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(Much of what I will talk about is "off-screen" knowledge. I will avoid major spoilers.)

Heather and I are both enjoying RWBY, while Jane is loving the soundtrack. It has a lot of little surprises and Easter Eggs in it. For a company that openly admits that their previous works have been "a sausage fest", they are working hard to create something that appeals to girls like Heather.

Each character is based on a figure out of myth, legend, or history. Each character is also based on some role in an RPG party, as admitted by the show's creators. The roles are usually pretty easy to guess.

The main characters are part of "Team RWBY" (pronounced "Ruby"), composed of Ruby Rose (Red, inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, Leader), Weiss Schnee (White, inspired by Snow White, Weapons Specialist), Blake Belladonna (Black, inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Ninja/Scout), and Yang Xiao Long (Yellow, inspired by Goldilocks, Heavy/Tank).

The supporting team (which gets a lot of screen time) is Team JNPR (pronounced "Juniper"). Jaune Arc (male, Joan of Arc, Leader), Nora Valkyrie (female, Thor, Heavy/Tank), Pyhrra Nikos (female, Achilles, Weapons Specialist), and Lie Ren (male, Hua Mulan, Martial Artist/Scout).

Wait, what? That's right, all of the major characters are either female (Team RWBY) or the opposite gender of the characters they are loosely based on (JNPR). Every inspiration for JNPR spent time disguised as the opposite gender. Even Thor, and I hadn't know that prior to this. Nora is also the comic relief. Thor, in a pink skirt, with a hammer/grenade launcher (weapons transform in this universe) that shoots shells with little pink hearts on them. Nora is the "Heavy" of her team, with the strength, endurance, and damn-the-torpedoes attitude to go with it. Yang, the RWBY heavy, is the sort of girl that would jump into a monster's mouth and brace its jaws open so she could punch energy blasts down its throat. No, really.... So they are playing with some gender expectations, here.

The world is called "Remnant", and it is most definitely not Earth. So, you wouldn't expect the same attitudes about race that we have here. I was disappointed at first to find only (what we would call) Caucasian characters. Volume 2 introduces some people of color. The end of Volume 1, Episode 15 (The Stray) and Episode 16 (Black and White) tie together some loose story elements and shove them right in your face: Race, and many of the problems WE have with it, are very, very much an important part of the world of Remnant. It caught me rather off-guard.

For a group that made their name doing parodies and reviews of console games, Rooster Teeth has done quite well with this. I look forward to Volume 2 next month.

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Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste... years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just... take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that and walk away. But that's hard.
Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
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Something I have heard recently, and it sounds very plausible, but I would love to see it tested.

When Fantasy women aren't wearing chainmail bikinis (which are decoration, and not much of that), they are often wearing armor with boobs. Yes, they are often depicted with chest armor that has sculpted breasts to accommodate (or, let's be honest: enhance) the female warrior's secondary sexual characteristics.

What I have been told is that these things will kill you! If a woman wore something like that into combat--and I would assume SCA or other re-enactor combat would do it just as much!--she would stand a good chance of being badly injured or killed because of her armor.

Here's the science as it has been presented to me:

Armor is designed to cushion and spread out the force of a blow. The outer layer, the metal, spreads out the energy to reduce the P.S.I. on a particular point. The padding underneath absorbs that energy. A whack with a heavy object that would crush bones is spread out by armor, so hopefully you get no more than a bruise. That's the purpose of armor.

The thing is, metal breasts are shaped like a wedge. The point of that wedge is aimed directly at the sternum, which is directly over the heart. So, a hard blow to the chest when wearing breasted armor would concentrate the energy at that point, possibly breaking the sternum or delivering shock to the heart. This Is A Bad Thing!

It wouldn't have to be with a real weapon, either: SCA Swords could deliver that much force easily, I would think. I do know that I have never seen a woman fighting heavy in the SCA wear something so silly as armor with tits. I have been told many wear extra padding under the armor, which is sensible: parts are sensitive! But the armor is designed like the guys': spread out the force.

This sounds like good science. It's a good hypothesis. I wish I had the resources to test it myself (on a dummy! Not a real person!), but I don't.

Anybody with a background in science, medieval combat, or metalworking?
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"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."

"Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards."

both by Count Aral Vorkosigan in A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
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I am going to mirror a comment I just made to a post on sexual objectification. She did point out that while her experiences are male-doing-this-to-female, feel free to substitute whatever genders match your own experiences. Reposting here, and amplifying a bit.

So here was mine:

From the male perspective, "Assuming that, because I am wearing a kilt, I really want strange women to slide their hands under it and grope me."

ESPECIALLY late at night, when I am caught unawares, and I am facing directly into a bonfire...and I jump *forward*. Just for added excitement. Thankfully it was not a prodigious leap.

Remember: Just because he is wearing a skirt doesn't mean he is "asking for it".

(And here I will add: bitching at me because I step away when I feel the back of my kilt start to lift? STFU. And laughing because a 14-year-old girl is trying to find out what's under my kilt? I was in college studying to teach that age, for God's sake woman stop giggling and control your daughter!)
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This is discrimination. This is gender discrimination (it's targeted at women), and it is disability discrimination, the moreso because they are creating the disability, dammit!

Please let me say that, as a man, I have always found high heels to be UNsexy. I see a woman wearing them, and I am too busy thinking "My God, her poor feet, how can she do that" to find anything attractive about it. Foot-fetishists may disagree, and I invite any guy who gets turned on by high heels to bloody well wear them.

I hope, I really hope, the casino loses this bet.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/20130609_ap_conncasinococktailwaitressesfightshoerules.html
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Took a recent post, cleaned it up and added a few things, turned it into my profile. (Hadn't set one on DW yet.)

Other than that, it's a pretty day outside.
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Tangential to other discussions, I am watching the larger conversation about how women are treated in comic books. Now, I grew up reading comic books: my collection numbered in the thousands, and the ones that I still have in storage are in the hundreds.

So, I decided to apply Daddy's Lens of Assessment: Out of this list of superheroines, which ones would I be comfortable showing to my daughter as a "good example" of a woman with super-powers? (Lumping Mockingbird, Batgirl, Black Widow, and other non-powered "superheroines" in there as well. There are male analogues to each.)

First, I eliminated anybody who is, due to her gender, relegated to sidekick or diminutive copy status. Batgirl, Supergirl, Arrowette, etc. All fail to make the cut.

Then, I eliminated anybody whose costume is over-the-top sexualized. Applied to an extreme, this could end it right here. I found a murky middle ground, but Wonder Woman does not make the cut, and a host of others likewise. Power Girl was never even in the running.

I would eliminate any adult who gets a moniker of "[Noun or Adjective] Girl", but they seem to have been dealt with in the first two rounds. Telling, very telling. I would allow teenagers with that name, as "- Boy" is applied to teenage male superheroes, and it is not unreasonable in that context. I would also allow variants such as "- Lad" and "- Lass" within the same context--but not applied to anybody past their teen years.

OK, we've eliminated a LOT of them. Most, in fact. Now I return to my first criterion, and expand it a bit. Those who are not worthy of their own title, who can exist only as part of a team, do not make the cut. I am saddened by this, as it cuts out Kitty "Shadowcat" Pryde, who was one of my favorite characters. She has always been popular enough to warrant top billing status with numerous matchups in various mini-series, and she is, I am glad to see, part of the new all-female X-Men. She has always been a smart, tough, attractive, butt-kicking Geek...but I have to be honest with myself and say that she is marginal by my criteria. She has never gone solo, while some of her teammates (and therefore theoretical equals) have. Some other issues along the way. Some blatant fan-service. So, no.

What's left? Slim pickings, slim indeed. None of them have a current solo comic in production. Captain Marvel had one, but I haven't heard anything about her in a while, and despite having led the Avengers, she isn't even mentioned in the context of the movies. Dazzler, possibly, but again: she's in the past.

Vindicator/Guardian, arguably. Yes, her husband had the suit first, but after he died, I do feel she did better with it: she's a copy, but not a diminutive copy. She is also the only power-suited heroine I can find anywhere, and I am honest enough to admit that I am making excuses for that reason: I want at least one gadgeteer in a suit! And did she ever go solo? I would have to look it up. OK, I really want to put Spitfire and the Troubleshooters in this category, and properly it belongs there: but it only lasted 13 issues, and they rebooted the basic concept twice in that run. As an example of a woman in a power-suit, it's downright depressing. (Great start! Then they decided it wasn't sexy enough.)

