February 24th, 2020


Thermometer Scarves

 Knit a row every day based on the current temperature.  You can choose your own colors or use the suggested ones.  In the future, if humanity has one on Earth, these will be valuable records of the past.  They're a lot more durable than climate data stored on a computer -- especially if you make them from polymer or wool which tend to last a long time.  Cotton breaks down faster, and so do many flimsier synthetics.

Poem: "Fairybread"

This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by a comment from [personal profile] freshbakedlady. It also fills the "Parenthood" square in my 1-1-20 card for the Less Usual Bingo Patterns fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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Rez Rising

Rez Rising is a website and app that connects Native American businesses with potential customers.  You can search by product, location, or category.  Notice that they have some categories not typical of conventional businesses, such as Ceremony.  Aho!  While it is most useful for tribal folks and tourists visiting the southwest, some businesses like art galleries sell online to buyers anywhere.

Rising Suicide

This article looks at possible explanations for the rising suicide rate, noting that some things thought to cause suicide don't actually correlate. 

I think the closest is "deaths of despair."  Consider the also skyrocketing rate of opiate abuse ... and the government's draconian response, which cuts off medical care for many people such as chronic pain patients, some of whom go right to their car after being denied health care and pull a trigger.  That's very upsetting to doctors, but they have done fuckall to protect those patients.  Another interesting example is heath providers themselves, who have a higher-than-average suicide rate.  For some, like EMTs, it may simply be exposure to soul-destroying experiences.  But the higher you go, the more money becomes an issue: the only way to pay off ruinous medical school debt is a medical job, and if someone hates that job, there is no path to a livable life for them.

If you want to stop suicide, first you need to look at why people find life unlivable.  Some of this could be fixed, like poverty, but society chooses not to.  Some is much harder, like the existential despair of scientists trying and failing to stop global warming.  All the yammering I see is trying to spackle over a massive breach with "awareness" and "counseling."  That won't do any good for someone living on a reservation with a 5% employment rate or someone trapped in an abusive relationship because their health care is tied to the abuser's job.  You would have to make the person's life bearable, and society doesn't want to do that. 

If you want to know WHY people commit suicide, try asking them.  Look at what people say when they are suicidal, or if they make attempts but are forcibly stopped from leaving a life they are done with.  Look at suicide notes; not everybody leaves one but some people do.  Among the most common reasons cited are incurable pain, incurable other health problems, life-wrecking debt, abuse, and a miscellany of other things that can be summarized as "no legal way out of this mess."  Health care is unable to solve the first two, and often actively contributes to the others.  Society doesn't give a flying fuck if people are happy.  It just doesn't want them to escape.

So people keep dumping society since they don't wish to be tormented for years on end.  This is actually quite sensible; organisms don't like to be in distress.  They have better places to be and are going there.  Of course society is upset.  Nobody likes being dumped; it is distressing and makes you feel unwanted. But society is a shitty boyfriend and often deserves to be dumped.

Blood as Food

 ... is one thing most Americans won't eat.  As climate change progresses and wipes out the food supply, that may change.

Meanwhile, czernina is a good option if you know of a traditional Polish restaurant.  The version I tried was very sour and earthy, definitely a culinary experience.  There are a few places that do blood puddings or sausages too.  It's an excellent choice if you want lots of iron without lots of cholesterol.

Oh, and regarding tribal sources: most of the people who knew what to do with it died before passing it on.  Unlike meat, blood is a fussy ingredient.  You have to use it immediately and it's a mess to handle.  So it's usually left to experts.  That makes the knowledge very easy to lose.  Some tribes still have traditions of consuming blood in various ways, but in surviving traditions, they're more likely to wear it than eat it.  

Monday Update 2-24-20

These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
That Time It Rained for 2 Million Years
KiLiKi Language
Today's Adventures
Poem: "Refoulement"
Community Building Tip: Guerilla Gardening
Poem: "The Sharpness of the Sword"
Poem: "The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture"
Poem: "Melongeno"
Poem: "Who We Know Ourselves to Be"
Self-Awareness Question: Change
Good News

Last week's half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics went well.  I have a ton of sponsored poems left to post, so watch for those to go up.

