Miscellany

I lost track of who orig­i­nal­ly linked to what, so I can’t cred­it them prop­er­ly. But thank you to who­ev­er they all were, any­way!

Filed under “anoth­er rea­son I’m proud to be a home­school­er”: Cal­i­for­nia court rules that pri­vate school can oust les­bian stu­dents. I do under­stand that it’s a pri­vate reli­gious school, and that their denom­i­na­tion doesn’t approve of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. On the oth­er hand, the girls’ par­ents chose to send them to that school, not the girls them­selves. And demand­ing that every­body in the school be het­ero­sex­u­al makes every bit as much sense as demand­ing that they all be right-hand­ed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell over­board in inter­pret­ing the “evi­dence.”)

Can I get an “Amen”?! End­ing Weight Bias: The Eas­i­est Way to Tack­le Obe­si­ty in Amer­i­ca

This is news? Read­ers build vivid men­tal sim­u­la­tions of nar­ra­tive sit­u­a­tions, brain scans sug­gest

Not Good News: Mer­cury found in kids’ foods — and in pret­ty much any­thing else that con­tains HFCS. I’m con­fi­dent of my abil­i­ty to kick the soda habit, but total­ly avoid­ing HFCS pret­ty much means avoid­ing all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Think­ing Brain

No sur­prise to me, at least: Watch out. The Inter­net will cut you

Real­i­ty check: Sor­ry, you don’t have a 200 IQ

Anoth­er no-brain­er: Video Games May Hin­der Rela­tion­ships

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Proposition 8: The Musical!

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What Can All Couples Learn From Same-Sex Marriages?

From
Gay Unions Shed Light on Gen­der in Mar­riage

A grow­ing body of evi­dence shows that same-sex cou­ples have a great deal to teach every­one else about mar­riage and rela­tion­ships. Most stud­ies show sur­pris­ing­ly few dif­fer­ences between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples and com­mit­ted straight cou­ples, but the dif­fer­ences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of con­flicts that can endan­ger het­ero­sex­u­al rela­tion­ships.

The find­ings offer hope that some of the most vex­ing prob­lems are not nec­es­sar­i­ly entrenched in deep-root­ed bio­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the prob­lems can be solved.

One of the things the arti­cle points out is some­thing I’ve def­i­nite­ly noticed, that how peo­ple han­dle resolve con­flicts is far more impor­tant than how often they expe­ri­ence con­flict.

One well-known study used math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­ing to deci­pher the inter­ac­tions between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples. The results, pub­lished in two 2003 arti­cles in The Jour­nal of Homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, showed that when same-sex cou­ples argued, they tend­ed to fight more fair­ly than het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples, mak­ing few­er ver­bal attacks and more of an effort to defuse the con­fronta­tion.

Con­trol­ling and hos­tile emo­tion­al tac­tics, like bel­liger­ence and dom­i­neer­ing, were less com­mon among gay cou­ples.

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Diane Duane Rocks

The Sword and the DragonBack when the Meisha Mer­lin ware­house was being cleaned out, Sam picked up a copy of The Sword and the Drag­on, first vol­ume of the Epic Tales of the Five by Diane Duane that MM put out. It con­tains The Door Into Fire and The Door Into Shad­ow.

The Door Into FireI’ve want­ed my own copies of the first three Tales of the Five books for decades, since read­ing an old friend’s copies. I’m still dis­ap­point­ed that MM nev­er put out the next vol­ume, which should have includ­ed The Door Into Sun­set and the nev­er-before-pub­lished The Door Into Starlight. But then, there are oth­er peo­ple who have far more rea­son to be dis­ap­point­ed about MM mat­ters than I do, so I can’t fuss too much. And I have this vol­ume, and will con­tin­ue to hold out hope that Duane will find a new pub­lish­er who will bring out the oth­ers some­time in my life­time.

The Door Into ShadowAny­way, I had to stop read­ing to show this bit to Sam. It sums up much of what I love about Duane’s phi­los­o­phy.

…death is inevitable. But we have one pow­er, as men and beasts and crea­tures of oth­er planes. We can slow down the Death, we can die hard, and help all the worlds die hard. To live with vig­or, to love pow­er­ful­ly and with­out car­ing whether we’re loved back, to let loose build­ing and teach­ing and heal­ing and all the arts that try to slow down the great Death. Espe­cial­ly joy, just joy itself. A joy flares bright and goes out like the stars that fall, but the lit­tle flare it makes slows down the great Death ever so slight­ly. That’s a tri­umph, that it can be slowed down at all, and by such a sim­ple thing.

The Door Into Sunset

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Day of Silence

Day of Silence : April 25, 2008

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Review: Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

Cover of CarnivalEliz­a­beth Bear suc­ceeds where David Brin failed in Glo­ry Sea­son. What would a woman-dom­i­nat­ed human soci­ety look like? How would it come about? Why? What, if any, role would males play? How would that soci­ety inter­act with more “tra­di­tion­al,” male-dom­i­nat­ed human soci­eties?
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Review: New Amsterdam

I’m all infat­u­at­ed with yet anoth­er author, my friends, so I must warn you that you’ll be read­ing much more about Eliz­a­beth Bear here in com­ing weeks.

Cover of New Amsterdam by Elizabeth BearNew Ams­ter­dam is an anthol­o­gy of con­nect­ed sto­ries twined around two main char­ac­ters. “The Great Detec­tive” is vam­pire Sebastien de Ulloa. Lady Abi­gail Irene Gar­rett is a foren­sic sor­ceror, Detec­tive Crown Inves­ti­ga­tor in His Majesty’s Ser­vice in the colony of New Ams­ter­dam. At the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry, North Amer­i­ca is still a patch­work of Euro­pean colonies, with all the atten­dant polit­i­cal intrigue and mil­i­tary ten­sion.
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I hate it when that happens

I had an entry almost com­plete­ly writ­ten, and it was good. Then I hit some­thing bad­ly with my numb hand, and my brows­er backed up a page. Now the entry is all gone. Yes, I should have saved some­time while writ­ing, but I was on a roll.

So you’ll have to set­tle for know­ing that I spent the day recov­er­ing from yes­ter­day but my body is still pis­sy at me. Oth­er­wise, I think the ACLU is very con­fused about what “pub­lic” means. Accord­ing to the APA, I am not myth­i­cal (which is a big relief), and researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of San Diego say that same sex rela­tion­ships may be health­i­er than oppo­site sex cou­plings. Final­ly, the Queen is firm­ly “low­er­ing the ‘chav’ fac­tor” at Roy­al Ascot, which is sure to make the world a far safer place. Or some­thing.

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