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Showing posts from September, 2016

Freaky Friday News: September 30, 2016

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ADL Puts Pepe The Frog in their Hate Symbol Database This week, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) added the meme character Pepe the Frog to their hate symbol database.  When I first heard the news, I felt shocked.  Pepe the Frog has been around for years, and the vast majority of the memes I've seen involving Pepe are not racist or bigoted.  So why include him in a hate symbol database?

I looked into it, and found Pepe the Frog's entry on the ADL website.  It's rather long, but at the end the ADL includes this disclaimer:
However, because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist. However, if the meme itself is racist or anti-Semitic in nature, or if it appears in a context containing bigoted or offensive language or symbols, then it may have been used for hateful purposes. Ummmm,  yes?  Of course you ne…

Grecian Gambit: Chapter 1, Part 2

I float out of the office on an anxiety-filled cloud of adrenaline and stress. I swear, my fight or flight instinct is screaming at me to hit the front door and never look back.

Did Patti really hear Apollo’s voice? Or have I been speaking in a low voice and just thinking it’s my imaginary friend talking to me? Great, even thinking that question makes my brain hurt.

A cheer rises up from a large crowd as I walk into the main space of the bookstore. Wow, at least 80 people stand in the store, waiting for me to arrive. My social insecurities decide to show up at that moment, shoving me off of my cloud and almost stumbling into a shelf.

“Calm down, Cece,” Patti whispers to me as she grabs my arm to help me right myself. “These people are here to hear you read from your new book. That’s all.”

Remembering to breathe, I finish walking to a stool next to a microphone. Patti follows me, and takes the microphone before I have a chance to do more than seat…

Thursday Music: Bad Romance Fugue

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100 Words of Comedy

I joined a new site called Imzy. Here I found lots of communities for writers, including one called 100 Words. Each week, they send out a prompt and then you can respond with 100 words related to said prompt. This week's prompt is comedy, and I like what I wrote so I decided to share.

Enjoy!

"Grandma! Get out of there!”

“Sorry, honey, but I need to see how comfortable this is.”

Celia hid her face in her hands. Why, oh why, had she agreed to take her grandmother on her errands today?

“Too hard,” Grandma Culpepper sat up as she rendered judgement. “I swear, you’d think people would be more careful and considerate about this stuff. Now, give me a hand, child.”

Celia helped her grandmother out of the black coffin. “Grandma, people in coffins are usually dead, and don’t generally care about how comfortable they are.”

“And that’s their mistake. I don’t want back problems in my afterlife. Here, let’s try this cedar one next.”

Wordless Wednesday: When the Internet Names Animals...

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Book Review: "Magic Binds" by Ilona Andrews

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Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I like reading book series, but too many times I stop mid-series because either:
- the characters stop developing,
- the main character devolves into a simpler version of himself/herself,
- the author clones the plot from one book to another,
- a book plot jumps the shark, or
- the author seems tired of writing the series and it shows.

None of those conditions apply to the Kate Daniels book series. In fact, Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews went beyond all my expectations. In this story, the authors show Kate struggle with her dark side while providing a new, unexpected story arc that continues from the previous eight books and leaves the reader wanting more story NOW.

The book begins with Kate and Curran asking Roman to officiate at their wedding, a scene where we catch a glimpse at just how powerful the laid-back, funny black volhv truly is. This next scene begins innocently enough, but ends with Kate learning that her father kidnap…

U.S. National Voter Registration Reminder Day

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Today is the U.S. National Voter Registration Reminder Day.  So I'm doing my part by reminding you that it is very important to vote, but you have to be registered first.  Technically, I think you can register on voting day and use a provisional ballot.  But not all provisional ballots get counted due to more reasons that I want to talk about right now, so it's better to just be a registered voter.

If you don't know how to register, John and Hank Green on YouTube created a set of videos on how to vote in all 50 states and Washington D.C. as well as videos for people in the military, living overseas, or living in unincorporated territories.  I've included the links to these videos below.

Happy registering, and happy voting!



Alabama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ragLS...
Alaska: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZd7R...
Arizona: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1fKo...
Arkansas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfCrw...
California: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTF5…

Odds & Ends: The Ping of DEATH!!!

