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[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

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xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

Earlier this afternoon I did something I rarely do: Post a comment on a youtube video. I'm a veteran of USENET flame wars, so not much phased by the knuckle-dragger insults a thoughtful comment often draws there. But BITD, my newsgroup comments were also likely to yield worthwhile replies. Youtube, not so much.

But comment I did. And then did something I do even more rarely: Shared the video on Facebook. And now I want to share it with you as well. Starting with my FB introduction:

I've read a lot of excellent essays about art — literature, film, theater, even music. I've read a lot more that was crap, of course (or at any rate, started a lot more that was crap, before giving up in disgust). The point being that I know what well-crafted criticism is. And this video essay on how JK Rowling's characters — especially Hermione — changed from book to film is one of the best pieces of criticism I've ever seen. Well worth watching.




And the comment I left on youtube:

Thank you for a tremendously well-observed and thought-provoking close-reading. The Devil's Snare episode was one of my favorite parts of _Philosopher's Stone_ from the first time I read it. And when the movie came out, I leaned forward in my seat and literally waited with bated breath for URupert Grint to say "Are you a witch or what?" And left the movie muttering something about "best line of dialog in the entire book, and _they left it out?!_"

But I entirely failed to see it as part of _any_ larger pattern, let alone the sevaral you bring out. Good criticism is rare. In producing a piece of excellent criticism that's also entertaining and perfectly true, you've hit the trifecta. Great work. Thank you.

[personal profile] somervilleplanning posting in [community profile] davis_square
Monday, September 25, 6-8 p.m.

Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor

Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.

At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.

Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.

Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at planning@somervillema.org

For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.com/neighborhood-planning/davis-square/

Rosh Hashanah 5778 prep

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
chanaleh: (leaves)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Overall I've been too crazed to journal, but today is weirdly slow* at work so I am taking a few minutes.
*(Edited to add: I suspected it was too good to be true. Of course the shit hit the fan on about 3 different projects as soon as I finished posting this, so, we'll hope I get out on time.)

Cards: mostly sent; I ordered 50, and carefully winnowed down my list to that number, but they actually sent me extras so I still have a dozen or so I can send (probably next week; gmar chatimah tovah!).

Honey cake: baked last night.

Challah: 4 small loaves (2 raisin, 2 plain) currently on second rise to bake later today. This year, I used the King Arthur recipe that I printed out last year but decided against for some reason. I made a double batch since it claims to make 1 9-inch round, let the dough rise overnight, and it looked beautiful this morning. Aria was super interested in the dough as I was rolling it into strands for coiling. "Cookie! Pizza! I hold it? I hold it?" I told her she'll be big enough to help me next year.

12lb. brisket in fridge, waiting to prep for Thurs afternoon. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] ablock, I fear my brisket-recipe allegiance is permanently switched! even though the simmered-in-wine version will forever smell like the essence of Rosh Hashanah to me.

Matzah ball soup: also tomorrow (using stock from freezer)

Vegetables:
- brisket potatoes & carrots
- tzimmes (I actually found frozen diced butternut squash at Not-Our-Usual-Supermarket)
- salad

Guests: 1 (maybe 2?) Thursday night, 1 Friday night

Shul: by myself tonight (6:30pm) and tomorrow morning (9am); with Aria on Friday. She saw me put on a skirt this morning (since I'm going straight from work) and said "Mama you go shul today! I go shul!"

Still to review: Shacharit davening for first day (ack) and Haftarah. I went over the davening with the rabbi during Sunday school the last two weeks and it was OK - Yom Kippur is more direly in need of practice, but first things first.

Kittel: try on tonight, bring tomorrow morning.

Shanah tovah u'metukah!

What phone?

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:44 am
xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

Short Form

Six months ago, I was all set to replace my iPhone with a OnePlus 3T as soon as my iPhone's deterioration demanded. Then they announced the OnePlus 5. And I started seeing the first negative reviews of a new OnePlus phone I'd ever read. But they were still shipping the 3T, so I wasn't worried.

