More Disaster Relief Links

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:38 am
wendelah1: words: Always be a little kinder than necessary (Always be a little kinder than necessary)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because the hits just keep coming. Give what you can, if you can.

Fundraiser by St. John's Rescue: St. John Victims of Hurricane Irma. This is an island-based charity and rescue group.

Harvey HELP is a fundraiser started by educators for their college students who've affected by Hurricane Harvey in order to provide grants to help keep them in school. It hasn't attracted much attention, sadly.

21 US Virgin Island's Relief Fund is the fundraiser organized by former San Antonio Spurs star, Tim Duncan.

Hurricane Irma and Maria Relief for the Caribbean:

Catholic Charities USA

Global Giving

Save the Children

UNICEF.

Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico was mentioned in an interview on MSNBC by a government official, name unremembered.

This made me remember that Habitat for Humanity helps low income people build houses all over the world, including the USA.

Habit for Humanity of Florida. This site has info for victims, too.

Huston Habitat for Humanity.

From Fortune.com, here is a long list of places to donate for Mexico.
Here’s How You Can Help Mexico Earthquake Victims. It includes the usual suspects as well as some local organizations.

And since I'm an Episcopalian and a "socialist," here is a link for Episcopal Relief and Development.

Links (plus some commentary)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
wendelah1: (A better world is possible)
[personal profile] wendelah1
I wish there was something positive to report. Instead, here's your daily reminder that millions of Americans are still at risk of losing their healthcare.

That's why we need to keep making those Calls to Kill Trumpcare.

The Guardian: Senate aims for healthcare vote next week as Obama condemns repeal effort

The Rachel Maddow blog: On health care, the GOP literally doesn’t know what it’s doing.

Tell me about it.

NYT: Republican Leaders Defy Bipartisan Opposition to Health Law Repeal.

Esquire: The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore They're too tired to lie. But they're not too tired to vote for this piece of crap masquerading as actual legislation.

Brief healthcare rant )

Other links

The Conversation: Flood Insurance is Broken. Here are some ways to fix it.

NYT: Harvey and Irma Wiped Out Our Kitchens. Still, We Cook.

Lit Hub: Life On the Road and In a Walmart Parking Lot. Review of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder.

About the same author and book, in the NYT: On the Road With the Casualties of the Great Recession.

Why Are Americans Less Charitable Than They Used to Be? Researchers found that the losses of the Great Recession do not entirely explain why people aren’t giving very much money to charity. Maybe it's because they feel they have to donate to groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL, which are defending our democracy instead?

On a lighter note, from Lit Hub: 10 Famous Book Hoarders. My husband is a non-famous book hoarder. "No, Dad is an everything hoarder," our son pointed out. He has a point. Sigh.

BBC: The island people with a climate change escape plan. I'm glad to hear that someone has a plan.

That's Not My Age (a style blog for women over 50): Street Style Forever at London Fashion Week. Now I love seeing all the high falutin' old ladies in tennis shoes--it validates my own style-not-quite-choices but I'm having a harder time with the shirtdresses over blue jeans look. I'm trying to keep an open mind.

DON'T GIVE UP

Sep. 20th, 2017 10:27 am
wendelah1: quote: Ezra 10:4 (resistance)
[personal profile] wendelah1
There is so much going on in the news but we can't allow ourselves to forget that the Republican-controlled Senate is poised to take healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans.

Sign up, make calls, attend protests if you are able. Post the INDIVISIBLE website on Facebook. If you live in one of the key states, beg your friends and family to call up their Senators. Make a contribution to INDIVISIBLE or to the resistance group of your choice. DON'T GIVE UP.

Calls to Kill Trumpcare.

We can't let the Senate get away with this. Healthcare represents one sixth of the U.S. economy. If they do this terrible thing, it will only embolden them. They'll keep on doing it, crafting their incoherent, evil legislation in secret, with the end goal being to transfer more and more money into the hands of their donor class: the big multinational corporations--because thanks to our Supreme Court, corporations are people too--and the mega-wealthy one percenters. We must understand this: the Republicans in Congress won't stop until ordinary Americans are completely at the mercy of the ruling class.

