The Road Runner Rules

Jul. 3rd, 2015 02:39 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are the rules for the Coyote & Roadrunner cartoons.

Except, you know, I always preferred the Roadrunner.  He had the better skill at reality manipulation.

And of course, we also have Southwest tribal stories about Coyote to thank for the whole series.  There really is, I swear, a line in the original folklore that translates to, "and Coyote was squashed flatter than a grass mat!"
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Elever fra to jyske gymnasier sikrede sig tredje- og fjerdepladsen ved den europæiske CanSat-konkurrence, hvor dåseformede satellitter blev skudt 1.000 meter op i luften og opsamlede data om atmosfæren.

Jyder bliver ofte fremstillet som et jordbundet folkefærd.

Men på flere jyske gymnasier er eleverne ikke bange for at sigte højt. Rigtig højt.

De seneste år er de begyndt at bygge satellitter på størrelse med en sodavandsdåse – såkaldte CanSats – som de sender en kilometer op i luften ombord på en raket.

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Brief Update

Jul. 3rd, 2015 12:38 am
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[personal profile] finch
Sliiiightly busy right now. Hoping to do the Birdcage August 1 but might do it sooner if things magically improve. May do a card draw instead, I'm feeling a little rusty there. Hope everybody is good!

Weekend reading

Jul. 3rd, 2015 08:37 am
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[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
What are you planning to read this weekend? Everything counts! Menus, maps and mysteries included.

Friday mystery object #255 answer

Jul. 3rd, 2015 07:00 am
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Posted by PaoloV

Last Friday I gave you this rather interesting looking object to identify, preferably using a rhyme: Believe it or not the photographs show either side of the same object – on one side it just looks like a rugose lump and on the … Continue reading
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
"Coming in from the Cold" is the next big piece in its series, dealing with Bucky and his continued issues with that piece-of-crap prosthesis. I'm posting each day within the story as a section unto itself, broken down into post-sized parts.

This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," "Up the Water Spout," "The Life of the Dead," "If They Could Just Stay Little," "Anahata," "Coming in from the Cold: Saturday: Building Towers," and "Coming in from the Cold: Sunday: Shaking Foundations."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Bruce Banner, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Happy Hogan, Peggy Carter, Sam Wilson.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of past trauma with lingering symptoms of PTSD. Kitchen fail. Tony being a brat. Description of past deaths and self-destructive behavior. Current environment is supportive.
Summary: The Avengers celebrate Memorial Day by going to Washington, D.C. for the festivities. Emotional roller-coasters ensue.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Emotional overload. Coping skills. Healthy touch. Asking for help and getting it. Cooking. Comfort food. Holidays. Medals. Veteran issues. Nonsexual intimacy. Caregiving. Competence. Gentleness. Trust. Emotional confusion. Hope. Crowds. Memorials. Mourning. Letting go. Moving on. Photography. Parades. Storytelling. War stories. Nostalgia. Hand-feeding. Heroism. Public speaking. Flashbacks. Friendship. Counseling. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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Posted by Sheila Gilluly

strawberriesSunblock: check. Herbal mosquito repellent: check. Water bottle, hat, and sunglasses: check. Berry boxes: check. A car horn toots in the driveway to let me know that my friend has arrived to pick me up. “Bye, sweetie. Mind the house,” I tell Gracie on my way past the chair where is she is napping. She opens one eye, curls into an even tighter ball, and goes back to sleep.

Outside the day is clear and beginning to warm up. There was rain early yesterday, but it’s been dry and breezy since, so the picking conditions couldn’t be better. The strawberries will be plump and sweet from the rain, but their surfaces should be dry and less likely to mildew and rot in the refrigerator when I get them home.

My friend and I chit-chat on the way to the pick-your-own farm where we’ve been going for several years now. It’s a chance for us to catch up, get some gorgeous berries, and linger over breakfast afterward before we head home to begin processing our harvest.

For me, this expedition to pick strawberries marks the beginning of the summer harvest season. Other folks up here in Maine have already foraged for fiddleheads for fresh eating and for preserving, and many have harvested their rhubarb–I have some in the freezer right now, waiting to be combined with these berries in jam–but I think strawberries are probably many people’s first major canning crop of the year.

If the berries last that long! I’ve always thought it was a good thing that these farms don’t weigh their patronsdad and little girl strawberry before and after we pick. Usually by the time my friend and I get to breakfast we’re so stuffed all we really want is a cup of tea. “Finger blight,” as farmers call it with a wink, makes off with a remarkable number of ripe berries a year. But since small family-owned farms like these depend upon their fan base of loyal customers who return year after year, often for more than one generation, most expect and some encourage sampling.

