Rejiquar Works 2015-10-13T21:49:30-05:00 copyright 2015 Sylvus Tarn Sylvus Tarn 2015-10-13T00:00:00-05:00 Via Making Light, a fascinating article about the ecology of the internet's ads. I'm most extremely fortunate, as I have adblocker. Like streetlights and road noise (not to mention A/C compressors, lawn mowers, leaf blowers and the like) I consider advertisments to be a low level of (mental) po...

Via Making Light, a fascinating article about the ecology of the internet's ads. I'm most extremely fortunate, as I have adblocker. Like streetlights and road noise (not to mention A/C compressors, lawn mowers, leaf blowers and the like) I consider advertisments to be a low level of (mental) pollution. I'm old enough my college had a guy come in to lecture us (with slides) of subliminal advertising (almost always hidden sexual content) and have since periodically encountered articles on the ways the arms race between advertisers and consumers has progressed.

My reaction to their schemes was initially concern, till I realized that they could mostly be dealt with an extremely simple heuristic: ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’ —a much simpler (and reasonably effective) method for judging this stuff than attempting to keep up with the latest trends. But this article takes that warfare to a whole ’nother level, between online ads and fake users, running below the public consciousness in much the way high-speed trading does.

The damage is real, however.

I had to read this thing in two batches, because it just seems like a situation impossible for ordinary folks to fight (like noise or light pollution—who cares about either, except perhaps a few crankypants like myself, or amateur astronomers?) Yet, as the author noted, cigarette smoke used to be everywhere; and as some one who responds to it with excruciating headaches, I'm hugely grateful that its ubiquity has become a thing of the past (at least in the US).

It's like reading dystopian, Bladerunner like futures and discovering we do, in fact live in them: we just don't realize it. Scary. But fascinating as well.

Not nearly as fascinating, another zippered pouch.

2015-10-12T00:00:00-05:00 Vienna Teng: ethereal, inventive, effective singer. 12oct2015

This week, if I can keep ahead of the curve, I have various embroidered pouches. (If not, they'll show up next week.)

Boingboing featured this beatbox (I think that's what the technique is called) rendition of Ain't No Sunshine/Lose Yourself by Vienna Teng. I was pretty darn impressed—not only with her musicality but the way she combined two songs (neither of which I had much of opinion of, given their sentiments) to make something greater than the sum of her parts. Sought out a bunch of her other stuff, and liked it too.

Like Laurie Anderson, she created loops and layered them; like Tori Amos she sings and plays keyboards. But her work is utterly distinctive, and worth checking out.

2015-10-09T00:00:00-05:00 scrimshaw busks; educational head shaving. 09oct2015

Whoopsie, sorry about the no-posting yesterday. Otoh, I've likely arranged to have a working furnace soon, which, yanno, is kind of important in the midwest during the colder months.

Oooh, a cool scrimshaw link about scrimshandered busks. I had no idea. Also, this woman hacks off her hair the way I do, except fair more thoroughly, and for a much more educational reason:) Here's her site, featuring assorted talks about neuroanatomy.

And in celebration of my new blooms-on-new-wood hydrangea, here's a pretty pic of one that I shot almost exactly 5 years ago, on 10-10-10 (the links above were assembled on Mayday, or 1-5-15, appropriately enough:)

2015-10-07T00:00:00-05:00 Continuing with the education theme (aka clearing out my open tabs) here's a highly recommended math teacher's blog ( via lovejoyfeminism ). I've only read a few articles, but yes, I'm impressed. More or less going in chronological order, yesterday we had April garden, today we have mid-May, fo...

Continuing with the education theme (aka clearing out my open tabs) here's a highly recommended math teacher's blog (via lovejoyfeminism). I've only read a few articles, but yes, I'm impressed.

More or less going in chronological order, yesterday we had April garden, today we have mid-May, for which tree peonies are the stars of the show. The former owner of our house was a terrible gardener, as he failed to do adequate soil prep and almost universally neglected his plants’ light requirements—in multiple locations throughout our semi-shady lot I found as many as three tags in a given hole from sun-loving perennials that failed to thrive, and the guy only lived here 4 years—but the tree peonies have survived. In fact, iirc, they're the only thing that has survived as is from his tenure—I think I've pretty much ripped everything else out. Or at least moved it.

