[sticky entry] Sticky: welcome!

Jan. 12th, 2019 03:47 pm
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
Hi, all! With all the increased activity around here, I figured that this might be a good place to have a post I have actually intended from the beginning to be an introductory thing.

I almost always welcome comments here, unless they are disrespectful to me or to someone else. This does not mean you can't disagree, or that you have to be formal all the damn time, or that you can't swear. It does mean that I expect folks on my journal to assume that we're all humans trying to human with good intentions--assume that ouch moments aren't malicious--and to react to ouch! moments by pausing and checking in with each other.

Please talk to me! I like attention.

Behind the cuts: some useful Qs and As.

Who are you? )

What kinds of things do you like to talk about? )

What's your access/locking policy? )

Where else can I find you? )

Can I link your things somewhere? )

If you like what I do, I have a Ko-Fi.
sciatrix: a singing mouse tilts its mouth upwards, mid-song, with the words "cheep cheep" appearing to come out of its mouth in white text. below, SCIENCE is picked out in light green, bold font. (cheep cheep)
I have hit my first Annoyed Nitpicking Snag on The Body Keeps the Score, which is: the left-brain analytical right-brain emotional divide is not that simple and not nearly as pat as he is making it out to be, and it has left me grumpy.

Whether or not I am using that crankiness as a shield to avoid really engaging is an exercise for the observer.

Anyway, have some links I dug up while trawling my DMs with my collaborators, for future use:

Queering chemicals (EDCs): A bibliography
There is a class of environmental toxicants that are known for their ‘queer-making’ effects. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, or EDCs, produce a wide swath of health issues, including cancers, diabetes, and heart disease that disproportionately impact already marginalized communities (Murphy 2017). Recently, scientists have begun linking EDCs to supposed ‘sexual abnormalities’: stories of gay birds and trans frogs have sounded the alarm on possible impacts to human sex, gender, and sexuality. ‘Queering’ refers to practices of questioning, historicizing and “making strange” often taken for granted categories associated with sex, gender, and sexuality. The following is a bibliography of this literature.

Tidepool creatures bend the sex rules we take for granted
We humans are accustomed to thinking of sexual function as being both fixed and segregated into bodies that we designate as either female or male. In the larger animal kingdom sex doesn’t always follow our rules. Many animals are monoecious, or hermaphroditic, having both male and female sex organs in the same body. Not only that, but lots of animals change from one sex to the other. As in so many aspects of biology, the way humans do sex may be thought of by us as “normal,” but it isn’t necessarily the most interesting way.

Scientists Genetically Engineered Flies to Ejaculate Under Red Light
Their experiments confirm that sex is pleasurable, even for animals we think of as simple.

(I'm really curious to think about how you would engineer a similar thing to study female flies.)

Coming out Darwinian: Is it time to rewrite the story of sex?
All coming-out stories are members of the same genus, if not the same species. Mine, however, has one distinguishing trait: along my path to understanding and accepting that I was gay, the obstacle of my religious upbringing was aided and abetted by none other than Charles Darwin. That is, there was a time when I told myself that the uncomfortable feelings I had for male friends and classmates could not possibly be real, because they would be wrong and sinful, and also because they were impossible in a world shaped by natural selection.

Heterosexism in a scientific study of lesbian attraction
An evolutionary psychology study that gained much media attention in May 2017 claims to show women’s sexual attraction to other women is the outcome of evolution, specifically for the pleasure of heterosexual men. The study was reported widely as ‘homosexual women evolved for men’s pleasure.’ Journalists have not read the study nor linked to it. The study is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study is led by Associate Professor Menelaos Apostolou. The team is based at the University of Nicosia, with apparently only one woman co-author.

