Otterday! And Open Thread.

Today’s otterday is hosted by a raft of Morro Bay sea otters.

A handful of sea otters float peacefully amongst kelp in a smooth sea.

[image shared by Ken Bondy on flickr]

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: , , ,

34 replies

  1. Have just started reading some of Patricia Wentworth’s Maud Silver books. The covers said she, Maud, is like Miss Marple which I why I risked my 50c on them at the fair. After a shaky start I’m really quite enjoying them. Although she isn’t as famous as Agatha Christie so getting some of the other books (I collect books) could be interesting. Will have to go hang out in some dusty second hand bookshops.

  2. My cold still hasn’t gone away. And various client websites continue to be fractious. Not a happy camper right now.

  3. This is a review that I wish I’d read before I read the book. (50 Shades of Grey)
    There are lots of spoilers so if you do want to read the book unspoiled, wait until afterward to read the review.
    If you are curious but don’t want to spend the $ email me, I will send you my copy.

  4. Thanks, Mindy – I suspected the story was average, but didn’t realise the writing is cliched as well.
    Jerry Sandusky (the former Penn State football coach) has been found guilty on 45 of 48 counts. The Magic Hoyden Page Not Found Filter will not let me tell you what the trial was about (how did we manage to discuss the case last year???) but it involves grooming boys for sex.

    • The Magic Hoyden Page Not Found Filter will not let me tell you what the trial was about

      I really do need to chase down exactly what is going on with that. In the meantime I suggest strategic use of asterisks?

  5. If only they could go after the people who knew and protected him for so long. I hope his victims are feeling a bit of peace knowing their tormentor has had to face his crimes in court and will be spending a lot of time in gaol.

  6. I’m going to Perth for the first time this week, mainly for work, but I’ve built in a couple of ‘tourist’ days at the end of the week. I’m now trying to figure out what to do with them. Suggestions welcome.

  7. Discussion I was enjoying last night has now taken a very strange turn. I am being accused of being someone else who has interacted with another commenter who has recently joined the thread, but is obviously well known on that blog. Apparently ‘Mindy’ is the name I am using now. Despite it being a) my name and b) a name I have written under and commented under on a range of blogs. I said I was on LP as Mindy. I haven’t mentioned here or FB or Twitter because basically I don’t want them turning up. Does anyone know of a blog with the initials UL that is apparently fairly well moderated? Trying to work out who I am supposed to be.

  8. Feminist Avatar: I went to Perth for the first time in April. Can I recommend you go to Fremantle and look around. I recommend the Fremantle Prison tours and the Trolley Tour (can’t remember the exact name of it but Google would help you). The markets are very cool and there is a reflexology place there that is the bomb.

  9. Sorry FA, spent one night in Perth many years ago and didn’t get a chance to see much as it was a work thing. Hope you have a fun time.

  10. Feminist Avatar: Happy to help, if you can tell us some of the sorts of things you like doing while travelling. (Kite-sailing? Sitting at cafes? Learning Worthy Things?) Budget and the weather will have strong influences also. You could do anything from a day trip to the Pinnacles or Rottnest, to bushwalking or mountain biking, to wine tasting in the Swan Valley, to a wander round the Art Gallery and the foreshore and the Botanical Gardens, to fish and chips on the beach in Freo, to a yacht jaunt on the river, to a rousing beerfest in a pub garden. Or maybe three or so the above, if you’re particularly motivated and the weather co-operates.

  11. Not sure who you are supposed to be, Mindy, but I should like to borrow 50 Shades of Grey from the Mindy I know!

  12. I will drop if off with the dress, that’s nice and easy then. 🙂

  13. Hmmm… the thing I heard about “Fifty Shades of Grey” that put me off the whole thing was that it was “Twilight” series fan-fiction which had then had the names altered and the serial numbers filed off. I heard this from someone on Making Light, and their views tend to coincide with mine a lot. So I figured I’d skip it (I also figured I’d skip it because I’m extremely low on disposable income, yet again). So far, I haven’t heard anything to make me want to change my mind on that decision.
    Even if I had, I’d still be waiting because I have at least two books on my “to purchase” list when I finally have time and money – the next in the “Laundry” series by Charles Stross (“The Apocalypse Codex”) and John Scalzi’s “Redshirts” (when it finally gets here in paperback). I may also be buying both of these in e-book format, if I can find them without DRM. But first I need to pay for next semester’s textbooks, and then I need to get a reasonable balance back into my bank account. So book buying is well and truly off the agenda for now.

