Otterday! And Open Thread

An otter in close-up with its mouth wide openToday’s otter come from sparky2000 on Flickr, and is shocked, shocked I tell you to find ?????? going on in this establishment.

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 good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?



Categories: Life

Tags: , ,

30 replies

  1. The Bad Astronomer gets to see cool meteorology even without a telescope, the lucky sod.

  2. We had one of those rainbows yesterday. It was huuuuuuuuuuge.
    Tomorrow I’m heading off to Queer Collaborations, an annual conference for queer students. Should be informative and empowering and whatever, but really I’m just looking forward to a free holiday.

  3. Sounds like a win any which way, AK. Have a great time.

  4. Just been reading a whole lot of articles about Howard’s rejection by the ICC. There’s a nasty side of me which is brimming over with schadenfreude, but going on the editorials it does appear as if the top international cricketing body is quite the dysfunctionally opaque cabal. That’s not a good thing in a sporting industry which generates so many millions and millions of dollars.

  5. Hello everyone!
    I was having a stressful week and topped it with a shitty (read: difficult) psych session. And then I got reminded on Twitter that people think I’m awesome, so while basking in that feeling:
    I think you guys are awesome! Really, truly. Have a cute pic: http://www.lafferty.ca/files/stuff/images/cats/Kitten-Ducks.jpg

    (for those who can’t see it: it is a small grey kitten with black markings sitting on a small white bench (like a park bench). On the bench also are two fuzzy yellow ducklings. In the background is what looks like long green grass and yellow flowers)

  6. CAPTION: You mean Gillard’s NOT married?!

  7. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/phys-ed-what-exercise-science-doesnt-know-about-women/ is about a researcher who did a study on male cyclists and recovery then after being asked by women to repeat it using women discovered… they are different!
    Made me wonder just how much of that is going on.
    Men recovered better when overloading protein, women didn’t. Carbo loading before the intense exercise worked for men but not women.
    ‘As Dr. Rowlands says — echoing a chorus of men before him — when it comes to women, there’s a great deal that sports scientists “just don’t understand.”’
    And one does wonder what other kind of health scientists have the same problem.

    • Very interesting, Zebee. Of course feminist biologists have been pointing out the gender research gap for yonks but very little attention has been paid.
      I’ve got a comment in mod over at FF101 which I’m tossing up responses for (the writer is not a native English speaker)

      Some forums discussions I have read write, to prove me the veracity of the traditional roles, that is, to give as a proof that in fact the people in the wrong are the feminist and that the roles are justified, the past 2000 years prevalence of them. They say something like: “look, how come these roles have existed in all cultures, eh, eh!? Surely not all cultures could have thought to put women in the same housewife and mother role, eh!?”
      I do have evidence to the contrary (Zinn 1st chapter of “People’s History…”), but I wonder if you could give me a more interesting and different answer to that popular forum claim 😛 .

      My own way-too-longwinded explanation for the cross-cultural relegation of women to subordinate social roles is simply that sexual dimorphism means that women are easily physically dominated by men, therefore men have historically taken the decision-making roles in society for themselves. Might Makes Right, etc.
      Amongst other mammal species in nature, the larger individuals are always dominant. But humans have left the natural order behind long ago. Since the story of human social progress over the last millennium has been a shift away from the paradigm of social organisation through direct intimidation on the Might Makes Right principle, why should this not apply to gender roles as well? Or is bullying OK so long as it’s women being bullied?
      I’m sure someone here has a pithier phrasing.