So, what comic book women would I feel comfortable setting in front of my daughter? Argh.

I think she might enjoy my old Power Pack comics (Yes. I collected Power Pack. And I still have them. Do you have a problem with that?!), and I should dig them out for her soon. I see no reason why, once she is able to follow the storylines, she should not read my Albedo collection: Erma Felna, EDF is a good example for girls, and she was my introduction to, and set my standards for, Furry comics. But she's not a superhero/ine: she's a Naval Officer caught up in some ugly politics and conspiracies, just trying to do her best.

So, in conclusion, I must regretfully admit that the complaints about female superheroes in comics are so close to entirely correct that the exceptions only prove the rule.

I don't think "reimagining" old superheroines is going to work. We need some fresh blood and fresh ideas.
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In the past, I have complained about how we are discussing "Rape Culture". I still have a lot of complaints: it has become something that can be used to bludgeon any male (and some females) you might happen to disagree with. (And if you disagree with ANY argument or assertion about Rape Culture, you automatically think it is OK to rape women. Which just validates my complaint, really.)

Lest people think I disagree with everything, I give to you an excellent short piece by Kamela Dolinova: http://powerinyourhands.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/childhood-consent-and-learning-to-be-human/

I have had to deal with a lot of people (the majority of whom are women in my experience! But men as well) who don't quite get this "consent" thing. I tend to think of "Rape Culture" as part of a broader problem: the fact that we are never supposed to say "No." It's rude, how dare you! If you say "No" to someone, you have wronged them and must apologize and make restitution. "Rape Culture", to me, is an attempt to restrict the right to set boundaries to matters sexual. Wait, so it is OK for someone to refuse Sex, but it is not OK to say, "Actually, I would rather not give you access to my LiveJournal, and I don't feel I owe you an explanation for that." Yet the last two people to get banned from this blog have been self-proclaimed "Feminists", and both of them pitched tantrums over it. Huge sense of entitlement going there. In one case, it very nearly cost me my job, because the person brought pressure on me through my work to open up my personal blog to her. My employer and I no longer connect through Social Media now because of that. Our friendship has grown smaller because I said "No" and somebody couldn't cope.

My objection to "Rape Culture" debates is not that I disagree with women's right to boundaries, it is that I extend that basic right over a much broader spectrum, regardless of gender, and beyond reproductive organs. I see it as one part--a very important part, to be sure!--of a much broader problem.

If you set a Boundary, you are a Bad Person. OK: I'm a Bad Person. Now go away.
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@Braillesnail said, "There should be an online tutorial on how best to remove an iPad from under a dog..."

I have some experience with Technical Writing, and I have spent 16 years living with a Blind woman. I have also lived with various sizes and breeds of dog. So, I am going to give this a shot.

"How Best To Remove An iPad From Under A Dog. (For Blind People)."

SAFETY WARNING.

This tutorial assumes you are dealing with a dog with whom you have already established a relationship, where the dog is not known to be hostile or aggressive. If you are dealing with an unknown or dangerous animal, STOP! Contact the owner/handler of the dog to retrieve your iPad. If this is not feasible, contact Animal Control and seek their assistance. Under no circumstances should you attempt to retrieve an iPad from under an animal that may well rip your face off.

Of course, if you are trying to get someone else's iPad out from under their dog, go right ahead. You deserve what you get, you thief!

You are acting lawfully and safely, retrieving your own iPad from under your own dog. Let's look at some options.

1) SMALL DOG.
Consider carefully the breed of dog. If this is a lapdog, just pick up the pooch with one hand, retrieve the iPad with the other, and then either set the dog down or put the dog in your lap while you use the iPad (if feasible). If the dog requires two hands to lift, proceed as above, but put the dog down before picking up the iPad. Caution! Some small dogs (Chihuahuas most notoriously) will pee all over you when picked up. Rain-gear is recommended for these situations.

2) OBEDIENCE TRAINED.
If your dog has been well-trained, you may be able to just order the dog to move. Expect some whining and grumbling, but the dog should move. The iPad is yours again.

