More Disaster Relief Links

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:38 am
wendelah1: words: Always be a little kinder than necessary (Always be a little kinder than necessary)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because the hits just keep coming. Give what you can, if you can.

Fundraiser by St. John's Rescue: St. John Victims of Hurricane Irma. This is an island-based charity and rescue group.

Harvey HELP is a fundraiser started by educators for their college students who've affected by Hurricane Harvey in order to provide grants to help keep them in school. It hasn't attracted much attention, sadly.

21 US Virgin Island's Relief Fund is the fundraiser organized by former San Antonio Spurs star, Tim Duncan.

Hurricane Irma and Maria Relief for the Caribbean:

Catholic Charities USA

Global Giving

Save the Children

UNICEF.

Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico was mentioned in an interview on MSNBC by a government official, name unremembered.

This made me remember that Habitat for Humanity helps low income people build houses all over the world, including the USA.

Habit for Humanity of Florida. This site has info for victims, too.

Huston Habitat for Humanity.

From Fortune.com, here is a long list of places to donate for Mexico.
Here’s How You Can Help Mexico Earthquake Victims. It includes the usual suspects as well as some local organizations.

And since I'm an Episcopalian and a "socialist," here is a link for Episcopal Relief and Development.

DON'T GIVE UP

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:27 am
wendelah1: quote: Ezra 10:4 (resistance)
[personal profile] wendelah1
There is so much going on in the news but we can't allow ourselves to forget that the Republican-controlled Senate is poised to take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans.

Sign up, make calls, attend protests if you are able. Post the INDIVISIBLE website on Facebook. If you live in one of the key states, beg your friends and family to call up their Senators. Make a contribution to INDIVISIBLE or to the resistance group of your choice. DON'T GIVE UP.

Calls to Kill Trumpcare.

We can't let the Senate get away with this. Healthcare represents one sixth of the U.S. economy. If they do this terrible thing, it will only embolden them. They'll keep on doing it, crafting their incoherent, evil legislation in secret, with the end goal being to transfer more and more money into the hands of their donor class: the big multinational corporations--because thanks to our Supreme Court, corporations are people too--and the mega-wealthy one percenters. We must understand this: the Republicans in Congress won't stop until ordinary Americans are completely at the mercy of the ruling class.

We do not live in a democracy. I know, it's hard to accept. It goes against everything I was taught, everything I want to believe about my country. But the very fact that the Republicans in Congress are going ahead with their nefarious plans despite knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of Americans want the Affordable Care Act fixed, not repealed, confirms that. These senators want to serve their rich masters, not their constituents, and if we don't stop them somehow, they will.

And if wanting my fellow Americans to have decent healthcare makes me a socialist, Senator Lindsey Graham, well, fine then. I'M A SOCIALIST.

Please note that under Senator Graham's bill, his state will actually gain funding. Could this plan be more cynical, more devious, or more venal?

~/~/~

I know I'm sounding like a broken record (wow, there's a metaphor about to lose its relevance) but September is National Disaster Preparedness Month for a reason. I beg of you--if you don't have your supplies laid in and your plan in place, it is never too soon--or too late--to start working on it.

If it seems like I'm obsessed with disaster planning, well, you're right. I am. Maybe it's because unlike hurricanes, which give people time to panic, sit in lines at the gas station, and debate whether or not to evacuate, California's earthquakes give us no warning. Waiting for the storm of the century to hit makes people feel helpless because by the time they get home from work, the bottled water is gone from the grocery shelves, and so are the flashlights, and the kind of baby formula that doesn't need refrigeration.

Earthquakes. Just. Happen. We never know when or where the next one will hit. People who live in earthquake country should all be making preparations well in advance. If we don't, we're taking a huge risk. (And dammit I hate risk.) And we're due, FUCK IT, we're overdue for a bad one in California. Or two. Look at what just happened in Mexico: two catastrophic quakes in two weeks! Hundreds of dead, dozens of collapsed buildings, including two schools full of children, thousands upon thousands of homes lying in rubble.

The Mexico City quake struck on the 32th anniversary of the 1985 quake that destroyed the city, mere hours after their yearly commemorative earthquake drill. I have no words.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico just took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

~/~/~

It's overwhelming, I know it is. But we have to keep making those calls.

Yeah. I'm not panicked at all.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:54 am
wendelah1: Letter H is for Holy Crap (H is for Holy Crap)
[personal profile] wendelah1
From USA TODAY: UNITED NATIONS – In a bracing speech to the United Nations, President Trump threatened Tuesday to "destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons program.