  8. Had the Outlaws over on Friday night. Has brother-in-law’s racism abated at all? No. He treats us to a dissertation about how “Australians” (read white caucasians whose parents were either born here or emigrated from the UK, NZ or South Africa, and he’s not even sure about NZ) are on the decline as the dreaded Brown People take over and the Anglos/Caucasians need to have lots and lots of babies. (And this guy is a tertiary educated professional earning more than I do, mind you.)
    Later that night he asked me if I’d been blogging lately – he’s one of the few family members who are aware of it enough to actually read it occasionally, then he said he’d write a guest post. Not “do you think I might be able to write a guest post” or “do you accept guest posts” but “I’ll write a guest post.”
    I told him THREE TIMES I was not going to publish a post by him on the balcony – was restrained enough not to use the words “hell freezes over” – and explained the ease with which he could get a blog of his own in minutes, or send his rant to Online Opinion, but he is still saying he’s going to send me a guest post ;-/
    He’s not improving with age. No, you won’t be seeing a paleoconservative rave on the Balcony any time soon. Or maybe I should do it and just leave him at the mercy of comments? 😉

  9. In things that shouldn’t surprise me but have managed to punch me in the gut more than I expected this morning; PM Gillard is going hardline on asylum seekers, and defending John Howard as ‘not racist’. here.

  10. Jennifer, that article was a gut-punch, wasn’t it.
    And what was it with the idea that everyone’s nervous of the boats Looming! On! the Horizon! They would only be on the horizon if you lived actually ON the beach on the west coast and even then they would not LOOM like, for instance, the huge container ships we have here bringing our flat screen TVs and $2 shop tat from Taiwan.

  11. I’d publish it Helen, and let the femitariat critique it for him. I’m going to be nice to myself and not read the Gillard article – that way I can assure myself that she’s just avoiding handing Abbott any ammo, for a bit longer.

  12. It was my birthday this weekend, I had a party on Saturday (day of my birfday) and now I have a cracking headache from sipping alcohol I shouldn’t and not getting ehough sleep all week. I might go back to bed and play mindless facebook games to recuperate. 🙂 Best presents: My own fragrance designed by my friend Ricky (gorgeous) and an authentic signed colour photograph of Tom Baker in an elaborate gold frame.

  13. Tigtog,
    The animal kingdom is a lot more complex than the old Alpha Male thing, as are a lot of human cultures.
    In horses, for example, the leader of the herd tends to be an old mare, or a group of them. The stallions fight amongst themselves for the right to hang about, but if the old mares don’t want them, they don’t get in. (and the young ones sneak in and get their ends away anyway…) Primates seem to have complex heirarchies depending on what’s going on right now.
    Human societies have overt power relationships and covert ones. Women do a lot of shaping and training in most human societies, I suspect that’s why a lot of them have the “rite of passage” pubertal ceremonies, to get the young men out from the dangerous influence of the women. I’ve seen a theory that the balooning of male ritualistic groups (freemasons, oddfellows, redmen etc) was in reaction to the strong feminine influence in western middle class society in the 1800s and the rituals were all about severing ties and replacing female influence with male. BEcause it wasn’t happening on its own!
    The overt power relationships are changing now because, as you say, the role of physical strength has changed. I note with interest that is seems the USA is alone in modern developed countries in not having female high school students being strongly represented in school results in maths and science…. (When I was young you never saw a female name in the high scores in matric exams published results, now you see a lot of them). I wonder if that’s due to the US’s strong religious focus? So their societal expectations are different?

  14. Happy birthday napalmnacey!
    I spent the weekend one thousand years in the past (at Winterfest). Time travel is tiring.

  15. Happy birthday Napalmnacey!
    I wonder if anyone could explain something to me – Tigtog I think you are the eggspert on these things but presumably there are other HTML gurus commenting here?
    I’m very attached to my (Target=”_blank”) tags, but for a lot of people they’re going out of favour. I didn’t know it might have implications for accessibility.
    http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day_16_not_opening_new_windows.html
    I notice TT doesn’t use them on HAT. The person who taught me HTML liked the tag because she felt by allowing external pages to open in the same window might confuse inexperienced users about whose page it was.
    What do others think?

