Having been on book tour, I haven't been able to update the announcements, but the chapters have still gone up! You can find all three new ones at the Summer in Orcus main page!
Here's the trailer for Princess Weiyoung:
We were just talking about him the other day, because one of his songs was playing in a restaurant, "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes." There are some lovely, subtle references to Indian and Middle Eastern traditions where people imagine peacocks as carrying the thousand eyes of God, always watching.
40 things you can stop doing right now: A group of senior doctors has released a list of 40 procedures it considers to have little or no benefit. Could we apply similar thinking to everyday life?
The truth is that many aspects of life are simply uncontrollable. Ageing, infertility, death and disease – even broken bones – are most often out of our hands. And hearing this news now, post-Brexit, when unemployment, housing and the economy are looking so precarious is an added kick in the teeth. When things are this bad, we want the illusion of control at least.
Partly, I suppose, this is because people feel they need to be Doing Something - is it not well-documented that people expect to come away from a GP appointment with a prescription, which has led to the massive over-prescribing of antibiotics for conditions for which they are not even a treatment. Also, I guess, docs like to feel that they are Doing Something.
I suppose Doing Something may at least be something to occupy one while Nature's Healing Powers take effect...*
I also wonder how much this relates to a society that supposes that you can Fix Things and you should - I was absolutely horrified at that, I think it was Lemsip, ad, that claimed that if you took it you would be able to get into work even with the flu. How bad an idea is that?
I'm fairly sure that there are several things I do less because I see any positive benefit than because a) they are a habit and b) the 'always keep a hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse' mindset that maybe things would be worse without.
*Not that I am advising the kind of Extreme Rest that was involved in Weir Mitchell's Rest Cure rather than a more moderate regime of Taking Things Easy if one is not feeling quite the thing.
I had a totally wonderful time even so, and I'm extremely glad I went. ( what I did on the weekend )
Yesterday I left after a late and leisurely breakfast and had a very easy journey to get in in good time to run the Simchat Torah service at shul for a scant minyan, and nobody younger than my about to be bar mitzvah student. Even though travelling out on Shabbat and returning on the festival day is not how I want to be, it was really good for me to get a proper break after the intensity of the festival season. And a weekend away, even if it was a bit rushed, will help renewing my enthusiasm for work now we're a month into the term. But mostly it was wonderful to be able to join in with part of my loves' adventure.
For over two weeks now, Harvard’s Dining Hall Workers, of the UNITE HERE Local 26 union, have been participating in a historic strike to protest cuts to their health coverage and to demand a living wage.
It’s the first Harvard dining hall worker strike during the school year, and a fantastic movement demonstrating the appalling stubbornness of the nation’s wealthiest university’s reluctance to provide a living wage to the very people without whom the university could not exist. And the strike appears to be successful, as word came late Monday night that a “tentative agreement” between Harvard and the workers had been reached amid massive support from workers, students, and activists.
Rosa Ines Rivera, a dining hall worker and union member, has penned a powerful op ed in the New York Times about the strike. Writes Ines:
Harvard is the richest university in the nation, with a $35 billion endowment. But I can’t live on what Harvard pays me. The average dining hall worker makes $31,193 a year, higher than other cafeterias in the area, but it still doesn’t go far around Boston. That’s why we’re asking for an annual salary of $35,000 for some financial stability, particularly since most dining halls are open only during the school year. Right now I’m lucky to work in one of the few cafeterias that’s open all year…If good health is truly “one of the fundamental rights of every human being,” then shouldn’t that also apply to the human beings working in Harvard’s cafeterias?
The historic strike has received support from the university community and surrounding community, demonstrated in a recent march of over 1,000 people in support of the workers.
The strike — and Rivera’s article — highlights the greed of not only the nation’s richest university, but brings attention to the persistent inequalities perpetuated by our country’s corporate entities — including those of higher education. Rivera’s story resonates with that of many other women, and especially women of color, who are more likely than men to work low wage jobs. In case we needed a reminder: Economic justice is gender justice.
With the recent news, it looks like the Harvard dining hall workers’ strong movement will force Harvard to provide them with their due — a living wage and affordable health care. And let’s hope the movement will remind all our universities that social justice isn’t just something professors and students preach in the classroom: It is the fundamental right of the workers who make these institutions run.
Photo Credit: Annie E. Schugart, the Harvard Crimson
This Mandarin news program was broadcast on July 13, 2016 by Èluósī bīnhǎi xīnwén 俄罗斯滨海新闻 ("Russian Coastal News").
This news anchor's Mandarin sounds really strange. Her tones wander off in unexpected directions, and she pronounces each syllable separately, without any sense of word separation or sentence intonation. It sounds to me as though she has a basic understanding of Mandarin pronunciation but doesn't have much experience speaking the language. She may well be reading off the news in a Pinyin transcription with the syllables equidistantly spaced, not grouped into words.
The anchor's halting introductions to the various sections of the newscast alternate with explanations by a fluent Mandarin speaker, so you can readily get an idea of how different her delivery is from that of a person with native fluency.