Is he trying to start a war? For real?

A "bracing speech"? WTF, USA TODAY.

We cannot let ourselves get derailed by the shitstorm the Trump administration calls their foreign policy. We still have to make those phone calls to stop Trumpcare.

We Won't Betrumped Again

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:42 am
wendelah1: (Repeal and Replace)
[personal profile] wendelah1
INDIVISIBLE just unveiled a new calling tool for folks in Blue States who want to help stop Trumpcare: Calls to Kill TrumpCare. We can't call our Senators--well, we can but mine are both Democrats and they are not the problem here. But we can make calls to our counterparts in key Red States and ask them to call their Senators.

How California — yes, California — could make a Trump reelection more difficult. YES!

Atlas Obscura: Found: 30 Lost English Words That May Deserve a Comeback.

Well, well, well. I think "betrump" deserves a comeback. Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from. Examples: I think our entire country is getting betrumped on a daily basis. Don't let yourselves get betrumped! Curses! Betrumped again! See what I mean? So useful. So accurate.

During Irma’s Power Outages, Some Houses Kept The Lights On With Solar And Batteries. Of course, if the roof has blown off or the living room has been flooded, having solar power doesn't mean all that much. Also, we're paying to help folks rebuild in the same flood zones over and over again. Maybe that needs to change?

USA TODAY: Dear Texas, how many times do we have to rebuild the same house? (You're next Florida). It's a reasonable question, imho.

Two years before NFIP was created, the 1966 Presidential Task Force on Federal Flood Control Policy warned that a badly run program 'could exacerbate the whole problem of flood losses. For the federal government to subsidize low premium disaster insurance ... would be to invite economic waste of great magnitude.' That sage advice was ignored.

The Atlantic: Has Climate Change Intensified 2017’s Western Wildfires? Long story, short: Yes. It has.

VOX: The brilliant, infuriating, boring, hypnotic Ken Burns documentary on The Vietnam War. The documentarian’s latest miniseries for PBS is a staggering achievement — and maybe his best work. I watched the first episode. It was good. I learned new things about Vietnam and its history. We keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. This has to stop.
wendelah1: My team (Stargate SG-1)
[personal profile] wendelah1
This is a signal boost of a post on Livejournal. Read here about efforts to contact authors who posted fanfiction on the Alpha Gate, a wonderful and long-established archive for Stargate SG-1 which is moving to the Archive Of Our Own.

Please take a gander at the list of authors and see if you know how to contact any of them about the archive's move.

Thanks to [personal profile] princessofgeeks for the heads up. Please spread the word if you can.

The Zombie Bill

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
wendelah1: (OH NO NOT YOU AGAIN)
[personal profile] wendelah1
ARGH.

From Slate: Republicans Are Seriously Getting Optimistic About Passing Obamacare Repeal Again.

That's bad enough but that's not the worst part.

My colleague Jordan Weissmann has written about how the Graham-Cassidy bill is not the moderate compromise its backers make it out to be. The bill would essentially collapse Obamacare’s market subsidies and Medicaid expansion by replacing them with block grants allotted to each state to design their own health systems, with few strings attached. Those grants would be determined by a complex formula that, relative to current law, punishes large blue states or those that expanded Medicaid while rewarding red states that didn’t. Like previous GOP bills, Graham-Cassidy would also set slow-growing per-capita caps on traditional Medicaid, and allow states to waive out of core Obamacare insurance regulations. It would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.


That's right. This bill punishes states like California and New York for expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act while rewarding the states that didn't. It takes money away from my state because we provided healthcare benefits for our residents and gives it to the likes of TEXAS, which didn't. TEXAS!

Ending the Affordable Care Act while at the same time rewarding people in the states that did vote for Trump and punishing people who live in the states that didn't vote him. Wow. Now that's a WIN-WIN.

Those FUCKERS.

More angry ranting )

The INDIVISIBLE website has everything you need to know to help stop this travesty. AGAIN.

You won this before. Now it's time to win it again. Let's #KillTheBill.

Yuletide nominations are ending soon

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:19 pm
wendelah1: (I signed up to write what?!?)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VERY soon. My Yuletide nominations are as follows:

1. Deviations: The X-Files
Dana Scully (Deviations)
Samantha Mulder (Deviations)
Fox Mulder (Deviations)
Cigarette Smoking Man (Deviations)

2. The Expanse (TV)
Jim Holden (The Expanse TV) - I had to add The Expanse TV to get the nomination accepted because someone else had nominated the same character for the book series. Ditto for Joe Miller.
Joe Miller (The Expanse TV)
Julie Mao
Octavia Muss

3. Interstellar (2013)
Amelia Brand
Joseph Cooper
Murphy Cooper
Tom Cooper

Here's a fantastic one-minute fandom: Has anyone heard of Dixit? I suggested to the nominator that someone should create a Dixit Bingo community. These pictures are more surreal than the average fic Bingo card but I like that about them. I will offer it for sure. Heck, I might even ask for the game for my birthday.

