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I'm glad to be speaking at the Third Annual Fat Activism Conference. This is an online conference, so you can listen from wherever you are by phone or computer. The conference will take place September 23–25, 2016 and features a diverse group of speakers and topics.

The 48-hour Rush Registration has now launched. If you register before 12:01 Pacific Time on June 24th you'll get the lowest registration rates, and special bonuses. Check it out at http://www.facregister.com/?ap_id=firecat (that's my affiliate link) or http://fatactivismconference.com. All the registration options, including Pay-What-You-Can-Afford, are detailed on the registration page.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/878903.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Your car's airbags could act like bombs

I only just found out about this recall of cars with potentially dangerous airbags. If you have a car made in 2000 or later, especially if you have a used car (because recall notices might not reach you) please check whether your model is affected. If it is, please take it in to have the airbags replaced ASAP.

The defective airbags can explode AT ANY TIME (not just during a collision) with much more force than they are supposed to, and hurl shrapnel at you. Because of their chemistry, the air bags become less stable over time.

List of models affected:
http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/takata-airbag-recall-list-cars-article-1.2602999

You can look up whether your car is affected using its VIN here: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup

Here's a long article that goes into the chemistry and the corporate hubris behind the whole thing. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-02/sixty-million-car-bombs-inside-takata-s-air-bag-crisis

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/878656.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Wiscon Panel: Code-switching

[The Twitter hashtag #Codeswitching has GREAT notes about this panel. Other people also use the hashtag so scroll back or search for #Codeswitching and #Wiscon40 or #wc40.]

Code switching

A discussion of how, why, and when a person code-switches — i.e., changes their language, words, accents, and thoughts depending on their audience. As fans, activists, writers, family members, and friends, how do we use code-switching to communicate? Can code-switching be useful in communicating across cultures, or is it disrespectful?

[My notes definitely don't use the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. My comments and additional links in square brackets.]
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This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/878485.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

What fat activist topic should I speak on?

I'm going to be a speaker at the virtual Fat Activism Conference this year! Here is what it's about:
The Fat Activism Conference is "a virtual conference (so you can listen to the talks by phone and/or computer) for people of all sizes who are interested in creating a world that respects the diversity of body sizes, and who are interested in fighting the bullying, stigmatizing, shaming, and oppression faced by fat people, and want to do that work intersectionally."
I need to decide what topic to speak on! Please help me decide! I'm giving about a 30 minute talk with an opportunity for Q&A. Under the cut are some topic ideas, but feel free to suggest others (and/or suggest changes to the ones that are there.)
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This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/878110.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
[Check the Twitter hashtag #KitchenPrivilege for more notes about this panel.]

[I participated on this panel and didn't take thorough notes; I have paraphrased everything that was said and also probably included some things out of order.]

[Some very personal stories were told and I don't know if the panelists are comfortable having their names associated with what they said on a public post, so I did not associate panelist names with comments, and I used "they" pronouns for everyone. If anyone on the panel wants to be identified please comment here or send me a DM.]

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension

Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.
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This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/878029.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Tags:

This is yet another thing that people with medical conditions get blamed for—not managing their own care well enough, although according to this article NO ONE studies the efforts required to manage one's own health care.

(Content note: one use of the "O-word")

"But American medicine demands another scarce resource from patients, and that is their time. The time it takes to check in on the status of a prescription, to wait for a doctor, to take time away from work to sit on hold and hope that, at some point, someone will pick up the phone.
...
"There is a risk associated with not measuring patient work: namely, that patients will give up when life gets in the way. This is an especially acute worry for lower-income patients, who often work for hourly wages and have little space to change their schedules."

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/1/11712776/healthcare-footprint

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/877700.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
"Women and Trans/Non-binary people" : The Pitfalls of Haphazard Gender Inclusion

Attempts to create calls for submissions/lists of authors with marginalized genders have come under criticism for asking for "women and non-binary" or "women and transgender people". Adding trans and non-binary identities to "woman" often adds additional confusion for trans masculine people (are trans men included as "sort of women", or excluded as "not a marginalized gender identity"?). Does inclusion of non-binary identities with women imply that those identities are necessarily "feminine"? Does the addition of "trans" as a separate category imply that trans women are not members of the group that is ALL women? How can we more effectively promote the inclusion of transgender, genderqueer, or non-binary authors?

