sqbr: (up)
Sunday, April 21st, 2013 06:25 am
Articles like ReWalk: A Plea for Common Sense remind me how little ablebodied people understand the sheer joy a good wheelchair can bring. Mostly because the alternative for someone like me is not being able to move, but there are some advantages even over being an able bodied person.

A lot of this would apply to manual wheelchairs too but I've never used one myself.

  • Crush the feet of your enemies. Or don't, and feel magnanimous in your mercy.
  • "Run" with the wind in your hair, or for a bus, without breaking a sweat or getting tired.
  • Unsettle "more radical than thou" able bodied activists with your very presence.
  • Be an unsettling centre of attention in general. Works well with goth/macabre/alternative clothing choices.
  • Never bump your head on low ceilings (admittedly this has never been an issue for me)
  • Have a comfy chair wherever you go. Fantastic for queues.
  • Put heavy loads on the back or next to you and not have to carry the weight yourself.
  • Wear gorgeous but impractical shoes you can't walk in.
  • Work to fight against stereotypes about disabled people and poor awareness of accessibility simply by going out in public and doing your thing.


Any others, fellow wheelies?
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 09:29 pm
This is a somewhat expanded version of the presentation I made about Disability in Science fiction.

Note: Don't take my word for any of this! I'm still figuring this stuff out. Corrections and other input very much welcome!

I've reached a point where I Just Can't Think About It Any More, I may edit again later. Make sure to check to out the comments for other people's additions.

The fantasy examples are very much tacked on, I'm sure there's fantasy specific tropes I'm missing, plus links to the relevant Disability Tropes. Mental illness and cognitive impairments are underrepresented too.
Read more... )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 11:40 am
This is obviously not a scientific study, but I hadn't emptied my mailbox for a while and I decided to look at the ethnic makeup of the models used in the unsolicited mail that had built up. My theory: Australian advertisements are incredibly white dominated, with a few Asian people and the odd exoticised person of African descent for pseudo-American coolness. Indigenous people only show up in tourism ads, you're more likely to see people pretending to be American Indian etc. This theory is moderately supported by the junk mail.
Read more... )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 12:19 pm
This keeps coming up in speculative fiction and it bugs me. I'm not a historian, and I know it's wrong (and the more history I learn, the more obviously wrong it becomes). If there's some actual historian debunking this narrative somewhere I can link to I would be very grateful!

EDIT: So apparently this was named and described in 1931: Whig history. And yet people still use it! (Well, that isn't exactly what I'm talking about. But it's certainly close)
Read more... )
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Sunday, January 24th, 2010 10:29 am
Someone on [livejournal.com profile] debunkingwhite said they hadn't heard of the White Australia policy, and I started a "brief" post about it and it expanded into this...

The current situation is a direct result of 211 years of racism and anti-racism starting with colonisation, and a full history of race relations in Australia would take volumes. Specifically, I'm missing all the work by non-white Australians to fight (and in many cases overturn) these laws, I recommend Timeline of Significant Moments in the Indigenous Struggle in south east Australia. And of course the Australian population have done and are doing many horribly racist things (individually and as a group) that weren't government mandated, and Australian government officials have said and done many racist things that weren't explicitly part of broader policy, though in both cases it's not always easy to draw the line. See my australia+race/culture bookmarks.
Read more... )
sqbr: (genius!)
Thursday, December 10th, 2009 11:36 am
Note: something is up with DA today, I keep being redirected to a sex museum page (?!)

sqbr: And yet all I can think is, this will make for a great Dreamwidth entry... (dreamwidth)
Sunday, October 11th, 2009 10:08 am
Some stuff I've figured out while designing polls online (specifically on lj clones). This is not about Real Scientific Polls, which one hopes are designed with Real Scientific Ethics etc in mind. I'm still figuring this stuff out, so please tell me what I've missed/screwed up etc.

I guess overall the most important thing I've learned: Never make people feel excluded, even if it messes with your data a bit. You're not doing Proper Research here anyway. And unless your poll is on a locked post and you know your flist really well, don't assume everyone taking it cisgendered/American/Western/straight/young/etc.

Specifically, unless it's a joke question always have an "other" option, and where possible use checkboxes. That way people who fall between the cracks of your questions (and there'll always be someone) have a better chance of finding an answer that better describes them.
Read more... )
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 06:02 pm
I've been pondering the portrayal of disabled people in fiction, and to that end have sorted the Disability Tropes at TV Tropes into categories. It got so long I decided to separate it out from my fledgeling draft post, and anyway I think it's interesting in and of itself.

Warning, contains Tv Tropes links!! )
sqbr: (bookdragon)
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009 11:29 am
The latest furore to hit the fannish blogosphere is that The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF consists entirely of stories by white men. Called on this, the editor said the emphasis was on stories that took unusual scientific concepts and developed them in even more unusual ways...with women the stories concentrate far more on people, life, society and not the hard-scientific concepts I was looking for..

This has understandably pissed people off, and there has been much listing of female (and to a lesser extent POC) authors who write "mindblowing" stuff.