“Categories aren’t these things that are just there”: An interview with the CLEAR Lab’s Queer Science Reading Group
What does it mean to do queer science—or, rather, to do a queer science?
sciatrix: a singing mouse tilts its mouth upwards, mid-song, with the words "cheep cheep" appearing to come out of its mouth in white text. below, SCIENCE is picked out in light green, bold font. (cheep cheep)
today's job: sliding through I think almost two year's worth of group Twitter DMs to create an annotated bibliography of books, pop science articles, and peer reviewed journal articles on same-sex sexual behavior in animals that one of my collaborators (or me) have brought enthusiastically and waved at the others at some point. Then figuring out which ones we definitely absolutely yes do need to cite and point people at, in case we've missed anything, and coming up with good sentences to make sure readers can find, say, Malin Ah-King's work or Joan Roughgarden's or more of Marlene Zuk's or anything else.

It's going to be a fun afternoon once I sit down and eat something. I'm excited.

(Then I have to do some data entry and some grading and probably some formulating explicit hypotheses for the second two aims of my dissertation, but shhh. I'm being excited about this instead of rolling my eyes at my boss, who thinks I will magically work out how to graduate by December; I think this time next year is much more likely, but committee meetings wait for no one.)

Also on my docket: sitting down and figuring out what the relationship between cortisol and leptin really is, because there's something really fascinating and antagonistic there but I need to understand more about cort's role in energy balance and leptin's reactions to chronic and acute stressors first. I can probably justify spending the time on that under "lobbying to test my mice's plasma cort levels when I test the leptin" and picking other hormones to look at, but I need to think about what the kind of social stress the animals are under right now looks like in terms of the experiment. They've all definitely had one acute stressor in the form of being handled and injected before I ran the experiment, and I should think about that in context, too...
sciatrix: a singing mouse tilts its mouth upwards, mid-song, with the words "cheep cheep" appearing to come out of its mouth in white text. below, SCIENCE is picked out in light green, bold font. (cheep cheep)
....today, the learning experience is that coordinating the shipping of twenty-odd singing mice from New York to Texas is a mind-bogglingly complex endeavor, and I am just barely coming out on top of the bureaucracy. But! But! There will be mice I can use for this experiment, ideally by my committee meeting and at least so that I can do a kickass talk for Evolution this year. I'm applying for the SSE Grad Council this year, although the deadline is today--gotta make sure I set some time aside today to do that in amid the flurry of emails.

Also, I'm very carefully dipping my toes into The Body Keeps the Score and gritting my teeth the entire way--more because conceptualizing my life as traumatic in any way feels bad and wrong and self-indulgent and terrifying than because I think that the book itself is problematic. (I'm listening to the text-to-speak function on my phone, which is comforting and a little less scary than reading it for reasons I have no idea how to articulate.)

I'm low on Diamine Meadow right now (review) in my TWSBI stub pen, and I'm really sad about it. I think I need to commit and buy myself a proper bottle of it--this is just the tail end of the 2mL sample I got for my birthday last year.
sciatrix: Rosa Diaz looks down at her lap, laughing. (hidden-smile)
...because while I have very little interest in owning a purebred cat, I like looking at them sometimes. And purebred Maine Coons are eldritch motherfuckers, which is always fun to look at.

This is how I stumbled across this Metatron Eyes cattery, which holy shit looks like one of the nicest, most ethically put together catteries I've ever seen. Damn. If I wanted a purebred cat, this is the sort of place I'd want to buy it from and support. I mean, in practice I have a strong preference for mildly special-needs cats with extremely strong personalities, and it's just straight up easier to find that sort of thing by going through rescue, and we have such a massive feral problem worldwide that sourcing random-bred cats isn't hard. But it's nice to know that if people are going to be breeding cats, there are people out there working to do it with as much attention to quality of life in their animals as possible.

(As I was writing this, Arthur Dent stomped up, crawled into my lap, and immediately started purring himself to sleep. Aw.)

I was having an interesting Twitter conversation about the weird cultural projections that different regions of the US put on dogs this morning, including a guess that a dog from rural Georgia might have some blackmouth cur in her (quite possible!) and some regional discussion of what people expect out of dog manners, so this is quite a nice bookend for my day. I've been thinking about how dog culture in the US might change as dogs in need of homes become less and less common (as they already are in many areas), especially as spay/neuter culture penetrates the US South, and how racism and classism inform rescue culture and the way different breeds and types of dogs are often promoted. (Especially with respect to pit bulls. It is impossible to understand the cultural trajectory of pit bulls in the US without understanding the racial associations and aspects of the dogs, and it's uncomfortably interesting watching the ways that different groups try to promote the breed for adoption by, well, presenting them as middle class white person dogs too.

