iPods

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Haven't been around long enough for an adult to reference the technology as something around when they were kids. That's just crazy talk -- 16 years ago, you say?

The "right" to respect

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
"I am entitled to respect!" That's the cliche line of every power-hungry official. But what happens when you try to universalize that entitlement?

Erika Mantz, speaking for the University of New Hampshire, decreed, "We believe strongly in the right to free speech as recognized by the First Amendment, and we believe equally in the right of every member of our community to feel safe and respected." By putting those claims side by side and saying they're equally valid, she appears to say that "feeling respected" is a legally enforceable right.

It's logically impossible to enforce a right to feel respected for everyone. Enforcing a right requires preventing or penalizing actions which violate it. If A expresses disrespect for B, then defending B's "right" requires taking some kind of action against A. But this can reasonably make A feel disrespected. There's no way to uphold the "right" of both people to feel respected.

The right of free speech and the right to feel respected can't co-exist. If people can't speak against people who do things they don't respect, they don't have free speech. If UNH officials have a "right to feel respected," the university can and should prohibit and punish any demonstration against its policies or actions. When there's a "right to respect," it's always the people in charge who get first claim on it.

As a government institution, the University of New Hampshire is required to abide by the First Amendment. There is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to feel anything.

It's common for people to talk sloppily about rights to feelings, but UNH has gone further than most, claiming them as having equal status to Constitutional rights.

The right to "feel" safe follows the same analysis, strictly speaking. However, it's a more complicated mix, since it's easy to confuse with the legitimate right not to be endangered by people's actions, so I've left it aside.

Rosh Hashana 5778

Sep. 20th, 2017 02:55 pm
filkerdave: (jew roll)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Tonight at sundown marks the start of the Rosh Hashanah and the year 5778. May all of you reading this be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

לשנה טובה

Curate's Egg...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:58 pm
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (radio)
[personal profile] hrrunka
The radio club meeting on Monday evening was a busy informal fix-it evening. A number of strange bits of kit were being worked on. I just went for the chat, and was feeling tired enough that I didn't stay all that long.

On Tuesday the weather was slightly lees grey and damp. I finally got round to doing a bit of work in the garden. I gave about ten feet of hedge a bit of a trim, and that left the garden waste ben almost completely full. In the evening there was another radio club meeting, but this involved a couple of short talks. They seemed to generate a fair bit of interest. I got home a bit later than usual, and discovered that my home *DSL was not performing. A bit of research using the mobile's data eventually revealed a notice about "Planned Maintenance" affecting about 150 exchanges including the one I'm on. As the maintenance was scheduled to run from 10pm to 6am I decided I'd have an early night. I think the network actually came back sometime around 2am...

This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house, so I packed some radio and geocache kit into the car and headed off. First stop was a geocache I hid back in 2002 which was in need of a fresh logbook. I took the opportunity to clean it out a little, removing the rubbish and adding a few new swaps. The weather was a bit grey and the path a little muddy, but the walk wasn't a bad one.

After that I headed back to a view point car park which is a good starting point for the nearby SOTA summit. I'd taken a packed lunch, so I ate that while looking at the (rather grey) view, then grabbed my radio kit and walked to the summit. Now, this particular summit is one I'd normally not have considered bothering to re-visit, but it is the one nearest my home. There's a large water tank and a couple of communication towers at the summit. Today there were four work vans at the summit, and work going on. If I'd taken a hand-held and a suitable antenna I could have considered activating the summit on VHF or UHF, but there was nowhere accessible I could set up my HF antenna sensibly, so I decided to abandon the SOTA idea and come home. Frustrating...

A locked-room cat mystery

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:31 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Spice Kittens are now up to a quartet: Ginger, Posh, Scary, and Baby. Checking Wikipedia, I see these are all Spice Girls names, but should a shelter really name a cat "Scary"?

Tanglewood Placido was adopted but Domingo wasn't, so now Domingo has to work twice as hard to make a mess of his cage. Vin Diesel was adopted, with exclamation marks after his name on the adoption board. Apparently he finally managed to be nice for a full fifteen minutes. Tanglewood (in the picture) is new and very friendly. He's officially a kitten but nearly full grown.

The excitement came afterward. When we'd finished our work, Virginia and I went to Tom's a mile away to get some stuff for the shelter. I brought it back while she continued home. When I got to the shelter, there was an animal control officer at the bathroom door.

Tiny, a very large gray cat, has been staying in the bathroom for weeks, and we've kept the door closed so she can stay away from the other cats. According to the description, she's declawed, morbidly obese, and very scared. Somehow she locked herself in the bathroom. It has a twist button lock, which isn't easy for a cat to work. You can't open the door from the inside without unlocking it, which makes it unlikely anyone locked it by accident. The officer was trying to pick the lock. I didn't stay for very long, so I don't know what they ended up doing.

Update: Virginia and I just got an email with a sharp rebuke from the director for working there so long and doing such a thorough job. I guess we'll have to remember to do a hastier job next time.

Fighting monsters is easy...

