Weekly Check In September 24

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:24 am
tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
[personal profile] tanaqui in [community profile] thisfinecrew
The focus for action this week has been on yet another attempt to repeal Obamacare andon hurricane relief for Irma and Maria. (Let's take it as read that the Idiot-in-Chief has been spouting drivel about various topics and edging us towards nuclear war….)

How has your week been?

Housekeeping (the usual stuff)
Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.

As we don't always get the time to pull things out of the suggestions post into their own separate posts, it may be worth checking every week (or tracking the post) to see if there's any new information you're interested in.

Also if you need help with tags, PM [personal profile] redbird, who is our tag guru. Both [personal profile] tassosss and I are very grateful for the help.

Hurricane relief

Links for how to help with the relief efforts for Irma and Maria
For lots of links for hurricane relief for Harvey, see the check-in post from two weeks ago

Obamacare

Another Obamacare repeal attempt is afoot

Other ongoing actions and activities

Hope not Hate launches US site Includes some links to the amazing project by the UK organisation involving an undercover reporter infiltrating the alt-right.
Find or sign up to host an event to support National Voter Registration Day on September 26
Events to prevent a Muslim Ban leading to an rally in Washington on October 10
DACA: Defend DACA is the place to go.
Women's Convention Detroit October 27-29
Find every election you're eligible to vote in with the EveryElection app

So, what have you all been up to in the last week or are planning to get involved in next week?

Poll #18859 The Week
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9


This week, I...

View Answers

called my one senator
4 (50.0%)

called my other senator
3 (37.5%)

called my representative
0 (0.0%)

called my governor
1 (12.5%)

called my state reps
0 (0.0%)

sent a postcard/email/letter/fax
1 (12.5%)

attended a town hall
0 (0.0%)

donated money to a cause
6 (75.0%)

attended an in-person activist group
0 (0.0%)

participated in phone/online training
0 (0.0%)

View Answers

went to a protest
0 (0.0%)

signed up for alerts
0 (0.0%)

took care of myself
1 (25.0%)

not a US citizen but worked in solidarity in my own community
0 (0.0%)

did something else
3 (75.0%)

committed to action in the coming week
2 (50.0%)

archersangel: (jedi sheep)
[personal profile] archersangel in [community profile] books
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate, a UK group who've been working tirelessly and effectively against fascist, racist and far-right groups over here have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).

So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.

Annie's Mailbox: Man only half there

Sep. 20th, 2017 09:20 am
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta in [community profile] agonyaunt
Dear Annie: I am 23 years old and have been dating "Tom" for two years. He works in a demanding job that requires an extensive amount of travel. He's away almost six months of the year.

When Tom isn't traveling, he's with me during the week, but spends most weekends going places with his fraternity or visiting his parents. This means for the six months he's in town, I get perhaps one weekend.

We are saving for a house, and Tom's constant recreational travel is cutting into our budget. I want our couple time back, as well as time to take care of things at home. I've suggested compromises (such as two weekends away and two weekends home), but things always come up that he "has to do." Two months ago, I was let go from my job. That same afternoon, Tom left on a trip with friends that could have easily been cancelled. I can't use those same weekends to visit my family because they are too far away, so I spend a lot of time sitting home alone.

I know nothing unsavory is going on. Tom is a wonderful guy. I have no intention of leaving him. I knew when we met that his job would require a lot of travel, but these personal weekends are difficult for me. I know he hates being inactive or staying home, but it seems excessive. How can we come up with a workable solution? -- Home Alone

Dear Home: Tom thinks he already has a workable solution and has no incentive to compromise. After all, he sees you all week. Right now, his schedule is a minor hardship for you, but if you marry and have children, it will be a major problem. You'll have to revisit this issue then.

Meanwhile, we are never in favor of sitting home alone moping. Please find things to occupy yourself during the weekends when Tom is absent. Look for part-time work. Take classes to bone up on your skills. Go biking. Accompany him when he visits his family, and get to know them better.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Via [tumblr.com profile] vassraptor:

[tumblr.com profile] realsocialskills: Urgent: The GOP is close to destroying the ACA and Medicaid

The GOP is trying to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid again. They almost have the votes to do it. We have the chance to stop them from getting the votes, if we act *right now*. We need to put overwhelming pressure on every senator to vote no.

Summary of the current situation, who to contact, and an excellent script for phone calls/e-mails from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

The Red Star: Deluxe Edition Volume 2

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:37 am
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli in [community profile] books
The Red Star: Deluxe Edition Volume 2 by Christian Gossett

The continuing story -- to the end of the published issues. Spoilers ahead for the earlier volume.

Read more... )

The Red Star: Deluxe Edition Volume 1

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:12 am
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli in [community profile] books
The Red Star: Deluxe Edition Volume 1 by Christian Gossett

An alternative, magitech-based USSR and a disastrous battle. . .

Read more... )

Weekly Check In September 17

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:44 am
tanaqui: Illumiinated letter T (Default)
[personal profile] tanaqui in [community profile] thisfinecrew
The Idiot-in-Chief this week made some surprisingly helpful deals with Congressional Democrats. Although -- based on subsequent tweets -- it's not clear if he understood what he was agreeing to or whether he'll stick with them.

How has your week been?