People get pretty weird about it.

Disclaimer because it's a loaded topic: my opinions on pit bulls are: behind the cut )

I am currently taking a long break from MeFi after I, uh, got hit pretty hard in the exclusion trauma side of things in a thread about wlw. Again. So it's nice to have DW to come back to and natter in, and the hell with everything else for a bit.
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
...I have two cats snuggling on me as we speak, and I would probably have three if Pete could find himself a comfy spot.

And I have tickets to Hamilton for June when it comes through Austin, and I'm very excited about those; and I'm uh. Tackling the other stuff. So that's good, too.

It's being a very productive day so far, and I haven't had to take off my jammies.
sciatrix: Alien cyborg woman Nebula glares up at the camera, jaw set. (determined)
or is the venn diagram of "people who are really into asmr" and "people who are neurodiverse" a pretty overlapping one?

This observation brought to you by this breathless article on how ASMR became a sensation, which has me so, so confused: that sensation is something I've experienced for a long, long time, and is just... an everyday part of being, for me. The way he has to work at it so hard is just alien. I was talking about the sensation a long time before ASMR, the vocabulary staple, came up, in little bits and bobs of "yeah, you know that thing" (I used to call it a tuning-fork sensation), and as I remember it I was usually talking to people in communities with a lot of folks on the autism spectrum. The people I have run into who are way into ASMR have also pinged me in the same kind of way for other reasons.

Is this a thing anyone has bothered to look at or work out? It seems like such an obvious thing that I'm a little shy mentioning it.
sciatrix: Several men from the musical 1776 looking into the camera, with COLLECTIVE NAY written below. (collectiveNAY)
so I was sitting here, minding my own business, trying to watch Critical Role on Youtube--my other DnD friends all love it and I trust their judgement, but attempting to podcast it didn't go great so I'm giving it another shot when I can't be so overwhelmed by the voices. So far I'm having trouble fighting my way through the getting started stuff, which was CRUELLY AMPLIFIED when Youtube took the opportunity to force me to watch two and a half minutes of advertisement for this terrifying movie. In which a dog, uh, haunts a human child and eventually adult and eventually the human child's grandchild over the course of several lifespans, breeds, and bodies, apparently finangling its way into their lives by sheer canine obsessive force, and... apparently discovers a life's purpose in some way? which it has not worked out in any of the previous canine lifetimes?

I can't not take this to the horror place. My dog Tribble is not, like, the secret incarnation of my childhood Jack Russell Terriers or the pointer I had later on. Dogs aren't interchangeable, they have personalities and lives and desires that don't revolve around me! It's the kind of thing that probably seems really cute and heartwarming if you think the world revolves around you, like oh even if you didn't know it this immortal dog spirit loves you enough to follow you around for all eternity with no effort or awareness on your part, but when someone fixates on me without my knowledge or consent it all just comes off as creepy.

Also, the trailer heavily implies that the grandchild's mother chooses to move the grandchild across the country (TERRIBLE woman, ofc) but the grandparents MISS HER and YEARN FOR HER and SHOW UP UNEXPECTED ON HER DOORSTEP and this is all portrayed as very heartwarming and could you not?


I just wanted to listen to goblins!
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
...fortunately, this is a test run for a reason.

Ahahahahaha everything is a disaster but it's gonna be okay


Mar. 16th, 2019 07:03 pm
sciatrix: Clint Barton drinking coffee from the pot, with "When you say it like that, it sounds STUPID" superimposed on top. (when-you-say-it)
...just remembered the abstract deadline for the poster I meant to submit was yesterday.

