January 8th, 2020


Good News

Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more? Have you found a cute picture or a video that makes you smile? Is there anything your online friends could do to make your life a little happier?

Poem: "Glas"

This was prompted and sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

-- a cinquain

is his
favorite color --
blue-green-silver-gray-white --
beautiful and dangerous like
the sea.

* * *


A cinquain is a poem of 5 lines.  Individual variations may or may not add additional parameters.

Glas is a quintessentially Celtic term that can mean blue, green, gray, or silver -- or any combination of those colors. It has mixed connotations of something beautiful but changeable and potentially perilous. This makes a lot more sense if you know that it actually means "sea-colored." Here's a discussion of the same word borrowed into Welsh. The closest English translation is "hazel."


Alcohol-Related Deaths

... have at least doubled in the past two decades, not counting those where the connection goes unreported.  While a connection with opiates is noted, this is a small portion; the largest portion died due to liver disease, with drugs a very distant second.

Funny how the authors aren't asking why more people are so desperate to stop feeling their life that they wind up dying.  People drink for many reasons, but the root cause of drinking too much  is generally that they just don't want to be there feeling that.

Refugee Books

Read books by or about refugees

Diasporas have a huge impact on literature and other cultural motifs.  Think about how much of ours deals with the fallout of things like the African slave trade or the Holocaust.  Wait 10-30 years and today's mayhem will settle into history and inspire great art just like other calamities before it have done.  Each diaspora develops its own signature, and some of them have given us truly glorious things like jazz or chicken tikka tacos.

Also, people have a tendency to look back at past examples and imagine how they would have treated Jewish refugees in the 1930s-40s or Mary and Joseph at the door.  Well, look at how you treat refugees today, and there's your answer.  If you wish that people would have done better by those in the past, try to help those in need right now.  I may not be able to fix America's racism, but I can drop an extra $5 into the tip jar of the Hispanic places we frequent.  I figure if they're not struggling themselves, they probably know someone who is.  Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

All this is a lot easier if you've read their own words about what's happening.  I tend to favor articles because they're smaller and faster, but for depth and reference quality, you can't beat books.

The Selfies Book Award

There is now an award for self-published books.  This is good progress.

Took them long enough.  Self-publishing has been growing for 20-30 years now and some of the best stuff is out there.  The publishing industry is just sooooo slooooowwwww.  It's like watching a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.

I'm so glad I have crowdfunding.  You guys have gone to plaid!  Seriously, I got prompts for obscure and ethnic forms yesterday, and donations started the same day.  <3  I squish you all so much.

Dessert Stomach

Apparently people tend to eat dessert even when stuffed

Me, I don't like the feeling of being stuffed.  I usually stop eating before I am all the way full.  My success rate at an Indian restaurant is only about 50% because it's hard to resist a dozen different kinds of delicious food.  But pretty much anywhere else I can usually do it ... partly because I practice on Indian feasts.  

I was amused to see the article claim that diversifying tastes increases satiety.  Yeah, no.  I still want that gulab jamun at the end.  But it is the size of a donut hole, I eat one, and I try to save room in advance.  Bear in mind that Indian cuisine strongly supports diversifying flavors.  Sure, people get bored with the same food, but don't bet on diversity assisting the brakes.  It just makes me want to try a couple bites of everything.  Of course, I'm a freak, but everyone else at Indian restaurants seems to try all the foods too.  And then order dessert.  

Teaching Privacy

Teaching privacy is a great idea.

The problem is it runs against modern culture to the point that you have a choice between privacy and participation in culture.  If you want health care, you can't have privacy.  If you want to buy things, you can't have privacy.  If you want to use the internet, you can't have privacy.  Even aggressive protection only somewhat buffers the intrusions. 

Society reflects that.  I remember being taught never to give out a phone number except to friends or businesses I wanted to talk on the phone with (e.g. a pizza restaurant).  Now cashiers routinely demand phone number and zip code and other personal information with ever transaction, even if I'm paying cash.  The fact that they're shocked and offended when I say no indicates that this is a very rare occurrence.  Same when I refuse to sign something in an office or ask to see a privacy statement.  Nobody's doing that either.  There isn't time  for everyone to do that even if they wanted to.  It's a problem.  

Mostly what I see is the same pattern from sexual abuse: either people have extremely tight boundaries, or don't even bother trying to set boundaries since nobody respects them anyway.  The latter prevails, more and more as you go younger in ages.  Then people wonder why teens send sex pictures to each other.  Why wouldn't they?  You've taught them that boundaries don't exist.

Adulting Class

 Great idea ... but YEARS too late.  This is junior high to high school material.  I know this because that is where it was placed in the hick  school.  By all means offer more advanced classes in adulting for college students, but this does not sound like any more than the very basic stuff.

Poetry Fishbowl Update

I finished all the writing yesterday.  \o/  I finished sending out prompter copies today.  \o/ :D

If you typically buy bigger poems but struggle to pick favorites, and your poem this time is way smaller than your usual budget covers, then look back at the holiday poetry sale page and see if there's other stuff you couldn't afford earlier that you can grab now.  You should be able to read the full price even though it's crossed out.

If you usually can't afford the bigger poems, now is the ideal time because everything is $20 or less except for one Steamsmith poem at $40 because those are double-price.  Lots of things you can buy with pocket money!

Previous accomplishment: I have 7 series collections compiled.