brynndragon: (Selfie)
It's weird how little I wanted to record the more active parts of my transition. Or maybe not - maybe I knew deep inside it was a very ephemeral stage, where words wouldn't help sort the muddle anyway and living in the moment was my best bet.

But that part is pretty much over, and now I'm left with what to do with the rest of this life I get to have as a man.

I know it isn't what I'm doing right now, a barista at 1369. I love everyone who works there, and I enjoy seeing our clients and regulars. But I don't make enough money to chip away at my various debts and whenever I have a bad day I feel not just like the day was shitty, but my whole life is shitty (which is a strong sign I need a change).

So maybe now's the time to start blogging again, to try to figure out what comes next.
brynndragon: (Selfie)
So apparently I just happened to have exactly the number of tokens needed to rename my account lying around!

I might be a lot more willing to start using my LJ again now that I'm not being constantly deadnamed ;P

Ferguson

Aug. 14th, 2014 11:09 am
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] shadesong at Ferguson
I'm back online after a briefish absence and following. [livejournal.com profile] sihaya09 has good links.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sihaya09 at Ferguson
I have been following the events of police tyranny on the town of Ferguson, Mo, very closely.

A very brief summary: a police officer executed an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown Jr., over the weekend. There was a night of initial looting and rioting. That has given way to peaceful protests since Monday morning. Yesterday, a man was shot for waving a gun at police, but police are saying that it was "unrelated to protests." Police have militarized, wearing riot gear, donning sniper rifles and assault weapons (and pointing those things at unarmed protesters), and have taunted the protesters with "bring it, you fucking animals." They have tear gassed peaceful crowds, including one with a state senator present (Sen Maria Chappelle-Nadal). Alderman Antonio French was arrested for getting out of his car. Protest crowds that include children are being shot at with rubber bullets, nasty injuries are being reported. Police are also attempting a media crackdown-- they have assaulted and arrested peaceful journalists, and in one case gassed them to clear the area and then disassembled their camera equipment.

White open carry assholes with your assault rifles in Chipotle and Target? This is what tyranny looks like.

Here are people on the ground worth following (by no means a complete list):

Alderman Antonio French, arrested: https://twitter.com/AntonioFrench

Ryan J. Reilly, arrested Huffington post reporter: https://twitter.com/ryanjreilly

Christine Conetta, tear-gassed Huffington post producer: https://twitter.com/BmoreConetta

Wesley Lowery, arrested Washington post reporter: https://twitter.com/WesleyLowery

Elon James White, professional commentator who had a rifle aimed at him for approaching a cop with his hands up and asking which road to use to leave: https://twitter.com/elonjames
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
I've been watching the Lefton party response play out, and I keep thinking the same thing over and over: the stink about cops is a derailment of the very necessary discussion of an incredibly serious problem that happened at the party, which is that David Judah Sher, a known rapist/abuser whose MO includes picking up people at parties just like that one, was invited and present for a considerable length of time, certainly long enough to find a new victim who we might not have the ability to warn via the missing stair method.

Can we talk about that part please? Can we think about specific pieces of this problem such as how we can disseminate this sort of information so it actually might get to everyone who needs it*? Can we use our massive brains to come up with strategies for keeping known predators from our parties in the future? (Can we listen to the people who have already done this work and adapt that information for the needs uncovered by this discussion rather than reinvent the wheel?)

Can we actually talk about how to keep our community safer from predators who aren't socially awkward already?!?



* Such as sending a message to your general invite list (and on any relevant social media, e.g. the FB page for an event) that it has come to your attention that this person (include full name and any known nicknames) has a history of committing rape/abuse (and in this case you can include links, preferably with trigger warnings), they are banned from all future parties, and if there was anyone you know was at the party but might not be on the general invite list they should be given this info ASAP. I can't say that this is the best solution, it's just one I came up with after I asked this question to myself - which is why I was these questions to be discussed.
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
Have you just moved and now realize you need stuff for your new place? Did you miss out on Allston Christmas because of the rain? Have no fear, I'm teaming up with my partners to hold a yard sale! Get cheap or free stuff!

Here are the deets:
WHAT: a multi-household Yard Sale!

WHERE: 24 Clifton St on Saturday 8 AM - 2 PM

WHO: Me and some other cool people, and hopefully ... you.

HOW: ... I'm not sure how to answer this

WHY: Look at all the cool stuff you can get for cheap or free!

* Books (including sci-fi, fantasy, RPGs, acupuncture textbooks, and more!)
* Tons of fabric for sewing and quilting projects
* Adult clothes and shoes, including a graduation cap and gown and a motorcycle jacket perfect for fall weather
* Kitchen wares
* Various electronics (surround sound system, old gaming consoles, games etc.)
* Various knick-knacks and fun things

(Sorry if you're seeing this twice, it just means you're in the cool local kids community ;P)
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
For those who have been following JonMon vs. [livejournal.com profile] davis_square, there is now a legal defense fund you can donate to! More info here: http://davis-square.livejournal.com/3178564.html
brynndragon: (The Pru)
So, I've heard that people who don't know Boston from a hole in the ground think they declared martial law and are all scared about the loss of freedom. While it might be the case that if this shit had gone down in their city they would have something to be afraid of, that's not at all what happened here.

