately, not only do I think he's not listening, but many commenters have resorted to insults, which doesn't help. There are over 1000 comments on the [livejournal.com profile] news post - but only one staff response.

However, another option is to use the LJ Contact Us link and send feedback. Some people who did that posted to say they had a response to say that their comments have been passed to the development team. I sent a comment as well, reposted here. Perhaps if they get enough comments they might rethink the worst aspects of this change. After all, unlike the TwitFace fiasco, I don't see how there's money for LJ in this change.

Incidentally, there is one change in the release that I like: new comments can be flagged to show as new when you're reading comments. It sounds like this change is opt-in, in that you have to switch it on - now, why can't the removal of comment subject-lines and the icon drop-down menu also be opt-in?


ETA: should anyone want to link to or quote this post, go right ahead! This needs spreading as widely as possible.

ETA 2: Just received a response from LJ to my feedback comment:
Thank you for your feedback regarding these issues. I will ensure that your comments are passed along to the appropriate personnel for consolidation with other user feedback for review.

Regards,
LiveJournal Community Care


Remember:

Dec. 6th, 2011 11:53 am
deathpixie: (blue black sky)
Appropriate in the current political climate, I think...

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] jeffreyab at Remember:
On December 6th, 1989, at Ecole Polytechnique, these women were killed for being female:

Geneviève Bergeron (b. 1968), civil engineering student.
Hélène Colgan (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (b. 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (b. 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (b. 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique's finance department.
Maryse Leclair (b. 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (b. 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (b. 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (b. 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (b. 1958), nursing student.

Thanx to [livejournal.com profile] james_nicoll
deathpixie: (internet police)
So, the various nerdish Twitter feeds I follow have been afire this week about an article written by Alyssa Bereznak on the online Gizmondo magazine regarding her experience of the OK Cupid dating site and her meeting with Jon Finkel, world Magic:The Gathering champ of ten years ago. Normally I'd link, but as the author of the article gets paid per click, I'd rather not contribute to her pay packet for what was at best a badly written filler piece and at worst, a mean-spirited attack and link bait. For those who are wondering what she said, however, here's a direct cut and paste quote of the article, under the cut.

My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player )

The Australian version of the same article was actually worse, but includes a disclaimer from Gizmodo:

My OkCupid Affair With A World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player )

Okay, context established. Jon Finkel himself took to Twitter to post his version of the dates, which is collected in one easy to read version:

Jon's response )

Mountains out of moleholes, basically, with Alyssa apparently being stuck for subject matter and seemingly deciding to go after Gawker/Gizmodo's demographic in an effort to ratchet up her page views. There's a lot of very good articles in rebuttal, take your pick:

“My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player” UGH UGH UGH by kiala

How A Girl Named Alyssa Stepped on The Internet’s Last Nerve by Bobby "Fatboy" Roberts

The Science of Gawker's Nerd Baiting by Paul Tassi

Don't Be A Jerk by The Nerdy Bird/Jill Pantozzi

An Open Letter To Gizmodo Regarding Alyssa Bereznak And Her "OKCupid" Article. by Geek Girl Diva

Alyssa Bereznak Just Reminded Us That Women Can Be Predators Online Too by Elly Hart (Gizmodo Australia)

Re: My Brief OkCupid Affair With a World Champion Magic: The Gathering Player by Pop Culture Monster

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Date Alyssa Bereznak by Geek Mom/Ruth Suehle

and finally, the Dork Tower response by John Kovalic

So, back to the original title of this post. In this article, Monica Valentinelli suggests a "let your nerd hang out" celebration as a more constructive response instead of the rather ugly trolling that's going on in the comments of the original article (and remember, trollers, each click earns Alyssa money, so well done there, d'uh). In Monica's words:

SPEAK OUT WITH YOUR GEEK OUT

Sometime during the week of Monday, September 12th to Friday, September 16th post about what geeky hobby you love. Then, tell us why we should try it, too. Leave your fears (and edition wars) at the door. Forget about your latest rant. Tap into that well of positive energy and share in the excitement of all things geek.