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:45 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp
... compared to going to high school (again!) for Holly Owen in Chapter 14 of Princess Holy Aura

Using only the Brat Pack

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Cast a 1980s New Teen Titans film....
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
It occurs to me I haven't looked at the Heavy Gear rules in a long time....
autographedcat: (Default)
[personal profile] autographedcat
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...

(Sitka National Historical Park)

Juneau, Alaska!

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:09 am
autographedcat: (Default)
[personal profile] autographedcat
Juneau, Alaska!
Juneau, Alaska!

(Mount Roberts)

Jordin Kare memorial filk at Boskone

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:38 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist posting in [community profile] filk
Boskone 2018 will, instead of having a Featured Filker as it has for about 20 years, dedicate its filk program to the memory of Jordin Kare. Tentative plans include a concert of his works and themed song circles appropriate to him (space flight and parody, for example).

If anyone is interested in getting involved in this, I can get you in touch with Priscilla. She's especially hoping to get Featured Filkers from previous years.

(Edited, when I realized that "getting past" Featured Filkers could be misread. :)

Dear Love Your Sister...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:52 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Apparently today is the birthday of the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson. When I clicked on the Google Doodle, one of the hits that came up was about another Samuel Johnson, apparently one well known in Australia: Grieving Samuel Johnson says he might as well ‘sell some f***ing socks’. It begins:

SAMUEL JOHNSON has continued his sister Connie’s crusade to find a cure for cancer by launching brightly hued fundraising socks.

Connie Johnson died after a long battle with breast cancer earlier this month.

Samuel sees the socks (which reference their nicknames Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal) as an extension of The Project host Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative.

“Seeing as Carrie has the whole Beanie thing covered, we thought we’d bung out some ‘Connie Cottonsocks’ and try and cover this cancer conundrum from head to toe,” Samuel wrote on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

“Connie doesn’t have any use for your sentiment now. If she wanted anyone to take anything from her life, it was to highlight the importance of medical research. And we all need socks right?

“In the name of my dear gone sister, I’m asking. Please buy some socks and then maybe we can share the absolute bejesus out of this post and turbocharge our push for a cure, so families need not continue to endure the baseless trauma that cancer so cruelly provides.

“I want my sister back but seeing as that’s not going to happen, I might as well sell some f***ing socks so that other families don’t have to go through this pain.

I remain, more than ever, very truly yours. Samuel Johnson Head of Cancer Vanquishment.”
 
Well now! That looked worth following up.

But... Here's the text I just sent them:
 
I've about given up on most of my charitable giving, since I'm retired and on a small income, but I want to buy some socks, especially in memory of my wife. HOWEVER... You say in small print "We only ship within Australia", and your page says "City and state are mandatory" (though the form accepts only Australian states). So if I give you as much of my address as you'll take, your page will refuse the rest. And even if I somehow succeed in ordering socks, how the heck are you going to get them to me?
😕
You know, if you're going to ask the whole world, you really ought to allow the whole world to answer.
 


Library irony

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:17 pm
madfilkentist: Scribe, from Wikimedia Commons (writing)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Nashua, New Hampshire library has a prominent "No place for hate" sign on its door and a "Banned Books Week" display inside.

There's a certain incompatibility here. It's not a library's role to decide which ideas are emotionally correct. If it isn't a place for "hate," it has to exclude materials which express that feeling. The term is intentionally slippery; people can claim anything they want about the emotional content of views they oppose, and how do you prove them wrong?

Perhaps they mean that patrons whose research goals are "hateful" have no place there. It's not the library's job to decide which kinds of study to help patrons with. Can librarians even draw conclusions from the materials people ask for? I did some web research on the AfD (a German political party whose leader has said Germans should be proud of its soldiers in WWII) earlier today. Would a Nashua librarian decide I must have a "hateful" purpose in researching the AfD and refuse to help me? Even if people really come in seeking to support bad ideas, research could be the best cure for their errors. Turning them away would only reinforce their sense of being persecuted.

Banned Books Week has long been Bland Books Week, with lists mentioning only books that no one could object to. The Nashua Library was unusually daring, with Gone with the Wind among a collection of otherwise innocuous books. There was no sign of The Anarchist's Cookbook or The Satanic Verses. If you look carefully at lists of "banned" books, what they usually mean is that someone unsuccessfully tried to get the book removed from a school library as age-inappropriate. Books that make their holder a criminal or a target of violence never are included.

Maybe that's what they mean by "No place for hate"; if possession of a book inspires hatred, the Bland Books list has no place for it.

Addendum: I was curious where and how Gone with the Wind was "banned." Several sites say that a school district in Anaheim banned it because of "the behaviors of the main character, Scarlet O’Hara, and the depiction of slaves." I don't know whether all use of the book in the schools was in fact prohibited.

However, I did find that in 2000 the Anaheim school district "removed" a biography of John Maynard Keynes partly because "it could cause harassment against students seen with it." The hooligan's veto.

I will follow this advice

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:19 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
According to my brother, one should not bounce a chainsaw off one's knee as it is very hard on denim.

Me

kjn

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