Links for July 6 2016

* Mark Reads “Slammed By the Substantial Amount of Press Generated By My Book ‘Pounded by the Pound'”

NSFW. Mark Oshiro reads Chuck Tingle’s latest novella, “Slammed By the Substantial Amount of Press Generated By My Book ‘Pounded By The Pound: Turned Gay By The Socioeconomic Implications Of Britain Leaving The European Union'” live at CONvergence.

* I don’t have much else this week, y’all. I’m sure that there are things going on in the world, but I’ve been staycationing. I’m almost done with Wynonna Earp, I found out I can watch the previous season of GBBO on my computer (Thanks, TPT Passport!!) and I am over halfway done with this alpaca-yarn scarf.

See you ’round the internets!

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That was CONvergence!

Y’all, thank you so much.

That was a pretty damn fine convention.

My head is full of improvements to make, of things we manifestly need to do better for next year. But you all — guests, attendees, volunteers, staff, cosplayers, panelists, AV, nerfherders, all y’all — you made a great convention.

If any of you have feedback, I *strongly* urge you to fill out the survey forms.

This is the general attendance survey. This is where you say how much you liked the Masquerade M.C. this year, whether you thought opening ceremonies went on too long, how you love the look and feel of the new dealer’s space but wish it wasn’t across the street, that sort of thing. PLEASE tell us your thoughts! And make sure to tell us what you liked, what worked for you, in addition to problem areas.

We honestly, truly want to make a better convention for everyone. Let your voice be heard.

I, personally, am BEGGING you to fill out the Panel Feedback Form. Please. The feedback you give us on panelists is vital to me doing my job in Invited Participants. If a panelist was terrible — lackluster, unengaged, uninformed — or offensive — racist, misogynist, ablist, homophobic — I do not want Invited Participants to invite them back! Similarly, if a panelist was a sparkling gem of delight, I *DO* want to invited them back! But we can’t know either way unless you tell us.

So, please, help me make next year’s CONvergence better still. Fill out the survey forms! Let’s all improve the world one convention panel at a time!

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Links for June 29 2016

* How a Portuguese-to-English Phrasebook Became a Cult Comedy Sensation

“For instance, the second chapter is titled “Familiar Phrases,” and features sentences intended to help the weary Portuguese traveler in everyday conversation. These phrases include classics like “He has spit in my coat”; “take that boy and whip him to much”; and the oft-used “these apricots and these peaches make me and to come water in mouth.””

* Jesse Williams at the 2016 BET Awards: if you’re not for racial justice, “sit down”

“And let’s get a couple of things straight here, just a little side note. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.”

* ‘My First Gay Bar’: Rachel Maddow, Andy Cohen and Others Share Their Coming-Out Stories

“A gay bar is ours. It’s ours like putty, it’s ours like clay. The environment is both ridiculous and profound, but we get to decide when it’s one or both, or neither. Only away from the glare of homophobia could we experience malleability, a flexing of the self, a full rotation. Who knew there were 360 degrees?”

* Sidekick No More: Writing Asian Superheroes and the Challenges of Representation

“Looking for that representation feels like searching for a wifi signal in the desert, all of your internal circuits lighting up when you finally find it. Suddenly all of the hopes you’ve held onto for so long get pinned to that one character. Because if she’s not what you want, what you’ve been reaching out for so desperately, how long will you have to wait for another character to come along?”

* How to Be a Guy: After Orlando My transition turned my ‘straight’ marriage queer— and made my husband a target

“This was going to be a different column.

It was going to be about height and social dynamics and being married to a really cool guy who’s also my best role model for thoughtfully approaching masculinity. It was funny and thoughtful. There were going to be Ninja Turtles.

And then last weekend, someone walked into a gay club in Orlando and opened fire with an AR-15.”

* Scientists Prove Agriculture Has Existed for 25 Million Years

“No, scientists have not discovered evidence that an advanced race of extraterrestrials used prehistoric Earth as farmland. The team of researchers from James Cook University and Ohio State University have found evidence that termites developed a form of agriculture 25 million years ago, and this development affected termites in much the same way that the development of agriculture affected humans millions of years later.”

* Ancient Shipwreck Off Greek Island Yields A Different Sort Of Treasure

“A team of archaeologists diving near the Greek island of Antikythera have reported a startling new discovery from a previously explored 2,000-year-old shipwreck. The find — a very heavy, metal cylinder — offers new insights into the maritime warfare of ancient times, the scientists say.”

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CONvergence!

I’ll be busy with CONvergence for the rest of the week.

I suspect my social media will be heavily convention oriented; mute now, or mute the hashtag #cvg2016.

If, however, you want to follow me, I’m @sigridellis on Twitter, sigridellis on Tumblr and YouTube, and sigridellis on Instagram.

See you after the con, internets!

