There is no 'from.'
Not in the sense that one is immersed in, influenced by a single defining culture anymore, save maybe that of the 'net.
We are jet-setters, internetters;
we've all moved for work and for love, time and again.
My culture is cosmopolitan.
My friends are online.
My home is the internet.
—ID:cyborg updated to v1.1
«Scottish notes are not legal tender anywhere in the UK, including Scotland where only the coins are legal tender. […] The Currency and Bank Notes Act 1954 defined Bank of England notes of less than £5 in value as legal tender in Scotland. Since the English £1 note was removed from circulation in 1988, this leaves a legal curiosity in Scots law whereby there is no paper legal tender in Scotland.»
«The United Kingdom legislation that introduced the 1 pound coin left no United Kingdom-wide legal tender banknote.»
«The pelican crossing was the first definitive light controlled crossing in the UK, introduced in 1969, after the earlier failed experiment of the panda crossing. Previously only zebra crossings had been used, which have warning signals (Belisha beacons), but no control signals. The pedestrian lights are situated on the far side of the road to the pedestrian. A puffin crossing has the lights on the same side as the pedestrian; a toucan crossing is a crossing for pedestrians and bicycles; a pegasus crossing allows horse-riders to cross as well. A HAWK beacon, used experimentally in the USA with a standard pedestrian crossing signal, stops traffic when a pedestrian pushes a button to cross, but goes dark unless activated.» —Wikipedia
«The Secretary of State for the Colonies or Colonial Secretary was the British Cabinet official in charge of managing the various British colonies. The position was first created in 1768 to deal with the increasingly troublesome North American colonies. Previously those responsibilities had fallen to the Secretary of State for the Southern Department, who was responsible for Southern England, Wales, Ireland, the American colonies, and relations with the Catholic and Muslim states of Europe. […] In 1782, following the loss of the American colonies, the office was abolished, and its duties given to the Home Secretary […]. In 1794 a new office was created […] — the Secretary of State for War, which now took responsibility for the Colonies, and was renamed the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies in 1801. In 1854, military reforms led to the Colonial and Military responsibilities of this secretary of state being split into two separate offices. [… Among the holders of the office were Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton ("It was a Dark and Stormy Knight …") and Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, 3rd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos as well as of course Winston Churchill.] Until 1925, when the office of Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs was created, the Colonial Office had responsibility for all British colonies and dominions besides India, which had its own Secretary of State. In 1966, with most of the colonies gone, the office was merged with that of the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations to create the new office of Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs. In 1968 the Commonwealth Office was subsumed into the Foreign Office, which became known as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.»
adapted from Wikipedia
2 sur 2 The Nine Mile Walk is a famous short story that introduces Harry Kemelman's armchair detective Nicky Welt. Kemelman also wrote the popular rabbi series (Friday the rabbi slept late etc.) a few of which I chanced upon as audio dramas. These had been produced in German for some German station and were not very good I'm afraid, but they reminded me to check whether I could get a lock on the Nicky Welt stories which had been hard to come by for a while and, I'm happy to say, this time Amazon used & new did provide. Trying to hype the stories to others, I first tried youtube and to my surprise, somebody had actually turned 9 mile walk into a short almost word for word (see above). The result, while not blow-away like, say, Batman: Dead End, still serves quite nicely. In the story, the line A nine-mile walk is no joke, especially in the rain is accidentally overheard by two men who then proceed to show that a murder had happened, and when, and where, and in what context. So to wit, while this is a fun linguistist exercise, the story has no action and is all dialogue. Not every attempt at turning that sort of source material into a movie can turn out to be Glengarry Glenn Ross. To make the short visually appealing, they offer some nice shots of Toledo to where the story has been relocated; they also made Welt more physically attractive than he is in the book. On the whole, it serves.
For my German readers: The German translation's called Ein Fußmarsch von neun Meilen; if you search for that, google helpfully offers to substitute this with Ein Fußmarsch von neuen Medien.
One of the fabulous subversive words invented by the incomparable twisty — more on her in the "footnote" — is empowerful. Empowerful as in empowered, the prefix em-, like en- or in- denoting that the power is invested in her from without, lest somebody think that females might be naturallypowerful. The distinction matters.