[My notes aren't a complete transcription and may represent my own language rather than the actual words of the panelists. I welcome corrections. I did not identify audience commenters by name. If you said something I paraphrased here and want your name to be used, please comment or send me a private message.]

My comments or clarifications are [within square brackets].
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This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/877566.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Wiscon 40 recap: the list

I went to Wiscon 40! This is a list of stuff I did. I will post more about the panels I was empaneled on and the panels I attended later.
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My Wiscon panel schedule

Will you be coming to Wiscon?

We All Start Somewhere: Welcoming Social Justice Newbies
Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Conference 4
Moderator: Jacquelyn Gill.
Many people aren't born into families that talk a lot about or value social justice. We come from all different backgrounds with all different kinds of experiences. When someone wants to gain a better understanding of and start practicing social justice, how do we, as a community, welcome them and offer opportunities for education? How do we deal with the same basic questions over and over again? What do we do well? What could we do better?

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Caucus
Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/876875.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
I love The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. The fourth and final book was released last month. (I didn't think the fourth book was quite as good as the other three, but still a worthy ending.) Five people involved with the blog WomenWriteAboutComics.com talk about the series, and they get at a lot of what I love.

http://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2016/05/19/searching-glendower-reflecting-raven-cycle/

A few non-spoilery quotes (there are a few more spoilers at the link, but only for stuff that happens very early, until you get to the big red banner that reads SPOILERS AHEAD):
Stiefvater is just such a great writer, especially when it comes to building distinct and fully realized characters.

Stiefvater treats its young adults the way I appreciate seeing young adults treated: like people with brains and emotions that don’t melt into a puddle of love juices and angst over their love interest....he friendship between the boys is so heartbreakingly beautiful, and the unquestioning loyalty between Blue’s aunts is so powerful. This is a YA book that does not forget that there are others who help shape the lives of the main character and gives those people such depth.

I love Blue because I relate so much to being a “sensible” teenager and her wanting to rebel against that sensibility....I also love that she’s so prickly, opinionated, and stubborn.

It’s a much more realistic portrayal of family, in a way, than other YA books.


This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/876332.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
This post sums up a lot about girls' and women's experience of anger, and as a person raised as a girl I relate to it a lot. It included many links to other articles, many of which I also added to this post.

[Edited to add: On Facebook it was pointed out that this post doesn't address the ways anger is racialized. I agree. When describing it I should have specified "white girls' and women's experience."]
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This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/876134.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

A book list!

"100 MUST-READ SCI-FI FANTASY NOVELS BY FEMALE AUTHORS" by Nikki Steele, who writes, "Do note that I’ve only listed the first book in any given series."

I think this is a very good list. I have bolded the ones I've read, check-marked the ones I own but haven't read yet, and starred the ones I especially liked. I'm feeling especially hard to please when it comes to fiction these days, and I want to reflect that, so I didn't give out very many stars. I don't mean to suggest the ones I didn't give a star to are bad, just that they didn't get me super-excited.

If you've read any of these authors, I want to hear what you liked by them!

1. Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
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"Scarlett Johansson’s Ghost in the Shell casting is even worse than it seems," by Kwame Opam

My take on this article: I agree with its argument that the story of Ghost in the Shell is inherently Japanese and it's racist to whitewash the live action remake.

But I think by the argument that the story is inherently Japanese, there should be no white European remake of the story at all. (The director is British, the writers are white, except that the writer for the original Ghost in the Shell is also credited.) Casting Japanese actors wouldn't solve the problem that white European movie-makers are pretty unlikely to do justice to an inherently Japanese story line.

I'm therefore inclined to assume that this is going to be a movie that doesn't have anything in common with the original anime, except the title and the names of some of the characters.