Not-exactly-fmk: Gor and Yuletide

Sep. 12th, 2017 07:05 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So in FMK reading adventures, I finally finished the first Gor book, that was voted K early on but I decided I wanted to read before dumping just so I could say I had.

I should have trusted y'all: it was mostly just incredibly pointlessly bland, occasionally rising to actively annoying. It wasn't even really bad enough to be interestingly bad. There was a lot more flying around on giant soulbonded warbirds than I expected, tbh (somehow I had though that Tarnsman meant "man of the mountain lake country" but I think that was giving him too much credit for having a vocabulary,) but the warbirds are so badly wordbuilt and lacking in individual personality and the flying scenes so lacking in joy that the only time I actually cared about them was when the abused half-starved ones were about to eat the MC and I roused enough to cheer them on. The plot is built on bad characterization and improbable coincidences; the language aspires to basic competence; you can very easy disassemble it into its component stereotypes; and all sense-of-wonder or hints that the MC is not a sociopath are missing. Also amused that the author refuses to comment on whether it's John Carter of Mars fanfic (it's really badly done John Carter of Mars fanfic, omg.) I understand the series gets far more batshit later, but I don't think I need to read far enough to find out.

Also, thank you all for your help with picking a yuletide nomination! I shall be ignoring the clear preference of the poll, and nominating Mr. Trash Wheel RPF. He didn't win, but he did win the vote of everybody I know who has taken a selfie with him, and their votes count 10x, sorry.

(this is Mr. Trash Wheel: )

I will also be nominating Professor Trash Wheel and a five foot long West African Ball Python as characters, of course. I am stuck on who should be my fourth nom, though. A modular robotic eel that hunts for water pollution? Lynyrd Skymmer? Some other celebrity of the waters that I don't yet know about?


Clearly there's a market for Always Coming Home, though. Someone else should nominate it. (If I requested it, it'd just be as "tell me a story of the Valley", so I don't care about characters.)


Meanwhile, I re-read The Girl With The Silver Eyes to prepare to nominate. That one does hold up very well! Things I had forgotten about this book: the muumuu wearing old fat lady who lives alone with her cats and her books and gives no fucks and is #rolemodel. The fact that Katie can TALK TO CATS. The constant references to other YA fantasy/sf novels by the same imprint that she is reading. How much this book distrusts all adult men. How much this book also distrusts all non-readers. How yes they have psi powers and are super-smart, but they're also explicitly non-neurotypical in a way that read a lot more Autism Spectrum than any of the books about supposedly autistic kids that I was reading at the time, and that's more of an issue for them than the psi powers.

The book really needs an active fandom if only so we can have epic fanwars about whether they spoilers )

Anyway I am stuck for character noms there too, because I want all the kid characters but I also want Mr. C, Mrs. M, Miss K and Jackson Jones.

FMK #23: Long Book Is Long

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:51 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's F winner, after a very close race, was a tie between Beguilement and Daughter of Witches! I picked Beguilement because I know I'm keeping the rest of Lyra regardless, so Beguilement is more likely to lead to me dumping several books at once. K winner was The Death of Sleep, so goodbye Lunzie!

The comics bonus round winner was Asterix le Galois. Of course the bonus round I threw in because "comics are fast and easy!" gets won by one where I'm going to have to review a whole other language first... There was no K majority for the comics round, although I'm curious about the fact that Maison Ikkoku nearly got it, because I had not idea there was active dislike for Maison Ikkoku out there.

I am going to spend two days of next week trapped in a car with a couple of cats and almost no luggage space, so it's time to finally roll out the LONG BOOKS ARE LONG poll. That way I can only pack one and be reading it all week. :P

I don't know if I'll have internet next Tuesday but likely not (we are helping sister move) so there may be another break in fmk next week.

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

Poll: Adams, Asaro, Clarke, Coville, Delany, Hobb, Hunt, Jemisin, Lynch, Melville, Michalson, Pynchon, Stephenson, Williams, Williamson )
wendelah1: (raindrops keep fallin' on their heads)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VOX: Photos: what Hurricane Irma’s destruction looks like on the ground

NPR: The Rubble And Recovery Of U.S. Virgin Islands: 'Will We Survive The Aftermath?'