Empowermentis a rather fitting word though, as it is traditionally suggested that the power held by women is sexual power. In other words, sexuality grants women "power" over men who hold actual, real power. Women use that vile witchy power of sexuality to "control men" and channel some of those men's power into themselves, thereby empowering themselves. This obviously is quite different from finding her own power within, that is, actually being powerful by herself, rather than by proxy. It follows quite naturally that the more sexuality a woman can express, the more empowerful she is. It is for this reason that women aide in their own pornification. This pornification, some may say, is reaching new heights both in intensity (in the current fetish fashion and raunch culture) and extent (the pornification of preteens; "corporate paedophilia"). Enough maybe for some to think that it has come to the point where something's gotta give, where only a backlash can follow, but personally, I'm not so sure. That this will happen. That if it happens it will be a backlash that makes things better for women.
This of course means that there are women who don't get to be empowerful: those who cannot or will not conform to beauty standards; those who will not pornify themselves, the fat and the old and the butch and, oftentimes, the poor. It also means that if you end up in one of those groups — by gaining weight, getting old, getting bored with the effort of the performance that is beauty, or otherwise not being a feast for the male gaze and thereby neglecting your duties as a member of the sex class —, you fall out of favour, and lose "your" power, as it is only by power by proxy, and never was yours to begin with.
This is particularly interesting when considering how well we're told many 1st world women do in school and uni in recent years. It would certainly be instructive to investigate to what degree this finding intersects with that that nowadays, we exist to the degree that we exist in the media. Which, if we stick to the modes of expression traditionally allowed to us, reinforces those stereotypes, of course.
This post/thread says it all, so, rather unusually for this weblog, I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:
The conservative-sexist metaphorical framework of sex is Sex As Conquest. […] Sometimes the struggle over the pussy is between men (ex: jokes about fathers guarding their daughters’ bodies from young male interlopers) and sometimes women themselves are tasked with defending the pussy from sex. If sexual intercourse happens, by definition, the man who gets to fuck the woman has won and the defender (father or woman herself) has lost. Sex happens when women surrender, in this model.
The liberal-feminist view of sex is that it’s not a war or a game, but more of a mutual collaboration, less like a battle and more like playing music. In this model, to be a sexual person is to be a musician and sex is playing your instrument. Sometimes you play by yourself, sometimes you get with others and jam, and sometimes you actually have a band that you have a long-term relationship with. There aren’t winners and losers, but there can be good and bad sex, just like there can be good and bad music. […] Homosexuality creates a lot of grief to those who have a fairly strict conservative view of sex because you can’t even tell who’s supposed to be the offense and the defense. It’s simply outside of their model, and it creates cognitive dissonance, which often makes the person suffering it want to wipe out the source of the dissonance. […]
The conservative-sexist model of rape is the same one used to define a foul in basketball. Basically, when sexual intercourse happens, the man team has scored a point against the woman team. Each team is allowed some strategies and disallowed others. In basketball, you’re supposed to snatch the ball from the other team, but you can’t cross certain lines or you’ll get a foul. This explains why rape trolls are so eager to find out what the “rules” are, i.e. when they are permitted to force sex. (”Is it rape if she’s drunk? What if she says yes and changes her mind? Is it okay to bully someone into it, so long as you don’t actually hold her down and force her? Are guilt trips okay?, etc.”) If there’s some ambiguity when the referee calls a foul, your teammates (other men) are supposed to clamor to your defense, regardless of whether or not you actually fouled. If the foul is called, then the woman team scores a point (or a free throw in basketball, but you get the idea). The idea that it’s wrong to have sex with someone unless she really, really wants to do it makes about as much sense as saying that you should only be allowed to get the ball in basketball if the defense hands it to you.
[Amanda, continued below the fold]
"Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town"
Rape as a fetish is packaged and marketed to men and women as a steady stream of images which blur the lines between rape and the kind of passionate sex we’re all meant to want. Movies show us a man and woman fighting, then suddenly fucking. Two bodies slamming against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, walking the line between sex and violence. Her head, pulled back by his hand pulling her hair. She tries to run, but he pulls her to him and she collides with him, sobbing yet horny (of course). … These scenes are decidedly different in tone from those that seek only to represent the desperate yearn and clamor of a passionate fuck, as fight-fucking is infused with a sense of both force and yielding, and suggestive that both are necessary components of any “real” fuck. It is within these scenes, where an attractive woman is overwhelmed either physically or pheromonally (or both) by a powerful man, that we begin to understand the unsettling association between ravishing (beautiful) and ravish (rape).
And while we're at it, let's earn this article a language tag as well, shall we?