    • Many happy returns, Napalmnacey! Kirstente, I’m hoping limbo allows you some comfy couch time with some good books, at least?
      Helen, I’m not really a HTML guru at all, just a decent wrangler, but here goes: re “_blank” tag, I think that article’s a little out of date with some of the tabbed browsing issues, as “_blank” no longer forces a new window separate from previous open tabs, it just opens a new tab. Some of the other issues still remain though. I do use “_blank” on some links, but mainly in the blogroll where the whole idea is to take the viewer to a totally different site. I like to use the title attribute on such links where I can, so that the tooltip text tells people that they’re going to a new tab/window.

  16. I’m feeling a bit in limbo at the moment. I’m waiting to hear back about job applications and exam results, so I can’t really make any firm plans. And I’m not sure where I’ll be living from September.
    Napalmnacey – Happy Birthday! They sound like lovely presents, the personal ones are the best.
    Helen – I’m glad it’s not just me that calls their not-quite-in-laws the Outlaws! Although mine are fortunately completely unaware of of the blog world.

  17. Helen, opening pages in a new window is something that has annoyed me for a long time, as I know enough to be able to open something in a new tab/window if I want and if I click on something to just open it in the same tab/window and I can’t, there’s no way I can override it. I don’t know about accessibility but I know plenty of other sites don’t use that tag, and I doubt it has caused them many issues.

  18. Katherine: There’s a little add-on for Firefox, TargetKiller, that configurably disables “target” attributes:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/495/

  19. I’m with Zebee on this one, definitely! I highly recommend Donna Haraway’s chapter on gorillas in ‘Primate Visions’ which critically examines the practice of ‘discovering natural patriarchy’. I am also very far from convinced that ‘so many cultures’ have put women in the ‘housewife and mother’ role: what being a mother means in different contexts is radically heterogenous, and as for housewife-ing… well, I don’t know, but it looks like the question at FF101 is suggesting that the kinds of lives that white, Western, middle-class women lived in the 1950s can be extrapolated to everywhere and every time (…though maybe without the lil yellow pills) and I just don’t think it can, not without massive reduction of the differences between historical periods and locations. I know that doesn’t wind up with a pithy answer, though, tigtog! 🙂

    • WP and Zebee, yeah. The Q as posed seems to be a typical example of evopsych reductionist essentialism of gender roles from the savannah until now as nuclear family dynamics, when eny fule no that the nuclear family is a product of industrialisation, individualism and consumerism all pushing people away from the traditional tribal/extended family model and its rather different allocation of family duties in, as you say, different historical periods and locations.

  20. *Waves* In other news I moved house – the weekend before last – and now we finally haz the interwebs at the new place! So hai y’all, pleased to be seeing everyone again and now I have some online reading to catch up on – think I’ll start here

  21. New home – how exciting/overwhelming – how many boxes do you have left to unpack?

  22. Oh only a back room full! It’s nice to have a house with a room that can be ignored, so I don’t really mind that it’s full of boxes. We have moved from a tiny house to a medium sized house, and although I was very stressed about the whole thing before the move, it all went fairly well – and made easier by having slightly more space to put things. Just to make the whole process more “interesting” my son (4) and I got a vomiting bug – its always fun and games with kids, isn’t it? But we are all well and feeling more settled now, and the place is starting to feel like home. Especially now that we’ve got the phone/web connected. Did I mention how thrilled I am to back online?

  23. (There probably should be a “be” in that last sentence). Oops.

  24. I do use “_blank” on some links, but mainly in the blogroll where the whole idea is to take the viewer to a totally different site. I like to use the title attribute on such links where I can, so that the tooltip text tells people that they’re going to a new tab/window.
    Yebbut, the links within one of our posts are equally likely to be to a completely different site. I’m tossing up whether to go that way- _blank for blogroll and not for other links- or just abandon _blank for all links.

  25. wrt the FF101 question, I’m thinking of including this classic link in my reply:
    Belief in Evolutionary Psychology May Be Hardwired, Study Says
    [secondthoughts] although it is mighty tempting, it is probably too snarky to be helpful. But we can enjoy it here anyway.

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