But now my iPhone's deterioration really is starting to demand that I replace it. And I appear to have been deceived about the OnePlus 3T still being available.

So I have a couple of questions for folks with Android clue.


Long Form

As I mentioned last week, my iPhone is on it's last legs and I've decided to switch to Android. I also decided, early in my current ride on the carrier-subsidized-phone-with-two-year-contract funhouse-ride, that the next time I bought a phone I was going to actually buy a phone. I've long thought that would be preferable in principle, and about when I was gritting my teeth and signing the contract my current iPhone came with, I started hearing buzz about OnePlus.

My memory (not confirmed by reading the Wikipedia article, FWIW) is that part of that buzz was about their US business plan being to sell directly to the consumer, forcing US carriers to get serious about supporting BYOD customers. Misunderstanding or not, it predisposed me to pay attention to OnePlus and to reviews of their phones, while none of the other Android phone manufacturers have garnered much attention from me.

And those reviews — as I remember them, at least — were consistently impressive. When my iPhone started giving me trouble earlier this year, the OnePlus 3T had just come out a few months earlier. And people were falling all over themselves to talk about how good it was. So it went to the top of my list of phones to look at when I could no longer nurse my iPhone along. An otherwise empty list.

Then in July they released the OnePlus 5. And the reviews were not entirely stellar. Certainly not the hosannas the 3T had garnered on its release. But I wasn't too concerned: given things like the Midnight Black Limited Edition page, with its conspicuous "Buy Now" button in the center of the page, it seemed clear that OnePlus was planning to continue shipping the 3T alongside the 5 at least into autumn.

I don't generally go for the leading edge unless I see a potential upside that well over-balances the potential downside. And for smartphones, I haven't seen that in 15 years — not since the Sony-Ericsson P800 was leading-edge. To my way of thinking, the OnePlus 3T is just about exactly in the trailing-edge sweet spot. And that limited edition Midnight Black: the cherry on top! So for the past six or eight weeks I thought I had a solid plan for when it came time to punt my iPhone.

But now that day's arrived. And it turns out that actually clicking that "Buy Now" button takes me to a page that — disappointment #1 — lists only the other two other colors. And — disappointment #2 — says, next to each,

Out of stock

And going back to that Limited Edition page and looking more closely, I find near the bottom:

Sold out
This limited edition release is no longer available in your region.
Disappointment #3.


Questions

  • Am I grossly over-reacting to the bad press the OnePlus 5 has gotten? (I'm certainly over-reacting. The emphasis here is on grossly.) Should I just buy a OnePlus 5 and stop gnashing my teeth?
  • Are there other Android phones readily available new, unlocked, and with full warranties, that are comparable to recent OnePlus models? Comparably priced? If so, which? Would you recommend any of them?
  • While no longer available directly from OnePlus, the 3T is still available from third parties. Some ostensibly new-in-box. None, that I've found, with any sort of warranty. At prices not much different, and sometimes more, than OnePlus' retail prices when they were available. Run screaming? Approach with caution? Does anyone know of a reliable vendor, perhaps in the tradition of small Japanese companies that help Americans get Japan-only products without having to personally fly to Japan?

Thank you!

mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Friends just pointed me to this nerd comedy event coming up at the Armory. I am a fan of new ways to reach out on science topics in fun ways, and this sounds good to me. 

Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/116424495686654/

Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.

"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix

[sci hist] A Most Remarkable Week

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:52 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.

The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.

It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.

Recommended.
bettyw: (Default)
[personal profile] bettyw posting in [community profile] davis_square
 There will be fireworks at Spy Pond at dusk (around 8pm) for Town Night/Day.

Cake or Death?

Sep. 15th, 2017 03:58 am
earthling177: (Glasses)
[personal profile] earthling177
Garry Kasparov / The Resistance said:

"The American democratic awakening spurred by resistance to Trump will be short-lived and ineffective if more people don't vote.