Huffington Post: After Irma, Tim Duncan Pens Emotional Plea: Don’t Forget The U.S. Virgin Islands

NYT: Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: 'All the Food Is Gone'

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC: U.S.Virgin Islands facing dire circumstances after Hurricane Irma

You can donate to help the U.S. Virgin Islands. Retired San Antonio Spurs' superstar Tim Duncan has donated $250,000 and will match up to one million dollars.

Conde Naste Traveler has international donation suggestions: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Rollcall: Opinion: A Big-Spending Liberal Is a Conservative Who Has Been Flooded.

Popular Mechanics: How to Rebuild Our Infrastructure in This Age of Superstorms | These are not once-in-a-lifetime events.

NPR:
Air Pollution From Industry Plagues Houston In Harvey's Wake

Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms. We're having a really bad fire season season here in the West and Northwest.

The Guardian: How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes | Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet.

In the wake of the recent hurricanes, monsoon flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes, I hope everyone is taking the time to review their own disaster preparations: check and replenish supplies, go over evacuation plans, update insurance. The time to stock up on water, food, gasoline and batteries is not after the shit hits the fan.

REPOSTED FROM FEMA: September is National Preparedness Month.

Everything South City: Are YOU Prepared for a Disaster? September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The National Weather Service: Don't Wait. Communicate

The Sweethome: The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies. I don't know about "the best." It's a decent review site, especially if you have no money worries and infinite storage space. I do appreciate that one of the editors lives in California so earthquake preparedness is addressed along with the usual extreme weather emergencies.

To spread out the pain, for the past few years, I've been trying to buy one or two items a month. I disagree with some of their picks; for example, I can see no reason that anyone's emergency kit needs a $30 water bottle, especially since the site claims the recommendations are for people sheltering at home. What's wrong with using a glass or a cup that you already own? Of course, that wouldn't generate any income for the site, now would it? Unless you lift weights, I wouldn't go for the seven gallon storage jug that weighs close to sixty pounds when full. Where would you keep it in between disasters? Plus you have to remember to dump it and replace the water every year. If money is no object, and you have storage space to spare, why not get Blue Can Water, which has a shelf life of 50 years? I'll never have to buy emergency water again! I can leave it to my son in my will!

One urgent problem that I never see addressed in articles on emergency preparedness is waste management. What are you supposed to do you do when the sewer system no longer functions, for days, weeks, or even, in the case of a catastrophic earthquake, a year or longer? No worries- PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) has you covered. Under "Emergency Toilet Systems" there is a menu of Nine Actions You Can Take, including instructions on how to Make a Twin Bucket Toilet. You can buy the cheapest bucket/seat combo at REI for about twenty bucks. They're also available at Amazon but only to Prime Members. Yes, those assholes have no shame. Walmart is currently sold out, which isn't surprising given that the USA is coping with two major weather disasters.

The problem is not confined to natural disasters. The way we routinely deal with our pee and poop is in itself a disaster in the making.

Slate: Minds in the Toilet: There's a sewage crisis, so hold your nose and think hard. This review of Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters (2008) is enlightening enough that I'm adding it to my to-read list. To summarize, Western-style sewage disposal is polluting our water and destroying our oceans; meanwhile, "Four in ten people have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket or box. Nothing." The bottom line: The way we deal with human waste is unsustainable. Think about it. In a warming world in which drinking water is fast becoming a scarce commodity, it makes no sense to pollute our precious water supply with waste products while simultaneously spending billions of dollars trying to clean it up.

Finally, Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage. This is a recurring human-caused disaster, one that results from people who dispose of those so-called flushable wipes down the toilet, plus other individuals who dump their cooking grease down the kitchen sink. I can almost understand the wipes because of the way the packaging falsely claims they can be safely flushed (there should be a law against that, dammit), but there is no excuse for dumping grease into a sewer line. EVER.

yuletide etc.

Sep. 9th, 2017 01:48 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, Yuletide noms are open!

I am definitely nominating:

The Saga of Burnt Njal (with characters from Njal's generation - all the existing fics are post-canon about Kari)
The Girl With The Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts (because we all had a discussion on one of [personal profile] rachelmanija's FMK posts about how we all wanted MORE after we read that.)