Back up a second, though. Is it safe to eat those berries without washing them first? Does the mere fact that they are from a small local farm mean that they are grown any differently than if they were from a huge commercial agrobusiness? No, of course not. Small and local doesn’t necessarily equate to chemical free. On the other hand, most small growers are well aware of the danger of pesticides and herbicides to their soil, their workers (who are often family members), and the customers they serve. If the farm is organic, their marketing will say so, but even if it isn’t, many small farmers choose Integrated Pest Management as their primary method of insect and disease control, spraying the minimum Danger-Pesticide-sign-300x225amount of the least toxic product at precisely the right time to attack specific insect or disease threats. If you ask, they’ll tell you what methods they use, and you can judge for yourself whether to buy from them or not. For comparison, in 2013 the USDA found 54 different pesticide residues on strawberry samples from commercial fields in California, which produces 90% of the nation’s strawberries. Of those 54, 9 were known or probable carcinogens, 23 suspected hormone disruptors, 11  neurotoxins, 12 developmental or reproductive toxins, and 19 honeybee toxins.

I’ll pick mine locally, thanks.

When I get the berries home, some get set aside for strawberry shortcake–this is non-negotiable, I must have strawberry shortcake at least once or it isn’t summer–while most are destined for several batches of Gingered Strawberry Rhubarb jam, the first of my pantry-stockers for the year. I use a wonderful product called Pomona’s Universal Pectin, which combines citrus pectin and calcium to set jams and jellies using much lower amounts of sugar or honey than is required with other, better-known products. (My recipe needs only a scant cup of sugar or a half-cup of honey per four cups of crushed fruit, for instance, as opposed to the five to seven cups of sugar required for the pectins widely available in the supermarkets.)

The sparkle of fresh ginger and the tartness of rhubarb are a nice counterpoint to the natural sweetness of the strawberries in this recipe. I use two cups of crushed strawberries, two cups of chopped rhubarb, one tablespoonstrawberry jam of grated ginger root, four tablespoons of lemon juice, a scant cup of sugar, two teaspoons of pectin powder, and two teaspoons of calcium water, using a standard water-bath canning method. The yield is four eight-ounce jars. Spread this on an English muffin on a February morning and you’ll be warm and happy from your toes to your nose.

I just went to double-check the amounts on that recipe, and, oh, Houston, I think we have a problem because look what I found: Strawberry Margarita Preserves. Six cups halved strawberries, two cups chopped tart apples, a quarter cup of lemon juice, four cups sugar, a half cup of tequila, a half cup of orange-flavored liqueur, and two tablespoons of strawberry schnapps (optional). Makes six jars of jam and also is a great topping for cheesecake, the recipe says. It strikes me that this would be a pretty damned good topping on nearly anything from a cream scone to an asphalt shingle. Heck, you could probably eat it straight out of the jar in a pinch.

I think I may have to clear some extra space on my pantry shelves…


Friday 03/07/2015

Jul. 3rd, 2015 07:48 am
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[personal profile] dark_kana posting in [community profile] 3_good_things_a_day
1) It's Friday, so I only have to work for half a day !!!!!! And I'm going swimming after work.

2) One of my BFF is coming over this afternoon! :-)

3) Dinner at my boyfriend's mother's place. 
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Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s five answers to five questions. Here we go…

1. My new employer just asked for my references — after we’d set a start date and I quit my old job

I’m in the process of changing jobs. The new company made me a firm offer and I accepted. My start date at the new company is soon, and they have confirmed plane tickets and hotel reservations for me to fly up to their office for training (they’re opening a new office in my city, but until then I’ll be telecommuting). The gist is, the new job is a “done deal.” My last day at my old job is tomorrow.

I just got an email from the internal recruiter / HR person asking for me to submit references, which — as far as I can tell — makes no sense, and makes me worried that either the job isn’t as much of a “done deal” as I thought or that something’s weird about this company (if they need to ask about that long after the appropriate time).

I replied to the email saying “sure, here are some references” and attempted to call to get clarification about the issue, but I got the HR person’s voicemail so I just left a message saying that I had questions and asking her to call me back. What are your thoughts on the issue?

Incidentally, I had three interviews with this company (phone interview with the HR person, technical phone interview, and was flown in for an in-person interview) and, although I was prepared with references, I was never asked for them and didn’t think to provide them proactively.

Yeah, some companies have a horrible policy of doing background checks — including references — after a job offer is accepted. This is ridiculous for many reasons, including that it totally defeats the point of reference-checking (which isn’t just to get a yay or nay but to actually get nuanced information about people to help make the hiring decision), as well as that it’s incredibly unfair to candidates, who in many cases have already resigned their jobs because they assumed the offer was a done deal.

I’d say this: “Is your offer not final and/or are there remaining contingencies attached to it? My understanding was that it was a formal offer and I gave noticed after we finalized our agreement, so I’m of course concerned to receive this email. Can you shed any light?”

It’s too late now, but in the future I’d carefully read any offer paperwork for mentions of contingencies like this. You can also ask directly, “Are there any outstanding contingencies before the offer is final?”

2. I’ve been promoted to manage my difficult friend

I have recently been promoted to team leader over an older and longer employed colleague who I would also call a friend. I am now her team leader. She has always been very easily distracted, surfing the internet, making personal calls and chatting to colleagues and her previous boss didn’t tackle the issue in the 10+ years she has worked here. She has recently announced that she is pregnant, and the personal calls and internet surfing have cranked up a gear as she sorts everything out for the new baby.