Voting is currently open for the Rose and Bay Award in [community profile] crowdfunding. You have until the end of February 29. This award recognizes exemplary projects and enthusiastic patrons. It currently features six categories: Art, Fiction, Poetry, Webcomic, Other Project, and Patron.

These are the handlers for the 2020 award season:
Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art! (4 votes)
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction! (7 votes)
Poetry: [personal profile] readera Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry! (2 votes)
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics! (4 votes)
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects! (3 votes)
Patron: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons! (6 votes)
Please vote for your favorite crowdfunded projects and patrons from 2019.

Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics at present.

"To Be Something Stronger and Better" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv.  It has been opened for microfunding but not yet posted.

"Pride Against Prejudice" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and has 46 new verses. Find out what happened to Aconite.

"Celebrate and Cherish" is now complete.  See the rest of the Circle School.

"Into the Thousand-Eyed Present" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Aquariana and Gentle Soul. It has been fully sponsored but not yet fully posted.

The weather has been mostly mild here. It rained today. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a large flock of sparrows, a large flock of mourning doves, several cardinals, several dark-eyed juncos, a downy woodpecker, and a squirrel.  I also saw the great-horned owl this week.  :D

Cycads in Bloom

Cycads are beginning to bloom in places they never did before. 

Now this is one case NOT to get in the way of a species expanding its range.  We will need something  to populate the Earth as climate change progresses.  Cycads are something, and this is exactly the kind of situation they're meant for, and in previous expansions they have spurred dramatic respeciation.  So this is actually a most excellent sign.  We even have some dinosaurs around for them to uplift, although we call the survivors "birds" now.  Those are perfectly capable of filling most ecological niches and even becoming giants if humans are out of the way. 

The expansion of the cycads will, as with all expansions, be messy and have a lot of casualties at first.  But if the new species is much better suited to the changing climate than whatever it crowds out, we need to let that happen.  A forest of cycads is better than no forest at all.  Sooner or later something will figure out how to eat them and it will all be fine.  Humans may not be around to see it, but the biosphere will.

Also, if you live in a place where you can grow cycads, watch to see if any of yours attempt to have sex.  :D  If you only have one, you might want to get another for purposes of cross-pollination should male and female cones appear.  Even self-fertile plants have more reproductive success with a sex partner than alone.

Oil Sands

Amazingly, an oil company realized that creating a new oil sand mine would be a bad investment and cancelled the project.  

Remember: they may not care about the planet or people, but they definitely do care about money.  If you want to make people stop doing something bad, make it unprofitable.  That means every fossil-fuel thing you don't buy or buy less of is picking their pocket, which they don't like, which drives them to look for other options.

"We are the thorn in the foot."

Poem: "To Be Something Stronger and Better"

This poem is spillover from the September 3, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from Dreamwidth users Curiosity, Technoshaman, Zeeth_kyrah, and Gingicat.  It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, directly following "The Making of a Wonderful Sculpture."

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them.  The rate is $0.25/line, so $5 will reveal 20 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses.
So far sponsors include: kestrels_nest, Anthony & Shirley Barrette, janetmiles, ng_moonmoth, Fuzzyred, EdorFaus

462 lines, Buy It Now = $116
Amount donated = $84
Verses posted = 102 of 148 

Amount remaining to fund fully = $32
Amount needed to fund next verse = $0.50
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $0.75

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Poem: "Quality, Convenience and Tech Experience"

This poem came out of the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by an anonymous prompt. It also fills the "texture" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] erulisse, and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Fortressa thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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Seasonal Colors

This article looks at the problems caused by seasonal colors in the fashion industry. To some extent it's true. Buying tons of new clothes is bad for the environment. So is making clothes that fall apart after a few uses. Case in point, the ivory shirt I'm wearing started out with a gorgeous pattern of gold arabesques. It now has a faint sprinkle of gold sparkles. I still wear it, because I like the current iteration and I tend to wear all my clothes to death. It would be nice if they lasted longer, though. Artificially speeding up the churn to sell more clothes is bad, but that's not the whole story.

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