Let us invite those who would stereotype us to sit at our table and share our interests.


Sounds like a great idea to me. Who's in?

(There's also a Facebook page, for those who book the face.)

deathpixie: (writing)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sevenall at The Common People (TCP) Warehouse
Some time ago, I found out that The Common People Warehouse, previously hosted at subreality.com was down. I thought that was a pity and wrote Chris to ask if he would mind if I uploaded it on offpanel.net. He agreed to let me do this. But I also want to ask the permission of the authors.

Please let me know if you are one of the authors there and do NOT want your work there, if so I will remove it. I will not be adding new stories to the archive.

Apologies for the cross-posting, btw.

ETA: added link for reference.



deathpixie: (drug of the nation)
For those wanting to know more about the recent DDoS attacks, yes, it looks like it was the Russian government trying to shut down the dissidents again.

As I said last time, while it's frustrating not to have access, LJ is a lot more than a social network platform. From the article:

"LiveJournal isn’t just a social network. It’s also a platform for organizing civic action. Dozens of network projects and groups mobilize people to solve specific problems — from defending the rights of political prisoners to saving endangered historic architecture in Moscow."

So while I know many are considering the move over to Dreamwidth and other such sites, supporting LJ is a way we can help support those who use it for more than a writing/roleplaying/social venue.


Also, as a FYI, LJ is giving paid users effected by the outage two weeks of paid time as compensation.


deathpixie: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [info]ramblin_phyl. I have been notified that it was originally posted by [info]suricattus in her journal post. The story and words are hers, but I do believe that it needs to go viral and that as many people as possible need to get their stories out there. Only by making a noise about this can we make a change in our society.)

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.




I'm going to post my story as the first comment to this post if anyone would like to read it. If anyone wants to tell their story, please tell it on your own journal and post a link in the comments. Maybe, just maybe, TPTB will listen to the slaves peons who clean their toilets before they have to clean their own.



I can't believe health care isn't a given in a First World country. GOP, go do something anatomically painful to yourselves.
deathpixie: (dance my puppets!)
From [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com], a call to get freaky with it. ;)

Back in 2005, I posited that there should be a day of the year on which everyone posts not about the usual things that they do, the usual life that they have, but instead about a day in a completely different sort of life. A day in which everyone falls down the rabbit hole like Alice, a day spent where the rules are completely different.

I thought a fine day for such an event would be the 27th of January - the birthday of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Why, golly, that's five days away, Thursday next week! The Seventh Annual Rabbit Hole Day is almost upon us!

In 2005, of course, it was largely limited to LiveJournal but in years since it has spread to the various other blogging platforms and even onto Flickr. Maybe this is the year it gets all over this Facebook thing that I heard someone talking about somewhere maybe one time.

------
For consideration: try it! you'll like it! who doesn't like to get away from the Usual for a bit?


deathpixie: (vegemite toast)
I've been asked by a couple of people about my family and the flooding; they're not impacted, being largely in Victoria, but I appreciate the concern.

I've spent part of the morning catching up on the news, much the same way I did during the bushfires last year. It's mind-blowing, when you see some of the footage. Cars and houses just floating past on a wave of reddish-brown water. Stories of people calling out for help from their roofs and from inside those houses floating away. 78 people are missing, with 10 confirmed dead. It's just boggling, especially when not so long ago, this very part of the country was under crippling drought.

C., my new lawyer, has family in the Lockyer Valley, one of the areas worst hit, and spent most of last night confirming they were okay. Brisbane is looking at flooding as the Brisbane River rises 4.5 metres above its normal levels. I'm hoping that the people I know in Queensland are safe and well and that they can let someone know that's the case.

For those with family in the effected regions, here's some numbers that might help:

Emergency hotlines

Info for relatives, friends on Toowoomba flash floods: 1300 993 191
Lockyer Valley Council emergency line: 1300 005 872


Those wanting to donate money to help, there's a donation button on the top right hand corner of the Queensland Government site. The site also has a lot of good information and updates on the situation.