We do not live in a democracy. I know, it's hard to accept. It goes against everything I was taught, everything I want to believe about my country. But the very fact that the Republicans in Congress are going ahead with their nefarious plans despite knowing full well that the overwhelming majority of Americans want the Affordable Care Act fixed, not repealed, confirms that. These senators want to serve their rich masters, not their constituents, and if we don't stop them somehow, they will.

And if wanting my fellow Americans to have decent healthcare makes me a socialist, Senator Lindsey Graham, well, fine then. I'M A SOCIALIST.

Please note that under Senator Graham's bill, his state will actually gain funding. Could this plan be more cynical, more devious, or more venal?

~/~/~

I know I'm sounding like a broken record (wow, there's a metaphor about to lose its relevance) but September is National Disaster Preparedness Month for a reason. I beg of you--if you don't have your supplies laid in and your plan in place, it is never too soon--or too late--to start working on it.

If it seems like I'm obsessed with disaster planning, well, you're right. I am. Maybe it's because unlike hurricanes, which give people time to panic, sit in lines at the gas station, and debate whether or not to evacuate, California's earthquakes give us no warning. Waiting for the storm of the century to hit makes people feel helpless because by the time they get home from work, the bottled water is gone from the grocery shelves, and so are the flashlights, and the kind of baby formula that doesn't need refrigeration.

Earthquakes. Just. Happen. We never know when or where the next one will hit. People who live in earthquake country should all be making preparations well in advance. If we don't, we're taking a huge risk. (And dammit I hate risk.) And we're due, FUCK IT, we're overdue for a bad one in California. Or two. Look at what just happened in Mexico: two catastrophic quakes in two weeks! Hundreds of dead, dozens of collapsed buildings, including two schools full of children, thousands upon thousands of homes lying in rubble.

The Mexico City quake struck on the 32th anniversary of the 1985 quake that destroyed the city, mere hours after their yearly commemorative earthquake drill. I have no words.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico just took a direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

~/~/~

It's overwhelming, I know it is. But we have to keep making those calls.

Yeah. I'm not panicked at all.

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:54 am
wendelah1: Letter H is for Holy Crap (H is for Holy Crap)
[personal profile] wendelah1
From USA TODAY: UNITED NATIONS – In a bracing speech to the United Nations, President Trump threatened Tuesday to "destroy" North Korea if it does not give up its nuclear weapons program.

Is he trying to start a war? For real?

A "bracing speech"? WTF, USA TODAY.

We cannot let ourselves get derailed by the shitstorm the Trump administration calls their foreign policy. We still have to make those phone calls to stop Trumpcare.

Frustration

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:44 pm
viridian5: (Death Guinea Pig)
[personal profile] viridian5
There's probably a way to do this on AO3 and I just don't know it, but for the most part I don't want to read your setting-change AUs, so many modern fic authors. I don't want to see the characters in a modern, Regency, coffee shop, high school/college, hipster, or pirate setting. Canon divergence is often okay with me, but if I'm in the fandom the odds are good I like the canon setting and canon version of the characters and want to read about them. There are some authors skilled enough to carry me along but not enough to make up for the deluge.

Is there a way to filter them out? Because there are way too many of them in many fandoms I'm reading lately.

+++

Add another to the list of Things that Only Happen to V: Sunday night my car was the next in line and partially inside an auto car wash when the machine broke. After I paid by credit card, so they had to refund it. They had to back my car out, and when it showed up a plastic piece of the undercarriage had been partially ripped loose and dragged along the ground, no doubt from the machine malfunction while gripping my car to move it. I couldn't see if there was more damage. The guys tucked it up and told me to come back Monday when they'd have some mechanics in. I came back and they bolted the plastic piece back on while swearing no other damage was done. I'm keeping Sunday's receipts just in case.

We Won't Betrumped Again

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:42 am
wendelah1: (Repeal and Replace)
[personal profile] wendelah1
INDIVISIBLE just unveiled a new calling tool for folks in Blue States who want to help stop Trumpcare: Calls to Kill TrumpCare. We can't call our Senators--well, we can but mine are both Democrats and they are not the problem here. But we can make calls to our counterparts in key Red States and ask them to call their Senators.

How California — yes, California — could make a Trump reelection more difficult. YES!

