Fri. 01.11.19 – Here are a few articles to start your weekend out right. Happy Friday!
* Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why
* Memo to conservatives: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez understands taxes better than you do
* A Moral Panic
“The real story of machine learning is not how it promotes home bomb-making, but that it’s being deployed at scale with minimal ethical oversight, in the service of a business model that relies entirely on psychological manipulation and mass surveillance. The capacity to manipulate people at scale is being sold to the highest bidder, and has infected every aspect of civic life, including democratic elections and journalism.”
“Frankly, as long as we continue to view the planet as an endless “resource,” as long as we uphold the rights of individuals and corporations to amass infinite wealth while others go hungry, as long as we continue to believe that governments do not have the responsibility to feed, clothe, house, and educate everyone—all our talk is mere posturing. Why do these simple things scare people so much? It is just common decency. Let’s face it: the free market is not free, and it doesn’t give a shit about justice or equality.”
* Arundhati Roy on How to Think about Empire
“And now we have the era of Trump, in which we learn that intelligence and nuance are relative terms. And that W, when compared to Trump, was a serious intellectual. Now U.S. foreign policy is tweeted to the world on an hourly basis. You can’t get more transparent than that. The Absurd Apocalypse. Who would have imagined that could be possible? But it is possible—more than possible—and it will be quicker in the coming if Trump makes the dreadful mistake of attacking Iran.”
* Why Rashida Tlaib’s “We’re gonna impeach that motherf*cker approach” is good for Congress
“One of those leading that charge is Rashida Tlaib, the new representative from Michigan’s 13th district and one of the two first Muslim women to serve in the House of Representatives – and she is wasting no time in making her voice heard. “We’re gonna go in there,” she said, speaking to the progressive organising group MoveOn just hours after she was sworn in, “and we’re going to impeach the motherfucker.”
This caused the predictable backlash of pearl-clutching from Republican circles, whose faux-outrage at the swear-word would, perhaps, have had more moral weight if they had not spent the previous three years justifying their support for a president who boasted of “grabbing” women “by the pussy,” and attacking Democrats for their “political correctness”.”
Photo of the Snowy Convict Lake Reflections taken by Ms. Jen on 01.08.19 with her Nikon D850 and a Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens in Mono County, California.
Mon 11.19.18 – Photo of the London bus traveling down an illuminated Regent Street was taken by Ms. Jen with her camera phone this evening while walking down Oxford Street.
Sun. 11.18.18 – Yes, I am back in London to write. I find that I write best here, for a number of reasons both known and rather mysterious to me. When I am home in California, I can muster 2000-4000 words per month, hardly words enough to finish a short story in reasonable time – let alone a book. When I am in London, I can reach that word count in two days or less.
The last two years of US politics have heavily weighed me down and when I get to London, as long as I stay off of the news and social media sites, I am able to feel slightly bouyant again. At least here, I can float in my imagination – unfettered from the fecal matter of US politics – long enough to create and write.
While I am not participating in the NaBloPoMo nor NaNoWriMo, I am doing my best to restart my blogging practice in a more regular fashion – albeit in clumps – as well as finish writing a few stories and a book.
Here I am for a month. Let’s see how much writing and editing I can get done. Wish me luck.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen from the Embankment Golden Jubilee Bridge at dusk with her camera phone.
Fri 11.16.18 – There is something about the quality of light coming through the glass panes of Paddington Station in the late autumn at the end of the afternoon that is really beautiful. Every so often, I am able to capture it in a photo. Here is today’s iteration of this decade plus occasional series.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a camera phone after exiting a train at Paddington Station, London, UK.
Sat. 11.10.18 – On our afternoon walk, Sweet Pea stopped to enjoy the sunshine next to a pine cone. It was too picturesque…
Fri. 11.09.18 – Last night I had more bizarre dreams that bordered on nightmarish. It was truly cold here in Mammoth, with the low of 12F / -11C, and El Coache’s heater worked overtime to keep the internal temps around 54F / 12C. As a result, every time the heater cycled back on – loudly – I vaguely woke up. When one is roused from sleep on a regular basis, one tends to remember most of the dreams from the REM sleep one does get.
In last night’s case, it was dreams of other people hitting my rental car and me being stranded with a rental car employee yelling at me about my insurance. Somehow, in each dream, Family Hernandez (Alex, Paige, the boys, and Penny Laine) showed up to drive me home and rescue me from bad rental car employees.
My brain on anti-histamines and being woken up by an RV heater is a rather frightening place. And yes, with all of my serious allergy problems of recent years, I am a daily or twice daily anti-histamine taker – I like living.
I am renting a car next Wednesday and plan to pull two sets of rental car insurance, just in case – as Alex and Paige may not be available to pick me up.
Furthermore, I am wearing ear plugs tonight.
Thurs. 11.01.18 – To a person who is not yet on East Coast Daylight time, but instead still three hours behind in Pacific Daylight time, waking up at 6:40am in Rhode Island to be out at Mackerel Cove beach to photograph the sunrise and dogs running free at low tide was a bit of a difficult thing to do – though it was well worth it.
The air was cold, 30-something degrees fahrenheit – hat, gloves, and a jacket were needed. The sun rose slowly, with the first pink light reflections on the wet low tide line at 6:50am. For the next twenty or so minutes, Sparky the black lab ran happily after her ball while Kenji the island dog poked along the high tide kelp piles for edibles, as the clouds lying low in packed cotton ball formation in the eastern sky turned from gray to pink to neon pink-orange-yellow to the sun rising over the trees and houses on the east side of the cove. From 6:50am to 7:18am, it was magical.
Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D850 and a 50mm lens.
Sat. 10.20.18 – Once again the pygmy nuthatches returned to the water faucet today and I was prepared with my Nikon D850 and a 300mm f/4 lens. I was further prepared by optimizing the fn button on the front of the D850 to switch image size between FX and DX crop so that I would get more reach to take a nice photo(s) of any birds at the water faucet.
This photo makes me happy.