But I thought it might be worth being more specific. So: what are some "mindblowing" individual stories (novels or short stories etc(*)) by someone who isn't a white man (ie women, POC, trans writers etc) that "takes unusual scientific concepts and develops them in even more unusual ways". (They can also concentrate on people, life, society)

Off the top of my head:

  • Bellwether, by Connie Willis, about trends and chaos theory.
  • Many short stories by Ted Chiang, specifically Seventy Two Letters, a hard sci-fi story set in an alternate Victorian London about homunculi and golems and how they relate to the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Xenogenesis trilogy by Octavia Butler: The aliens have a really fascinating biology. Her shorts stories are apparently amazing too.


Mindblowing but with really squishy sciences like linguistics and sociology:

  • "The Sparrow" by Maria Doria Russell. I hated this book but the linguistics was pretty awesome.
  • "Where once the sweet birds sang" by Kate Wilhelm. On the cultural effects of a society of clones.
  • Sleepless series by Nancy Kress: the sociological effects of having a genuinely superior subset of society.


See also the first few comments to this (very good) post.

I was feeling bad about not being able to think of many, but there's very few authors I consider really mindblowing science-wise, I bet I wouldn't agree with the stories picked for the original anthology.

(*)I'd say "Only short stories" but I personally don't like short stories so wouldn't have much to list :D
sqbr: (existentialism)
Saturday, February 14th, 2009 02:30 pm
EDIT: HMMMMM. So it would appear my framing of this question is flawed thanks to my simplistic understanding of religion and other such ineffable philosophical things my non-arts-major brain gets very confused by. I may take a while responding to comments while I have a serious think about what I really mean.

So most arguments I've seen for being religious use some very flawed arguments. Unfortunately, so do most arguments against being religious, and this bugs me (I'm always more annoyed at the flaws of "my side"). One of the main flaws in both(*) is an assumption that either you're christian or you're an atheist: thus if you can poke holes in atheism people must automatically convert to christianity, and if you can poke holes in Christianity you've proven atheism is the best choice.

And a lot of the time the "Christianity" people are criticising is a straw man anyway, based either on fairly extreme denominations or just particular annoying individuals.

So I thought I'd go through all the things atheists tend to say "all religions" do and see how many are actually true of all religions.
Read more... )
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 08:58 am
[livejournal.com profile] ithiliana made a locked post(*) asking her flist what GLBT people wish was better known by their peers at uni, and what straight people wish they'd known at uni. I found this a really interesting question, since by uni most people have gotten past the basic "Gay people exist and aren't evil" stage. EDIT: I haven't included stuff on non-monogamous relationships and other misunderstood aspects of sexuality like S&M etc since that wasn't part of the original post. Feel free to discuss them in the comments anyway :)

So, this is my answer, including stuff I've seen other people get consistently wrong:
Read more... )
So what do you guys think?
EDIT: I'm not going to correct this post since I'd be rewriting it forever and I think it acts an interesting snapshot into the brain of a well meaning but somewhat clueless straight person. But it's definitely flawed, and there's lots of important additions and discussion in the comments.

(*)to keep answers private, she said it was ok to mention it existed
(**)Well, not for straight people, anyway :)
sqbr: (livejournal)
Sunday, January 4th, 2009 09:27 am
Every now and then I look at someone's user info and am intrigued by all the communities they read. So I thought I'd go through the hundred gazillion on my flist. I did this a while ago but the list is now three times as large. A lot of these I joined on a whim and they update so rarely that I never bothered leaving. Dead comms marked with a %, ones I get a lot out of with a *, but the majority of them are kinda dead and/or pretty cool :)
Read more... )
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sqbr: (yay copyright)
Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 07:54 pm
Since it comes up from time to time, a list of fandoms I like in the context of fanfic. Culled from [livejournal.com profile] crack_van for lack of a better way to choose. May add more as it comes up.
You probably really don't care, this is just for linking to )
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sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 07:52 pm
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] elaran becuase it amuses me: a list of books most often marked as "unread" in LibraryThing and whether or not I've read them :)

So have you done any better? )
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sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Sunday, August 6th, 2006 12:36 pm
So, here you all are! Yes, everyone who either I have friended or who has friended me, divided up by how we met. EDIT: This is ONLY people on my user info page. I have plenty of friends (and even more aquantances) not listed. Like, say, Cam :P
This is pretty long... )
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 05:42 pm
Some things which are good:

  • IGA low fat mango icecream (it's not super fantastic, but I was getting kind of sick of vanilla, berry and chocolate, which are pretty much the only lite flavours you can get)
  • A 2-button mouse (I just right-click on words and they are spelled correctly!)
  • Reading Girl Genius in book form, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood
  • [livejournal.com profile] nico_wolfwood and EE for chatting with me The Day Before, even if I did end up straining my throat.
  • [livejournal.com profile] penchaft for giving me a cameo (Page 8, around the middle, "Bubbles"). I've always wanted to do a cameo on something, ever since seeing "The Great Muppet Caper".
  • Thinking of myself as "Doctor" heehee
  • My duty manager for not getting too annoyed at me for taking today off (I always feel bad taking the day off, since it cause everyone a lot of bother... and I don't get paid)
  • Kangaroo mince, for being tasty and low in fat
  • Getting to level 50 in Bonnies Bookstore
  • Sleep
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