Atlas Obscura: Found: 30 Lost English Words That May Deserve a Comeback.

Well, well, well. I think "betrump" deserves a comeback. Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from. Examples: I think our entire country is getting betrumped on a daily basis. Don't let yourselves get betrumped! Curses! Betrumped again! See what I mean? So useful. So accurate.

During Irma’s Power Outages, Some Houses Kept The Lights On With Solar And Batteries. Of course, if the roof has blown off or the living room has been flooded, having solar power doesn't mean all that much. Also, we're paying to help folks rebuild in the same flood zones over and over again. Maybe that needs to change?

USA TODAY: Dear Texas, how many times do we have to rebuild the same house? (You're next Florida). It's a reasonable question, imho.

Two years before NFIP was created, the 1966 Presidential Task Force on Federal Flood Control Policy warned that a badly run program 'could exacerbate the whole problem of flood losses. For the federal government to subsidize low premium disaster insurance ... would be to invite economic waste of great magnitude.' That sage advice was ignored.

The Atlantic: Has Climate Change Intensified 2017’s Western Wildfires? Long story, short: Yes. It has.

VOX: The brilliant, infuriating, boring, hypnotic Ken Burns documentary on The Vietnam War. The documentarian’s latest miniseries for PBS is a staggering achievement — and maybe his best work. I watched the first episode. It was good. I learned new things about Vietnam and its history. We keep making the same mistakes, over and over again. This has to stop.

Taking What They're Giving

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:38 am
viridian5: (Rommie blue)
[personal profile] viridian5
Watamote has been annoying me because it makes its protagonist somewhat repellent and falls into the unfortunately common category of making a social outcast's outcast state totally her fault. People keep making friendly overtures to her but she's too much of a mess to actually talk to them, driving them away. If only she would let people in, the show despairs. If only she wouldn't let her solitude make her so weird.

Where were all these friendly, interested people when I was unpopular in school? (I'm sure I'm not alone in wondering that.) Read more... )

I was shy but put effort in as much as I could, making a few friends over time, but I worked for all of it.

Environmental Adjustments

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:10 pm
viridian5: (Uryu (grrrr))
[personal profile] viridian5
I've been watching the Planet Earth documentary series on BBC. (Tonight it's their "Frozen Planet" episodes.) Not only are the photography and footage are amazing, they could provide interesting ideas for people writing alien worlds and creatures, because some of these have to be seen to be believed.

+++

The sudden heatwave of temperatures higher than some parts of August, which had been mild some weeks, has been messing with my head, which never deals well with sudden temperature or weather shifts. I resent that I'm still paying for air conditioning. We're getting golden autumn afternoon light but it feels like July.

I also want to start wearing jackets and boots.
wendelah1: My team (Stargate SG-1)
[personal profile] wendelah1
This is a signal boost of a post on Livejournal. Read here about efforts to contact authors who posted fanfiction on the Alpha Gate, a wonderful and long-established archive for Stargate SG-1 which is moving to the Archive Of Our Own.

Please take a gander at the list of authors and see if you know how to contact any of them about the archive's move.

Thanks to [personal profile] princessofgeeks for the heads up. Please spread the word if you can.

The Zombie Bill

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
wendelah1: (OH NO NOT YOU AGAIN)
[personal profile] wendelah1
ARGH.

From Slate: Republicans Are Seriously Getting Optimistic About Passing Obamacare Repeal Again.

That's bad enough but that's not the worst part.

My colleague Jordan Weissmann has written about how the Graham-Cassidy bill is not the moderate compromise its backers make it out to be. The bill would essentially collapse Obamacare’s market subsidies and Medicaid expansion by replacing them with block grants allotted to each state to design their own health systems, with few strings attached. Those grants would be determined by a complex formula that, relative to current law, punishes large blue states or those that expanded Medicaid while rewarding red states that didn’t. Like previous GOP bills, Graham-Cassidy would also set slow-growing per-capita caps on traditional Medicaid, and allow states to waive out of core Obamacare insurance regulations. It would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.


That's right. This bill punishes states like California and New York for expanding Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act while rewarding the states that didn't. It takes money away from my state because we provided healthcare benefits for our residents and gives it to the likes of TEXAS, which didn't. TEXAS!