  14. Gawd, Mindy, I stopped reading that thread about 50 comments in and it truely went down the rabbit hole. Just got to the end, and I have no idea what they are talking about. If it is Unleashed on the ABC they are talking about, then that is a trollapollooza that I stay far from.
    No Perth clues from me, sorry! And yes, that review was gold. Were the scenes described as bad as that?
    I’m away doing some respite-y care stuff for a few days. It’s less grim than it would appear from the outside, but who says dying folks can’t be amused by the world. (He finds Twitter utterly fascinating.) We also solved the Eurozone crisis last night and I introduced him to Shaun Micallef, to much giggling.

    • I presume everybody’s seen the #sciencegirlthing video somewhere this weekend already? The one where three young women strut around a lab in miniskirts and high heels? If you’re sick of the condesplaining trolls throwing out tripe about how this sexy objectification might actually work for “normal” girls, here’s the cite that shows that glam portrayals of women in STEM are counterproductive to the recruitment of young girls into STEM fields:

      Girlie scientist role models could do more harm than good
      The lack of women in science, maths and engineering (STEM) careers continues to raise concerns. One cause of the anomaly is thought to be beliefs among schoolchildren that these subjects are somehow inherently “masculine” and not for girls.
      So what’s needed to inspire schoolgirls, you might think, is sciencey female role models who show that you can be successful in STEM subjects and at the same time be feminine. Some attempts have already been made in that direction – the toy company Mattel brought out a “Computer Engineer Barbie” (complete with pink laptop) and mathematician Danica McKellar (pictured, right) has written a book aimed at inspiring girls: “Math Doesn’t Suck: How To Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind Or Breaking A Nail”. (Update: And the EU have just launched a new initiative “Science: it’s a girl thing”).
      The trouble, according to a pair of new studies by Diana Betz and Denise Sekaquaptewa at the University of Michigan, is that girlie science role models can backfire, actually putting off girls who have little existing interest in science and maths subjects.
      The first study involved 144 girls (average age 11.5 years) reading about female undergrad role models in a magazine-style interview. Some of the girls read about three female students who were successful in STEM subjects and were also overtly “girlie” (e.g. they wore make up and pink clothes, and liked reading fashion magazines). For schoolgirls who said they had little interest in science subjects, reading about these kind of role models actually diminished their plans to study maths in the future, reduced their maths interest, and lowered their belief in their own abilities and their chances of short-term success (as compared with outcomes for their like-minded peers who read about three successful STEM role-models who weren’t overtly girlie – for example, they wore dark-coloured clothes).
      Betz and Sekaquaptewa think this ironic effect could be because girlie female scientists seem extra-difficult to emulate. To test this, 42 more schoolgirls (average age 11.4 years) read interviews with more role models. Afterwards, girls who were uninterested in science subjects rated the success of girlie female scientists as less attainable than the success of female scientists who weren’t overtly girlie. Girls not interested in science also tended to say that being good at maths and being girlie don’t go together.
      What does all this mean? Although there’s plenty of evidence that stereotype-busting role models can be beneficial, these new results suggest that role models that take on too many stereotypic beliefs at once can actually backfire. “Young girls may see [the success of such role models] as particularly difficult to emulate,” the researchers said, “given their rigid stereotypes about gender and scientists.”
      This research focused on girls at middle-school and it’s important to note that the same findings may not apply to older teens or college students. No doubt some readers will also smart at the way femininity or girlieness was conceived in this study, potentially perpetuating unhelpful gender stereotypes. For now, Betz and Sekaquaptewa cautioned: “Submitting STEM role models to Pygmalion-style feminine makeovers may do more harm than good.”
      Betz, D., and Sekaquaptewa, D. (2012). My Fair Physicist? Feminine Math and Science Role Models Demotivate Young Girls. Social Psychological and Personality Science DOI: 10.1177/1948550612440735