If you're a man planning to read any of this, Ilyka may have a good introduction for you: Don't get all defensive; if you're not the problem, this isn't about you. This was not written with you as a primary audience in mind.
Also if you're a man, you may be under the assumption that I'm posting this because it was a particular shitstorm of a month in the girlzone and I've cracked. Nope. Sorry. Drop in any week of the year. When you're not looking, I blame the patriarchy. And dudes, that's the setup that disenfranchises you too.
Likewise, you may assume it's only in those silly Americas that people routinely make themselves look like woman-hating asswipes. Not so. Seriously, I commend you for not reading the Guardian on the grounds of being a zionist, but their assault-related articles really aren't so bad.
So, you may wonder, if this isn't a particularly bad month, does that mean I'm upset all the time? Nope. Because I'm not upset now. I might have been ten years ago, but you learn to understand that none are as blind as those who will not see. You stop being surprised. But the beauty is, if something doesn't hurt you, you can defend those who would be with relatively little effort. It takes so little to say, Dude, we don't do that in this tribe. I'm not upset. I'm not hurt. But I'm wary. And it's not quite the same wary you may feel about the surveillance state. Semper paratus.
Did you notice how speech things are always cat content? With LiONS for speech output (TTS, text-to-speech), and sphinx and SpeechLion for speech input (speech recognition)? Couldn't forego that, could I. So let's see how to use speech I/O with linux, with all free components, how to avoid some common pitfalls that are not in the manual, and how to get desktop control, look at where emacs, KDE, beryl, and others come in, the works. It's not for the squeamish though, so here's the linux speech how-to (aka, the parts that aren't in the manual)!
This is even more retarded than I thought. Not Kalend'r class retarded (seriously, can you read about a character named Kommand'r — or Koriand'r, for that matter — without feeling more stupid for having learned their name? Can you think of Nightwing as anything other than forever tainted for having touched the latter? Yuck! It's like they're trying to stupid their opponents into submission using their dumbass names, or something — there is a reason you get extra-points in the Mary Suetest for unnecessary apostrophes and dumbass spelling, boys and girls! And boy does Koriand'r ever go off scale on that test — not that you wouldn't get a ton of points for pretty much anyone from superhero comics, but Kori melts the meter. If you don't know her — count your blessings! — she's pretty F league; unlike Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman etc., her group is not known outside comic fandom. Consider this: Green Arrow started off as bearded rip-off of Batman, a non-powered millionaire vigilante, if with an arrow-shtick. He used to have an Arrowplane and an Arrowcave, for Pete's sake! Now Batcave, that makes sense, but you'd expect an arrow person to — ah, nevermind. Oh, and didn't Ollie used to have a yellow submarine? Anyway, he was a bit derivative at first, but personable and good-looking, and the arrow bit introduced some difference. But then you get Arsenal, who is to Green Arrow what Nightwing is to Batman, the ex side-kick, and Connor Hawke, Green Arrow 2, the son of the original. That's like a derivative of a derivative! It's a second derivative! It's like bloody maths class all over again! : ) And that's the kind of people who let Kori play on their team — sometimes. When she's not backstabbing them.)) but pretty bad nonetheless. So Aqualad translated to German is ... Aquaboy?? What the --? Doesn't sound very German to me. So, Dinah's Blitzschwalbe, Lightning Swallow, we knew that. And I'm so not going to go there. : ) But what's up with Falkgirl and Blitz Kid? And the Wunders? "Falkgirl" is particularly bad, that's like, uh, Ladyfalk with Rutger Hauer. (Joan D. Vinge by the way is the ex-wife of Vernor Vinge, case you didn't know.) Wassermann on the other hand is kinda amusing, Waterman (not of Stock/Aitken/… fame, fortunately), because he re-translates to Aquarius. And I'm not even going to go into what confusion making Wonder Woman Wundergirl might have caused later on. <shakes her head at the silly krautness> Now, the Femme-chatte, or L'Empoisonneuse … : )
It all boils down to what the expectations are. My expectations were shaped by books, plays, and movies. Consequently, I expect my in-game dialogue to be as flowery (or tragic, or cool) as that which I read in books or see in movies or plays. Unfortunately, I'm usually out of luck looking for that in LARPs or pen+paper groups — it is the rare player who is sufficiently poetic, quick-witted, and funny; most dialogue ends up sounding somewhat trite because the players do not have as much time to mull over their dialogue as an author might. To wit, most people do not speak acrolect.