February 26th, 2019


Zombie Spiders

Parasitic wasps turn spiders into zombies.  O_O 

Since the wasp larvae are external parasites, there are two obvious evolutionary solutions to this problem.  One is open to any victim: pick off the egg or larva and destroy it.  But the other is open only to social  spiders, which the wasps target: grooming each other  to remove parasites.  The wasps would then have to respond.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, March 5

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "easterns as a genre." I'll be soliciting ideas for workers, immigrants, Italians, black people, landlords, politicians, police, lawyers, judges, lesbians, feminists, suffragettes, other woman-identified women, Quakers, parents and children, teachers, artists, entertainers, famous historical figures, commuting, working in factories, fighting for rights, establishing a sequence of steps, immigrating, creating connections, supporting each other through hard times, coming of age, inventing yourself, recovering from setbacks, learning what you can (and can't) do, profiteering, recovering from slavery, establishing a movement, struggling to support yourself, choosing to relate to other women, falling in love, examining relationships, time period ~1865-1900, the East Coast, cities, factories, churches, schools, skyscrapers, department stores, public institutions, theaters, courtrooms, slums, homes, other centers of civilization, Boston marriage, free will, spirituality, religion, church revivals, industrial revolution, poverty and prosperity, personal growth, frustration, determination, rites of passage, imprint vulnerability, public education, the press, competing moral systems, family dynamics, cool color palette, fine arts, entertainment, vaudeville sensibilities, wastefulness, crime, nativism, classism, divorce, Prohibition, and poetic forms in particular.

Read about easterns as a genre.

The original idea for easterns came through Polychrome Heroics, since Terramagne has them as television shows and so forth. Walking the Beat connects with lesbianism and Boston marriage. Mostly it's going to be exciting new territory, though.

I have a linkback poem, "Gökotta" (7 verses, Hart's Farm).

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.

Collapse )

Poem: "What Seems Like Surrender"

This poem is spillover from the January 22, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] bairnsidhe and [personal profile] torc87. It also fills the "trust" square in my 9-1-18 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] mashfanficchick, [personal profile] erulisse, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] eseme, EdorFaus, and [personal profile] torc87. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some sensitive and controversial issues. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features life in prison, ambivalence, aftermath of a serious beating, medical details, references to past abuse, trust issues, oblique discussion of kink in a medical context, including consent, Dr. Bloch offering to help Shiv with intense sensation, risk assessment, power exchange dynamics, boundaries and negotiation, honesty, plausible deniability, Shiv's questionable health, privacy issues, confusion, boredom, and other challenges. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Collapse )


Poem: "Unseen, the Yellow Woods"

This poem was the linkback perk for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl, originally posted by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It came out of the December 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron and [personal profile] curiosity. This poem also fills the "walking" square in my 12-1-18 card for the Summer in December Bingo fest.

Collapse )

Poetry Fishbowl Report for February 5, 2019

This month's theme was "personal or public ritual." I wrote from 12:45 PM to 6 AM, or about 15 hours 15 minutes allowing for breaks. I wrote 7 poems on Tuesday and another 9 later.

Participation was much higher, with 17 comments on LiveJournal and another 87 on Dreamwidth. There were no new prompters.

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Herbs for the Service of Men"
"If We Had No Winter"
"The Rituals of the Moon"
"Sunday Dinner"
"Unless You Happen to Be a Bottle of Wine"

"Unseen, the Yellow Woods" (December 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl, standalone) (linkback perk)
"Decent, Safe, and Affordable" (outside fishbowl, Polychrome Heroics) (free epic)

Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list from February 5. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

All currently sponsored poems have been posted. Donors this time include: [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] janetmiles, and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. There were no new donors.

The Poetry Fishbowl also has a permanent landing page.

Soil Formation

... depends extensively on water. It is true that soil is a precious resource and we should conserve what we have of it.

However, it is false that soil cannot be created in human timescales. Gardeners do it all the time. It's called compost. A lazy human can make a cubic yard of soil in several months just by casually piling up green and brown material to rot down. An industrious human can do it in about two weeks with a sophisticated tumbler. You can even find tumblers with two or three chambers for staged composting. Most gardeners are in between; they build a pile and fork it over occasionally. Vermiculture is another option which gets worms to do most of the work. You can spread finished compost and plant seeds in it, and they will grow. If you want to get fancy then you can add sand, clay, gravel, peat, or other materials to create a specific type of soil suited to different plants you wish to grow.

We absolutely can undo the damage that humans have done to farmland. Plenty of people have bought a beaten-up plot of land and turned it into something spectacular. However, this takes time and at least a little work. The more soil you want to make, the faster, the more work it requires. The reason to protect what we have -- aside from not being a canker on the ass of the planet -- is to avoid all that extra work.

Oh, and while we're on the topic: creating and maintaining soil are skills we damned well better learn before leaving Earth. Yes, it is possible to grow some crops in hydroponics or other alternative systems, but they all evolved to grow in soil. You don't want to be without that option, because the others are all more finicky and space will kill you if it can.

Rose & Bay Awards 2019

Voting is still open for the 2019 Rose & Bay Awards. If you have not already voted, please vote for your favorites now. More votes are welcome in all categories, but especially needed in Art and Other Project which have only one so far. Review the nomination posts for more information about the nominees if you need it. Voting will close at the end of February 28, 2019.

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art! (1 vote)
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction! (3 votes)
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry! (2 votes)
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics! (3 votes)
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects! (1 vote)
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons! (4 votes)