3) WALK THE DOG.
If the weather is nice, and you won't disrupt your routine or the dog's by doing so, get out the leash or harness and invite the dog to go for a walk with you. Once the dog is under control, you should be able to retrieve the iPad easily.

4) BELLY-WUBBINS! (SPECIAL TECHNIQUE)
Examine the position of the dog carefully. If the dog were to roll over on his/her back with all four feet in the air, would the iPad be uncovered? If so, proceed to offer the dog some "belly-wubbins!" with one hand, while keeping a firm grip on the iPad with the other. When the dog rolls over, whisk away the iPad, continue rubbing the belly for a minute longer just to keep the dog off their guard, then walk away and play on the Internet while your dog feels neglected.

5) TREATS AND TOYS
This should be used only as a last resort. Dogs are not stupid: the dog is not sitting on your iPad by chance, but because he sits there watching you pet it all day while he gets nothing. If you overuse this technique, the dog will quickly learn that gratification can be achieved by parking the tail upon the iPad. On the other hand, this does offer an advantage to Blind iPad/Dog owners. "Where did I leave my iPad? Oh, wait, it's probably under the dog."
If you absolutely, positively must have your iPad before the call of nature compels the dog to move, and other techniques have been tried unsucessfully, get the dog's favorite treat or squeaky toy. Wave it under the dog's nose (not too close!), and then give a swift, sharp toss of the item across the room. The dog will lunge after it. Move quickly! You must have the iPad in your hands before the dog can return, or you will find yourself trying to figure out how to get both the squeaky toy and the iPad away from the dog!

Congratulations! By now, you should have successfully removed your iPad from under the dog. If you are only a dog owner, you are done. If you own multiple species of pet, your problems are just beginning: the iPad having been vacated by the dog, there is probably now a Cat sitting upon it.

We recommend that you not attempt to remove your iPad from under the Cat without qualified assistance. If you have AppleCare for your iPad, you can call and receive assistance from Tech Support over the phone: they can talk you through the 127 steps required to get the Cat off the iPad. If you do not have AppleCare, or if you feel you cannot accomplish the task with over-the-phone coaching, please pick up the iPad, with the Cat still on it, and take it to the nearest Apple Store, where someone at the Genius Bar will be able to assist you.

Have a nice day!
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Please write a book for the juvenile audience--an anthology would be nice--and make it about Princesses.

Please put down the rotten fruit and listen for a minute, OK?!

I want a subversive book about Princesses, please. After all, what is a Princess? A Princess is (usually) the daughter of a monarch, be they King, Queen, Emperor, Empress, or sometimes just a higher order of Prince/Princess. Nothing else is required to be a Princess.

Unless you buy into the pop-culture marketing craze, which tells us that to be a Princess:
1) You have to have perfect hair and body;
2) You really want a guy to come rescue you (don't worry: if he's not already a Prince, Daddy will make him one--or Disney will);
3) He will probably know it is time to rescue you because you are screaming;
4) You more than likely have passive-aggressive issues with other females in your life (wicked stepmothers are a staple, but sisters get in on the act, too);
5) Pink, and other pastels;
6) You will pose for a very pretty portrait with your perfect hair and body and beautiful pink dress, and copies of this portrait will appear on little girls' underwear. Please do not ask me who is going to be admiring your picture: some things don't hold up well when thought about rationally.

So, Dear Authors, take all that...and shovel it over the side. A Princess is the daughter of the Monarch. Keep only that. Get subversive. Little girls are told that they should be Princesses, so show them what a Princess can be. I know I am asking a lot: I am proposing no more and no less than a Palace Coup.

Not all Princesses are that bad, mind. My daughter has had all the Disney Princesses shoved at her by well-meaning people, including a pile of the Royal Portrait Panties. The only one she seems to have latched onto is Merida from Brave: the Princess who is Armed, Dangerous, and has Less-Than-Perfect-Hair. (In other words, just like my kid.) The less said about the recent makeover, the better.

Oh, and Editors: if you do manage to put such an Anthology together, see if you can get Robin McKinley involved. An excerpt from The Hero and the Crown would work nicely. "Well, Dad, while you were gone I went out and killed the Dragon." Perfect.

