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Data Magpie

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People Hiding Alone at Neurosciences [Nov. 18th, 2014|11:05 am]
I gave someone my LJ address, saying I was going to post all these pictures there... and then decided the ello photo handling interface was easier to deal with considering. So I give you, People Hiding Alone at Neurosciences. #SfNretreat
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(no subject) [Oct. 8th, 2014|11:03 am]
As promised, giant slugs. Read more...Collapse )
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(no subject) [Oct. 1st, 2014|08:01 pm]
So, how many of you are on Diaspora? Do you use it? Why or why not? (I'm tylik on )

(as posted elsewhere...)
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(no subject) [Aug. 30th, 2014|08:00 am]
Also? The incredible animus that has been being expressed towards geek women over the last bit? Is terrible. And depresses the hell out of me.
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Introverts and Extraverts, a small rant [Aug. 13th, 2014|04:31 pm]
(I've thought about writing something like this many times. It's possible I already have. If so, sorry.)

Y'know, folks (and I see a lot more of this on facebook, but I don't write longer format posts there, because facebook) could you maybe think a bit before posting your introvert are actually the bestest chosen people comments? Because there's a lot of extravert hate in there, and I'm really getting tired of seeing it. (This has generally been fading, but I just saw a few more of them recently.)

Apparently extraverts prefer small talk to talking about anything substantive, and are poor listeners, aren't socially sensitive, and like conflict. Also, they jabber all the time and dominate any gathering, and follow their poor introverted friends around and try to force them to interact. (Rather than spending a huge amount of time and energy taking care of their special snowflake introvert friends who apparently want social interaction, but only specific kinds of social interaction, and can't seek it for themselves.) Oh, yeah, and introverts are super rare and chronically misunderstood.* This is not even to get into the "introvert or extravert" quizzes that are all "Are you a good, sensitive, caring introvert? Or a brutal, clueless, and mean extravert."

Um, really?

One of the funny bits here is that I'm not really that extraverted. I mean, there isn't an agreed set of definitions here (so almost all of this involves someone talking out of their asses) but while I like my social time, you don't have to know much about my life to know that it's not really structured around social time. I'm fairly outgoing, I'm socially confident, and as least some of the time I'm reasonably socially clueful. None of these things mean that I'm an extravert. (Of course, enough people have told me that I'm *such* an extravert that I'm pretty sure when they post this stuff they mean me.)

Even assuming there's a good way to measure introversion, there's a lot of stuff being conflated here. And you want to watch those conflations, because even if there's some kind of measureable difference in the probabilities of this or that, on a population basis, that doesn't mean they are predictive for any given individual. For instance, men are fairly likely to be sexually interested exclusively in women. That's a way stronger association than most of the tendencies that are being discussed wrt introversion. And yet, I think most people get why generalizing along those lines is fucked up. When we're talking about the more common "this population is slightly - but statistically significantly - more likely to be inclined in foo direction" the generalizations are not only problematic, they're also really weak.

There are awkward, socially clueless extroverts. (Quite a few, really, especially in geek circles.) There are uncreative, oblivious introverts. I've had friends who insisted that they were introverts (and that I'm an extrovert) repeatedly try to drag me to parties when I just wanted to stay home and study. (Which is not to say I always want to stay home and study.)

I get that introvert pride is a thing. And I'm good with that. (Though most being in introvert majority communities, it's sometimes a little odd.) There are a bunch of different axes, here, that are at least partially independent. Also, putting people who are different from you down doesn't really reflect well on you.

* Depending on how you define it - and I distrust all the definitions, frankly - introverts are somewhere between a third of and slightly more than half the population. Of course, introverts might seem more rare if they don't talk to eachother very much. Though, people, isn't that why there's an internet?
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Cyteen / Regenesis [Aug. 3rd, 2014|12:24 am]
Also... Has anyone read CJ Cherryh's Cyteen and it's sequel written twenty years later Regenesis? And might you be interested in discussing it?

My phone has been reading me Cyteen* and it is confirming my impression that Denys' portrayal there is really not consistant with how he's described in Regenesis. In some ways that kind of bother me. (His brilliant but obsessively retiring and softspoken bit makes for such a wonderfully ambiguous character in Cyteen. And then in Regenesis he's retrospectively described as... not all that. And Jordan's not all that. And I'd shrug this off if I didn't love the first so much. Regenesis isn't a bad book, if, in comparison to the first, not much happens. But... bah.