Ending the Affordable Care Act while at the same time rewarding people in the states that did vote for Trump and punishing people who live in the states that didn't vote him. Wow. Now that's a WIN-WIN.

Those FUCKERS.

More angry ranting )

The INDIVISIBLE website has everything you need to know to help stop this travesty. AGAIN.

You won this before. Now it's time to win it again. Let's #KillTheBill.

Yuletide nominations are ending soon

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:19 pm
wendelah1: (I signed up to write what?!?)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VERY soon. My Yuletide nominations are as follows:

1. Deviations: The X-Files
Dana Scully (Deviations)
Samantha Mulder (Deviations)
Fox Mulder (Deviations)
Cigarette Smoking Man (Deviations)

2. The Expanse (TV)
Jim Holden (The Expanse TV) - I had to add The Expanse TV to get the nomination accepted because someone else had nominated the same character for the book series. Ditto for Joe Miller.
Joe Miller (The Expanse TV)
Julie Mao
Octavia Muss

3. Interstellar (2013)
Amelia Brand
Joseph Cooper
Murphy Cooper
Tom Cooper

Here's a fantastic one-minute fandom: Has anyone heard of Dixit? I suggested to the nominator that someone should create a Dixit Bingo community. These pictures are more surreal than the average fic Bingo card but I like that about them. I will offer it for sure. Heck, I might even ask for the game for my birthday.

Yuletide noms!

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:24 pm
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)

so, bras

Sep. 14th, 2017 02:44 pm
jmtorres: Mom cups daughter's boobs in bra shop.  Text: MOTHER! (girlie things)
[personal profile] jmtorres
In recent months I have gone from being able to wear underwire bras for a few hours to rarely being able to wear underwire bras at all. I have many lovely colorful underwire bras that have not seen much wear, and I am hoping some of you might be interested in buying some of them, as I am broke and still looking for a job.

Sized 42G/44F, exciting teals and magentas and also some standard beiges and blacks, all with underwire of course, some padded, some unlined/mesh.

I am requesting $17 for one bra, $12 each for any subsequent bras, no shipping charge in the US lower 48 (I can look into shipping costs elsewhere if desired). These were all around $50 when brand new, so this is a steal!

Images below the cut. Bras! Bras! Bras! )
viridian5: (Still fighting)
[personal profile] viridian5
Monday night I drove into Brooklyn and Manhattan to see the Tribute in Light. Seeing the 9/11 stuff on the TV brought me to tears sometimes but this year the Tribute didn't make me cry, though the catharsis/"do something about it" parts amidst the apocalypse of A Thousand Suns I was listening to the whole time might've helped. Getting my car redirected and lost a few times may have contributed as well, since frustration and rage came in.

For whatever reason, recently I recalled how wonderful fandom was that day, so many people checking online hoping for the safety of New York City-based fans and the blatant relief from many when I (and others) checked into the internet. I had to wait until that afternoon, when the local phone lines finally calmed down a bit.

note to self on the subject of baking

Sep. 11th, 2017 09:53 pm
jmtorres: The arch-elf from the movie Santa Clause, with pita. (food)
[personal profile] jmtorres
I very rarely if ever have the patience to make my own pie crusts, but I also usually dislike storebought ones (pilsbury, usually is what i can find) to the extent of why did I even bother to give this thing a crust?

but I have discovered that I actually like trader joe's house brand pre-made frozen pie crusts. The main flavor difference is that down in the bottom of of the ingredients, just before salt, is sugar. strangely, I suppose, I think a sweet pie should have an at least moderately sweet crust? texturally and/or digestively, when reading ingredients to figure out what the difference, it turns out pilsbury uses xanthan gum. so much for them.

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 04:38 pm
nestra: (Seth)
[personal profile] nestra
We were watching "The Grinder" on Netflix, and it's funny enough. Silly, but I am totally okay with silly these days. Rob Lowe is Rob Lowe-ing all over everything.

But now Timothy Olyphant has shown up as a villain. I am ON BOARD.
wendelah1: (raindrops keep fallin' on their heads)
[personal profile] wendelah1
VOX: Photos: what Hurricane Irma’s destruction looks like on the ground

NPR: The Rubble And Recovery Of U.S. Virgin Islands: 'Will We Survive The Aftermath?'

