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Another PSA About Nude Photos

Chuck Wendig has the first PSA. Note: much swearing.

What I think annoys me most of all about this whole debacle is the implication that nude photos are okay to steal.

Dude. There are plenty of them that are consensually shared. Letmedothis.com is one of the better tumblrs full. (Since every site has a theme, this site’s is: at least two people, at least one of whom is female, involved in some sexual/sensual act with explicit nudity.)

But if you’re not going to act honorably and lawfully about nude photos, then it’s no fucking wonder why no one will take any with you. No one with self-respect, anyway.

If, instead, you happen to like nude photos, treat it as a gift when people consensually share that with you and trust you. Because it is.

And maybe, you know, you’ll actually get to see more of the good stuff.

Also: this interesting post from Nik Cubrilovic covers some bigger security implications.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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dsmoen

Women and Performance Reviews

I’ve seen this link about how women fare in performance reviews going around, and people have been focusing on the fact that women get tone policed.

What I haven’t seen mentioned: women score more negatively in performance reviews in all ways.

58.9% of men’s reviews contained critical feedback, while an overwhelming 87.9% of the reviews received by women did.

This ties into raises, bonuses, and promotions, obviously.

For what it’s worth, I don’t recall ever being called abrasive in a performance review.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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dsmoen

Hilarity from the Spam Queue

A spam comment caught by Akismet:

If the previous game is too adventurous for you, simply try flapping a blanket in the air above your ferret as if you were fluttering a bed sheet over a mattress.

You don’t say.

This particular spam comment ended with:

…and ferrets love to cuddle.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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A Time Zone Experiment

Rick and I returned from Ireland on Tuesday, and my flight to Frankfurt is on Monday.

Given that one of the hardest parts of jet lag is adjusting to the time zone, I thought I should try to stay on Europe time. Normally, it takes a day to adjust per hour of time difference, and it just seemed fundamentally worse to try to do that in this particular circumstance.

Last night, I went to bed at 5 in the afternoon (1 am, Irish time) and woke up at 3:30 in the morning (11:30 am, Irish time). It was so strange. When I see it’s 7 and it’s light out, I’m not sure if it’s 7 pm or 7 am.

I’ve tried adjusting to time zones before trips before, with limited success (insofar as I always have difficulty changing time). We’ll see how this one holds up.

I usually have a sense of what time it is within fifteen minutes. Right now, that’s not true.

Last year, when I flew this route, starting in San Francisco and heading west:


Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

…I was fine until I reached South Africa. At that point, my sense of what time it was just broke. I didn’t regain it until after I got home.

So, even though I’m all confused about time right now, I’m hoping this experiment is a good one for me.

My little trip, once I wind up in Frankfurt:

  1. Train to Vienna.
  2. Day trip to Bratislava. (New country! #92)
  3. Day trip to Salzburg. Apart from Salzburg itself, the train is supposed to be some of the most beautiful scenery in Austria.
  4. Fly to Lisbon via Zurich. (New country! #93) At this point, I join Rick and my mom as we explore Portugal.
  5. Sail to Gibraltar. (New country/territory! #94)
  6. Sail to Puerto Banus, Spain.
  7. Sail to Malaga, Spain. Alhambra!
  8. Sail to Cartagena, Spain.
  9. Sail to Ibiza, Balearic Islands. (New country/territory! #95)
  10. Sail to Mahón, Menorca.
  11. Sail to Alghero, Sardinia. (New country/territory! #96)
  12. Sail to Bonifacio, Corsica. (New country/territory! #97)
  13. Sail to Porto Vecchio, Corsica.
  14. Sail to Civitavecchia, Italy, aka the cruise port closest to Rome.
  15. Visit the Vatican! (New country! #98)

We fly home from Rome a couple of days later.


Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

As always, I’m using the Travelers Century Club list of countries and territories.

What I like most: my revised itinerary is that I’ll again get to see some of the territory I found so beautiful in 1992 when we drove south from Munich to Venice via Innsbruck.

Ganz Wien

I can’t think about this trip without hearing the Falco song.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

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Irish Literature

I was having coffee with a friend in Ireland the other day, and he talked about someone he knew.

He makes a living, well, for being Irish.