If you can't beat them, join them and undermine them from within!
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Tip o' the hat to [personal profile] math5 for pointing me to this.

New Zealand Parliament legalizes same-sex marriage.

And then they burst into song.

Watch the video.
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http://sciencewriters.ca/2013/04/08/squashing-science-how-the-canadian-government-swats-down-local-research/

Science is not immediately profitable. If you can roll it out and make a profit off it, it's not science, it's technology.

And, sometimes Science pisses people off. Climate Change is a good (bad) example of how Science can get the axe because of politics.

I read the above article, and I thought, "Maybe we need to start crowdsourcing science." So I went and looked at Kickstarter.com:
Art
Comics
Dance
Design
Fashion
Film & Video
Food
Games
Music
Photography
Publishing
Technology
Theater

No Science. Movies and books and games and all kinds of stuff can make money by crowdsourcing, but where is the Science?

A meteor exploded over Russia with a force equal to 20 to 30 times the size of the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima. Yet, in 2012, NASA's budget request to find things like this was $20 million. In 2011? It was only $6 million. If everybody in the USA gave a buck, a single dollar, it would be $315 million.

If somebody stood up and said, "Hey! I am asking for a crowdsourced grant to do some research" on any number of subjects, you know, I'd be real tempted to toss in a few bucks.

How do we convince Kickstarter to add Science as a category? I think people would pledge, I truly do.
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I am going to make this public here, because I made it public elsewhere.

https://twitter.com/AvoidComments/status/317675023731159040

This. This right here.

I have been accused of "Censorship" in the past, because I wouldn't read something somebody else wrote--or, horror of horrors, that I removed them from my "friends-list" (which I think of more as a reading list). That is not censorship, at least as they seem to conceive it. It is most definitely not a violation of their "Free Speech Rights". There is a right to SPEAK, but there is no right to require that other private citizens LISTEN TO.

Arguably, the government has to listen to you. If you have not actually read the First Amendment, or if it has been too long, read it again. Here:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

No state religion, nor can the state forbid the exercise of religion. The state can't prevent free speech, can't prevent a free press, and people have the right to peaceably assemble, *and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.* That last, right there, is the only point where it implies that ANYBODY just HAS to listen to what you have to say: you are allowed to petition the *government* for redress of grievance. Even if you have a beef with *me*, you have no inherent right to deal directly with me: you may have recourse through the courts.

The Bill of Rights does not dictate what private citizens may and may not do to one another, as a rule. Oh, there are occasionally cases where a private citizen is convicted of Civil Rights violations, but in almost every case they are either abusing a office of public trust in some way, or interfering with the exercise of a public function--such as harassing people who are trying to vote.

Ignoring someone who is saying something you despise or could care less about is not a crime. Rude? Possibly. But not a *crime*. Not a Civil Rights Violation. Stop cheapening that with spurious flames on the Internet, guys. Ask somebody who was born in a country that is NOT free. If you need a referral, just ask: I know somebody who is probably reading this right now. ;)

So, if somebody tells you to shut up, look for their badge--or their government paycheck. If they have one of those, they MIGHT be violating your right to freedom of speech--ask a lawyer. If they do not, they are probably exercising their own right to speak. If they don't want to listen to you, or allow you to say or write things in *their* forum, that might qualify as censorship according to some moral code or other, but it is not a violation of a legal right.

And if I remove somebody from access to my blogs, that is just me exercising my ownership of same. If somebody drops me from theirs, well, that is *their* right.

If I have offended you with this (or any) post to the extent that you want to drop me, go ahead. I won't cry censorship. I won't point to the First Amendment. And I won't listen if you do.
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Two guys from South Jersey are suing Subway because the footlong--wasn't.

So, if South Jersey Men are suing Subway because something was an inch shorter than advertised, should South Jersey Women be suing South Jersey Men?

(runs)
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I try to avoid excessive FB/LJ cross posts. This is going to be an exception:

I shared this:



Alexandra, one of the staff members from Epic Adventurez, replied:

"Now we call that Dubstep XD"

Ow. Ow! OW!
talvin: (Default)
So, [personal profile] diannaamarich can't use LJ anymore because they broke accessibility.

Looks like I am going to be shifting my base to here finally.
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