beowabbit: (Pol: Kilroy Planet)
This is a web game that has you clicking through Google Street View images and guessing where you are. I got my first three two guesses in the right country, at least, and the second one I got in the right republic of Russia (although I may have cheated by using the Googles to figure out where the mosque I was looking at was).

GeoGuessr - Let's explore the world!
beowabbit: (Pol: Nixon and Elvis)
From John Scalzi, an interesting gamer analogy for straight white male privilege. Thanks to a couple friends on Facebook for calling my attention to his post.
beowabbit: (Geek: LiveJournal)
Not that I need another social-networking site, but I’ve just joined Tumblr. Same username as here. If you’re on there and I should follow you, no promises, but let me know.

(Ceterum autem censeo G+ esse delendam.)
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
Sorry for the somewhat behind-the-curve post about this; it didn’t occur to me at the time the story broke to post a correction, and by the time it did I presumed it was too late to be worthwhile, but a message from [ profile] kw_leigh changed my mind. (Thanks!)

Cut for the benefit of those of you who are already familiar with the story. )

Something that makes this story even creepier is that “Amina” got technical assistance setting up A Gay Girl in Damascus, and a lot of exposure, from Paula Brooks, the blogger behind LezGetReal. In the aftermath of the exposure of the hoax, in which a post on LezGetReal apologized for having been duped by Amina, “Paula Brooks” was exposed as another straight man pretending to be a lesbian, Bill Graber.

And of course real activists in Syria are abducted (and sometimes tortured and killed), but this sock puppet got lots more attention that real people, and (at least according to Egyptian Chronicles; I haven’t run across other sources) the Assad regime predictably used this hoax to try to undermine the credibility of real stories of government repression.
beowabbit: (Pol: Kilroy Planet)
Amina A. has posted a couple very interesting speculations about what a democratic Syria would look like.

After Assad Goes: 1. Inside Syria tries to answer the question “What do the protesters want?” and comes up with a fairly optimistic answer.

After Assad 2: Beyond our Borders (which I’ve only read about half of and very quickly skimmed the rest, since [ profile] plumtreeblossom and I are trying to get out the door to get to EarthFest on the Esplanade) talks about how a democratic Syria would look to its neighbours (short answer, “Terrifying!”). This is really interesting, and I think these issues are part of why the U.S. has been (even) slower and more tentative about supporting the Syrian protesters than it was about supporting the Egyptian ones. As important as Egypt is in the region, it’s (very large) influence was fairly simple and straightforward.¹ Syria, though, has complex and far-reaching unpredictable tentacles in all sorts of nearby countries — and moreover, nearby countries have complex and far-reaching and unpredictable tentacles in it, too!
¹ To my untrained, not particularly well informed eye, anyway. Of course Egyptian foreign policy has changed in some important ways since the revolution, too.
beowabbit: (Pol: Kilroy Planet)
I’ve been meaning to post links to these blogs for a while:
  • A Gay Girl in Damascus
    What it says on the tin. Amina lived in the US for several years, and then moved back to Syria a while ago. I found her blog a few days ago thanks to a link from a coworker — around the same time the secret police started looking for her and she went underground. So far she’s still posting.
  • Egyptian Chronicles
    A fascinating firsthand account of the revolution and the early days of the new Egypt
These blogs remind me of the fall of the Soviet Union, which had joined Usenet (then in its heyday) just a few months or maybe a year before. An employee of the Soviet Union’s first public ISP of my vague online acquaintance was going to the White House (the Russian parliament building), joining in demonstrations, listening to Yeltsin standing up on a tank defending the Parliament, and then going back to work and posting about it; history shared from across the world almost in real time by an ordinary person living it. It’s odd to think how new and incredible that concept was then, and how relatively commonplace it is now. (And of course, given how central Facebook and Twitter and YouTube have been to the Arab Spring, that sort of decentralized citizen journalism now makes history rather than just observing and recording it.)
beowabbit: (Astro: astronaut on untethered spacewalk)
My friend Nicole has some interesting little xenobotany-themed art sculptures/dioramas for sale on her Etsy shop. At $75/ea they’re out of my price range (they look like they took a lot of time!) but I thought I’d pass along the link.
beowabbit: (Default)
Gender and parenting courtesy of the always interesting and recently married by my beloved honeywuzzle [ profile] dpolicar.

If this post is slightly incoherent, it is because I have just had two gins and tonics and life is good.
beowabbit: (Travel: 1933 Ford)
Anybody with the mildest interest in the history of the technology of transportation, the history of advertising, or the history of Canada should go look at this very very strange vehicle from 1905. (The Shorpy’s photoblog is quite a treasure trove, but this particular one is exceptional.)

You can click on the picture to massively embiggen in case you want to try to figure out whether that thing is steam powered or not or what the weird black box is under the chassis in front of the things that might be batteries with all the little U-shaped handles on it.
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
I finally got my pictures from “A Nice Danish Boy”, uploaded to Flickr. Here they are. Sorry they’re not cropped and colour-balanced; it took me long enough to get this far.