Nearly 100 million Americans didn't vote for president in 2016. Trump won with just 26% of the eligible vote. That is a crisis level.

Apathy is self-censorship and it concedes power. Treat your democratic rights like duties. They will weaken and be lost if you do not."

Ailsa Cunningham Ek said:

"Problem is, we need greater citizen input into the primaries first. Closed primaries are undemocratic. Superdelegates are super undemocratic. The election shouldn't be a choice between two incredibly unpalatable individuals selected by someone else, or if they want to be able to pick them for us, we need a "None of the above" option.

Come downtown to stand in line for hours to choose between being kicked in the balls or shot in the head. Bugger that, I'm not going to *ask* to be kicked in the balls. If so few people volunteer to be kicked in the balls that we all end up shot in the head instead, among other things it says something about people's desire to be kicked in the balls, and maybe, just maybe, if we had listened to everyone's opinions on the matter, we might have had different options."

To which David Policar responded:

"Given a choice between being shot in the head and not shot in the head, I choose not being shot in the head.

Sure, I'd rather choose not being shot in the head and eating cherry pie than not being shot in the head and being kicked in the balls. Absolutely. No question.

But either way I choose not being shot in the head."

Well, I guess the ones who know me probably can predict what's coming, but for the benefit of folks who do not know me very well, here it goes...

I would like not only to agree with David Policar, but add to it: the results of the last election basically convinced me that for now, the *best* thing we can do is to close the primaries: if you want to vote in the primary, register for the party you want to win; I think that many people did in this election what they've done in many many many previous elections -- they wanted party A to win, so they gave up voting in their own primary and went across the isle to vote in party B's primary for a candidate so unpopular that they thought *no one* would vote for them and then stay home.

What they forgot is that Liberals fall in love, and if their favorite candidate did not win the primary, they do everything (fail to vote, vote 3rd party, write-in their favorite etc) but vote for the one who won the primary. Meanwhile, Conservatives fall in line, they hem and haw about how awful so-and-so is, but you will notice they vote for so-and-so *anyway*.

That's how we got Bush I, Bush II and now Trump.

Do you remember when a candidate could lose just for flip-flopping? Or for lying about something? Or refused to serve in times or war? Or for being perceived as nasty to women, or having an affair, or for even showing sympathies for Russia?

Can you honestly show me *one*, just one wrong thing from the immense list of "candidates that did this do not win" that Trump has not checked? I am under the impression that he personally went and "checked" every single box in the "this is not a good candidate if..." list and he *won* *anyway*, because for decades now, there are about 30% of registered Republicans, and they *all* vote, so they win even if there are over 50% registered democrats.

Please tell us honestly: if this were any kind of game (D&D, videogame, *any* game), do you think Republicans with such bad candidates would have won so very often if it depended on random chance? Worse yet, if over 50% of the players were D and barely 30% of the players were R, wouldn't you expect D to win almost all the time if it depended on simple voting?

People say they didn't vote this time because the Clinton wasn't leftist enough, or progressive enough, or because they wanted to "teach the Democratic Party to select better candidates". Among other things.

Well, guess what, you can't teach an organization to select a "better candidate" unless *you* vote for the better candidate, otherwise, the only data that the Democratic Party will add to their already large amounts of data is that "the American public likes extreme-right candidates, in the future, if we want to win, we need to offer someone more like Trump than more like Sanders, Clinton or Warren". *That's* what they learn, and that's why over the last 50 years the politics in America has moved so far to the right that Clinton and Obama are considered "centrists" and Sanders is consider "left wing" -- I want you to appreciate that by all we know, Sanders is a right wing guy compared to Nixon, who, despite being the extreme right of his time, would appear to be completely pinko-communist today; if you are not aware, Nixon tried to have this country pass laws for affordable college, universal health care *and* Universal Basic Income. In fact, Nixon tried for Universal Basic Income *twice* and it nearly passed, but Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on the yearly *salary*.