I would normally be interested in seeing an action movie with Scarlett Johannson in it, if it got good reviews, because there aren't enough action movies with female leads. And I'm undecided whether I should boycott this movie because it's named after a Japanese anime movie. I probably won't decide until I see reviews.

What do you think?

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/875439.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Opinions about geekgirlcon

Has anyone reading this attended geekgirlcon, and would you recommend it, and why or why not? Thanks!

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/875126.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Important TV advice sought

The OH and I just finished the first season of How to Get Away With Murder. I'm glad I watched it, and I like the acting and the cast diversity, but it was sort of surfing the edge of what kind of TV I like best (too much of the drama generated by lies and stupidity). Based on that, do you think I should I watch the next season?

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/874708.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

fresh! 2016's first linkspam

For the cat-loving coloring-book fans.
http://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Egyptian-Cats-Coloring-Children/dp/0692568611/

I am said that David Bowie had to go back to his home planet. Listen to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie on the isolated vocal track for the Queen hit "Under Pressure," 1981
http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/listen_to_freddie_mercury_and_david_bowie_on_the_isolated_vocal_track_for_the_queen_hit_under_pressure_1981.html

A manga-face generator site.
http://www.faceyourmanga.com

"'Adulting' is an Indictment of Society, Not of Millennials." The late-Boomer author claims that today's kids don't want to work hard because
opportunities that were available to previous generations have disappeared. My father was a high school dropout, but at 21 he got a union job with a railroad and turned it into a nice middle class career that gave me and my brothers a good start on our own lives. Where would he work today, Walmart?
So, yes, a nice middle class career is much harder to get these days, especially for white people, and even if you do get one you don't make as much money because you've gone into a lot of education debt. But is it really true that Millennials don't work hard? Seems to me it's usually been the case that kids first coming onto the job market are underemployed.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2016/01/adulting-is-an-indictment-of-society-not-of-millennials.html

Apparently some people still haven't gotten the message that policing women's language is not going to magically cut through all the sexist attitudes that make it more difficult for women to advance in their careers.
This week everyone’s been talking about an article in the Economistexplaining how men’s use of language undermines their authority. According to the author, a senior manager at Microsoft, men have a bad habit of punctuating everything they say with sentence adverbs like ‘actually’, ‘obviously’, ‘seriously’ and ‘frankly’. This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters, so that people switch off and stop listening to what they’re saying. If they want to be successful, this is something men need to address.
https://debuk.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/just-dont-do-it/

Related to that, I never really got much ambition installed in the first place, but a lot of women start out ambitous and the ambition erodes over time due to lack of support.
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/nov/19/women-start-out-as-ambitious-as-men-but-it-erodes-over-time-says-researcher

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/874224.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 Movies/TV Series consumed in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. There are some spoilers in the movie notes.
 Read more...Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/873602.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.

Notable books and audiobooks read in 2015

Comment if you want further thoughts on any of these. Some general descriptions of settings and characters, but no spoilers.Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/873384.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
"Operations like Thriftbooks step in and buy ... landfill-bound books, sight unseen, for around 10 cents a pound....Between 15 and 18 people at each warehouse sift through the truckloads of books, sending more than 80 percent of the material immediately to the recycling plant. (Hey, it’s better than the dump.) That 80 percent may include stuff that’s obviously garbage: old three-ring binders, notebooks, half of a Bible. Anything that might possibly be sellable is scanned into the company’s database.
"...The sellers wouldn’t tell me exactly how much profit they make on penny books. Shipping costs vary depending on the kinds of deals you can cut with delivery services."
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/25/magazine/a-penny-for-your-books.html

“There’s a limit to how many copies of Jurassic Park I can sell,” [Mike Ward, owner of Thrift Books] explains. “If I already have a thousand in inventory and I think I’m only going to sell 500 in the next three months, I don’t want any more.”
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/apr/14/selling-used-books-on-amazon-for-a-penny
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I have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Bring on the spoilers...

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