(And this is the character critque. I have a much more developed science critique, though with the exception of one thematic complaint** it's more a matter of questions I'd like to see addressed than things that struck me as just wrong.)

* For the umpteenth bazillion time. It's a favorite book of long standing, and I re-read it every year or two.
** The idea that rejuv treatments are derived from Cyteen's native fauna just struck me as awfully stale, and not well grafted onto the original.
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(no subject) [Aug. 3rd, 2014|12:07 am]
So, today I brought in the year's first eggplants,

Which I then roasted along with some peppers and shallots from the market, and then mixed in with quinoa, chick peas, olive oil, balsamic vinegar (I'd have used lemon juice by preference, but didn't have any), a pile of finely chopped parlsey, rau ram and a bit of oregano, and then salt, pepper and some ground coriander, fenugreek and aleppo pepper.

This is damned tasty.
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(no subject) [Jul. 31st, 2014|08:33 pm]
testing cross posting.
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(no subject) [Jul. 6th, 2014|06:44 pm]
So, something that I've mulling over for a bit -

Despite the general freaking out about violence, it appears that developed societies are overall getting less violent and have been for some time. There also has been an increase in the expectation that children will be protected, both generically from harm and from many of the rigors of adult life.

On the flip side, we know (and I'm thinking about much of the work that has been done with child soldiers) that people who have been raised in very violent and chaotic circumstances are greatly affected by these experiences, even if what they went through was shared by many others and to some degree normalized at the time.

I'm not certain that everyone isn't traumatized now, depending on how fine you slice it. But I notice that a lot of pseudo-historical fiction (I include pseudo historical speculative fiction) seems to project modern ideas of family structure, childhood and trauma... and yet, really, as far as I can tell an awful lot of violence and trauma was pretty much common and shared experiences in those societies.

So... what does a society where trauma of some degree is an expected part of the experience look like?

And maybe more to the point, what does a society where this is not the case look like?

(And how does this reflect on our culture obsession with violence, for that matter. As an aside, I'm looking at this from the perspective that non-violence isn't about ignorance of avoidance of violence* but the process of seeking better solutions, a process in which understanding violence can be pretty helpful.)

* "Oh, let's be ignorant and helpless, that will fix everything!" Bah. The Morlock / Eloi dichotomy can go die in a fire. Or perhaps perish after a very long time out. Y'know. Something.
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(no subject) [Jun. 9th, 2014|09:37 pm]
So, the last couple of years I keep asking anyone who sell herbs at the market if they carry rau ram, aka vietnamese corriander, vietnamese cilatro, aka pretty much my favorite herb. Well, at least, my favorite one that I have to work to get.Read more...Collapse )
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(no subject) [Jun. 1st, 2014|08:40 pm]
Free library update.

Between a friend who nabbed leftover shingles from a neighbor's roofing project and realizing that we had a bunch of leftover wood shingles for the siding, it occurred to me that I should really go through all the scrap we have around the place before I work out what I need to buy. So today I did a tour of the garage.

There's usable stuff in there, though not the 2x12" I was thinking of using for the body of the box. However, back behind some plywood I found two 2'x2.5' (very roughly) windows, of six panes each. So! that's actually pretty in line with the size I was thinking of, but now I have specific dimensions to work with, and a front door. A much spiffier front door than I was thinking of making. I am thrilled.

Then I talked to one of my Taiji students, who's a retired carpenter, to see if he had some scrap 2x12 board, and he does, so I gave him rough dimensions. I'm going to have to decide just how elaborate will be my framing for the door, but I might be able to start assembling it by next week.
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Today in Weather [Mar. 12th, 2014|03:57 pm]
Weather at 9am:Read more...Collapse )
Weather at 3:30pm:
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(no subject) [Mar. 6th, 2014|11:25 am]
I'm happy I pushed my students to learn more detail about spinal anatomy. I like making them draw a spinal section and nerves and show understanding of the circuitry, and I'm really happy with how they're doing.

