July 29th, 2009

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An Edifice of Souls

sythyry has two entries mainly featuring Cani, who are highly social dogfolk. Watching them is like watching one of those ball-bearing clocks, always changing in and out of balance. I am tremendously impressed with their complex nature, a particularly fine example of which may be found here:
"Coryn Introductions"
"Arfaen's Credentials"

I commented on both posts, if you want details why I was impressed. In general, this bit of characterization is something to print off, tack to the wall, and label "Like This."
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Featured Community: Quotez

Most folks on LiveJournal belong to a bunch of communities. Some of the good ones are kind of obscure. The "Featured Community" meme encourages people to share their favorite communities.

  1. Cite a community that you enjoy. 
  2. Summarize its purpose and parameters. 
  3. Invite your audience to join the community and/or reply with their favorite communities.


Today's featured community is: quotez

Here is a place for people to swap quotes from any source and all topics. You can just watch, or join and share quotes you enjoy. I collect quotes so I think this community is pretty cool.
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Blue Science

Apparently, blue food dye can aid recovery from spinal injuries, in rats. This is cool.

The dye is decades old. It took this long to notice the beneficial effect because food science and neuroscience are treated as totally unrelated fields. This demonstrates why too much cutting of subjects into little pieces is bad thinking: you can miss extremely useful connections.

Also, nobody wants to fund studies for humans. Right now there is no treatment for spinal injuries. This might be one. Why aren't people leaping into action to see if this would actually work on humans? Because the dye is extremely cheap. It would be too hard to make a profit. THIS is a key reason why our health care system is broken and unaffordable: the prime motive is profit, and cheap treatments can't attract research funding. Folks, we should be ALL OVER this line of research. We should be all over anything that promises a strong health benefit at very little cost.

Would someone in a sane country please call this to the attention of your scientists, in case it works out?

I'll also add that checking oral delivery would be helpful, in case that might be effective, because after all it's food dye. Imagine being able to stash a couple of blue pills in a first aid kit in case of suspected spinal injury. It'd be a lot faster than a trip to the emergency room -- similar to the current advice of taking aspirin for a suspected heart attack.
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Australian Culture

Today I'm making a bullroarer for the Lammas ritual, which has an Australian theme. Some resources I've turned up include:

Australian Foods:
http://fooddownunder.com/#4
http://www.recipezaar.com/recipes.php?q=australia
http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/foodanddrink/

Culture & Spirituality:
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/austral.htm
http://www.crystalinks.com/ayersrock.html
http://www.crystalinks.com/dreamtime.html

Art:
http://www.jintaart.com.au/iconography/iconhmpg.htm
http://aboriginalart.com.au/gallery/iconography.html
http://www.cooinda-gallery.com.au/
http://aboriginalart.com.au/gallery/gallery_intro.html

Mythology:
http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ar-Be/Australian-Mythology.html
http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/australian-mythology.php
http://www.mccsc.edu/~kmcglaun/mythology/australia.htm
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Stories-of-the-Dreaming

I'm working on an alternate history storyline in which the natives of Australia are anthropomorphic canids (variously called "Tingo" or "dogsbodies") who wind up enslaved by Europeans and Americans. To counterbalance the fact that this storyworld has no human Australians, I'm putting some extra energy into promoting Australian culture as we know it in our world.

My answer to cultural misappropriation is cultural investment; I figure that what I get out of a culture should be balanced by what I put into it. I'm also trying to spread this idea to other creative folks in hopes that we can find a sane and decent way to write/paint/etc. about the full diversity of human cultures so it's not all white-bread stuff ... without starting a brawl in the process and without contributing to the already scandalous amount of racism in the world.