Housekeeping (the usual stuff)
Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.

As we don't always get the time to pull things out of the suggestions post into their own separate posts, it may be worth checking every week (or tracking the post) to see if there's any new information you're interested in.

Also if you need help with tags, PM [personal profile] redbird, who is our tag guru. Both [personal profile] tassosss and I are very grateful for the help.

Ongoing actions and activities

Find or sign up to host an event to support National Voter Registration Day on September 26
Events to prevent a Muslim Ban leading to an rally in Washington on October 10
Hurricane relief: if you're still looking for places to donate, there are lots of links in last week's check-in post
DACA: Defend DACA is the place to go.
Women's Convention Detroit October 27-29
Find every election you're eligible to vote in with the EveryElection app

So, what have you all been up to in the last week or are planning to get involved in next week?

Poll #18829 The Week
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


This Week, I....

View Answers

called my one senator
2 (20.0%)

called my other senator
1 (10.0%)

called my representative
0 (0.0%)

called my governor
0 (0.0%)

called my state reps
0 (0.0%)

sent a postcard/email/letter/fax
3 (30.0%)

attended a town hall
0 (0.0%)

donated money to a cause
7 (70.0%)

attended an in-person activist group
1 (10.0%)

participated in phone/online training
0 (0.0%)

View Answers

went to a protest
2 (20.0%)

signed up for alerts
0 (0.0%)

took care of myself
5 (50.0%)

not a US citizen but worked in solidarity in my own community
2 (20.0%)

did something else
3 (30.0%)

committed to action in the coming week
1 (10.0%)



archersangel: (keep calm)
[personal profile] archersangel in [community profile] books

Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America's most ruthless buccaneer, fabulously rich, burying dozens of treasure chests up and down the eastern seaboard. But it turns out that most everyone, even many respected scholars, have the story all wrong. Captain William Kidd was no career cut-throat; he was a tough, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates. His three-year odyssey aboard the aptly named Adventure galley pitted him against arrogant Royal Navy commanders, jealous East India Company captains, storms, starvation, angry natives, and, above all, flesh-and-blood pirates.

A really interesting book about the pirate turned pirate hunter who wasn't as ruthless or had as much treasure as people thought.

After his time as a pirate in the Caribbean he settled in New York City, married a wealthy widow & became respectable. Through a chance meeting he is commissioned by William III of England to capture pirates in the Indian Ocean. Run-ins with the English Navy, his crew not being paid because they can't find any pirates & crossing paths with his old shipmate (& mutineer against Kidd) Robert Culliford lead to his eventual downfall.
nanila: Your plastic pal who's fun to be with (star wars: k-2so)
[personal profile] nanila
[personal profile] emelbe and I set our alarms for 02:30 and 02:35 respectively, just to be sure we got up in time to walk over to Caltech for the end of mission. We dressed and poured coffee into ourselves, made sure we had our badges, and got out the door in plenty of time to arrive before 04:00, the official start of the event and NASA TV coverage.

20170915_115359
Walking up to Beckman Auditorium (aka the wedding cake) from the south.

As it happened. )
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila
Thursday was meant to be a quiet day, since we all knew we had to be up and at Caltech by 4 AM for the thing we’d all been preparing for: the actual end of mission.

In reality, there were some impromptu science meetings at Caltech, one of which I attended in the morning. I slipped out just before noon, because I had someone to meet.

I headed down from Beckman to South Mudd to see my former JPL postdoctoral supervisor, from back in those heady days when I was still a lab scientist, for lunch. I hadn’t seen him since 2006. I eventually remembered where his Caltech office was. I could’ve found the JPL one much more easily, but it would have required me to check in and get a badge, which seemed a lot of faff for lunch. Besides, there are nicer places to eat in Pasadena. Once in the correct corridor, I spotted his technician hovering outside the door, plus another UK person from the physical chemistry community whom I’d never met but knows the bloke pretty well. There were lots of smiles and hugs, and we decided to head down to a restaurant over on Lake Street.

We had a very pleasant hour of conversation, reminiscing and catching up. I had a shock on hearing that their children, whom I remembered as children or young teenagers, were now grown up and had careers of their own. Of course I knew that would have happened in the intervening decade-plus, but it’s not until you actually speak together about these things that they’re driven home to you. They were equally shocked on learning that Humuhumu has started school - and has a younger sibling! The bloke and I had been remiss in our communication, clearly. We talked of science, of course, and of politics and its effects on research direction, and of our worries about the future due to Brexit and the current US administration.

I am still kicking myself for forgetting to take a photo. You must instead picture me with a group of men: one starting to disappear into the frailty of old age, peering out earnestly from large-framed glasses, one solid and grey-haired and mostly silent with twinkling blue eyes, and one cheeky-grinned middle-aged bear of a chap with a shock of brown hair and a beard. All sitting together in a booth of a Japanese restaurant, eagerly shoveling the contents of bento boxes into our faces, occasionally bursting into roars of laughter while cheesy ‘90s music played in the background.

We parted with promises not to let another eleven years pass before we met again. I was left with the warm glow you get from (re)connecting with friendly, kind, intelligent people. It was a lovely way to buffer against the excitement and strain of what was to come on Friday morning.

20170914_214801
Chilling out in my JPL t-shirt before the end of mission.

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