...but it is not fast to grade.
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(no subject) [Feb. 26th, 2014|06:35 pm]
I have been fantasizing for some time about teaching an undergrad anatomy class where the textbooks are Netter's and UK Gray's (because if I'm asking you to buy a book, I want it to stand you in good stead.) But now I'm wondering if I should extend the theme of my neuroanatomy section to the whole course -

Terrible Things that can Happen to Every Part of Your Body. Which is to say, with a clinical and conceptual focus. Possible a year long integrated systems oriented Anatomy and Physiology. Hm...
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(no subject) [Feb. 8th, 2014|09:15 pm]
[Tags|, ]

I'm not even sure what to call this one. I mean, it's lineage is from one of my favorite biryanis, which involved meat and dairy but which has spawned a lot of things I can eat. (And I make a bazillion variants.) But... it has gone a little adrift. Peanuts? Cumin? Suggestions?
(all measurements approximate)
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(no subject) [Feb. 7th, 2014|05:00 pm]
It's not an impressive picture, but here's my volunteer anemone:
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Need New Gloves, OMG [Jan. 27th, 2014|12:41 pm]
With all the serious winter weather, I need new biking gloves. My beloved Zone2s are kind of battered, and just not cutting it for biking in this kind of cold and wind. And I didn't get serious REI time in Seattle.

What I want is heavy on the warm and windproof - I'm thinking shell and liner. Semi lobster claw would be fine, but I think I'd prefer the first and second finger separate (and the recumbent being what it is, the thumb side of the first finger gets a lot of wind.) And since I'm probably going to be spending silly amounts of money on glovse, I'd like them to work with capacitative touch screens, because connectivity. (Yes, I can and have modded gloves, I just figure I might as well go for ones that come that way.)

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(no subject) [Dec. 30th, 2013|11:36 am]
So, I started writing this yesterday, in response to a discussion on @miniver's FB about retreat from the world in search of enlightenment vs. being active in the world as a spiritual path. But I decided it wasn't worth it. But now it is this morning, and I'm sad. So this is me being all emo and ranty (and really not directly responding to specific events because seriously, most of what I say lacks relevancy, it just reminded me why I dislike the general in or out of the world argument so much.)Read more...Collapse )
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If Christmas smelled like this... [Dec. 23rd, 2013|06:42 pm]
While I'm waiting to see if I'm teaching tonight (on the one hand, I have a cold, and I could do with a hot bath and more rest, since I'd like not to be sick when I'm flying out, on the other, I suspect if people don't come it will be because they think we don't have class because the taiji open house is tomorrow, and really, I was totally prepared to have class and it's not that bad of a cold) I figured I'd jot down the current fruit and spice bread that's in the oven, because it smells amazing. It's so nice to get an idea of how you want something to taste, and then just make it.

But, um, it's jotting, because I don't actually measure unless I'm intending to write up a recipe, and I was just cooking.

Place 8" deep ceramic baking dish in oven. (Or whatever you have on hand. Honestly, these make great muffins or drop biscuits, but you have to adjust the baking time.) Heat oven to 350.

1 apple, grated*
1 orange (zest and juice)
generous glugs of maple syrup and cream sherry (don't skimp!)
1/2 t+ cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
1/4 allspice
1/4 ginger ...yeah, or something like that, seriously, spice to taste
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 T olive oil (or other oil - I used to prefer nut oils, but, well)

(stop and taste, and keep in mind that you haven't added any grain yet, so it should be intensely sweet and strongly flavored, and bitter from the orange zest**. If in doubt, add more of something.)

2/3 c pumpkin seeds (or some kind of nut - filberts would be especially nice)
2 c oat bran
2 c whole wheat flour (but buckwheat would also work well - slightly different texture, but not gluten, hey)
1 t baking soda

Resultant dough should be getting stiff, but not dry. Pull out the by now thoroughly heated pan, drizzle in a little more oil and swish it around, mash the dough into it, and return it to the oven.

Bake for an hour, or until a clean knife inserted into the center has a few moist crumbs but isn't doughy.

Now the worst bit is that I didn't make enough to bake a little ramekin full, and I shouldn't cut into it until tomorrow.

* Yeah, micro plane grated apple is probably my favorite base for this sort of thing. Gives vegan baked goods amazing body and texture. The orange dominates.
** I mean, as it should be, and I am kind of sensitive to bitters.
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