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Links for June 22 2016

* I don’t even know what this is, really, but I find it hypnotic. .@FlexSysInc creates 3D-Printed, 1-piece gripper, no hinges

* Spam sushi and candied bacon donut sliders: State Fair unveils new food for 2016

* The damsel in distress trap: How “Penny Dreadful” betrayed Vanessa Ives

“And though she suffered all-too-human doubts, her stony determination to vanquish the devil always materialized when all hope was lost. Anyone who’s seen Eva Green’s baleful stare doesn’t forget it; this was a woman out to conquer.”

* Remembering Lois Duncan, the queen of the young adult thriller novel

“Duncan’s books reflect a dual awareness that young readers both wish to find characters like themselves but also to venture into dark places, the unknown. Bad things happen in these novels – unwanted pregnancies, abusive fathers, emotionally troubled teens, the deaths of parents and children. “She didn’t shy away from tragedy,” Lippman says. “She didn’t pretend that things could be made right. She respected her readers, knew we were tough enough to accept the consequences.””

* The Toast Looks Back: The Best of Femslash Friday

Yes, it’s a link to a link round-up. But it’s Mallory Ortberg!

* Frogmouth

Frogmouth Roller Derby clothing company now has Bitch Planet athletic gear in approximately one bajillion sizes.

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Upcoming CONvergence things to note

My hometown con, CONvergence, is in a week and half. I hope to see many of you there!

As some of you might know, I am working as part of the Invited Participants department this year. I am invested in CVG being a good convention for everyone. I want us to treat you well.

I will say this upfront and openly: CONvergence is an imperfect convention. It is run by people. We all have our own opinions and perceptions, we all have our prejudices and our privilege. We will fuck up.

What keeps me working with-and-for CONvergence all these years is a willingness to acknowledge screw-ups, listen, learn, and make an attempt to do better. I cannot assure you we won’t do something incredibly stupid and racist, misogynist, homophobic, ableist or otherwise asinine. What we will try very hard to do is make it right.

My Twitter is public, @sigridellis. Contact me there if you have an issue and I’ll see how I can help.

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In addition, I’m on some programming this year. You can find me at:

Gone Off the Rails: How to Moderate
Thursday June 30, 2016 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Crowne Plaza U

Sometimes, you’re on a panel that starts to go wrong: some guy starts talking over all the women in the room or the person who volunteered to moderate the panel turns out to be a blowhard. How do you fix this on the fly? And not be That Guy?
Panelists: John Seavey, Sigrid Ellis (mod), Mark Oshiro, Michael Carus, Stephanie Zvan

Trade Routes
Saturday July 2, 2016 12:30pm – 1:30pm
DoubleTree Atrium 2

Most people think of trade routes as means to exchange goods and money. They are also the roads of culture and influence. Let’s talk about the power trade routes have exerted on history and in genre.
Panelists: Bradford Walker, Katie Dahl, Sigrid Ellis (mod), Emma Bull, Michael Carus

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A few other notes:

The Twitter accounts for CVG are @CONvergenceCon for the main con, @CONvergenceLive for live-tweets of panels, photos of the convention, and current immediate events, and @CVG_Reminders for tips about enjoying the convention and remembering to eat meals.

The hashtag for CVG this year is #CVG2016.

See you all June 30th!

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Bonus Links for June 17 2016

Because, wow, there were a lot of neat things on the interwebs this week!

* Clickspring

This is a YouTube channel devoted to a guy in Australia making a clock in his home workshop. I am finding it mesmerizing. It is quiet and slow and finicky, and at the end of each short video he has made a small, beautiful thing. I love it.

* Why the elevator could be the next great disruptive technology

“It’s true that many people prefer a single-family home, all else being equal. But what makes the elevator so disruptive is precisely the reality that all else is not equal.”

* How To Tell If a Lion Is Happy

“It’s tricky to get an answer out of an animal. You can’t ask a lemur to fill out a questionnaire, or put a lion on a therapist’s couch. Over the past couple of decades, though, scientists like Gartner have put their human heads together to try and better understand what’s going in animal ones.”

* The Arms of Individuals in Same-Sex Marriages: The text of a ruling by the Kings of Arms dated 29 March 2014

“We, Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy & Ulster King of Arms, do rule, ordain and decree as follows… ”

* The Toast Looks Back: The Best of Western Art History

* How juice companies game science to perpetuate the myth that cranberry prevents UTIs

“The gold standard measurement is a urine test that finds higher than normal levels of bacteria. In the Ocean Spray study, the cranberry juice group and the placebo group had about the same number of infections by this measure.

But instead of focusing on that, the researchers emphasized their findings on “symptomatic UTIs” — meaning women who simply complained of UTI symptoms but didn’t actually have a positive urine culture.”

* I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk

“Although medieval doctors legitimized their recommendations with these ideas about how the body worked, their medical advice wasn’t as random as it might seem. “They justified their practice by humours, but they had arrived at these ideas by trial and error,” says Noga Arikha, the author of Passions and Tempers, a history of the humours. These doctors had one major disadvantage compared to modern doctors—they didn’t know about germs, so they didn’t know what caused sickness. But their ideas about how to keep healthy, particularly by controlling a person’s diet, weren’t so different from our ideas today. “The idea of balancing out—that remains and it makes complete sense,” says Arikha.”

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