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My walk was the walk of a human child, but my heart was a tree.

"Whenever you see an oak-tree felled, swear now you will plant two."

1/14/16 03:59 pm - Heraldic references: Cambridge Uni and South Cambs DC

One of my favourite heraldic references is South Cambridgeshire's subtle nod to Cambridge University.


This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/352866.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/13/16 08:50 pm - The Gentle Readers 2015 anthology

Well, we're in another cashflow crisis, and I think more people would like this than have seen it, so here it is again:

My Gentle Readers anthology for 2015 has 163 pages of cartoons, poetry, and wonderful things. It's a collection of all the good stuff posted in the blog in the last year and a half. If you're looking for a light read, buy the book. If you think your friends are looking for a light read, buy them the book. Oh, and share this post with them!

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/352704.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/13/16 05:30 pm - Fighting over the scraps


If you're eating in the park, and some pigeons come up hoping for a share, tear off a scrap and throw it. They'll rush off and fight over it. You can eat the rest in peace.

It works for people, too. Tell them money's scarce, and they'll fight their neighbour for the scraps.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/352410.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/13/16 04:19 pm - Geordie badgers

Late last night, I was in the bathroom helping Kit wash their hair.

(Short lull in conversation)
Me: I think if I was doing the voice of a badger, I'd make him a Geordie.
Kit: What?
Me: Because they look like they're playing in Newcastle strip. So, I'd do a Geordie badger voice.
Kit: Where?
Me: On their fur.
Kit: No, where is the badger?
Me: ...I don't know, just any badger.
Kit: I thought you were maybe playing the part of a badger in something and you were working out how to do the voice.
Me: Oh no no, it was just... if anyone DOES ask me to do the voice for a badger, any time in the future, I'll have one ready.
Kit: Okay...
Me: It was just something I was thinking, that's all... I mean, maybe the trouble badgers have is that people hunting them can find them easily because their faces are so distinctive, and what we need is camo badgers, like people could go around and give badgers facepaint, so... what were we talking about? Sorry.

I mention this to illustrate the problem of me being tired and not having taken meds for a few hours. :)

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/352053.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/13/16 12:43 pm - Android client

I said that my new year's resolution was to write an Android client for DW. I've just made a community to discuss it: [community profile] dwim. This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/351782.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/5/16 04:34 pm - The super special self-care masterpost (mirror)

This is a mirror of http://deathshands.tumblr.com/post/101291574012 . I'm reposting it here, with apologies to the original poster deathshands, because their formatting makes the post almost impossible to read on my computer, and when I've shared it with friends they've often said similarly. That's a shame, because it's a useful post. -- Marn

happy kid
photo: Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, public domain

I would like to welcome you all to my super special self-care masterpost for all of you super special cuties out there! Unfortunately, it’s common to dislike ourselves and feel a little lower than usual. When that happens, it can be very difficult for us to acknowledge our worth! But never fear my darlings, because here are many ways to look after yourself, even if you’re feeling a little down. Best wishes and lots of love! ♥♥♥

Read more...Collapse ) This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/350266.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/2/16 02:40 pm - Walter Breen, and how attitudes have changed for the better

(tw child sexual abuse)

In 1963 the Berkeley fan community was in crisis. A fan named Walter Breen had sexually abused several children in public. Several fans wanted to ban him from the community and from cons. Other fans said that this was unprecedented and uncalled for.

I think the case is interesting because it demonstrates the change in attitudes towards child abuse. In 1963, and even when I was growing up in the 1980s, child abuse was seen as something children had to be taught to avoid, like they have to learn to avoid being knocked down by a car or bitten by an angry dog. This is a far cry from the (quite proper) modern understanding of it as aggravated rape, and its perpetrators as dangerous criminals.

So if you're wondering how Jimmy Savile and all the other Operation Yewtree people got away with it for so long: that's how. Things are still bad, of course, but they've changed for the better.

An extra point of ghastliness: the Breen memo says that some fans are hoping that Breen will be reformed by his relationship with Marion Zimmer Bradley. She also turned out to be a child molester.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/349676.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/1/16 08:49 pm - android resolution

Something I want to do in 2016 is write an Android client for Dreamwidth. It'll teach me more about Android, and it'll be useful for me. Probably for others, too.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/349379.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

1/1/16 02:21 pm - The political process hasn't changed very much in three hundred years

In 1733 a bill went through the Commons to reduce land tax by 75% and replace it with duties on tobacco and wine-- shifting the burden from the gentry onto traders, shopkeepers, and ordinary people. There was a backbench revolt; horror stories appeared in the press; the PM was burnt in effigy in London; the government almost lost the next election. The political process hasn't changed very much in three hundred years.

contemporary illustration

More: http://mason.gmu.edu/~ayadav/historical%20outline/excise%20crisis.htm

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/348856.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

12/30/15 06:18 pm - The Hero, by Siegfried Sassoon

(war, death)

"Jack fell as he'd have wished," the mother said,
and folded up the letter that she'd read.
"The Colonel writes so nicely." Something broke
in the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. "We mothers are so proud
of our dead soldiers." Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
that she would nourish all her days, no doubt.
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how "Jack", cold-footed, useless swine,
had panicked down the trench that night the mine
went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
to get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
except that lonely woman with white hair.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/348226.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
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