Otterday! And Open Thread.

sea otter drawing by ericToday’s otter is brought to you by “Eric”, via Sea Otter Scoop: The Official Blog of the Otter Project. The Otter Project exists to promote the rapid recovery of the California sea otter, an indicator of near shore ocean health, by facilitating research and communicating research results to the general public and policy makers.

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a great book? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: environment, Life

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27 replies

  1. I’ve been receiving small packages from that book order I twittered about, all week. Received and devoured Octavia Butler’s Kindred in a day. Couldn’t put it down. What an AMAZING, powerful, horrifying, heart-wrenching book! I kept talking to the text, as I read, and my partner get asking “What? What?!”

  2. Aphrodite, that sounds like my kind of book. *adds to list*
    *hides under otter*
    I think I can safely say the next 12 months of my life are going to be “OMG Grad School is Scary!” (except for the “OMG Cancer is Scary” bits, but I’m in Denial at the moment, so No Scary Cancer.)
    AAA! I have to sort out where and in what I want to do my PhD work by the end of September??? *dies* Someone please hold my hand and promise everything will be better?

  3. *Holds Anna’s hand*
    Could do with the same, for different reasons. Mostly summable up as “Ow.”

  4. Scratch what I said. Hold Anna’s other hand instead, I have it easy.

  5. *Holds Anna’s other hand, and SunlessNick’s other hand too*
    Sorry for the various ouchies, my friends! Anna, these kinds of decisions, at least in my experience, are the kind that creep up on you: you do a little thinking here, a little talking there, a little emailing to that person, and slowly, you get a sense of what you want to do it in, and the best place to do it. That said, my recommendation for PhD work is to make sure that you have a supervisor (advisor, I think you Northern Hemispherical types call it?) you can work with; who will give you lots of time and attention and support. And it would seem to me that testing such things out now (with the angst of these questions you’re negotiating) would be a useful thing? Just a thought. (Also, feel free to email me if you want to discuss in more detail! :-))

  6. Thankyou.
    And it would seem to me that testing such things out now (with the angst of these questions you’re negotiating) would be a useful thing?
    Sounding out supervisors, and seeing how they’ve worked with others in the past, might also provoke thoughts on the PhD work itself.

  7. Anyone listen to 774 Melbourne last Thursday – the segment about United States of Tara?
    A short summary:
    The show is ostensibly about an ordinary family. Tara, the mother, has Multiple Personality Disorder. Under guidance from her therapists, she has recently stopped taking her psychiatric medication. Hilarity ensues.
    In the radio segment’s discussion of this program, many callers complained that Multiple Personality Disorder was portrayed extremely inaccurately, and the show was consequently very distressing.
    Now, the radio hosts (Jon Faine and Debbie Encker from The Age newspaper’s television supplement) implied that the callers were missing the point – that it is a very good show, and fiction and comedic.
    Now, I think it is a good show. Good acting and characterisation and such. I very much enjoy watching it. But I wouldn’t want to watch it if I had MPD, or knew someone that had it.
    After that, a few people called into 774 saying that “no one was allowed to do anything any more”, and that the show was fiction (fiction!), bleeding hearts take things too seriously etc etc. But those defences can be applied to any inaccurate portrayal of a minority. And victims of the syndrome complaining on a radio show hardly amounts to oppression.
    I was wondering if anyone else had heard it – if so, what were their impressions? Thoughts on the show in general?
    (I wish these comment boxes had a preview button)

  8. I shouldn’t have said “victims of the syndrome” there. Though I’m sure it’s not the most fun of the mental illnesses.
    To add to the show’s summary: the repercussions of Tara’s illness – the exhaustion and resilience of Tara herself; her husband’s coping mechanisms; the effect of household instability on the kids – are portrayed well. But the actual symptoms of MPD are so completely stereotypical and overblown that it doesn’t resemble real life experiences at all.

    • I’m listening to Jon Faine conversation hour with Michael Nyman online now, featuring Toni Colette.
      I agree that the show doesn’t seem to be very accurate about MPD.