I wouldn't’ve ever thought to plant such a thing; and I really enjoy them. You can too:)

2015-10-06T00:00:00-05:00 Hilo the Robot; Black Panther to be written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 06oct2015

I have a three season garden, starting more or less in March and running through October. It begins with bulbs, and as I had a lot of them this year, I took the trouble to make a page about them.

Interesting looking comic about a boy and his robot friend; and I'm so excited about Ta-Nahisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze are doing Black Panther I might actually buy the thing in issues. I adore Coates’ writing; never heard of Stelfreeze, but he's obviously got the chops—anatomy, design and colour, which really pleases me, because it's just so disappointing to have a great story and so-so art. This looks to be having both.


2015-10-05T00:00:00-05:00 A book about ConLangs. 05oct2015

I really like doing the 5 day series, but what with poly-urethaning the studio and various other fall clean-up projects, I have a lot of WIPs and not so many ‘finished’. Much the same with the screeds (so a break from those, yay?)So this week, I'm gonna do garden pix (& brief linkies to various odds and ends under the ‘education’ tag, more or less). Seems fitting, what with the cooler temps and the garden winding down, to celebrate it.

Linguistics is a family interest, and f2tY in particular loves learning languages and making up her own meanings for words. So while I have little interest in watching Game of Thrones (too much violence, especially sexualized [excepting for the costumes—what stills I've seen are indeed yummy]) this book about conlangs—constructed languages—looks absolutely fascinating—if only to get a legup on how “real” languages work:) (Plus, fantasy fonts. That's what I wanna design, the writing system.

As is the dichro-green bug.

2015-10-02T00:00:00-05:00 Three mathematically related links: one about a very old bond, the other about new math... 02oct2015

We interrupt the regularly scheduled bead-embroidery series for some plain ole beads—I'll have my beads at the GLBG's Bead Bonanaza at the GlassAct booth. If you're in the tri-county (Detroit) area, come check us out!

One of the things I really enjoyed about Amsterdam and Brugge were how old they were; at one or the other of them, I got to see some very old documents, complete with red wax seals—very cool. So I found this link, via ML about a 350+ year old bond that is still paying interest; though the bearer (in this case Yale university) probably spends more in sending their representative to Amsterdam to collect the money than the actual interest. But still—a financial instrument that pays interest in perpetuity, that is still being honoured? Pretty cool!

Secondly, via the progressive, Evangelical christian blog Slactivist the Friendly Atheist explains this newfangled math. I suspect this approach is more cumbersome than the finger counting method they use in India? but it still seems more engaging than memorizing times tables. My parents made me learn them to twelves (with much bitter complaining from me, since the school only required us to do 10s) and the sort of thing Mehta suggests as shortcuts I didn't learn till I met the wizard, who uses those kinds of tricks automatically.

Unlike the poor kid whose dad wrote that grandstanding check, my dad counted among his majors (he wandered through 4 before finally settling on economics) math, so he successfully tutored me through high school mathematics. Calculus, however, defeated me; and I've always wondered, if graphing calculators had been common, whether I might have done better. Certainly I think the f2 generation would have profited from this method: neither, so far as I know, successfully mastered the rote method for times tables. Calculators are simply too ubiquitous in their world.

Some things, however, simply don't reduce to formulae very easily; and one is grocery shopping, Again, via the ML thread above, one of the commentariat discusses why shopping for food is so darn complicated. Short answer—there's a lot of competing variables, and working out an ideal compromise would probably require...calculus. At any rate, I realized this person had analysed the problem far more thoroughly than I ever had when I saw the conversation they envisioned between them and their intelligent fridge (it's also screamingly funny if you have even the slightest familiarity with programming languages), though I can personally attest to ‘shopping styles that don't mix’ level of discord mixed marriages can engender. If you have adequate money, you can simply throw that at the problem, but it's particularly vexing for people on limited budgets, let alone those who have the often additional complicating factor of living in a food desert.