She’s always taken any criticism very personally and gets very defensive if you try and broach the subject. She will also be a bad mood for days, refusing to speak to anyone which affects the whole atmosphere of our very small office. I am really struggling with how to bring this up without World War Three kicking off and ruining our friendship? (She generally gets all the work done that’s required, albeit slightly rushed).

Your goal can’t be to preserve the friendship; that’s a conflict of interest with doing your job. You’re her manager, so you can no longer be her friend. Friendly, yes, but not friends.

Doing your job as her manager means that you need to sit down with her and talk forthrightly about what you need to see from her, and how that differs from what you’re seeing currently. If she becomes defensive, you need to address that too, since it’s not an option for her to just not get feedback. And if she refuses to speak to people or is otherwise unpleasant, you need to address that too, because that’s an unacceptable way for her to behave. You’ll also need to be ready to impose consequences if the feedback doesn’t get you the changes you need. (And frankly, I’d start preparing yourself for the possibility that you may need to let her go at some point, because this is not the behavior of someone you want on your staff.)

3. My professor is a partner at the company I want to apply to

I recently graduated college (I’m 45) and have been looking for employment in my field. I discovered the perfect company and devoured its website, the last section of which featured team bios. Imagine my surprise when I learned that one of the senior partners listed is a former professor (I had three classes with him).

I immediately emailed this professor, expressing my interest in the company and requesting a meeting or phone call to discuss my professional background and its applicability. I sent the email to his university .edu account 10 days ago but have not received a reply. It would be out of character for this professor to not respond, so I am assuming that he has not accessed this email account because school is not in session.

What’s my next move? Do I contact him at this company? I know that he also has his own consultancy and travels internationally for speaking engagements, so I’m not sure how often he’s on site…a voicemail message might also go unanswered. Do I try to contact HR, and somehow mention that I know him? Or do I simply submit my resume and cover letter to the company and hope for the best? I graduated first in my class and that would be the first thing I mention in this particular cover letter…my hope is that HR would be curious enough to contact the professor.

Is there an actual job opening you’re interested in, or is it more general interest in the company? If there’s an opening for a job you want, apply right now; otherwise, while you try to resolve this, you risk it disappearing. It’s fine to mention in your cover letter that this guy recently taught you.

After that — or if there’s not a particular opening — yes, email him at his address, or try LinkedIn. When you do, be up-front that you’re interested in working there — you don’t want to sound like you’re requesting an informational interview when you’re actually seeking a job.

4. Good bosses from TV and movies

I know you’ve touched a few times on poor management in books, TV, etc., (and I hope no one is managing like they do on Game of Thrones), and how media isn’t something to model your work life after. But can you point to any TV or movies that demonstrate good management, sane workplace dynamics, a congenial and functional workplace, and so on? I know it doesn’t make for good entertainment, but is there anything you’ve watched and thought “that’s exactly what I would do” and admired?

So much the opposite. TV and movies are rife with terrible management presented as if it’s fine, and it is infuriating.

I racked my brain to answer this question, and I’m still not coming up with anything. I do feel like Tom Colicchio, restauranteur and judge on Top Chef, is probably a good manager, but I’m basing that on little more than gut. Oh, and Commander Adama from Battlestar Galactica. But I’m reaching here.

5. Update: Should I pay for a travel charge stemming from my mistake so that my boss doesn’t know about it?

Thank you for running my question! The comments from the commenters were really helpful as well, and I decided to tell my manager about the charge and explain why it happened. I also told him about some ideas for improving the process so this would be less likely to happen again. Here’s his response: “Sounds like a plan. Go ahead and expense the cancelled travel as mentioned. It shouldn’t be a problem.”

employer asked for references after I’d already been hired, good bosses from TV and movies, and more was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Veterans and Fireworks

Jul. 2nd, 2015 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Fireworks can upset veterans who have PTSD. The same can happen to other trauma survivors, people with anxiety, anyone with a low startle reflex, etc. Know how to help someone with PTSD or panic attack. Here are some concrete ways to say "thank you for your service" with more than just words ...

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(no subject)

Jul. 2nd, 2015 09:16 pm
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[personal profile] yhlee
I never knew, when I was a wee math major, that Reidemeister moves [Wolfram Mathworld; from knot theory] would prove so useful when trying to teach myself tatting with the help of [personal profile] lavenderbard's get-started-tatting kit and this tutorial.

Mathematica est utilis!
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Posted by

Hormonet oxytocin kræver en ny vurdering, mener forskere, der sammenligner hormonet med alkohol

Sidste årti fremkom en revolutionerende artikel, der viste, at hormonet oxytocin kan få os til at stole på andre. Det var startskuddet til en byge at forskning, der viste oxytocins potentiale i at øge sociale interaktioner.

Nu har et nyt studie vist, at hormonet faktisk har meget tilfælles med alkohol, der også er kendt for at kunne gøre sociale sammenhænge nemmere. Men ligesom alkohol har kærlighedshormonet også en negativ side.

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