I'm torn on emailing and asking if they'll take one a day late--this conference has no limit for posters--or just writing the conference off entirely, since as of last I heard it was looking like it would probably be me + PI going and the postdoc I would have wanted to spend more time with won't be attending.

And I don't actually exactly have new data anyway, although I might by then.

Augh. *bangs head into wall* I got so hyperfocused on the manuscript + the experiment I'm starting this week that it totally slipped my mind.
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
...in aid of avoiding the manuscript drafts lurking in wait. Or the playout shit. yeah.

I saw a flag with stripes of many shades of blue, and I looked up what it meant. Apparently it was proposed for gay men. Thanks, I hate it.
My old friend Siggy, who is theoretically the target demographic for this flag, about made me piss myself laughing with this one. (Personally, I view the lipstick lesbian flag as a helpful warning that I should either turn around and run briskly in the opposite direction or else gird myself for TERF wars, so I'm pretty sure I would feel the same way if I was over on his side of the fence.)

[community profile] megascopes made ALL THE CAROL DANVERS ICONS. Excite.

Relatedly, I fucking loved [personal profile] beehammer's point about Carol Danvers not courting insanity when reaching for great power.

And I commune so much with [personal profile] kore's rage upon trying to hunt down AO3 fics in the Captain Marvel tag that actually in any way focus on one of the characters in Captain Marvel. Nrghrgh TAG THINGS BETTER, PLEASE GOD

More DW posting styling HTML links.

and... how to make your DW not suck for people who don't like your HTML style.

I've been enjoying Genevive Valentine's posts, as a total fashion neophyte--I have no idea what is going on, but it's at least entertaining, and there are pictures and sensible explanations.

Someone linked this book on estrangement to me somewhere with a lead piece that made it sound really good. I want to read it, but also: reading time is hard.

[personal profile] satsuma found some interesting evidence of an ace presence at '99 SF Pride.

Actually, It's About Ethics in Doctor Who Journalism, or Why I am no longer talking to Doctor Who fans about race
sciatrix: A green-faced elf throws back his head and laughs. (cackling)
Last night while proctoring a final, I constructed perhaps the phrase of which I am most fond, ever in the context of lobbing an insult at fascists using bad Classical history to justify their politics:

reperiant vissīre cūlīs; sed pēdunt ōribus.

If only they would discover how to fart silently using their assholes; instead they fart loudly using their mouths.

I'm giggling to myself. It's the little things.
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (default-me)
ahahahaha. On the other hand, D&D campaign has been going very well indeed--today involved our helpful orc/human barbarian aggressively flirting with our tiefling bard, who was tipsy and flirting just as aggressively back. The apparently clueless baby druid asked what they were talking about, horrifying two other party members into actively fleeing the room as they explained increasingly more explicitly, and I think all players spent some time laughing their diaphragms out over it.

I am very very late on the second set of manuscript edits and also the other thing I need to do tomorrow, but I edited the one that's actually my thesis work today and sent it off to my boss, so that is a Net Win. Victory! \o/


Mar. 9th, 2019 08:10 am
sciatrix: Alien cyborg woman Nebula glares up at the camera, jaw set. (determined)
So I asked Metafilter about class and socioeconomic status yesterday. Not theoretically, either: I was pretty direct about where I was coming from and openly curious about other people and their thoughts.

thoughts behind the cut )

So. I don't know. I'm sitting thoughtfully right now and putting my thoughts here rather than there. I'm not feeling much in the way of personal emotion, just intellectual interest. But I had thoughts, and I figured this was probably the place to have them without distorting the entire conversation around me.
sciatrix: a singing mouse tilts its mouth upwards, mid-song, with the words "cheep cheep" appearing to come out of its mouth in white text. below, SCIENCE is picked out in light green, bold font. (cheep cheep)
Does anyone have good articles on the topic of mental health and the ADA for an audience of working researchers? EEB specific would be great but is not required. I'll be co-leading a group discussion in my department on the topic in two weeks, and I need to send something out. Currently I'm thinking of this Meg Duffy piece on crying in science, but I'd like to touch more on what kinds of mental health supports are actively required in academia which people might or might not have realized. I would also like to find pieces to the effect of "this is why you should care about disability and mental health shit in academia, guys."