      • An interesting interview with Toni Colette, although I didn’t sound like the program you describe – perhaps Jon Faine was discussing it on someone else’s show? Colette seems very excited about the challenges of the role and the strengths of the supporting characters, and it sounds like she’s done a fair amount of reading into dissociative disorders to get a few things straight about them in her own head. Still, I’m not hearing anybody associated with MPD jumping up and down and saying that people will learn so much from watching the United States of Tara.

  9. I really like the show, have always loved Toni Collette’s work, but I can understand the frustration of people with MPD. It makes it harder to engage with people if their expectations of you are skewed by popular stereotypes.
    I gnash my teeth a fair bit over depictions of autism -the current CSA ads make me particularly grumpy, for reasons that may be peculiar to me.

    • Oh su, yes, some of the depictions of autism get me cranky as well. Particularly Jenny McCarthy describing her non-neurotypical son’s cognitive changes at around age 3 as “the soul just went out of his eyes”. WTF? Going on national television and describe your own child as soulless? WTF sort of parent are you? WTF message are you sending to other people about kids on the autistic spectrum?
      OK, I don’t believe in a soul in the religious sense, but I know what people mean when they talk about soulmates and soulsense, and my autistic kid has whatever people talk of as a soul just fine, Jenny McCarthy.

  10. I’ve just remembered how to log in to post a comment again – I tried a couple of weeks ago, but my brain wandered off and took a while to come back. When is winter over?
    Just bought a new book by my favourite new YA author, Meg Rosoff. Her debut novel, “How I Live Now” was extraordinary, followed by two other wonderful books, so I’m looking forward to reading this fourth one, “The Bride’s Farewell”. Has anyone else read her stuff, what do you think?

    • I haven’t read her, but I’m always interested in new YA authors for Sprog the Younger. She’s very much a fantasy fan though, although at least she prefers her fantasy not too fluffy. I’m trying to broaden her horizons more. What’s Rosoff’s oeuvre?

  11. I’m reading The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness – sequel to The Knife of Never Letting Go, YA, I guess you’d call it speculative fiction rather than fantasy – there’s no magic, and it’s not at all fluffy. Made of win, I reckon.

  12. Safety issues for mobility scooters, but where the responsibility for “safe” use is being laid. Nothing about making footpaths wide enough, or ensuring that cars aren’t parked up over footpaths.

  13. Deborah: did you mean to put a link in there?

  14. I did! Sorry, I should have checked it once the comment went up. Here it is, I hope.
    Mobility scooter deaths ‘alarming’

  15. The warning notice has a number of recommendations for scooter drivers, including ensuring the scooter is highly visible, avoiding very steep hills, taking footpaths or quiet roads when possible and wearing a helmet.

    Oh for fuck’s sake.

  16. That’s nice, you are responsible for idiot drivers hitting you because you are on the same road as them.

  17. Does anyone else find it hilarious that the WordPress admin page has a post up saying, “Unfortunately, I missed some places when fixing the privilege escalation issues for 2.8.1. …”
    Just me, then!?

  18. Hugs to all who need them.
    I am getting a metric shitload of trolling at my place. I know it’s pretty routine for feminist bloggers, but things have been mostly polite at my place up until this breast ogling post I wrote the other day. Not to mention the comments elsewhere on the Internet… And my stats have gone haywire. So I’m a bit freaked out. But I’m glad it’s getting through to some people, and women are sharing their experiences.

  19. Thank you, tigtog. I’ve had to close comments now, though, as on top of the sort of stress an abled person might experience in such a situation, it was beginning to make my disability all growly. But if anyone reading wants me to publish their story of ogling for them, I’m just an email away!
    Oh, and Aphrodite, Octavia Butler was easily one of the most spectacular writers I’ve ever encountered.

  20. It’s a fantastic post, Chally.

  21. Cheers Deborah. 🙂

  22. Anyone else feeling a bit ill about this?
    Girlfriend puts new slant on Inglis row

    THE girlfriend of National Rugby League and Melbourne Storm superstar Greg Inglis has revealed new information to police that may ultimately clear him of assaulting her.
    Sally Robinson yesterday handed investigators a lengthy statement that provides a different version of events to the one she had previously given.
    The signed statement is believed to reveal specific information about what triggered the altercation. It is understood to refer to Inglis trying to disarm Ms Robinson while she was in the process of self-harm.

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