I can't decide on number three, and I'm pretty sure the other stuff I definitely want to request will have other noms. So:

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 22


My third yuletide nomination should be:

View Answers

Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin
15 (68.2%)

The Hidden Almanac (the podcast)
6 (27.3%)

King's Blood (Steve Jackson games)
1 (4.5%)

Mr. Trash Wheel RPF
4 (18.2%)




I am also trying to at least finish the first chapter of the Discworld Sedoretu fic before I let myself read any of the fics that are now revealed in the fest, but I have not yet. :/

Instead, have some reviews of the CDs I bought for $.10 each this morning:

Delmarva Groove Kings
Genre: Is "Groove" a genre?
Local kitsch factor: Well, "Delmarva" is in the title, but they appear to actually be from Clinton, which isn't really Delmarva? Also we're pretty sure the bridge on the cover is the Golden Gate, not the Chesapeake. 2/5
Cover art: Oil painting of a viking ship sailing past a decaying suspension bridge against a red sky. -1 point for not being the right bridge and for not having any cover credits so I can't track down the original. 4/5
Song titles: Titles include "Northeast Corridor Blues", "Evil", and "Dueling Hillbillies on the Mother Ship". 4/5
Music: Ehh? Some of the songs appear to be just screaming over boring electric guitar chords, but some of the more bluesy ones are pretty okay. 3/5
Comment: This was originally a benefit to pay for someone's cancer treatment. Why do I still live in a county where people think it's ok that you have to sell benefit CDs to pay for someone's cancer treatment.

Celtic Fury - O'Malley's March
Genre: Basic American Celtic
Local Kitsch Factor: Yep, it's O'Malley as in Governor Martin O'Malley! This was his band's first CD, that they put out while he was still just on the city council. 5/5
Cover Art: Black-and-white photo of the band. TERRIFYINgLY BAD PHOTOS. Two of them look like they are planning to lure you into a white van, one of them looks like he is wearing a human mask and hasn't quite learned how to make it smile yet, and one of them looks like they stuck a dead person's head on a mannequin. O'Malley hardly looks sinister at all in comparison, which may be a first. 1/5
Song Titles: Mostly your basic sort of Celtic standards, but there is one called "Mickey Chewing Gum" and one called "Streets of Baltimore". 3/5
Music: Would hire them to play on one of the outdoor stages at a street fair. Competent. The lead singer sounds weirdly insincere about everything he sings, but maybe that's just because I know it's O'Malley. 3/5
Comment: It's autographed by the whole band! I wonder if I could sell the Governor's autograph for more than I paid for the CD. ...Actually I probably know some people who would pay me at least twice that just to burn it while cackling.

Fandom Update

Sep. 11th, 2017 01:50 pm
wendelah1: Samantha in the basement holding a clipboard (Deviations: Samantha Mulder)
[personal profile] wendelah1
I can't be the only one in need of distraction from the news cycle right now.

So, Yuletide nominations are open already. Who knows where the time goes? (And did I not say this was my theme song?)

I am definitely nominating Deviations: The X-Files (comic) again this year. Life Doesn't Discriminate (Between Sinners And Saints), the story I received last Yuletide, is wonderful (go read it!) and I love it to pieces, but there is so much more fic that needs to be written for these characters. I just discovered that there was a second issue released in March 2017. It is now in the mail! The Gunmen are featured!

banner for Yuletide


If no one else does so, I am nominating Timeless because I am obsessed with this show (and with time travel in general). Lucy, Wyatt, Rufus. One more character tbd.

Late to the party since it was released in 2014, but I really want to ask for Interstellar because I've been haunted by its ending. I'm reasonably certain I will have to nominate it if I want to request it.

Assuming Timeless gets nominated and I have another fandom slot, I am wavering on whether or not to nominate The X-Files RPF. On the one hand, I do ship David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, I have had amazing luck requesting this fandom, and it is still Yuletide-eligible. On the other hand, everyone's luck runs out eventually. And dammit, I hated the revival miniseries and don't want to read fic that has anything to do with filming it or the upcoming episodes or their promotions of same. I'm pretending it never happened, okay?

Other fandoms I hope to see in the tag set: The Americans, The Expanse, and The Steerswoman series. This is not going to happen but I would love to see someone nominate C.J Cherryh's 40,000 in Gehenna instead of the omnipresent Cyteen or Foreigner. I just reread it and it is even better than I'd remembered.

Finally, this month's theme at [community profile] fancake is team fic. Go forth and rec your favorites. I already have fic in mind for Timeless and Fringe. (I am going to assume other people will cover the various and sundry Stargates.) I'll look again but I wish there was more team fic for The Expanse. I think I may have thought of one for The X-Files, too.

fancake banner for round 82 team fics: thematic multifandom recs