Or, you know, you can look at some kinda average, ho-hum beads.

2015-10-01T00:00:00-05:00 Today's piece brings us up to date with all the *completed* beaded embroidered pouches so far. I've rather enjoyed doing a series of related pieces during a given week, though it does require working in advance:) Speaking of completing, I never got around to posting these cool doodle games by Vih...

Today's piece brings us up to date with all the completed beaded embroidered pouches so far. I've rather enjoyed doing a series of related pieces during a given week, though it does require working in advance:)

Speaking of completing, I never got around to posting these cool doodle games by Vihart, my favourite math youtube blogger, that I collected back in April of 2013:

Vihart has been ramping up, and I think I've probably featured her before; but hey, always happy to give this wonderful math'n’doodle vblogger a shoutout. Her old camera may have been crappy, but the tuts are pure gold, and provide some very fertile ground for generating lot of fun doodling algorithms. While learning math to boot.

Stuff like hers is why the internet is just soooo yummy; and actually, this stuff kinda brings to mind the bead embroidery I've been doing. Which will return in due course, as I still have 3–4 pieces photographed and ready to go. (Wait, wut? I was doing bead embroidery in 2013? Or just photographing the stuff I finally got around to posting in August...? Oh, right, I have those other two of which I can't even find. sigh.)

2015-09-30T00:00:00-05:00 discussion of a MarySue review of the classic comic, _Watchmen_. 30sep2015

With today's entry, I'm nearly caught up with the series I started in late August, more or less at the beginning of the current spate of blogging. So I've been working towards this point for about a little over a month. Go, me.

2015-09-29T00:00:00-05:00 In which I review Chester Brown's graphic novel memoir, _Paying For It_, which documents his experiences with prostitution. Written in 2012, conclusion 2014. 29sep2015

So [3 years ago...] I took back Chester Brown's graphic novel memoir, Paying For It, which documents his experiences with prostitution. The story itself, told in simply rendered drawings (possibly brush and ink?) is straightforward and honest, at times remarkably tender, as when he reminds the woman with whom he becomes monogamous to take her money, or thoughtful, as for example early on when he's still learning proper etiquette, frex, that 30 minutes with a prostitute does not entitle him to 30 actual minutes of screwing.

The author strikes me as the sort of customer most prostitutes would welcome (at least, once he mastered the basics): on time, pays promptly, has realistic expectations (which happen to be the sort of qualities vendors of all kinds of goods and services look for). I didn't really have a major problem with the story.

What I found far more interesting were the justifications at the back of the book. Brown does his best to be scrupulously fair, carefully documenting his friends’ alternative viewpoints of their shared memories, or explaining minor details that would have, perhaps, derailed the narrative.

He also spends a lot of time defending his belief that the women with whom he had sex were not ‘sex slaves.’ —In this, I think he kind of misses the point. He's probably correct that they were not, in the classic sense, sex slaves of the type imprisoned in brothels, beaten by their pimps, with very little freedom. But one of the reasons the so called ‘sex-negative’ feminists have such a problem with prostitution is, I believe, amply illustrated by this book. The author, to judge by his picture, is a reasonably good looking guy, but not outstanding; and he's roughly 40 years of age, and pretty obviously a little on the weird side.

The women on whom he elects to spend his money are at minimum pretty, and some are absolutely gorgeous. They also, to start, are all in the 18 to early 20s in age—about half his. This is made explicit in a discussion with two friends, who feel it's unfair he's ‘jumped the girlfriend queue’ with such beautiful women; but he explains he hasn't, because he's paying for his sex, and therefore is still in the same boat. —In fact, he's become disenchanted with the idea of girlfriends altogether, believing that it is impossible to cope with the jealousy, suggesting at the end of the book that people going on casual dates will pay for their sex as a matter of course.