It's so hard to know how to focus this one--the ADA addition wasn't my thought to add into the topic, and it makes me want to talk neurodiversity, buuuut this is a very 101 crowd and I don't want to overshoot my audience. Signal boosting would be welcome.
sciatrix: Alien cyborg woman Nebula glares up at the camera, jaw set. (determined)
I opened my mouth today and found myself saying, rather emphatically: "I don't want the same job but with a better salary and a better boss. I want the job to have a better salary, but I want to be the boss."

In other news, I get to see Captain Marvel tonight so expect comments in a later spoiler post.
sciatrix: A green-faced elf throws back his head and laughs. (cackling)
I've been reading a lot of Adventure Zone fic lately, and there's some real good writers in the fandom, and my buddy Queenie loves TAZ too but hasn't dipped into the fic, and she was curious to see what the good fics were. So! A brief rec list, and reasons I really loved these stories! This rec-list is focused on TAZ Balance, although if I have a minute I'll sit down and dig through for TAZ Amnesty stories I really love. One thing I love about this fandom is that there is a lot of good gen out there, and a lot of meditations on the theme of chosen family: there are canon queer relationships, if you don't know TAZ, but most of these stories don't revolve around them. I don't believe there are any non-canon ships in this list. (I also think there's only one canonical romance between two straight-and-cis-as-far-as-we-know characters in the whole of canon, which is its own form of nice.)

anyway! the recs!

as always with TAZ this shit is spoilery as hell for everything Stolen Century and forward, but as the reveal in Stolen Century drives a lot of the show's bestest character dynamics--read at your own will! )
sciatrix: Alien cyborg woman Nebula glares up at the camera, jaw set. (determined)
so I'm commenting on the aromantic community again.

It's not...

I have such complicated feelings about it! It feels like the people who are continuing the conversations I had ten years ago are also erasing me and the context of those conversations, and I admit I get so bitter at the way that I only ever seem to hear from aromantic community and spaces when they're expressing derision at people who associate them with asexual communities, like there was some kind of cadre of aromantic allosexuals who came up with the whole thing.

And then the older I get and the less I'm convinced romantic orientation is a useful metric for talking about the way that people navigate the world of attachment, because I think the thing people are often talking about is more about limerence and less about the way you find people to grow together with and make families, but limerence is only really relevant when you're starting something new and not so much when you're moving together along a path.

And I worry about the endless hyperfocus on beginnings and not on journeys. Because I think that's what connection with people is, and at the end of the day, I think that the best things that aromantic community discussion has to bring to the table is to really emphasize the concept of chosen journeys that we take with other people.
sciatrix: A grison, a black-and-white large weasel rather resembling a honey badger, looks up at the camera with eyes wide in excitement. (grison)
re-listening to TAZ Petals to the Metal...

I'm just delighted all over again that Taako's animal persona was the mongoose, and that this was a totally serious choice on his part. It's such a good character choice! And then the rant about being a fully realized person from behind a mongoose mask was just a++. Nicely done.
sciatrix: A green-faced elf throws back his head and laughs. (cackling)
today I learned that Latin had a verb meaning to fart silently, which just seems like an overarching achievement for any language--and it's even onomatopoeic! (vissire, for the curious).)
sciatrix: Clint Barton drinking coffee from the pot, with "When you say it like that, it sounds STUPID" superimposed on top. (when-you-say-it)
...for which she has assigned all of us character species and classes, and instructed us to create level 5 or 6 characters "so you'll have cool things to play with." I've been given a High Elven Arcane Archer and instructed to "go nuts."

So of course I will be playing as Clint Barton, Elven Warrior. (Toying with always-an-elf!Clint AU vs ported-into-the-body-of-Legolas!Clint. Either way, this is gonna be fun.)

Thus far, Cilinton Baeriton is getting exploding arrows, arrows with thorny grapply powers, and also the ability to light small fires at will. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG


sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)

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