Archive for the ‘General’ Category
In which I read all of the internet.
Or, well, the 'Environment' folder in my feed reader.
Just a round-up of things I've been reading.
Hello there people and folkses! I'm going to update you in bullet points 'cause I want to do bullet points, so nah.
- Babysitting is suspended for the moment due to the next two points.
- Been fucking sick this week. It started with a little innocent-looking cold, then I started having a big throat ache and I threw up a lot. I hadn't thrown up in years, and I was fucking glad I hadn't because it's unpleasant, and it hits pretty damn straight into the almost-O of OCD for me (I don't have actual OCD, but I have "Anxiety Disorder Not Otherwise Specified", which includes tendencies towards OCD-like thingies). Vomit is huge trigger for me and, and let's just say I'm avoiding certain spots of the floor even after cleaning them. Yeah...I must admit something though: having it happen to me might actually have reduced the trigger-ness of it, as while it was in no way pleasant, it wasn't the End of the World.
- My sister and all the family were also sick recently. Last week it was a cold/flu thing, and this week both my niece and my brother-in-law got an indigestion (is that a word in English?) because of a cantaloup. I knew those fruits were evil. That and the fact that my sister was finishing school this week has quite changed their needs.
- I was doing phone calls for volunteering earlier this week, but then with my sickness I couldn't keep it up. It will have to wait next week, which pretty much guarantees that I won't be able to start actual work before next year.
- Next Sunday is totally Mario and I's second anniversary together!!!11!!1! 'Tis awesome and he's awesome and we're awesome and I'm actually super excited!
- My sister gets her cat shaven around twice per year. He has long hair and, because he's overweight, he has a particularly hard time cleaning himself properly, so he gets horrible knots and tangledthingies. I don't mind him getting shaven, but I pity him because those who do it perfume the poor thing. It's like replacing his ID card with a different one! My cat keeps sniffing him, wondering who the fuck is that cat who keeps acting and being treated like Tao, but can't possibly be Tao, because he smells so weird.
First, let me make this clear: I believe science is wonderful. There are many different fields, and each one has numerous applications (and even fun). But...well, but. There's always a
My Google Reader account is enormous. I wouldn't be surprised if there were 1000 entries per day, at least on some days. Naturally, I don't read every single entry, some are things that don't interest me. My feed is divided into categories, one of which is Science and one of which is Health (there are many others, but I'll be talking about those two here).
Sciency stuff can be roughly broken down into four types:
- Interesting things I want to read. For example, I like reading about mental health.
- Things I can't fucking understand. For example, "Single–Base Pair Unwinding and Asynchronous RNA Release by the Hepatitis C Virus NS3 Helicase". Well, I'm sure it's of interest to Hepatitis C research, but that doesn't mean much to me. Neither does "Disentangling the Drivers of β Diversity Along Latitudinal and Elevational Gradients".
- Things that I'm sure can be of interest to some people who aren't experts, but which I skip reading because I can.
- Most fascinating studies with un-be-lie-va-ble! results.
This post concerns the latter category.
For example, there recently was a study demonstrating that, hold to your chair, bisexual men exist for realz. I was absolutely flabbergasted! FOR REALZ, I said! In the name of all those men, I would like to thank the scientists who took the time and money to demonstrate in a science-methody way that those men's feelings are teh realz.
Even more recently, WebMD informs us that Obesity Puts Young Kids at Risk of Social Isolation. REALLY? You mean that, in a society where Weight Loss is put on a pedestal, where the slight bit of fat is seen as horrifying, where we even call disgusting other animals and things that could possibly resemble parts of a naked fat person, obesity can lead to social isolation? NO MOTHERFUCKING WAY!
The very worse part of the article, however, comes at the end:
"My advice to parents would be to work hard to help their children achieve the best quality nutrition standards, participate in activities which have the potential to improve fitness levels, and to seek out activities in the community where children's peer relationships can be fostered and supported," he says.
Ballas says there are some concrete steps parents can take to help their children overcome the stigma of being obese.
"If there's a TV in their bedroom, just get it out," says Ballas. "If there's a TV in their bedroom it substantially increases the chance for obesity and sleep problems, and getting the TV out of the room reduces those chances."
Also encourage exercise, but maybe not competitive sports, which can heighten an overweight or obese child's sense of stigma and failure, according to Ballas. "A lot of kids have a great interest in learning and academics that are not necessarily sports related."
Those damn parents who just can't do a thing good! Clearly we mustn't teach children to treat their obese peers properly, we must rather teach those obese kids to not be obese.
I know that, because the aforementioned Health category covers a wide range of topics (chronic non-transmittable illnesses such as diabetes, seasonal stuff like the flu, delicious foods, etc.), but in spite of this, roughly half of the entries are about how you must lose weight RIGHT NOW.
Our attitude towards thin people isn't better, of course. I'm sure sites like Demotivational Posters putting up pictures of very thin celebrities to comment on how "gross" it is and how it makes "us want to puke" are very good for people with body dismorphic disorder.