Meanwhile, I'd describe the situation that you described as "shot in the head or kicked in the balls" a bit differently.

I'd say Bernie's and Hillary's platforms/agendas were so *close* that we couldn't insert a vacuum cleaner crevice attachment in between them. I remember many years ago, I got my rental car in the airport in Omaha NE, this was before simple people like me could have GPS, and I made one wrong turn and ended up across the river in Iowa, luckily all I had to do was turn around and I was where I needed to be again.

So anyway, I felt like we were in Chicago and Bernie offered us to go to Iowa and Hillary offered us to go to Nebraska, or vice-versa. But, they both said, "eventually our goal is to end up in San Francisco". Instead, people kept bitching about how the destination couldn't possibly be Nebraska or Iowa, even if just for 4 years, because the *only* good places are on the West Coast, and "if they can't pick California, we won't go, just to teach them a lesson!"

Well, now we are lost halfway in the Atlantic Ocean, because, despite the fact it was *obvious* that Sander's and Clinton's platform were a millimeter apart and their platforms were 10 miles to the left of Trump's, people thought they "could walk back" the 10 miles after 4 years. To teach the Democrats a lesson. Now you are, with the rest of us, over 1,000 miles *off* course, because the idiotic president currently there doesn't even know how to serve food at the soup kitchens he visited for hurricane relief.

And no, I am not blaming you personally. I'm super pissed off at my own people who think they'd keep their souls pure and their hands clean if they didn't vote for Clinton.

Well, if you ask the rest of the world, they do not make this differentiation -- they think *all* Americans are to blame for Trump. Any crap that he starts internationally *will* be a stain on our personal and collective souls.

With all that in mind, I humbly ask you to please stop repeating Soviet Russia Propaganda designed to divide the progressives. About 2 centuries ago there were not even "primaries" -- the parties put out their candidates and you voted in the general election. *All* coalition building currently happens at the primaries in US and, if you want to influence the candidates for the general, vote in the primary. All this "closed primaries are not democratic" and "super delegates are not democratic" are *all* propaganda straight from Putin's hands. The Republicans *wished* they had super delegates, they could have gotten rid of Trump no problem that way. Notice that the Republican Party per se could have just voted for completely new rules and just said "we don't like Trump, the second winner is the candidate *this* time around", which is even less democratic than well, the Democratic super delegates.

My point, and I do have one, is that *anyone* and *anything* the Democrats could have offered this time was better than Trump and we *knew* it: Bernie, Clinton, a prairie dog or a baked potato. It doesn't take a genius IQ to get to that conclusion, but we, collectively, decided it was better to bet the country on the guy who got us lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and about to start a nuclear war, because we didn't want to be the ones to be blamed for a brief stop over in Iowa or Nebraska on our way to California.

If we can't recognize that we were not being invited to sleep with Clinton or Bernie or even just have dinner with them, we did not have to *like* them at all, they are just the president that was going to be *much* better than Trump even if not ideal, do we even deserve a chance to get better as a country?

If we can't recognize that Clinton was *right* about all that she warned us about Trump, and that he's been doing everything she told us about -- if we can't recognize that she *knew* more than we did -- do we really deserve to get better and do we really have a leg to stand on asking other countries not to laugh at us?

I hope most agree with me those are much more serious things to think about than "shot in the head" vs "kick in the balls".

Also, despite some thinking that Clinton was unpalatable, I say I've heard that lots of dishes are an acquired taste. But Trump is a metric ton of manure, and I've never heard anyone claim they like or even tolerate eating manure.

Peace,
   -- Paulo.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
HeatSmart CoolSmart SomervilleAt the Climate Commission meeting last night, we got an update on the heat pumps program that's running now. If you have been thinking about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you really ought to take a look at these new and high-tech super efficient devices. Or if you know your heating equipment is getting up there in age, you should at least come and learn about these. And they can do heating as well as cooling. In my house, it looks like I'll be able to reduce my natural gas heating a lot and rely on my solar for much of my heating and cooling.

