wendelah1: woman lying on a bed looking sad (I'm done in)
wendelah1 ([personal profile] wendelah1) wrote2017-10-10 02:13 pm

And the hits just keep on coming

California

How a Sudden Firestorm Obliterated a City
"These fires happen in the hills, in the rural area, not a neighborhood," said David Kay, 54, clearly stunned as he returned to his home in the Coffey Park neighborhood Monday morning and found nothing but rubble for blocks and blocks. "You think you're safe in a neighborhood."

I'm sitting here, feeling stunned. If neighborhoods in the flats of Santa Rosa could burn to the ground, is anywhere in California safe?
In one of the most surreal scenes, broadcast on KGO TV, a team of Kaiser Permanente nurses and doctors, faces covered by respirators, gently raced critical patients in hospital beds down the street, with bright orange flames in the background. About 130 patients were safely evacuated in three hours, including women in labor and a "very sick" child. Some hospital employees drove patients in their own cars.

Climatologist explains why ‘the conditions are primed for fire’ in California Here's why fires are exploding up and down the state, with answers by Bill Patzert, a climatologist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

Disaster Preparedness: Make a Plan! Don't put it off any longer, folks.

Puerto Rico

A Doctor’s Abandoned Journey Into Isolated Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria

You're doing a fan-tas-tic job, Mr. President. Thanks a heap for those paper towels, by the way.

Health

Fearsome Plague Epidemic Strikes Madagascar. The outbreak is beginning to resemble the early stages of the West African Ebola crisis in 2014: a lethal disease normally confined to sparsely populated rural areas has reached crowded cities and is spreading in a highly transmissible form. The TV news media is giving this story a wide berth, I noticed--they'd rather talk about Trump's latest tweet storm about the NFL and his feuds with Senator Corker and Secretary Tillerson.

And finally, three good news links. Because we need some good news, dammit.

In a First, Gene Therapy Halts a Fatal Brain Disease. The study involved 17 boys (the disease strikes males almost exclusively), ages 4 to 13. All got gene therapy. Two years later, 15 were functioning normally without obvious symptoms.

How a "Snowman" Lasted an Entire Summer in Chicago. The icy Fischli/Weiss art installation on top of the Art Institute survived the swelter of the Windy City and will go on display next in San Francisco

Incredible Winners of the 2017 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. Link to the entire gallery within the article.
wendelah1: a sandcastle "tree" at the beach (Yuletide at the beach)
wendelah1 ([personal profile] wendelah1) wrote2017-10-08 01:04 pm

Dear Yuletide Writer

Hello and welcome!

Thank you for writing a story for me. My prompts are merely suggestions. If they don't suit you, and you have a plot bunny of your own that you've been dying to write, go for it. If you do, I request just two things. First, please don't ignore my "do not want" list. I know, it's an odd thing to say in a dear author letter but this actually happened to me--though not during Yuletide. The other thing I ask is that you be kind to the characters.

Perhaps because I used to take care of trauma patients, I don't enjoy reading hurt/comfort fic, or stories that contain graphic descriptions of rape or torture. Stories that humiliate and embarrass the characters will make me feel unhappy and uncomfortable. I'm not a shipper in the conventional sense of the term, although I'm not exactly a gen person either. However, unless a sex scene is integral to the plot, I'll probably skip over it.

What do I like? I love poetry and prose. I love a well-plotted mystery. I like crossovers, alternative universes, and stories about time travel. I like stories that take a scene or an event from canon and expand on it, revealing more about the characters in the process. I love snappy dialogue and banter. I enjoy humor. I like stories about friendship. I like stories about love.

I'm an optimist. I know life is hard. Bad things do happen to good people. However, I like reading stories about how characters cope with adversity; how they get through hard times and come out on the other side, transformed by their experiences.