  15. *spoilers for 50 Shades of Grey below*
    @Megpie71 – it is a Twilight fanfic, I was ticking off the events in my mind as I went. Saved her from a traffic accident – tick, you must stay away from me I’m bad for you – tick etc. After Chally has finished with it, you are welcome to borrow it if your curiosity gets too much.
    Thanks Bluntshovels it is quite a comments thread. Very interesting to see how some people react to having their views challenged. Especially by a woman. MyNigel and I have been having some laughs though about some of the stuff they have come out with which is good.

  16. *edited*
    Wow, I must have upset them, they think I’m [redacted] {edit ~ M} a radical feminist lesbian separatist blogger.
    ETA: I hope [redacted] {edit ~ M} she isn’t insulted by that comparison.

  17. Dunno whether she’d be insulted by having you mistaken for her, Mindy. Pretty sure she’d loathe having me mistaken for her, going by past interactions.

  18. Who knows TT, but the commenters on the site I was on have a lot to learn about radical feminism schools of thought if someone disagreeing with them while female = m*sandrist.

  19. Fremantle looks fun! Thanks Bri!
    Lauredhel, Thanks for offering to help. I guess I’m primarily a history/culture buff, so museums, art galleries, but also artsy shops, antiques, etc. I also like stunning scenery and walking, but I not too bothered about sports that require me to bring extra luggage. I love food and wine, so nice restaurants, coffee shops, fun deli’s, pubs and wineries all sound ideal. And, I’m going this week, so the weather looks to be showery but reasonable. I have a moderate budget, so don’t mind paying to see and do a few things, but nothing extravagant.

    • Bearing in mind I’m rather out of the loop as far as current-day goes, so artsy shops I can’t really help with: you definitely need to spend one of those days in Freo. The Maritime Museum and the old gaol and Roundhouse will give you some of the history you want, and there are piles of cafes and the markets to explore.
      The other day, you could maybe check out the art gallery in the city, which is next to the state Museum; then hie either over the tracks to Northbridge or up a couple stations to to Leederville for the cafe strips there (I recommend Leederville, but mileage may vary). Both spots have a Re Store, which is the best deli I know of in town. Try the Prima Donna cheese!
      If you have time and weather permits, Kings Park, the DNA Tower, and the Botanic Gardens are lovely. Public transport in the central city areas is all free, which is handy – grab the CAT Bus maps before you start to explore. I believe they’re all kneeling buses, too.

  20. This is for Megpie71, according to John Scalzi’s blog he persuaded his publishers to release Redshirts DRM free. In fact he kicked up quite a stink when several retailers (Amazon we are looking at you too) added DRM to the copies they sold.
    As a general note his blog is well worth checking out.

  21. Thanks so much Lauredhel and everyone else! Freo and the art gallery it is! I’ll let you know how I get on…

  22. I can’t quite fathom who looks at an otter and thinks “Gandalf” but I’m glad they did.

  23. I’m musing again on something I’ve mused on for a while, which is the tyranny of the hypothetical 21 year old son.
    That is, so many expressions of parenting joy are criticised by others because “what will your teenage/adult child [especially, in my experience, sons] think of naked baby photos/childish videos/etc of themselves when their friends see it? Protect your child’s young adult social life at all costs!”
    I saw this most recently the other day with someone on Twitter saying that bath photos of children over 2 are unacceptable, apparently mostly motivated by the idea that in 14 or 21 years, that child’s friends will embark on bully season armed with bath photos. (I realise that there are other reasons to avoid doing this, both concern about being mistaken for and punished as a pornographer, and fear of misappropriation of the photos for pornographic use. But this particular conversation seemed to be mostly about what happens to that child when these photos are found by their age-peers.)
    And it’s not that this sort of thing doesn’t exist, not at all. Likewise, the fear of parents of allowing pink-loving boys to express it to other children is not unrealistic. But that parenting is so strongly and openly policed by the specter of preserving the adulthood (masculinity) of our eventual adult children (sons) is also extremely frustrating and, I think, damaging. My son is 2. It’s sad to think that he may one day be embarrassed at having once been 2, but I don’t know that I should be hiding the evidence already. Expressing parental love in the form deemed acceptable only to some hypothetical hyper-mainstream 21 year old version of my son is pretty limiting.