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This week takes us back to the 1990s. First, you need to understand that the Internet has been around a lot longer than most people realize. It began back in the 1970s. And before we had fancy user interfaces to maintain the networks, we used command lines to do... well... everything. One of the most useful tools for someone back then was ping. Ping is part of the TCP/IP protocol suite, and it works similar to a submarine ping, where someone sends out a signal and wait for a response. Only, network pings send out a series of short messages to the target computer and then wait for the appropriate responses. You can try this out right now: Go to a terminal window on Linux, or a command prompt on Windows.Type in "ping google.com"Stop the ping using Ctrl-C. You'll get a response that looks like this: [katp@Werewolf-Den ~]$ ping google.com PING google.com (216.58.218.14) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from atl14s39-in-f14.1e100.net (216.58.218.14): icmp_seq=1 ttl=55 time=21.2 …

5 Living U.S. Presidents

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Search for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Freaky Friday News: September 23, 2016

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Say "No" to Codeine for Kids The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report this month asking doctors and parents to stop giving kids codeine.  When I read this, I know my first question was - they give codeine to kids??  
Yes, yes they do.  Codeine is used as a pain reliever and in prescription strength cough syrups.  So if a kid breaks an arm or a leg, sometimes doctors prescribe codeine.
The problem with codeine is that not everyone metabolizes it to the same extent.  You see, codeine is an inactive form of morphine that one of the body's hepatic enzyme systems activates.  This enzyme system is genetically encoded in 70 different alleles, each of them with three states: full on, half on, and off.  This means that there is a huge variance in how the enzymes work, and how codeine is metabolized.
On one side, you have a large number of people who don't metabolize codeine well, and therefore don't get relief from the medicine.  On the other side, …

The Grecian Gambit: Chapter 1, part 1

6:47pm

I have 13 minutes.

I shake my hands and look around the back office of the bookstore, Wit and Wisdom. Thank goodness the owner, Patti Oglethorpe, let me wait here before the book signing. Pastel sea green walls surround me, at least where there is room. A built-in case covers one entire wall, sectioned off to contain special order items, items too valuable to display on the floor, and a collection of the Patti’s favorite novels. I spy my first two books, and I wonder if Patti really likes them or if she’s playing to my ego.

The back wall has two white boards, a large wall calendar, a bulletin board, and a small set of cubbies; all sitting in front of Patti’s delicate white desk. Funny posters and signs cover the third wall; I especially like the firefighters holding puppies calendar. I look at it a few times, because the half naked men clash with my opinion of Patti. But the oak table by the door with a teapot, a selection of hot teas, and a small fridge with milk t…

Wordless Wednesday: Leia's Skull

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Movie Review: "The Lobster"

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Released in 2015, "The Lobster" billed itself as a love story, which is technically true.  This story takes place in a dystopian society, where every adult must be married.  At the beginning of the movie, the male protagonist, David (portrayed by Colin Farrell), finds himself single after his wife leaves him.  He goes to this creepy hotel where he has 40 days to find a mate or be turned into an animal of his choice.  He chooses to be a lobster if he can't find someone.

The movie itself is a bit creepy, as the director, Yorgos Lanthimos, explores humans, relationships, and commonalities.  The creepiness starts with the character names, or lack of them.  I think the only person in the entire movie with an actual name is David; everyone else is referred to by either their job or some prominent characteristic.  For example, one character is a man who limps, so he is called the Limping Man.  The lack of names forces you to focus on the people more, making each character more…

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!!!!

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New Blogging Schedule

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Greetings, Earthlings!

As 2016 rages on, with climate change, the weirdest/longest/meanest/stupidest presidential election, the Syria war, refugee crisis, overly eager police shooting people, ISIS attacks, terrorist attacks in Europe, ...  To be brutally honest, I have avoided blogging lately because it's just too damn depressing to look at the news.  Or even glance out of the corner of my eye at the news.

I even refuse to turn on NPR unless I'm certain it's not a news program.

So I did a bit of introspection and gave myself a pep talk,  "Kathryn, just because 2016 sucks doesn't mean you can't write a blog. You like finding the quirky and/or happy news for Fridays. Just find something other than the regular crap to discuss the rest of the week." I decided that I'm going to try a new blogging schedule:

Monday:  Odds & Ends - I recently joined a site called Imzy, where I started a writing community/personal blog.  In it, I discuss interesting fac…

Odds & Ends: A Quick Explanation of the Darknet

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cue villainous music I found you hiding place, my dear, because one of the lovely detective recorded this address and I accessed it through pause for dramatic effect the darknet. end scene Okay, I assume you have heard of the mysterious "darknet" (or "dark net") but you're not exactly certain what it is. Let's follow the advice of Julie Andrews and start at the very beginning. The Internet is a global collection of computer networks connected using the Internet Protocol (the IP in TCP/IP). When you type a URL in your web browser, your computer contact a Domain Name Server to find out where to route your request. Think of domain name servers as the address books of the Internet. The darknet is the same thing as the Internet except you need access to different domain name servers, or address books. And you need special software, such as the Tor browser, to access these alternate domain name servers. The darknet also allows you to browse anonymously, and have a…

What Do You Think He's Playing?