Haha! Look, the US Republican candidates went to a fair and they ate corndogs! We have pictures! You see, when you're eating a corndog, you look like you're performing fellatio. As we know, performing fellatio is a dehumanising thing that diminishes you, because it's all feminine and submissive and stuff. How hilarious! Let us mock them!
As I browse the web, it annoys me quite a lot to see the ridiculously numerous parts of it that seem to believe that everyone (or at least everyone who matters) is a white, heterosexual, at-least-mildly conservative, middle class or higher, man living in the United States.
I think it is a requirement for a modern woman to love Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I do like him, and there being a series where he is portrayed by Colin Firth certainly helps, but I must say that my fangirl fawning is mostly aimed at the girl he admires, Elizabeth Bennet (who is, well, the main character). I admire her wit and her capacity to stand up for herself in a world that does not favor independent thinking in women. It is true that she is, at first, mistaken in her opinion of a certain Darcy, but she learns better.
So, while the women and girls of this world will sigh and all for Darcy, I will snatch Elizabeth away and no one will notice.
Anyone who spent time with me in the past few years knows one thing for certain: I drink large amounts of Pepsi. Very, very large. This post's title might sound rather odd. In fact, I'd even say that I enjoy the taste. So, basically, that title sounds like a great lie, but it is indeed true.
My first reason to hate Pepsi is that it is absolutely unhealthy, a fact which most people are fully aware of. It's full of caffeine and things with strange names. How often do you cook with dimethylpolysiloxane? It is a silicone-based chemical, which is used, among other things, as a food additive. Yes, I had to look that up on Wikipedia.
Anyway, the problems Pepsi can bring are numerous and include tooth decay, digestion problems and erosion of bones. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Some argue that I'm fine because I drink Diet Pepsi, which is a bullshit argument. You see, regulard Pepsi is sweetened by, well, sugar. Sugar provides calories, which stupid dieteticians have branded as Absolute Evil. Sugar is indeed not the best place to get your calories, but considering the shit that's in carbonated drinks, it should be the least of your worries. In fact, in order to make the drink still sweet, artificial sweeteners are added. The ingredient of choice is aspartame. There are plenty of places on the web where you can read on the evils of aspartame, so I will not add to that. The fact is, while sugar might not be, as I said, the best ingredient of all, you will never, ever convince me that artificial sweeteners are better. I'd even be inclined to think the contrary. The sole reason I drink the Diet version is that the person who got me addicted to it (no hard feelings) drank it by personal taste-based preference.
My second reason is less human-oriented and more planet-oriented. Carbonated drinks in general, and not just Pepsi, use resources that c0uld be much better applied toward creating things that actual nourish us. Their transport is also quite polluting. And look at what they're sold in: part metal cans, part plastic bottles. Death to plastic! Like we need more products made from petrol that we can send to clog our watercourses. I do always return mine to the supermarket, in the machine made just for that, but as much as recycling is a good thing, it does not excuse highly polluting production.
In brief, I would very much like to be able to stop drinking the damn thing. It just doesn't fit in my vision of the world. It is very strange to go to the supermarket, purchasing local products and organic vegetables (why is their organic broccoli wrapped in plastic, when the non-organic variety only has a rubber band?), only to accompany them with Pepsi.
At last, after so many years, I am in possession of my very own domain name and I am ready to show it to the world.
There are still things that would need fixing, mostly the way WordPress enlarges the gap between the content area and the sidebar for reasons I do not understand yet. There are other tiny things that bother me in the way WP displays things, but overall I am rather satisfied (which can be understood as "ah! This website is fugly! How can I show this to the world? I'll be ridiculed!").
Anyway, constructive criticism of ways to improve the site is welcome.
Why, it appears to be a brand new domain and layout! Of course, I have run into a million tiny problems and the morning sun is about to get up, so I'll be off to bed and will be fixing things when I return. I have to
- Fix an ugly error which color tweaking has brought upon my header image
- The main page is showing up fine, but WordPress subpages are ugly and often lacking a proper layout
- My posts have successfully been imported, but apparently their association to categories and tags has been lost. I'll be adding them back to categories as soon as possible (after fixing the layout-related horrors), but tags will wait after even that, as I find them less important.
- Double underlining looks ugly. Having the post titles be underlined by being links is redundant considering they are alreay underlined by virtue of being second-level headers.
- Argh. I appear to have made in-post links point to julie.calmbanana.co.uk/bla-bla-bla, so links will take you to the old URLs.
- The Site Map is completely outdated...and I forgot to upload it anyway.
- 404 pages show a strange reaction with a double footer or something. Basically, viewing anything but the main index and links in the main navigation on the right will cause pain to your eyes. In fact, those links (about and whatnot) are the prettiest because they have no strange space between the main content area and the sidebar.
There's probably more I haven't noticed, but I'll be off to bed for now and will fix the main problems when I'm rested properly.