For those wanting to keep up with the news story, the ABC website has a lots of stories, videos and photos.

deathpixie: (frustrated)
Taken from [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] here:

Stephen Neary and the Court of Protection

This one's doing the rounds today – the story of an autistic child who has been removed from his father's care, for seemingly, no sensible reason other than bureaucratic procedure. It it is as presented (and I've seen a lot of people prefix retweeting it with that, I suspect because like me people simply don't want to believe that this *can* be true) than this is deeply saddening, and Something Ought To Be Done. I cannot fathom how this could be allowed to happen – it would seemingly require *far* too many people who are allegedly "carers" to be Orwellian bureaucratic jobsworths with a shred of human decency or willingness to stop and think. So: a link that deserves to do the rounds, in the hope of Something Getting Done.


There's a link to an online petition on the original article for you to sign, and spread the word as much as you can to as many places as possible. Considering many of us internet geeks at least know of someone in their circle in the autism spectrum, this is something that particularly strikes close to home. Besides, you know, the whole awful situation where two people who are happy living together are separated for no real apparent reason than bureaucracy gone mad.

And I thought the idea with the health system these days was to get people out of institutions, not put them in.

deathpixie: (humans suck)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

Actually, I find this question really creepy, but moreso the answers from various folks who are saying they'd pat down X character "to cop a feel". Considering the stories coming out of the whole TSA security upgrade in terms of scanners/pat downs, where people are feeling they're being sexually assaulted (and, in legal terms, it is assault in many cases where there has been inadequate warning, check out this link, this link and this link), it's really an inappropriate question, and pretty much trivialises and ignores the legitimate concerns people have with the TSA's new regime. Once again, Writer's Block fails and fails hard. As do those giggling fangirls who think assault = SEXYTIMEZOMG!

For those wondering about what can be done, try Opt Out.




EDIT: So you don't think I'm crazy, the original Writer's Block question asked, if I was the TSA person at Hogwarts, which Harry Potter character I'd pat down. Livejournal apparently realised how moronic and insulting this was and changed the question. If you're curious about the original wording, you can find it here, where a coding glitch has preserved it. ;)


EDIT II: Another link re the TSA: a rape survivor's experience of 'enhanced security'. The article has some other very good links in the body and in the comments. Could be triggering.


EDIT III - The metafandom version: Since this has been metafandomed, a couple more links! [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] picked up on the post as well. And here we have a word from the original question poser.
deathpixie: (humans suck)
So, one of the current "issues" doing the rounds of [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] (and other places) at the moment is the submission by a Harry Potter fanfic archive for a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Grant people. This post provides a series of emails between one outraged fan and the Fiction Alley moderators, who seem to think they're providing an educational service.

I love writing. I love fanfiction. But this is just ridiculous. Fandom is so big on talking about privilege at the moment, well, here's a giant dollop of it - a group of people, with a sufficient education to be literate, sufficient funds to have regular access to books and movies (for the source material) and the internet (for the fanfic), deciding that they ought to be paid to maintain their presence on the Web. Talk about your first world problems!

Edit: As of today, Fiction Alley has withdrawn from the competition. However, the need for showing your support to worthy causes still applies!

However, there is a silver lining to this. Attention has been brought to the Pepsi Refresh Grant and in response to the idiocy of the Fiction Alley folks, people are going out and voting for causes they feel are more important than a Harry Potter fanfic archive staying online. So, in the vein of "don't get mad, get even", go forth and vote. Go through the site and find causes you want to support. You get 10 votes and voting closes November 30. If you're embarrassed and disgusted by the Fiction Alley thing, go and be constructive about it (and leave a comment on their page, adding your voice to the many who have already pointed out how dumb this is).

deathpixie: (warrior woman)
In the vein of creating a new book-giving tradition, [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] has come up with All Hallows Read.

I agree. We need more book-giving holidays. :) Pass it on.

deathpixie: (drama llama alert)
This would have just after I got my new toy...

From [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com], a very helpful description of the new Firesheep wireless security issue and the limited methods of protecting yourself against it. Pass it on:

Firesheep and you )

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