To understand what happened here, you need to know that the weather in Boston is extremely variable. It's perfectly possible to go from a 65-degree sunny day to a blizzard with over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours, particularly in the spring. And while forecasting has gotten good enough that French Toast Alert System is pretty solid, no one quite trusts Mother Nature to not suddenly and inexplicably trap us in our homes for a day or so every once in a while.

This time it was two guys instead of two feet of snow. So what, the principle is exactly the same: you wait until the streets are cleared and the T starts running again. Well, OK, you mostly wait - some people always leave their home for Reasons. I could see from my home in Cambridge a trickle of cars going down a local thoroughfare all day and I could hear kids playing outside. People trust each other to know when they should not be out and about (and offer to help you dig out your car if you need to leave for Reasons), and that includes the cruisers that didn't stop any of those cars and the neighbors who were content to let those kids give off some steam.

So those pictures of the empty streets of Boston? Were only strange in that there wasn't a thick layer of snow on everything. We know exactly how this works, from the Governor's polite requests down to the locals making situation-specific jokes on social media. Because another thing about Bostonians is we are incredibly resistant to change (look at all the blue laws we've still got!), and two guys with pressure cookers are not going to make us give up our way of life - including hunkering down until the storm passes and not a second longer.
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
I'm fine, my daisy chain is fine, everyone is at their respective homes for the duration (which is mildly upsetting, I'd much rather be with everyone doing something fairly innocuous like watching MLP, but it's not like you get a French Toast Warning for this sort of thing).
brynndragon: black leather, purple motorcycle, and bright orange helmet - the height of fashion! (Ankai)
[livejournal.com profile] zandperl got lost on TV Tropes and decided to make a meme out of their list of longest running webcomics, and I thought that was awesome so I'm totally doing it :D.

Italics if you're current on the series
Bold if you've been reading from the start (or close to)
Strike if you read it once but gave up
Underline if you want to read it or want to catch up with it, but haven't
Comment for anything else

Wow, there's a lot of them! )
brynndragon: (British)
This list of support mechanisms is an awesome idea and I might have to make my own one of these at some point (because brilliant and colors!).
brynndragon: (scientist)
I mentioned acetylcholine (ACh) is the star of one of my favorite neuroscience stories. So here it is:

Once upon a time, scientists were arguing whether neurological messages were transmitted chemically or electrically. Otto Loewi was in the chemical camp, and endeavored to come up with an experiment that would support his theory. One Easter night, he woke up in the middle of the night having dreamt of an elegant experiment. Immediately he wrote it down and went back to sleep. However, when he woke up he could not decipher his nighttime writing.

Thankfully, the next night he had the exact same dream. Not about to let it slip through his grasp again, he got up and went through the freezing German winter to his laboratory and conducted his experiment. You see, it was known that a frog's heart, still beating in a shallow dish despite being separated from its owner, will slow down when an electrical impulse is applied to it. If the neurological information controlling the speed of a frog's heart is transmitted chemically, then the dish should contain the chemicals released by the heart that caused it to slow down. So if you remove the shocked heart from the dish and replace it with a fresh heart, it will also slow down as if an electrical impulse had been applied to it. That was exactly what happened when Loewi did his experiment.

This is not news; all of that you can find on his Wikipedia entry. But that's not the best part.

You see, it was key that he ran his experiment at night when the labs were not heated against a still-cold German spring. As you presumably have guessed, the chemical that causes the frog's heart to slow down is acetylcholine. However, when ACh is released by neurons, an enzyme is also released to ensure the message dissipates once it has been transmitted - acetylcholinesterase. This renders the acetylcholine inert, no longer capable of changing neuronal firing patterns (i.e. transmitting information). But like many enzymes it works much more slowly when chilled. Had he done his experiment in a nice warm lab, the ACh would have been degraded by the time he placed the fresh frog's heart in the dish, and he would not have observed the results of neurochemical transmission. While it certain engendered much agony within him when he forgot his initial dream, it turned out for the best!

That is not the best part either.

Acetylcholine does not only exist in a frog's heart. It also is used by our brains. Specifically, it becomes far, far more common in our brains when we are in REM sleep (as far as the brain is concerned, its increase is one of two main differences between being awake and being in REM). We're not entirely sure what function it serves there (at least, not last I checked, although hypotheses involving memory formation are/were popular), but it is clearly very important for the dreaming phase of sleep. So the very neurochemical whose existence he demonstrated with this experiment (and later won a Novel prize for discovering) was the one that gave him the experiment in the first place.

You see why I majored in neuroscience? ;)
brynndragon: (Poly Geek)
Does there already exist a term for someone who can be either monogamous or polyamorous?