This is why I think the guy is kinda weird: friends don't pay each other in cash for favors. This is explored in great depth, and very entertainingly, in David Graeber's Debt, but the short version is that people get actively offended if you try to pay them for favors, because this stops the back and forth of mutual exchanges, and suggests that you regard your friends merely as merchants. This is why, for example, my spouse and I resisted to the utmost the efforts of the elderly lady down the street to pay us for shoveling her walk. We were happy to have her drop off cookies, but I found the cash so problematic I donated it to the local meals on wheels.

For Brown, paying for sex broke the paradigm in which people are expected to conform to societal stereotypes, such as being jealous when one person admires others of the opposite sex, or purchase gifts on specific holidays, or whatever. (Yet another reason why I thought this guy was weird, i.e. socially inept: the sensible thing to do would be to negotiate: you can look at pretty women if I get to look at pretty men. And so on.) In effect, I think it simplified the social transactions for him. But it also put him in a position of power: he demands one woman take off her bra, even though she plainly states she doesn't care to.

Just because his particular prostitutes weren't miserable sex slaves—indeed, I'm willing to concede some might have indeed enjoyed their line of work—doesn't mean there isn't coercion going on. So, if a woman has the choice of hooking for $120/billable hour, and waiting tables for $8/hr, just how “free” is she? What if she's only got a little English, or is dark skinned, or trans? Her options are much more limited. Moreover, people tend to rationalize crappy situations as better than they are, as a self-defense mechanism. A very small example of cultural expectation played out in the case of this book: it looked mildly interesting, but not enough to overcome my discomfort in checking out a book about sex: as it happens, f2tE was the one to check it out. Now, had the art been of a style I particularly enjoy, or if I were a different gender or generation, I would've just gotten the book; and indeed, I was happy to read it, checked out on someone else's card.

This is the sort of thing Brown and his ilk need to consider. Along those lines, this post, along with its excellent links, and particularly the discussion between Nagoski and Millbank in the comments. Sex negativity, which specifically focuses on the subtle (and often subtly damaging) ways societal expectations influence people's behavior, tends to get kind of a bad rap, that I don't think is completely deserved.

And that's as far as I got: a nebulous discomfort about the book, with an unwillingness either to decry, let alone recommend, it. Perhaps the best reason I can recycle this two-year-old critique is to mention another indie comic I recently read: a one page short in Jessica Abel's Soundtrack: short stories 1989–1996 “Oh! My Sisters!”. The black and white art is relatively scratchy, each of the panels (laid out in a classic 3x3 9-panel) divided into equal upper and lower halves: one, the viewpoint character's fantasy, the other, her reality. Between each row of panels is heavily inked capitals, running together, almost unreadable, just legible enough for any woman alive to slot in her own experiences of being catcalled.

I liked it so much I wanted to redraw it.

And, perhaps the conclusion I have to draw: when men stop treating women like objects as they walk down the street, then perhaps relationships like ones between Chester Brown and his (sex) providers will stop coming across so icky.

Aaaand we're finally back on track, at least with the beaded embroidery, now that I've filled in with all the old pieces, to get back to current work. Enjoy.

2015-09-28T00:00:00-05:00 venus and the new moon, hoary puccoon, butterfly and frog... 28sep2015

Did you see the blood supermoon? I think I might have actually seen the last one, in 1982; at any rate, I wrote a vampire story based on one:) Unfortunately, it was cloudy Sunday evening. I once got a pretty good picture of the moon by mashing my cell phone up to a telescope my sister-in-law borrowed from her astronomy club, but as that's not happening (even without the difficulty of all those clouds) I thought I'd throw up another lunar-related page I made earlier this year instead.

So, between the weeds and the working conditions, I've been spending a lot of my free time gardening, rather than arting, let alone documenting said arting. So, to make up, here's a recce for a fun arty website, This is Colossal. I first encountered it via Pharyngula, wrt a post using old paintings to document various fruit strains; and besides the gorgeous still life, the post also illustrated, quite effectively, people being wrong on the internet—as well as its self-correcting tendencies, a feature that often gets lost in the noise.