Lest Language Log readers get the impression that Russians are not very good at speaking Putonghua / Guoyu / MSM, I hasten to add that I know many of them who speak excellent Mandarin with no accent or a fairly light and not unpleasant one. That this individual who has this weird, unnatural accent is found fit to serve as news anchor is utterly bizarre.
One of the curious things about this historic election is that pollsters have all but abandoned questioning whether the nation is "ready" for a woman president.There is, as always, more at the link!
The question has long been a staple of polls measuring national political attitudes: "Gallup have carried out similar polls at periodic intervals since 1937, when only one-third of those polled said they would back a female candidate."
But there has not been a polling question during the general election assessing readiness, even as we come ever closer to the possibility.
...The decision to stop asking the question seems less like a celebration that the nation has passed a crucial threshold and instead like further erasure of the sexism directed at Clinton and promulgated by her opponent.
Clinton is making history, and it is frustrating how many of our institutions seem invested in concealing the contours of the seismic history she is making.
It's really strange to me that they've stopped asking, and it's also strange to me that I'm the only one covering the election who seems to have noticed!
Halloween can be a hectic time what with getting a costume ready, buying candy, and then re-buying candy because you ate it all before the 31st. But you can save yourself quite a bit of time when it comes to carving a pumpkin if you can get your hands on a hundred thousand dollar waterjet machine.
selenak: Frankfurt Book Fair II. I always enjoy Selena's annual bookfair posts, but the summary of ceremony for this year's Peace Award of the German Book Trade is a fabulous read.
Booms fixed after wind spreads diesel fuel from tug sunk near Bella Bella: Spill area home to endangered abalone, clams, sea urchin and juvenile salmon, Heiltsuk First Nation says.
Coast Guard chief defends response to sunken tug in B.C.: Tug almost empty of diesel but fuel still washing ashore.
So this has been a clusterfuck start to finish. Tell me again why running tankers through that area is perfectly safe.
Meanwhile, in Australia: It’s Perfectly Legal To Tell Fred Nile To Fuck Off, Judge Says
This warms my heart. I had trouble finding a non-Buzzfeed source, but here it is on GNN.
And I guess I don't need to tell you it was awesome.
President Obama appears onscreen, sitting and facing the camera, reading the tweets off of a mobile phone in his hand.Yesssssss, Mr. President! TELL HIM!
"Barack Obama is the Nickelback of presidents." [laughter] "Obama couldn't negotiate getting a Whopper without pickles." [laughter] @woodstockdave. Thanks, Dave. "I bet Obama likes mustard on his hotdogs because he's gross." [laughter] @duckpunks. "Just found out my daugther shares a birthday with Obama PUKE." [laughter] In caps. @momof4munchkins. "Barack Obama dances like how his jeans look." [laughter] You know, this jeans thing. This is so old. [laughter] This was years ago. Come on.
"My mom bought new conditioner and it sucks it isn't even conditioning my hair I blame Obama." [laughter] "Barack Obama...bro, do you even lift?!" [laughter] Well, I lifted the ban on Cuban cigars. That's worth something. [laughter and applause] "Barack Obama is the shark—" chuckle "Barack Obama is the sharknado of presidents. Loud, stupid, and over-hyped!" [laughter] Hashtag Sharknado 4. [laughter]
"President Obama will do down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!" Exclamation point. @realDonaldTrump. [laughter] Well, @realDonaldTrump, at least I will go down as a president. [laughter, cheers, and applause]
Obama drops the phone.
One thing we know for certain about Justin Lin: he loves car movies. I mean he directed four entries in the Fast and Furious series, and was recently tapped for the toy-inspired Hot Wheelsfilm, so his association with the latest Knight Rider reboot makes perfect sense. But you won’t be seeing it on the big screen, or even on TV.
Give me time, I'm sure I can come up with 42 other things I should totally be doing RIGHT NOW.
Jury duty, if I remember to make a separate post, will definitely go to a separate post and be full of cranky and venting and fuck our racist justice system because WOW there is NO WAY this should have come to a trial. Luckily the eight of us who immediately fell into "you made your own case against the defendant being guilty you suck at prosecuting we're done here" talked the other four around, so a kid didn't get his life any MORE ruined. I hope he gets better friends. Mentors? Both.
I have also voted, because the city-county building is in spitting distance of the courthouse and they'll take you regardless of precinct. Which is very very nice. Plus I have moonshine apple pie sitting on top of my fridge, along with bourbon, so I am SET for election night. I think I even have enough popcorn if Texas goes blue.
Mostly I am very very tired, slogging through getting shit done as best I can, just realized that I STILL haven't done the fucking dialogue questions for Russian and that I need like an hour of brain to devote to refreshing my memory on the dialogues themselves, and my apartment is still a fucking mess of needing to be cleaned and I am sick of needing extra sleep oh my god.
A vague attempt at order of operations for today: hit post, feed the cat, do hand PT, clean bathrooms, shower, trim talons. Fold laundry, eat lunch. Do some amount of practice somewhere in there? Then math, then... I don't even know what.