#1 Interstellar (2014): Any characters
#2 Deviations: The X-Files: Dana Scully, Samantha Mulder
#3 The X-Files RPF: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
Cut for length, images AND SPOILERS )

The most important thing, dear Author, is for you to relax and have fun with this assignment. I love all of these fandoms and their characters and, miracle of miracles, I'm excited to be participating in Yuletide yet again.
wendelah1: (Hope or Fear)
wendelah1 ([personal profile] wendelah1) wrote2017-10-16 04:38 pm

Links Post

Bad News

Three people die as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland and Britain
Irish PM describes ‘national emergency’ as storm brings 100 mph winds, with schools and colleges to remain closed on Tuesday

The Black Death is killing people: Why is Madagascar facing its worst plague outbreak in years?

Seychelles Reports a Case of Plague. Someone brought it home after visiting Madagascar.

Medium Bad News

'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers. OF COURSE THEY ARE.

Firefighters make progress as Californians return to charred homes

How to Fight the New Trumpcare

The Neutral Zone

Elon Musk and Puerto Rico’s governor want to rebuild the island’s grid the Tesla way

The 10 best contemporary African books. I'm picking out my next novel for the Travel the World in Books challenge.

The Good Place

‘The Good Place’ Creator Michael Schur Explains The Show’s New Twist.

Someone on staff did the math and they calculated that 802 reboots means that they've been doing this for between 250-300 years. YES, YEARS. AS IN YEARS. I am amazed that Michael's cast and crew demonic minions didn't go out on strike sooner but I guess in the context of eternity, 250 years is a blink of the eye. And that means Mindy is right: Eleanor has known Chidi for a very, very long time.

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS, MR. SCHUR. Has anyone besides me wondered what these demons were up to during the millennia before humans evolved into, well, humans? At which point in human evolution did the perceived need for Eternal Punishment become a thing anyway? Is there A Bad Place for Neanderthals, too? As Eleanor points out, "What, one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity?" Who the hell made up those rules? The sitcom writers, of course, but besides them? Michael is just the architect. He's not even immortal, not really. Sean is his boss but Sean didn't make the rules, that much seems obvious. So, who's really in charge of the afterlife?
wendelah1: Two people in a convertible, palm trees in the background (I love LA)
wendelah1 ([personal profile] wendelah1) wrote2017-10-07 02:21 pm

Readin' Rolling Stone, Readin' Vogue

Remember this? The Recipe, Or What You Don't Know About LJ/DW

For some time now, I've been trying to follow [personal profile] siderea's formula but I don't think I'm doing it right. One problem is that I don't surf the internet, looking for "cool things" to share. I read the news, I read opinion pages. I don't watch much TV anymore or read comics. I only write fic very occasionally now and I don't read it much either, to tell you the truth. I'm too uneducated or too superficial or too something to form interesting opinions of my own to share--so I end up sharing other people's thoughts. My day to day is dull beyond belief, even to my own mother. She calls me up to ask how I am and then interrupts me mid-sentence to tell me about her day. Sometimes I wonder if she knows I'm a real person. Okay, enough whining.

COOL THINGS. NO, REALLY.

Amy Vanderbilt on (and in) Pantsuits, 1971. American Age Fashion is a blog about older women in days past and what they wore. I think it's cool but it helps that I graduated high school in 1971.

The Speculum Finally Gets a Modern Redesign. This would be cool if it actually becomes standard practice.

We Spoke to the Doctor Behind that Viral Tweet on Abortion He schooled this politician. Yes, he surely did. Teen Vogue is the best. And, yes, cool.

I’m an OB-GYN who had a 2nd-trimester abortion. The 20-week ban bill is dangerous. We are more than vessels for new life; women deserve their own agency. It's 2017 not 1017. Why is this even a thing? Controlling women's bodies is not cool.

Jerry Brown's California Dream: The Rolling Stone Interview The governor has created a climate-resistant, economically supercharged state – is this the blueprint for a more progressive America?

Contrary to Republican dogma, Brown's brand of progressive, green economics hasn't killed jobs – it has spurred the creation of 2.34 million. In the past five years, with just 12 percent of the U.S. population, California has driven one-quarter of America's economic growth.