I've been resisting air conditioning over the years for a variety of reasons, but this new style of heating and cooling tech I can have both, with much less environmental impact (and noise). Also right now there are big rebates and low interest loans. It's hard to know how much longer good programs like this will run in our current political environment, you know?

So this event will give you the backstory on the tech. https://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/10/04/heat-pumps-101

Wed Oct 4 2017 - 6:30pm

LOCATION
West Somerville Community School Cafeteria
177 Powderhouse Blvd.
Somerville, MA 02144

Word of the Day

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:26 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Warmup

As opposed to a peacemup.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I have a recollection of hearing a filk song, I think from a tape, that had a climactic line or repeated like in the refrain, to the effect of "And that's what cities get from trains". I have an impression it was a Leslie Fish song, but I don't know that for sure.

Not having any joy of google. Does anybody recognize it?

Word of the Day

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:07 am
mathhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] mathhobbit
Procastinatrix

New nickname for the cat who sits by my desk.

Leaving Apple's warm embrace

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:03 pm
xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

My now nearly four-year-old iPhone has been flaking out on me with increasing frequency for several months, and for variety of reasons I've decided to replace it with an Android phone. One of those reasons is that Apple's warm embrace increasingly feels to me like that of a boa constrictor. And today That concern became less general and more specific when a friend posted about their difficulties sending SMS messages to a friend who recently punted their iPhone. Apparently it is a known problem that when you switch from an iPhone it becomes difficult or impossible for someone who is also using the Apple ecosystem to send you SMS messages: Apparently — I'm hypothesizing at least as much as remembering here — Messages.app takes over when two iPhones SMS one-another, and if one person switches to a non-Apple phone, that person has to jump through some hoops with the Apple infrastructure or their iPhone-using friends' messages will go only to that person's Messages.app instances (wherever they happen to have it running, or possibly nowhere) but not to their new phone as SMS messages.

I'm writing this here not least as an aide de memoire because I don't have time to look into it in detail right now. If one of you happens to know of good guide to switching from an iPhone to an Android phone without getting entangled in this mess, please leave a pointer in a comment. Thank you.

Meet candidates for mayor & alderman

Sep. 12th, 2017 03:47 pm
secretlyironic: smug bird icon (Default)
[personal profile] secretlyironic posting in [community profile] davis_square
 There is a candidate meet-and-greet this evening at Workbar in Union Square if you want to meet people who are running for Alderman and Mayor. 


Huh.

Sep. 12th, 2017 03:30 pm
[personal profile] cshiley
If I am logged in, I can't see images. If I am not, I am able to see at least some of them.

I am not strongly motivated to fix this. I feel like I ought to be.
havurat_shalom: drawing of Havurat Shalom building (Default)
[personal profile] havurat_shalom posting in [community profile] davis_square
The High Holidays at Havurat Shalom are a wonderful, intense, prayerful experience. They are also free! We do not have tickets. Everyone is welcome! We hope you'll join us. Contact us for disability access info or requests. Childcare is available on a first come, first served basis for all of Rosh Hashanah, except the second night, and all of Yom Kippur, except the afternoon break.

Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday 9/20, 6:30 pm
Thursday 9/21, 9:00 am and 7: 30 pm
children's services 11:30 am
Friday 9/22, 9:00 am

Shabbat Shuva
Friday 9/22, 6:30 pm
Saturday 9/23, 10:00 am

Yom Kippur

Friday 9/29, 6:00 pm
children's services 11:30 am
Saturday 9/30 9:00 am

Havurat Shalom
113 College Ave
Somerville MA 02144

for more info
call: 617-623-3376 (voice)
go to: http://www.thehav.org/
or email: info@thehav.org

The 1st floor of Havurat Shalom is wheelchair accessible, including the prayer room, dining room, living room, and bathroom. For the health of those with allergies and chemical sensitivities, we request that you not wear perfume, aftershave, or cologne to Havurat Shalom. The bathrooms are all-gender.
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