  24. @Mary I set my personal limit at 5ish, around the time they started school. I will post photos of them with their permission, and talk about them in vague terms, but it wasn’t until my son expressly asked me not to post photos of the kind you mention that I realised that if not his mates, his mates’ parents and older siblings could conceivably stumble across them. Mind you I am completely hypocritical in this and love it when people talk about and post photos of their own children. I will probably also drive my children to distraction by posting (or whatever it is we do then) photos of my grandchildren, should I be lucky enough to get some, incessantly and blather on about them. I’m rather looking forward to that.
    I tend to think that whatever you do at some time in their lives they will think it was the wrong thing. No doubt I will be in trouble for not posting enough photos and boasting about how awesome my kids are. Because they are. Even though they irritate the bejesus out of me sometimes. I’m lucky to have them.

  25. Mindy: I think in this case I am less interested in the actual limits, but in the pressure to have them and how it is phrased as “something something your 16 year old young man will be so embarrassed/ashamed/bullied/unmanly something something.” I certainly think children should have (limited, at some ages) privacy from their parents and their parents’ audiences, but I dislike the atmosphere of “because babyhood/childhood is shameful to adults” that sometimes goes with it.

  26. I haven’t found that my kids are ashamed of being babies as such (although a sample size of 1 obviously isn’t data) but rather more not wanting to share private stuff publicly. They are fascinated by it and want to know what was happening at the time, or in the case of the younger sibling – but where am I?
    I think most parent bloggers know when the draw the line. There will always be parents who go too far, but then in the past they have just written books, screen plays and theatre pieces about their children so really the advent of the internet hasn’t created parents who overshare.
    I suspect that by the time most kids are old enough to care there will be so much of this stuff around it will be just like your parents pulling out the baby photos when your friends come around. Mildly embarrassing at first, but then everyone ends up sitting around and looking at them anyway.

  27. I was thinking of catching up on housework on #Strikeday but I think now that I might knock the housework over (somewhat) tonight and take the kids to the movies tomorrow. Since Canberra schools aren’t on strike we should be able to get the session we want.

  28. A paper on the ethics of obesity interventions from NSW Health.
    [fixed link ~Lauredhel]

  29. Took the kids to see Brave, which we all quite enjoyed.
    *potential spoiler*
    My fav tweet about Brave:
    “The males in Brave were all plot devices!” GEE. THAT MUST REALLY SUCK TO HAVE YOUR GENDER MARGINALIZED IN A MOVIE.
    I haven’t been to the movies for a while, and last time I went I wrangled while MyNigel paid, so yesterday being the person who paid for everything was quite an eyeopener. The tickets themselves were okay, $9.50 for mid week non 3D, it was the drinks and the popcorn that were exxy. The kids wanted a small popcorn each, but even the small is the size of a small bucket, well not that small a bucket. I made them share because I am a stingy Mum. Then when we got out of the movies it was lunchtime etc etc. Glad we don’t do that everyday. But it was fun and we needed a fun day together. #mummyhasbeencranky

  30. My oven waited until just after 6pm (when the manufacturer’s support phone line closed) before deciding to have the digital timer’s beep-beep generator scream continuously for 3 minutes, stop for 1 minute, scream for 3 stop for 1, rinse lather repeat.
    The whole digital control panel is borked. Thankfully I remembered that it’s on a separate fuse, so I’ve taken that out and the screaming has stopped. Sadly, putting it back in again after a few minutes did not reboot the processor, so it’s out of action for the weekend probably.
    Just as well I was already planning to have Chinese delivered for dinner.

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