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Harassment is never acceptable, in any form. But there is a kind of harassment that is largely ignored by our society, and that is the harassment that women receive from men when they are out and about in public. That's right. Commonly known as "street harassment" or "catcalling," most people either pretend that it doesn't happen, or that there's nothing wrong with it. Many people say that the women are "asking for it." After all, if women don't want to be aggressively hit on, propositioned, harassed, touched, and even assaulted by men, they shouldn't leave their homes, right?

Wrong. Here's one article about this form of harassment, and how some women are beginning to fight back.

Staghunts on Tumblr posted the following photo and story, and encouraged others to share it and spread the word. Since then, Tumblr has been systematically removing the photo and story from their site, and Staghunts has had to repost it several times, as have others who have reblogged it. As such, I'm posting it here, off of Tumblr, with the photo hosted on my own private webspace, where Tumblr cannot touch it.

Image and text under link. )
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I love the Neutra Face parody, but this one is also excellent, and has a powerful message behind it.

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I'm not a gun expert by any means, but I know my way around alright. Because of this, I've had other writers ask my advice on handguns and a few other varieties several times. This is a far better reference than anything I would think to tell you.

The Chapel

Nov. 22nd, 2011 05:46 pm
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I'm not sure if I have posted this here before. I do know I shared it with family and friends about a year or so ago.

TheChapel. A short film. (HDR timelapse) from Patryk Kizny on Vimeo.

TheChapel is a short film paying tribute to an exceptional protestant temple in Zeliszów, Poland, designed by Karl Langhans and built in 1796-1797.

Please enjoy also the "Making of The Chapel":

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I saw the film Hanna today with my friend, and I highly recommend it to...well, just about anyone who has ever had or will ever have the opportunity to watch a movie. Ever.

I'm not going to say anything spoilery, but I will say that this film has amazingly interesting and believable characterizations, excellent acting, and the most fascinating and unique use of sound - both environmental/ambient and in the musical score - that I have ever come across in television or film. I'm also still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this is the first screenplay the writer has ever done, and that he wrote it while in school.

I am SO getting this on DVD when it comes out. I hope there's an extended version, or extras/deleted scenes, or something like that.
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Railroad tracks.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways and that's the gauge they used.

Why did the English use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular, odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long-distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long-distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since. And what determined the positions of the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore, the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. In other words, bureaucracies live forever.

So you may be right on target the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder, "What horse's ass came up with this?" Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses - or two horses' asses.

Now, the twist to the story. When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, you will notice that there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah.

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit larger, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds.

So, a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass. And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important.
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EDIT: SUCCESS!! The project was fully funded. Here's hoping to see a short film in a reasonable amount of time (I'd be happy to see full footage a year from now, and THRILLED by six months).

Some of you may remember this AWESOME stop-motion video featuring a winged SD10.

Well, the creator of that video has learned a lot more about stop-motion since that was made, and wants to do a short film. But in order to get the studio space and rigging equipment she needs, she has to have funding. That's where we come in. She has 6 days left to raise just under $1500 for her Kickstarter project proposal - she has already raised $2,185. If she can get the pledges for a full $3,500, Kickstarter will fund her film. If the pledges don't reach that amount, Kickstarter won't collect any of the pledges and the film won't be made. I know I want to see it. Plus, pledging gets you cool items (I went for the $75 level, because I totally want a book with the DVD if this project makes it)!
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I really admire Cory Doctorow's work. His narratives are both interesting and and pertinent to modern events - his stories function as commentaries on popular society, culture, and technology, with the added bonus of having fun characters and instruction-manual-style endnotes on the research behind the book and the gadgets in it. I love this, how transparent he makes things for the reader. (For those who aren't familiar with him, go take a look - he makes all his stuff available for free, on his website, and still manages to make the best-seller lists with his books!)

He's got a very interesting commentary on the iPad up on BoingBoing, and it really touched on some of the things that are driving my own uneasiness with the current trend in modern media technologies. The user as a consumer rather than an innovator being a big one. I'm the first to admit that I'm not the most techy of people - there are many things about computers and other tech that I almost know, but don't quite have a firm grasp on. But I don't want to be relegated to the role of helpless, resourceless consumer. I want to still be able to crack things open, get at their guts, and risk breaking them myself in order to make them work the way I want them to work.
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Have I ever mentioned how much I hate cryptic LJ posts that assume all readers already know the subject of the post, and the background of what the poster is talking about?

Sometimes I can figure out what the topic is, sometimes I can't. But either way, it's a lot more effective to let people know WHAT is being discussed, rather than making them piece it together from comments other people have left. Especially when it's meant to be an informative post about a political issue, or something someone is trying to raise support for. I follow a lot of people on LJ that frequently do this. I think I'll start leaving this as a comment on every cryptic post that comes up in my Friends List.

Just saying.
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Organizing a doll meetup (hike/picnic) in the Bellingham, WA area. Hike will be the Bagley Lakes trail, near the Heather Meadows parking area on Mt. Baker Highway. It's a very easy 1.5 mile loop, and really beautiful. Tons of photo opportunities. Picnic will follow the hike (after we've all worked up an appetite).

All local doll people who are interested, check out the planning thread on DoA.


Aug. 6th, 2010 01:43 pm
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So, Paramount is being a pain in the ass about this trailer, which was released at Comic-Con. They're threatening to sue anyone who posts it online for copyright infringement, because they've not yet released it online themselves.

Thankfully, the Russians don't really give a damn.

Full-length Thor trailer viewable here.

Fuck yes.
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Alright! No one should be getting any more random "please help me, I'm stranded in Africa" eMails from me. I have recovered control of my account.

Thanks for your patience, everyone. ^_^
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Hey, everyone! No, I am not from Nigeria, and I do not need your assistance illegally transferring large sums of money across international boundaries. My Yahoo eMail account got hacked. Unfortunately, I can't do anything about it, since Yahoo locked down my account within an hour or so of it happening. I can't access it for at least 24 hours, while their tech team bumbles around trying to figure out what to do. ^_^;; Sorry about the weird spammage.

I happened while I was using the internet at work, which is unsecured wifi, so I suspect someone had a sniffer program running and picked up my password as I typed it in, but there are dozens of other possible explanations, so your guess is as good as mine.
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You know, things like this could solve...a lot of problems in our world.

I wish our state government would put some money in to providing some of our local transient population with these. It may seem strange to you, but I see the same people coming in to the ER all the time, over and over - which costs $500+ a visit, all of it paid for by our taxes because these people sure don't have any kind of money or insurance - with fake complaints of "pain in my foot" and "I was throwing up," just because they want somewhere out of the rain to sleep for a couple hours. A little investment in something like this could save a lot of money in the long run.
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Just watch it. Trust me.

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Or something along those lines, anyway. ^_____^

There's been no word on these beauties since they were first hinted at months and months ago (oh, those teasing, tantalizing pictures!). I just spotted the lasses on Yahoo! Japan Auctions. When we were first shown picture of them, they were named as Milk and Choco, but it seems they've since been changed to Cream and Mocha, respectively. If you haven't seen those original images, there's a thread in the Discussion section of Controversial Doll that has them.

They come with several foot/heel options (optional soles of their feet) and also an optional face plate, from the looks of things. Their jointing is beautiful, too. I think Araki may have come close to having outdone himself, this time!

Seems they're from a limited sale at a festival - maybe Dolpa? Maybe another one? It's not that clear. But it's nice to see that they have been sold to the public, at least in small quantities. Maybe we'll see more signs of them (internationally) soon! <== Cream <== Cream <== Mocha <== Mocha <== Mocha
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..that I wish people on the internet were able to comprehend.

I am in love.