It seems to be something of an aggregator (kind of like the art'n’craft version of boingboing). Ignore the hideously ugly header and the rather breathless titling to enjoy the fact that they survey a lot of different media, including a lot of the obscure or low status ones, such a link to someone's incredibly elaborate, 12 sided God's eyes Remember making those in grade school? Or what about this woman's spectacular applique-freestyle sewing machine embroidered animal portraits? Or, in perhaps the best intersection between pop culture and traditional women's textile craft, a guy doing intricate floral embroidery atop various clothing logos: I appreciated these on a variety of levels, the imagery being beautiful enough to keep the political aspect from getting heavy-handed.

Then there's the cute lil’ Dr Suess cottages;; the photo-assembleges using public domain/open source Library of Congress images to make these fantasies, the one in particular reminding me of the walking house in the Diana Wynn Jones book, later adapted to a charming anime (that admittedly goes off the rails when it diverges from the book's plot in the latter third or so); and this church like building, complete with stained glass, fallen to ruin—perfect setting for some kind of fantasy novel, no? In a somewhat more cheerful vein, a psychodelically painted house: one of the things I love about my region is that we have a lot of historic homes with wooden siding, and one painter, working for some 30 odd years, has painted enough of them in bright hues, with quite sophisticated colour schemes in the trim, but this woman takes it further. If it weren't an invitation to every mammal between mouse and fox size to move in, I'd strip the vinyl siding off to do something similar to my boring white house. (And though I've never met the artist, I've certainly admired one of her gorgeous coats, which belongs to a fellow bead guild member. These things put frankencoat to shame.

In the callig department, we have the world's youngest ‘master penman (of interest because I'd like to add copperplate style to the broad-nib styles I can at least sort of do—the vid is nice, if the obligatory and somewhat tedious disclaimer about the necessity of learning handwriting—I love it, but no, typing is actually a more useful skill in the digital world, honestly—and, just for contrast, that most modern of tools, a lightwand & photography for this person's innovative arabic callig finishing off with some gorgeous chinese calligraphic style watercolors...that are actually superb examples of wood-block printing.

And if all that wasn't enough, some camping pix.

2015-09-25T00:00:00-05:00 Not sure where I found this video about Dr. Hawa Abdi, who evidently lost her mother at an early age (presumably from childbirth-related problems) and grew up to become a doctor to prevent other children from suffering the same loss. ---The Syrian refugee crisis brought back to mind Mulki Abidra...

Not sure where I found this video about Dr. Hawa Abdi, who evidently lost her mother at an early age (presumably from childbirth-related problems) and grew up to become a doctor to prevent other children from suffering the same loss. —The Syrian refugee crisis brought back to mind Mulki Abidraham, whom I attempted to tutor in English for a couple of years before she and her family moved to Texas in search of work.

Mulki, liked Dr. Abdi, was Somalian, and my introduction to a country about which I knew nothing (except, perhaps, that it's lawless, and without a government—a place where real, awful pirates operate out of. Somalia was also 98% muslim, at least according to my little introductory packet when I started tutoring, and, like many African countries, practices female circumcision.) Dr. Abdi also references the troubles plaguing her country. One of the wizard's fellow students spoke wistfully of Lebanon, once ‘the most beautiful city in the middle east’ but by then (and this was 20 years ago) a bombed-out wreck. All of these people wanted their homelands to be happy, healthy, and free from violence. All loved their (former) homes, however grateful they were to the new one.

I am grateful for, and deeply admire, folks like this woman who have worked so tirelessly to make the world a better place to live. And I think it's useful to remember that no, the rest of the world is not ravening hordes desiring to overrun our country; most people would rather stay in their own lands, with their families and friends, a language they speak and a culture they understand. (Just like us, in fact.) If they're streaming here, that likely means we need to do something to make less worse there.

And speaking of ugly, today's post is a fridayfugly on zipper installation.

