Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otter was captured on film by Yasaiman at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.

small-clawed otter, fur damp, standing on rocks, its mouth wide open as if yawping

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?

UPDATE 2011-03-16: We do have active threads for anyone wanting to discuss the terrible events following the earthquake/tsunami in Japan or the suppression of pro-democracy protests in Libya/Bahrain.



Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

18 replies

  1. “Bring that camera a little closer.”
    I think a depressive fit, leading to a paranoid outburst, has cost me a couple of friends.

  2. Oh Nick – been there done that. The stigma surrounding mental illness makes it really hard to explain to the neurotypical, doesn’t it?

  3. The Torygraph (UK) has a feature looking at a BBC documentary The British at Work: Britain’s sexist bosses from the 1950s. If your obstreperal lobe is already throbbing, best not to read.

  4. The stigma surrounding mental illness makes it really hard to explain to the neurotypical, doesn’t it?
    Nice of you to put it that way, and yes, but this particular time, if it has, it will be my fault (some things I can’t recognise when I’m in the midst of them, some I can and should, this was the latter).

  5. I hope it works out okay SunlessNick! Sends as much empathy and comfort as is welcomed.
    I think I might give that link a miss for today tigtog. I’ve been sick for about four weeks, my ex was in town which is always exhausting, I’ve been through a whole bunch of ‘Aha!’ moments about my own emotional ‘stuff’ and after a week of intense thinking and talking, my partner told me the most horrendous story of family violence from his childhood which caught me off guard as he’d never really mentioned any of it. It’s really shaken me and taken a couple of days to get *any* distance from and to be able to sleep. And I’m having to continue readings about racial violence and cruelty for a uni course! The course is fantastic, I wish it was something introduced in schools, but it’s seriously hard going and I’m trying to ‘defrag’ by reading a silly novel and having coffee with a friend before I totally hit the ‘red zone’.

    • Hugs if you want them, FP. You too Nick.
      For lighter relief via snark, I have actually just seen somebody pull out ye olde “the lurkers support me in email” card in the JREF forum (although in these days of Web 2.0 it is more like “the lurkers support me in PMs”). It reminded me of ye olde filk, which I have edited to redact a single ableist word, and which I now repost below:

      To the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”:
      The Lurkers support me in e-mail
      They all think I’m great don’t you know.
      You posters just don’t understand me
      But soon you will reap what you sow.
      Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
      Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.
      The lurkers support me in e-mail
      “So why don’t they post?” you all cry
      They’re scared of your hostile intentions
      They just can’t be as brave as I.
      Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
      Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.
      One day I’ll round up all my lurkers
      We’ll have a newsgroup of our own
      Without all this flak from you [bullies]
      My lurkers will post round my throne.
      Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
      Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.
      (Author is Jo Walton….)

  6. Sounds like everyone else is having just as good a week as I am. A few links that might help:
    Engravings of native plants, wildlife, landscape and people from a French voyage around Australia and the South Pacific in 1785.
    Baby numbats!
    @SunlessNick & FP – Sympathies.
    May I be annoying and ask a 101 question? I’m having a disagreement with my team about the colour of our main game characters. At the moment our characters are white. I suggested we give them extra clothes to cover their skin, so they’d be racially ambiguous and so more accessible to a larger range of players. My team argued that racially-ambiguous is a category, just as white, black and tan are categories, so having an ambiguous character is just as exclusionary as any other choice. So, they’re staying white.
    I had to fight hard to get a lady character introduced (they’re harder to model) and lost the same-sex romance option (too much extra animation) and I’m not sure how to argue against this thinking. Any suggestions, and also, should I bother?

    • I have almost zero idea of game design, so adjust your expectations accordingly, but – are they differentiating characters by hair colour for the purpose of more easily identifying the various characters in-game? If so, why wouldn’t they also want to differentiate by other external characteristics?

  7. I have almost zero idea of game design
    Neither do I, and I’ve been studying it for 3 years. I think it’s got something to do with coffee.
    We’ve only got two human characters in our game, so it’s pretty easy to tell them apart. Our hypothetical player is supposed to feel all warm and fuzzy towards them, and one way to do that is by making them as generic as possible. I was arguing that we should make their race generic as well, but I seem to have hit a wall. My team argue that the characters will be easier to relate to if they have a specific race. I just don’t know.

  8. I just asked the household gamer who said he never thinks about it but doesn’t think that having an easily identifiable racial character would be a drawback as long as the game is interesting. If an actor in a movie is good enough I don’t care what their racial background is. I think this would hold for a game as well.

  9. Something for all the choristers – I’m watching an oratorio based on the Life of Brian, performed at the Albert Hall. They’ve just busted out the tambourines, and the previous segment (for all those who suffered through Handel’s Messiah) was called “We Love Sheep”.
    If you’ve got cable with Showcase, switch over now. If not, chase it down – it’s tremendous fun.

  10. @The Amazing Kim,

    My team argue that the characters will be easier to relate to if they have a specific race.

    I’d be tempted to suggest making them specific races, then: say, one Maori and one Tibetan. But I guess you don’t want to find out what excuse your team would come up with in that case.
    Only two human characters suggests to me a science fiction game, set in the future. In which case, will there still even be white people? If that construct hasn’t changed, (i) why not? and (ii) that doesn’t mean the phenotype will look just like us Europeans now. People adapt to their environment!

  11. BTW folks, I’m out for most of the day. I plan to log on briefly in my lunch break, at which time I will publish another FS Reader that I’ve got ready to go. Hope the rest of you have a more relaxing Sunday planned.

  12. Thanks to everyone for the kind words.
    Hugs to fuckpoliteness.
    I’d be tempted to suggest making them specific races, then: say, one Maori and one Tibetan. But I guess you don’t want to find out what excuse your team would come up with in that case.
    Hugs to the Amazing Kim too, if so. But I kind of like this idea. What’s the setting? If it’s somewhere hot, suggest making them black or Persian, to fit the climate. If it’s somewhere cold, suggest making them look Eskimo. If they ask why, tell them it’s to suggest temperature and enhance the mood.
    Latest for Libya, ground gained by Gaddafi’s forces – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12726032
    And an editorial – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12720643 – that predicts Gaddafi won’t prevail in the long term, even if he wins this. But that still means reprisals for the rebels now, a protracted bloody stalemate, and probably another civil war, so it’s a real struggle to present it as a hopeful take.

  13. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions everyone! I will take them to the meeting this afternoon. Hopefully by the end of the day we’ll have a Tibetan Maori in Eskimo gear heading up our project.

  14. Just feeling horrified at the world today. Japan is devastated and looking worse and worse, and Bahrain is gearing up for hideous atrocities. Just want to make a note here for anyone wanting to discuss these events that we do have active threads on both:
    * Japan earthquake, tsunami (and now the nuclear radiation threat)
    * Pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

  15. Am I being a really terrible curmudgeon by being actively repelled by the coverage of the “Prince of Hearts” royal visit to NZ?
    I know that the publicity around the world is going to help the Kiwis (and next week will help our Queensland flood victims) with more holiday bookings to help rebuild their tourist economies, and I know that some people genuinely feel that a royal visit means that their town/city matters in the world and that this makes them feel good, but I find it all incredibly cloying.

  16. I’m avoiding knowing anything at all about the royal visits via my usual methods of no radio or tv news and no clicking on links that mention it. I’m much less grouchy that way.

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