Monthly Archives: July 2012

Book Review: The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski

TOR
443 pp.

The Highest Frontier is a far future science fiction novel involving a young woman named Jenny Ramos-Kennedy. She is part of a rich and politically influential family in a world with astonishing technological and biological advances and an environment drastically affected by global warming. (The polar icecaps have melted to the point where Antarctica now has potentially arable land.) This is also a world undergoing an invasion by an extraterrestrial species referred to as “ultraphytes.” These creatures are an invasive species of epic proportions and what makes them especially dangerous is that they have an extremely lethal “stress” reaction.

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Filed under book, distant future, Joan Slonczewski, science fiction

Five Reasons People Who Promote “Natural Remedies” Drive Me up the Wall

1.  They fail to take into consideration the fact that the reason that the labels don’t actually say what the herbal extract or other substance is for is because the manufacturer is not allowed to make medical claims or refer to the substance as anything other than a dietary supplement. If they do take it into consideration, they make up a conspiracy theory.

 2. They fail to take into consideration that if you are treating an herbal or other natural remedy as a medicine, you are going to want a correct dosage of the exact thing you decided to take. Since herbal and other natural remedies are not very well regulated, you may not get the correct dosage, especially if the herbal or other natural remedy is not in an easily recognizable form. Continue reading

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Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be

Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be.  John Scalzi’s response to a self proclaimed Geek.

The other day CNN let some dude named Joe Peacock vomit up an embarrassing piece on its Web site, about how how awful it is that geekdom is in the process of being overrun by attractive women dressing up in costumes (“cosplaying,” for the uninitiated) when they haven’t displayed their geek cred to Mr. Peacock’s personal satisfaction. They weren’t real geeks, Mr. Peacock maintains — he makes a great show of supporting real geek women, the definition of which, presumably, are those who have passed his stringent entrance requirements, which I am sure he’s posted some place other than the inside of his skull — and because they’re not real geeks, they offend people like him, who are real geeks:

There cannot be enough “what he said,” for this post.  Also amused/annoyed at the idea that cosplayers are not “geeks.” How many people in costume do you typically see at cons? People not only in “hall costumes” but costumes that they made especially for CONTESTS and costume balls? Costuming was totally a thing before it was named “cosplaying” for crying out loud!

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Top Five Fantasy Series

Ask Me My Top 5 Anything  This is something I’m doing on Tumblr. (My ask box is open. Also, if you’re on Tumblr, add me!)

captainschwann

Okay! These are not so much my top five as my “First five from my top ten that came to mind.”

Top Five Fantasy Series

Chronicles of the Kencyrath by P.C. Hodgell

What: Our Heroine is a young woman with a mysterious past and uncertain future. She is the member of one of those magical races that have Incomprehensible Missions to Defeat Evil. Problem: Evil is possibly winning and may not be evil, just Incomprehensible and unhealthy for the rest of the Universe. She spends a great deal of time accidentally leaving a path of destruction. The dean of her military academy has warned her not to drive any more of her teachers insane! Meanwhile, her favorite pastimes are reality hacking, pondering abstract philosophical concepts and untangling the mysteries of her family’s past!

Why: All of the above reasons, plus a lush narrative style and some absolutely surreal yet concrete world building. There is a very strong Fritz Leiber overtone to the series and Hodgell deconstructs standard high fantasy and sword and sorcery tropes left and right with a wry sense of humor. Continue reading

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Filed under book, fantasy, meme, Meta

Top Five Things: Top Five Songs/Artists

Ask Me My Top 5 Anything  This is something I’m doing on Tumblr. (My ask box is open. Also, if you’re on Tumblr, add me!)

Top five music artists you like at the moment? Maybe with a youtube link to a favorite song for each of them!

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Filed under filk, homestuck, meme, music

Works of Literata: I am not weak

I am not weak.After I wrote about issues of thin privilege and Pagan fat shaming, I was following some of the conversation on social media. I retweeted T. Thorn Coyle’s post Sacred Body, Sacred Earth, saying that she wrote about bodies, not about weight. MadGastronomer raised some issues of her own with Thorn’s post, and was able to get me to think about the ways that I both appreciate and really dislike some of what Thorn wrote.

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Filed under ableism, pagan

Marcus on Monday: Meditation 8:13

If possible, make it a habit to discover the essential character of every impression, its effect on the self, and its response to a logical analysis.

What struck me about this particular meditation was the qualifier: if possible. This meditation is about taking apart ideas, perceptions, and beliefs to not only see if they are based in logic but if they benefit you as a person. This meditation is about applying critical thinking skills to your beliefs and impressions of the world and events that are taking place around you.

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Filed under marcus on mondays, random