Sunflower 2015-09-24T00:00:00-05:00 malleability of memory. Written in 2011, posted 4 and half years later. 24sep2015

(2Dec2011: archive cleaning continues. Also, gotta stop putting in 2014—that's why this post is late.) I've encountered a couple of interesting podcasts lately, so I thought I'd throw this pic of a sunflower up as an excuse to talk about them. The first, while intriguing in and of itself, grabbed my attention for a very personal reason: it was a story from This American Life that I'd heard awhile back (1996, I'm guessing...) I had—still have, really—only one distinct memory from this episode, specifically, Ira Glass, speaking of the intimate relationship between an old woman and her (male) caretaker, ‘He wipes her butt. He wipes her butt.’

Except, Ira Glass never said this. He certainly doesn't repeat the phrase for emphasis. I had forgotten everything else about the show (“Sissies”); certainly the second act which details the differing mannerisms between 1940s men and women (if you are a man, do not tap your teeth with a nail; rest your chin on your clenched fist. What, a regular ole fist won't do? Anyway.)

I had forgotten the first segment was about a gay man, Mubarak; I had forgotten the relationship between him and the old woman (his mother, duh!); I had forgotten the theme of the show (sissies, or more specifically, feminine gay men...we've made some progress since then, yay); and I had certainly forgotten that the narrator was Nancy Updike, not Ira Glass.

Yet such is plasticity of memory that I substituted his voice for hers, and added a repetition to boot. Now, I suppose, when it originally aired, it's just faintly possible that Glass quoted Updike; but if so, I note he provides transitional material in other parts of the broadcast, but not that one. It seems to me either they would all have been included or deleted, so I presume my memory is simply at fault.


I first encountered this concept presented in a scientifically rigorous way in Scientific American. They did the usual thing of people gradually closing a triangle as the months pass, though the experiment that particularly drew my eye as a white child growing up in an increasingly black neighborhood was a drawing of three men, two white, one black, one of whom was holding a knife.

(White) participants in this study remembered the black guy holding the knife...even though in the actual drawing, he was the one being threatened with the knife. My memory, as I have just demonstrated, is suspect but...I think the reason this made such a huge impact was that my eyes slid over the drawing so quickly I assumed the black guy was holding the knife, till I read the text. In other words, my expectations reassembled the drawing in the (mainstream white) culturally acceptable narrative.

That I could make such a mistake, despite my parents’ deliberate choice to live in a mixed neighborhood, despite their (and my) best efforts to be ‘colorblind’, had a huge impact. Whether I made this error, in any event I was convinced that I was, indeed capable of it; and I didn't want to be that sort of person. Perry Mason mysteries only reinforced my suspicion of eye-witness.

I'm not the saintly, kindly type to be able to naturally shed prejudices; the best I can do is try to be aware of them, and take extra pains to counteract them. Thus, I'm always interested in methods that serve to cross-check my memory, such as this experience with a program I heard on the radio a decade and a half ago.

Since I wrote the above, I encountered quite a nice article explaining the mechanism of how memories are made—and remade. Just as an example of the effect, I was certain I'd made the main page that goes with this intro. Nope. I'd only gotten as far as moving the pix in the LocalFlora directory, though the page made a big enough impression that I've thought about it, off and on, for the last five years.

And it's not that exciting a picture. Just one that resonated, I guess.

2015-09-23T00:00:00-05:00 WPA, government shutdowns, etc. Brief mention of Oshinsky's _Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm..._ 23sep2015

2010 must have been a relatively dark year for me: I'm digging out a lot of old stuff I made, but didn't feel made the grade back then, and never bothered to post. Or mebbe I was too busy writing fiction, I don't know. At any rate, I'm in a tidy-up mode which is why you're seeing so much of this old crap (such as today's intro).

I suppose the comments below struck me because I've been hearing rumblings of a government shutdown again, and the link below gives a sense, I think, of just how close people felt to the brink, in 09 or 10, when Obama took office. Like many people our household struggled with layoffs, underemployment and uncertainty, though we were very lucky to have savings adequate to save our house. Someone recently sent along a cartoon comparing Reagan and Obama that really angered me, because I'm old enough to remember ole Teflon, and because I really do believe that Obama (and to be sure a number of other folks) averted another Great Depression. That shambles, along with the shame of Katrina, was a legacy of another (ahem) administration.