At one point, I considered emigrating to Ireland. I had all the paperwork, but I didn’t go through with it because other things came through that would require me to remain in the states.

Like many, I had a dream of making a living as a writer there.

However, it turns out that the arts council only funds literature, and they don’t respect genre work at all (and I’ve basically always been a genre writer). The panel at Shamrokon about where the Irish SF was(n’t) was truly depressing for me.

In fact, the only Irish-themed SF novel I can think of that I’ve ever read is Flynn Connolly’s _The Rising of the Moon, published by Del Rey in 1993. And Flynn’s from the US.

Fantasy is more respected in Ireland, but only because it’s very tied up with being Irish. So things like not sleeping in fairy forts aren’t perceived as fantasy—rather they’re seen as common sense.

In essence, the funding, like MFA programs, is about the homogenization of taste. You can make a living, but only within a narrow spectrum. Nothing else is worthy, and the market’s not big enough to support writers (or Irish publishers) who don’t get arts council money. As one small press pointed out, if you ever take their money, you’re doomed to follow their dictates.

For the first time, I’m not wistful about not having taken that path all those years ago.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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Throwing Down My Teeny Weeny Gauntlet

For the last three months, there’s been a loophole on SFWA’s site about who qualifies for membership. Specifically, it’s Rule 3:

One paid sale of a work of fiction of under 40,000 words for which the candidate’s income equals or exceeds $2,000.00, such income to include a simple payment or an advance and/or subsequent royalties after the advance has earned out. Detailed documentation of payment will be required.

Rule 3 does not specify that said work must be sold to a “qualifying professional market”, but Rule 1 and 2, which list other ways to qualify, do.

When I questioned that, I was told that it didn’t overrule the bylaws, which still prohibited qualifying based on non-qualifying markets.

By that time, however, I’d had a lot of time to think.

This morning, SFWA sent a seven-question survey about whether or not indie and small press publishing credits should count for SFWA membership. Consider this a broader answer to those question.

Case 1: Lori Witt

In March, Lori wrote this post about writing income, which I’ve previously written about.

…whereas I’ve made over $8,000 from a novella published in 2011.

That description narrows the book in question down to two possible novellas, but I believe it’s this one. [Edited to add: I was wrong; see note at bottom.]

Riptide’s a small press, specializing in LGBT books, with around 50 authors. As is Samhain, which is a much larger digital first romance publisher that publishes both straight and gay romance.

Case 2: Michael Bunker

Michael Bunker lives off-grid and writes Amish science fiction. He makes a significant part of his income doing so.

The Point

As I’m writing this, I’m eligible for Associate (junior) membership in SFWA based on my sale of a short to Baen in 2003 (published in 2004).

Lori and Michael are eligible for absolutely no SFWA status based on their writing.

Back when SFWA was formed, essentially you sold to qualifying markets or you weren’t making significant money writing science fiction. The world has shifted in recent years, and that’s no longer true.

Any writers’ organization that privileges my one-time sale to a Baen anthology in 2003 where I’ve earned less than $400 over the last 11 years over far more significant current income from working writers—that’s an unjust system.

My opinion.

It’s frankly been idiotic for me to continue to pay for SFWA membership; I’ve essentially paid out all I took in from that one sale (so far) several times over.

Therefore, I’ll start paying for SFWA membership again when the whole qualifying market thing changes.

Note

Well, I guessed wrong on which novella. It was this one, which isn’t sf/f.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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How to Get to Helsinki from Pitcairn

I was talking with Crystal Huff about getting to Helsinki, and I volunteered to put together a list of how to get to Finland for the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid.

After I sat down and got started, I thought it would be interesting to put the list together in a non-US-centric way, so I started on the Wikipedia List of Countries by Population. And, as I scrolled down the list, I realized that, without specifically planning going to Finland, I already knew most of the answers about how to get there from wherever.

I scrolled to the bottom of the list, and laughed.

242. Pitcairn

As it happens, I’ve been there, so I’ve studied up on how to get there. Pitcairn, which consists of four islands—only one of which is inhabited—is one of the remotest and most difficult places to get to on the planet. It’s the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific.