(For anybody on my Friends list who doesn’t know, this is the short play written by the excellent Mark Harvey Levine that [ profile] plumtreeblossom (commissioned! and) directed for Festival@First 7: Shaken Up Shakespeare, performed by [ profile] surrealestate, [ profile] barumonkey, [ profile] saxikath, and Lev. Here’s plumtreeblossom’s post about it.

I’ve got photos from the other shows, too, and they will go up on Flickr as I get time
beowabbit: (Default)
I am on the mailing list of the fabulous local funk and disco band Booty Vortex, but it seems like whenever I hear about a gig it’s on a day I already have overscheduled. But this past Thursday they were playing at Johnny D’s, very close to [ profile] plumtreeblossom’s place, and I was free, so I asked [ profile] plumtreeblossom if she wanted to go.

As she posted, we had a wonderful time! The audience was pretty small, but that meant we weren’t claustrophobic and we could hear the band well, and gave the whole thing a more intimate feel. They had a couple people join them on stage. One was a guest singer, and I’m not sure if they had planned that or if they just saw a friend in the audience and invited him to join them. The other was a guy whose dancing they really liked who they had come dance on stage for a while. And during the second half, the band members took turns coming out on the dance floor and dancing. It was awesome!

One of the vocalists said that the band may be doing more Thursday shows in the future, perhaps as a regular weekly thing. I hope they do; so far, I’m a groupie in spirit, but I haven’t been able to make it to many of their shows. If they do a lot of Thursday gigs at Johnny D’s, I’ll be able to act like a groupie too.

(While I’m here, I also want to link to [ profile] plumtreeblossom’s post about the relocation of Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary to New Hampshire. Oh, and I should also mention that our dinners at Johnny D’s were very good; I had their steak Stroganoff, which we both love, and she had a yummy bacon cheeseburger.)
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
There are many reasons I miss living with [ profile] docorion, and this little essay of his on death and his relationship to it as an emergency physician reminds me of some of them.
beowabbit: (Default)
I am so far behind in posting about what’s been going on with me that I’m probably never going to catch up. However, I have to say that in my humble opinion, today’s performance of Red Shift, Interplanetary Do-Gooder when extremely well.

I had a bit part (or maybe two, depending how you count; I played two personalities of a personality-changing computer), and [ profile] plumtreeblossom got to reprise and expand her rôle as Billy, the Cereal Kid, an annoying fictional fan of the even more fictional radio drama. I had a really great time, and the audience loved the show. It was full of pop-culture references (and even some highbrow literary references) that the audience ate up, and it was a lot of fun to do. My congratulations to the rest of the cast, and especially to the crack writing and production team. (By which I mean they are good at what they do, not that they are on crack.)

It’s a pleasantly weird experience to do a show that is only performed once. I’m used to projects where the performances stretch out over several days, so rehearsal is a phase, and then performance is another phase. In this case, rehearsal was a phase, and performance was an instant. It had a strange kind of satisfaction about it.

Didn’t get to see much of the rest of Arisia (aside from the well stocked and well run green room), but I got to wave at some people, catch up briefly with a friend from college, and listen (and dance) to an awesome band who was setting up and doing sound testing in the same space when we were getting ready. (I don’t know whether to call her/them a band or a performer, because her web site refers to her as one person, but there were definitely two performers on stage; I’m not sure if the cellist is a regular part of the act or was just part of this performance. Anyway, they were a lot of fun to listen to and I wish I could have stayed to hear the full performance, and SJ Tucker has awesome taste in clothes.)
beowabbit: (Animals: parrot at 2005 Boston Pride)
So [ profile] plumtreeblossom and I (and [ profile] docorion and many other people we know) were quoted extensively in a great story on polyamory in today’s Boston Globe magazine. The print edition has photos of me and [ profile] docorion as well as the photo of Alan and Michelle that’s on the online edition. The online version (linked above) has a video that [ profile] docorion and Alan (W.) and Michelle were interviewed for which is, if possible, even better than the article — at any rate, I think it does a great job of presenting polyamory effectively to non-poly people in a way that lets the warmth of the relationships and lives described shine through. I am really pleased about how it all turned out.

PS: Alan M. discusses the article at his blog Poly in the Media, and Kamela reviews it favorably in her Boston Open Relationships Examiner column.
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
So some of you may remember that last summer, my darling [ profile] plumtreeblossom wrote and directed a short one-act play for Festival@First 6. (I helped a bit with the play itself, and then was on the stage crew for the whole festival.) Juliet’s boyfriend Rich took and edited video (thank you, Rich!), and the play is finally up on YouTube! Yay! It had to be split in two parts because it’s (a couple minutes) over YouTube’s ten-minute limit on individual videos, so here are part 1 and part 2 of Dan in the Lion’s Den, by Mare Freed, as performed at its world premier in Somerville, Massachusetts, by the fabulously talented Juliet Bowler, Kerri Babish, and Lou Lim!

([ profile] plumtreeblossom has also posted these to her journal here, and to [ profile] theatreatfirst’s journal here.)
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