Governor Brown is a pragmatist and a visionary. Unfortunately, none of the individuals who have declared their intentions to run for his office in 2018 are anything more than ordinary. Don't get me started on that do-nothing who used to be the mayor of Los Angeles.

I was reading one of many articles about the Las Vegas shooting when I came across a quote from one of the hospitalized victims. "Blah, blah, blah, I hate California, but blah, blah, blah." I don't remember his exact words or recall what question he was responding to because I got stuck on the hating California bit. That gets old fast. I don't want to rag on the poor guy but where the heck did that come from? Does he realize that over half of the people who died were Californians? Well, haters gonna hate. I don't care what the rest of the country thinks. My state is cool. And despite what the Republicans in Congress think, we pay more than our fair share of taxes already.



Joni Mitchell is a genius and also cool.

Snagged from [personal profile] seren_ccd. Did you know that Merrium-Webster has this nifty gadget?

Time Traveler: When was a word first used in print? You may be surprised! Enter a date below to see the words first recorded on that year.

Among the words that date back to The Year of My Birth are: audiobook, ballpoint pen, digitize, disaster area, doomsayer, frenemy, hardback, Medicare, off Broadway, off-the-wall, real time, road trip, test-market, transistorized, UFO (!!!) and uncool.

How cool is that? Go look up your birth year and share your words in comments, if you like.

And have a great weekend.
wendelah1: Sally from Peanuts looking at a shelf of books (book geek)
wendelah1 ([personal profile] wendelah1) wrote2017-10-05 01:57 pm

Book Meme

This is just one day late so I'm posting it.

I'm still working on the Travel the World in Books Challenge, one book per continent.

What I Abandoned:

Because the Guardian's book group was reading Salman Rushdie's Shame last month, I decided to give it a try. I only got about 50 pages into it before giving up. I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on or what it had to do with partition. Maybe I needed more historical background to understand it. On the other hand, Magical Realism and I do not get along well. Rushdie writes beautiful sentences but that in and of itself wasn't enough to hold my interest for long.

banner for reading challenge


What I Finished:

Feeling discouraged, I decided to switch continents to (re)read Antarctica: A Novel (1997) by Kim Stanley Robinson. The novel begins, "First you fall in love with Antarctica, and then it breaks your heart." It's a standalone but because two of its characters, a California senator and his aide, also appear in his Science in the Capitol trilogy, I think of Antarctica almost as a prequel. As with all of his near future novels about the intersection of science, environmentalism and social justice, there is plenty of fairly technical discussion by the characters about their work and what it means in the greater scheme of things. If these aren't your issues, or even if they are but you'd rather not read about them in your spare time, this might not be the book for you. On the other hand, two of the best characters aren't scientists at all. Valerie Kenner is a trek guide, which is handy for getting the reader out on the ice exploring, even retracing The Worst Journey in the World. A number of the travel sections are narrated by Ta Shu, a poet turned geomancer, who is broadcasting his journey and his poems to his audience of millions in China.

blue sky

white

snow


Before Robinson began writing about Antarctica, he spent time there on a fellowship from the NSF's Antarctic Artists & Writers Program, and it shows. Like all of his novels, the characters are well-drawn and the settings are described in breath-taking detail. After reading Red Mars for the first time, I regretted not being thirty years younger so that I could get a PhD in anything that might get me on a manned mission to Mars. After reading Antarctica, a trip to the continent went on my bucket list, that's how beautiful his descriptions were. Of course, now you can Google Antarctica and find picture after picture, each one more astounding than the last. At age 63, unless someone comes up with a cure for what ails me, and the money to pay for a cruise plus airfare, a visit seems increasingly unlikely. I'll have to content myself with where my search engine can take me. This short piece from the NYT gives a concise and better written review than mine.

What's Next:

I'm heading back to Asia to read The Lowland (2013) by Jhumpa Lahiri. I loved The Namesake so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.