Reagan, though he did spend the USSR into the ground with the (failed) Star Wars initiative, gave us the Iran-Contra scandal, and promulgated an era unmatched in my lifetime for its focus and devotion on greed and selfishness (the Me Generation), by dismantling the protections that have now led to all those problems Obama (not to mention Elizabeth Warren) have been trying to fix.

Things are still hard for many people. The republican party is still a mess. (Its natural adherents—timid people like me who save everything, take forever to get used to change, and whose go-to approach for any problem to research how people dealt with it in the past—are being driven away by its appalling idealogical purity, whipped up in the base, who were then gathered in by the fatcats who wanted deregulation, and now are paying the price of inviting in all fear-driven feeling.) This gives the Democrats a pass to be lazy, instead of having their feet properly held to the fire (what an awful image...)

Somewhere or other—perhaps a slacktivist thread, or mebbe pharyngula, I encountered this link about the social programs of the 30s and though the guy in general makes my pessimism look like a sunny day, that particular argument about the old WPA really resonated—not least because I have a vivid memory as a child of my mom using those old guidebooks, already by then in the 60s 30 years old, to plan out our car-camping vacations. I think similar monies paid for Thomas Hart Benton's murals of the Missouri Capital —again, I'm distantly related to the artist by marriage, and my mom has two of his drawings after her folks died (they were given to my grandfather, who I guess actually knew the artist), that have hung, usually near the front door, wherever she's lived.

And then there are all those folk recordings of the blues. (Which, to bring this post back to 2015, make an appearance in a totally fascinating book I'm reading, David Oshinksky's Worse than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the the Ordeal of Jim Crow Slavery. Muddy Waters served time at Parchman, which was the prison-industrial complex of its day, a very profitable cotton farm in which the inmates were worked like slaves.) So, yeah, I'm glad all those itinerant artists and historians got paid by the government to go out and make art and plays and write tourbooks and collect folksongs and stories. (Some of those songs were about Parchman, and this primary material is one of the things I'd argue brings the book vividly alive. Most of the inmates were men, but about 5% were women:

You talkin bout trouble

You don't know what trouble means (repeat)

What I call trouble

Is a Singer Sewing Machine.

In 1949, Parchman inmates—and this was a huge, self-contained complex—still washed their clothing in tubs, with wash boards, I assume. The women sewing the striped uniforms (and by the way, theirs were vertical, rather than horizontal, like the men's) were using treadle (unmotored) machines. And we know this, cuz Lomax and his ilk collected their songs, and someone photographed them working.)

I'd much rather spend our tax dollars on all that than wars. Against drugs or people. (Or Planned Parenthood.)

Ok, after all that, today's page is a fixup, an index page to collect all the beaded embroidery I've been posting.

2015-09-22T00:00:00-05:00 Ok, just because I've been on *such* a downer lately*, some interesting and fun links that are on the happier side---via the Mary Sue, steampunk disney characters ; Dustin Hoffman comes to the realization that no, not all women are beautiful, and no, we *shouldn't* ignore the plain, the poor, the ...

Ok, just because I've been on such a downer lately*, some interesting and fun links that are on the happier side—via the Mary Sue, steampunk disney characters; Dustin Hoffman comes to the realization that no, not all women are beautiful, and no, we shouldn't ignore the plain, the poor, the obese (though alas we often do, and yes, I'm as guilty of this as anyone—but at least we can recognize this bias, and fight it); and I hafta say, only in Japan would you have an orchestra of identically dressed performers of theremins embedded in matroshka dolls. ┬áIt so perfectly encapsulates the serious quirkiness of their culture (which by the way has links to a buncha of other fun music, including one of my all time faves, Jimi Hendrix played on the koto-like Korean gayageum; plus Dave Brubeck on traditional Indian Pakistani instruments and Talking Heads on traditional Chinese instruments.

*Wrote this intro back in Aug13. Really liked it, and since today's page is kinda boring, I dug it out:) Or you can check out a cookie recipe.