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Happy Saturday House!!!

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Freaky Friday News: September 16, 2016

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There is No Harambe McHarambeface Last week, online newspaper and other media outlets carried a story about a Chinese zoo attempting to name a baby gorilla.  This zoo supposedly held a poll and asked the Internet to suggest and vote for a new name.  The overall winner was... Harambe McHarambeface.  The Chinese government decided to use a different name for this baby gorilla's Chinese name, but allowed Harambe McHarambeface to be its English name.

While this is a nice, lovely story, it never happened.  Someone just punked the media by publishing a fake news story in a fake newspaper.  And instead of checking out this story, people simply passed on the fake news.

*sigh*  And they wonder why people don't trust media these days.

Russia Bans Pornhub?? The Russian media watchdog agency Roskomnadzor announced this past Tuesday that it is banning Pornhub and YouPorn.  Mind you, they didn't ban all porn sites, just these two.  I have yet to find a real reason for this particular b…

Wordless Wednesday: Planter Man!!

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Last Day of War

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Russian YouTuber Dima Fedotov created this haunting short called "Last day of war".

It seems appropriate to share this today.

Freaky Friday News: September 9, 2016

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North Korean Bans Sarcasm Yes, you read that correct.  This week, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un decided to ban sarcasm because he worried that people only agreed with him ironically.  That is "according to reports" because we all know that he would never admit to such a thing out loud.

I'm caught between laughing and cringing at the absurdity of this latest edict.  It can be hard to tell the difference between sarcasm and sincerity so I wonder if this is just justification for killing more people.  I mean, it's not like people have a sign saying "Sarcastic!" pop up whenever they say something sarcastic.

This also reminded me of an early scene in the movie "Roxanne".  I included it here because, well, it's funny.



Donald Trump Might Get Kicked Off the Ballot in Minnesota Okay, I did a double take when I read this headline.  But it's true.  You see, Minnesota requires political parties to elect presidential electors and alternate pre…

An Act of Kindness

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I don't know if you either heard of this incident or remember it, but last year a camerawoman from Hungary kicked and tripped Syrian immigrants running across a field.  She kicked at a man, actually connected with the leg of a young girl (she looks to be around 10 years old), and then tripped a man carrying a child, causing the man to fall on top of the boy.

The footage of her behavior made the rounds on media, she got fired immediately, and now the Hungarian government is indicting her.

But that's not what this post is about.

You see, Miguel Ángel Galán in Spain watched this clip and looked into who was tripped.  He learned that the migrant man with the child is Osama Abdul Mohsen, and that Abdul Mohsen was a soccer coach in Syria.

In an act of kindness, Miguel Galán offered Abdul Mohsen a job at his school, Cenafe Academy.  Shortly thereafter, Abdul Mohsen and his two sons arrived in Spain, a job available to support a work visa and refuge promised by the Spanish governmen…

Wordless Wednesday: Topiary?

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Caution: Sunday Funny

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Godzilla?!??

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Justice is not Truly Blind

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Brock Turner, the rapist from Stanford University, was released after serving three months of his six month sentence.  Yes, I said he only had a six month sentence, even though he was found on top on an unconscious woman he'd dragged behind a dumpster.  For the entire sordid story, go to BrockTurnerRapist.com.  

What I want to talk about today is the concept that justice is blind.  This didn't make sense to me as a kid because I always wondered how Justice could see the criminals if she was wearing a blindfold.  But as I grew up I realized that Justice needs to be blind not in the physical sense of not seeing, but in the sense that everyone should get treated the same way regardless of gender, race, economic level, sexual identity, sexual preference,...

But Brock Turner, as well as the Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teen who killed four people while drunk driving, show that Justice is not as blind as we'd like her to be.  These young, white, heterosexual males go…

No Drinking Problem Here

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Men in Suits

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Death, Disaster, and the American Psyche

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Ten days from today, a majority of Americans will be remembering the horrific events of September 11, 2001.  Media outlets will recap the events of the day in words and pictures; some might even provide a "where are they now?" segment to catch up with the people who survived.

I wonder how healthy this is for American society.  I understand how people who experienced loss first hand might continue to mourn on Sept. 11.  I have a friend who was talking on the phone to someone in the Twin Towers when the conversation suddenly ended;  her friend didn't survive.  I understand why my friend gets unhappy around this time every year.  I even understand why most people in New York City might continue to mourn, considering the magnitude of the event.

But the rest of the country doesn't need to reopen the wounds every Sept. 11.  Or on December 7 - Pearl Harbor Day.

American society seems to focus on disasters that end in death, celebrating these horrible events and creating h…

Unicode: A Worldwide Standard for Encoding Characters

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