So here’s my draft of that answer. Note: it’s this difficult to get from Pitcairn to anywhere, which is one reason that residents often spend several months away at a time.

Pitcairn: If you’re one of the few dozen people from Pitcairn, it will take you longer to get to Helsinki than for the average person, but you already know that. You know all about the cruise ship schedule, and you’re no doubt hoping that something comes later than the Costa Luminosa so you’ll be able to stay on Pitcairn past February 23rd, way too early to leave for Worldcon. Eventually, the Claymore II supply ship schedule for 2017 will be posted, and you’ll probably sail for Mangareva around June. From there, you’ll fly Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui) to Papeete. From there, you’ve got one of three possible routes: Air France/Finnair via Los Angeles and Paris (17,615 km), LAN/KLM via Easter Island, Santiago Chile, and Amsterdam (21,521 km), or Air New Zealand via some route like Auckland, Tokyo, Helsinki on Air New Zealand and Finnair, which is shorter (20750 km) than the same route through Hong Kong (21070 km). So, sure, you’d have to leave in June and you might be able to make the September supply ship back, but think of the interesting places you could stop over along the way.

A Funny Aside

When I was entering the UK, the immigration officer looked at my passport. As often happens, initially a bored immigration agent is looking for a place to stamp, then they become interested in the unusual places I have in my passport.

“Where’s Pitcairn?” he asked.

I boggled. After all, it is a British Overseas Territory, but I was actually having to resist answering, “the ass end of nowhere.” I stumbled over the explanation, then Rick piped up to explain.

“Where the ‘Mutiny on the Bounty‘ happened” is generally the simplest explanation, though not quite correct as that’s where the mutineers wound up, not where the mutiny occurred.

You can get to Helsinki even from Pitcairn. It’ll just take a while.

Pitcairn Island

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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Building a Brand: Object Lessons

I wrote this some time ago; it’s been a draft sitting on my computer for quite a while. It’s as true now as it was then, though.

Looking at prospective panelists, I’m surprised at how many published writers trying to promote themselves do not or cannot:

  1. Have their own domain name,
  2. Have an excerpt up on their site,
  3. Write a paragraph introducing themselves,
  4. Understand what a paragraph is,
  5. Bother to mention a URL where their book is,
  6. (for the non-indies) Mention who their publisher is.

And yet want to be on a panel about building a brand or give a solo presentation about same.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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Delia Derbyshire, Overlooked Musician and Composer

Delia Derbyshire wrote some of, and played all of, one of the most famous—and earliest widely-known—pieces of electronic music ever. Not only that, she did so before the advent of the first commercially-available synthesizer.

(Brian Hodgson composed the tardis sound.)

She was a kid in Coventry during WW2, hearing all the weird and haunting sounds of air raids and all-clear signals.

Decca Records told her that they did not employ women in their recording studios. So she joined the BBC. Delia said, “I was told in no uncertain terms that the BBC does not employ composers.”

Seeing the footage about her contributions to the Doctor Who theme was really the highlight of the Doctor Who Experience. As a Torchwood fan (and not really a Doctor Who fan), I felt left out for the most part.

There’s a great page about the history of the theme song.

On first hearing it Grainer was tickled pink: “Did I really write this?” he asked. “Most of it,” replied Derbyshire.

Yet, even though Grainer wanted Derbyshire to receive credit and a share of the royalties, it didn’t happen that way due to BBC red tape (no doubt assisted by the fact that Delia was female). Thus, she became uncredited and without royalties for something that has been heard by millions of people.

Bitter, she left the industry, became an alcoholic, and later developed breast cancer. Though she did get back into electronic music in the 90s, toward the end of her life, she died of kidney failure in 2001.

I find it curious that the BBC created an exhibit for her in the Doctor Who Experience—but still never managed to correct the credits or royalty situation.

If you’d like to learn more about her, here’s a bunch of YouTube links, but you probably want to start with Sculptress of Sound

Her name was Delia Derbyshire, and she loved listening to thunderstorms.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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Optical Illusion Problems and Font Design Solutions

This post, clickbaitingly called Know If a Font Sucks actually has some fascinating tidbits about compensating for our eyes tricking us.

Hat tip to Janet Jia-Ee Chui.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.


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