Huffington Post: After Irma, Tim Duncan Pens Emotional Plea: Don’t Forget The U.S. Virgin Islands

NYT: Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: 'All the Food Is Gone'

The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC: U.S.Virgin Islands facing dire circumstances after Hurricane Irma

You can donate to help the U.S. Virgin Islands. Retired San Antonio Spurs' superstar Tim Duncan has donated $250,000 and will match up to one million dollars.

Conde Naste Traveler has international donation suggestions: How to Help Victims of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

Rollcall: Opinion: A Big-Spending Liberal Is a Conservative Who Has Been Flooded.

Popular Mechanics: How to Rebuild Our Infrastructure in This Age of Superstorms | These are not once-in-a-lifetime events.

NPR:
Air Pollution From Industry Plagues Houston In Harvey's Wake

Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms. We're having a really bad fire season season here in the West and Northwest.

The Guardian: How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes | Global warming may not only be causing more destructive hurricanes, it could also be shaking the ground beneath our feet.

In the wake of the recent hurricanes, monsoon flooding, wildfires, and earthquakes, I hope everyone is taking the time to review their own disaster preparations: check and replenish supplies, go over evacuation plans, update insurance. The time to stock up on water, food, gasoline and batteries is not after the shit hits the fan.

REPOSTED FROM FEMA: September is National Preparedness Month.

Everything South City: Are YOU Prepared for a Disaster? September is Disaster Preparedness Month!

The National Weather Service: Don't Wait. Communicate

The Sweethome: The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies. I don't know about "the best." It's a decent review site, especially if you have no money worries and infinite storage space. I do appreciate that one of the editors lives in California so earthquake preparedness is addressed along with the usual extreme weather emergencies.

To spread out the pain, for the past few years, I've been trying to buy one or two items a month. I disagree with some of their picks; for example, I can see no reason that anyone's emergency kit needs a $30 water bottle, especially since the site claims the recommendations are for people sheltering at home. What's wrong with using a glass or a cup that you already own? Of course, that wouldn't generate any income for the site, now would it? Unless you lift weights, I wouldn't go for the seven gallon storage jug that weighs close to sixty pounds when full. Where would you keep it in between disasters? Plus you have to remember to dump it and replace the water every year. If money is no object, and you have storage space to spare, why not get Blue Can Water, which has a shelf life of 50 years? I'll never have to buy emergency water again! I can leave it to my son in my will!

One urgent problem that I never see addressed in articles on emergency preparedness is waste management. What are you supposed to do you do when the sewer system no longer functions, for days, weeks, or even, in the case of a catastrophic earthquake, a year or longer? No worries- PHLUSH (Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human) has you covered. Under "Emergency Toilet Systems" there is a menu of Nine Actions You Can Take, including instructions on how to Make a Twin Bucket Toilet. You can buy the cheapest bucket/seat combo at REI for about twenty bucks. They're also available at Amazon but only to Prime Members. Yes, those assholes have no shame. Walmart is currently sold out, which isn't surprising given that the USA is coping with two major weather disasters.

The problem is not confined to natural disasters. The way we routinely deal with our pee and poop is in itself a disaster in the making.

Slate: Minds in the Toilet: There's a sewage crisis, so hold your nose and think hard. This review of Rose George's The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters (2008) is enlightening enough that I'm adding it to my to-read list. To summarize, Western-style sewage disposal is polluting our water and destroying our oceans; meanwhile, "Four in ten people have no access to any latrine, toilet, bucket or box. Nothing." The bottom line: The way we deal with human waste is unsustainable. Think about it. In a warming world in which drinking water is fast becoming a scarce commodity, it makes no sense to pollute our precious water supply with waste products while simultaneously spending billions of dollars trying to clean it up.

Finally, Behold The Fatberg: London's 130-Ton, 'Rock-Solid' Sewer Blockage. This is a recurring human-caused disaster, one that results from people who dispose of those so-called flushable wipes down the toilet, plus other individuals who dump their cooking grease down the kitchen sink. I can almost understand the wipes because of the way the packaging falsely claims they can be safely flushed (there should be a law against that, dammit), but there is no excuse for dumping grease into a sewer line. EVER.
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