If not, I propose "variamorous".

Discuss.
brynndragon: (tye-dye love)
Someone on my friend's list wondered about the lesson that con staff would glean from the Readercon blow-out (more specifically, being concerned that concoms will just give up on dealing with harassment because people are hard and anger is scary (both of these statements are true, BTW)).

I present to you the lesson Readercon has learned and what they're doing about it, once again demonstrating their ability to up the ante on properly dealing with difficult issues around harassment at cons.

So, who wants to go to Readercon 24 with me?
brynndragon: (Default)
I've read these before, and have had cause to link to them but couldn't find them again, so I'm putting them here so I can (trigger warning: sexual assault, no graphic descriptions):

Mythcommunication: It’s Not That They Don’t Understand, They Just Don’t Like The Answer

Meet the Predators
brynndragon: (Default)
Whenever fail like the Readercon debacle occurs, there are always posts and links that speak well beyond that particular fail. Here are the ones I've seen from this round (updated as more are found):

On why women often (even usually) choose not to report harassment, from someone who almost didn't when Aaron Agassi (well-known creep in Boston fandom) did it to her: Why not come forward?

INCITE, an activist organization focused on domestic violence/abuse within activist communities, has this zine on how we can handle abuse and harassment when everyone involved is One Of Us: The Revolution Starts at Home

INCITE also has this pamphlet on street harassment that is short and to the point

This post is on the tactics used to reinforce willful ignorance whenever the subject of sexual harassment or other uncomfortable things come up: Minimise, Doubt, Excuse, Shift Blame

This mother of an autistic child kindly asks us to stop blaming Asperger's every time someone mentions sexual harassment and geeks in the same sentence: I find this offensive

A martial arts teacher (Krav Maga, I believe) explains the binds our social norms place on women such that we are at a severe physical disadvantage by the time we are allowed to act on harassing/assaulting behavior: Where the Boundaries Are Drawn

This YouTube video is a documentary about gender roles that I will watch probably tonight and then have more to say about it: The Codes of Gender

These are posts from friends of the harasser as they struggle to figure out how to incorporate the information that someone they like has sexual harassed women: When the person doing the harassment is a person you like; (placeholder for an even better post I've lost track of)

On people whose reaction to harsh consequences for sexual harassment is "That means no more flirting!" and "I can't talk to women anymore!": If you really think that "speaking to women" is indistinguishable from harassment, there's a problem and it’s not with the rules.
brynndragon: (Default)
1BR Available in 4BR House for Rent - Cambridge, MA - For July 1st, 2012

- $725/mo including all utilities (water, electricity, gas, internet, limited cable)
- one upstairs bedroom still available July 1st in 4BR house
- just off Rindge Avenue in North Cambridge, 3 minute walk from Alewife, 15 minute walk from Davis Square
- 4 bedrooms (3 upstairs and one downstairs), 2.5 bathrooms, 1600 sf
- side-by-side two unit condo on three levels, brand new construction in 2005
- owners live in other half (folks here might know them, actually)
- modern appliances including gas stove, dishwasher, microwave, washer/dryer, fridge
- shared grass back yard
- driveway with off-street parking spaces for two cars (tandem)
- central air conditioning, natural gas heat
- real hardwood floors, central vacuumm

Who we are:

Brynn: female, 33 years old, geek, pagan, poly, gamer (video games, RPGs, LARPs), acupuncturist and molecular biologist, once and future biker (once my motorcycle gets repaired), Significant Other of Jeff

Jeff: male, 39 years old, geek, poly, gamer (video games, RPGs, LARPS), customer service provider, likes comics and heavy metal (on headphones), Significant Other of Brynn

Matt: male, 25 years old, geek, gamer (video games), software engineer, likes movies including anything by Pixar or Tarentino

Who you are:
A professional/student who thinks the aforementioned people would be neat to live with.

Feel free to pass this on to individuals who might be interested, and anyone who is interested should e-mail me at bykerdragon@gmail.com or call me at 617-383-4455. (Suggestions of where else to post this are also welcome ;)
brynndragon: (A Very Spider Xmas)
You're telling me that a 140lb kid knocked a 250lb man to the ground with *one* punch, climbed on top of that man and slammed his head into the ground, and somehow the man not only got out his gun while being beaten up by this impossibly strong kid, but managed to shoot him such that the kid landed prone. Oh, and the altercation started when kid, responding to a comment that the man had no problem with him, said, "Well, you've got one now."

Cool story, bro. You should be writing for the WWE.
brynndragon: (more cowbell)
It will still be on Wednesday, but due to the change in interest it's only going to happen once a month. Specifically, on the first Wednesday of each month. So the next Rockin' Wednesday will happen on March 7th, a week from today, in its usual 7 - 11 PM time slot. I hope to see some rockin' folks then!
brynndragon: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot about stress, so I want to know: What is the biggest source of stress in your life?

(if you get the reference in the title, you win the internets ;)

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brynndragon: (Default)
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