dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Quotes from “The Biological Consequences of Nuclear War” by Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, from The Cold and the Dark.

I've been reading this book for research purposes and some of the assumptions about society/survival below the equator are rubbing me the wrong way. Here's a couple examples with the bits I'm most particularly side-eyeing bolded:

Even without cold and darkness, the dependence of tropical [Southern Hemisphere] populations on imported food and fertilizer would lead to severe problems. Large numbers of people would be forced to leave the cities and attempt to cultivate remaining areas of tropical rainforests, accelerating their destruction as the systems were taken far beyond their carrying capacity.

# # #


Society in the Northern Hemisphere would be highly unlikely to persist. In the Southern Hemisphere tropics, events post-war would depend in large art on the degree of propagation of the atmospheric effects from North to South.

ETA: Edited to fix a comma error.

Even if there weren’t a spread of atmospheric effects, people living in those areas [the Southern Hemisphere] would be very, very strongly impacted by the effects of the war, just by being cut off from the Northern Hemisphere.


What I'm curious about in these two quotes is just how accurate this portrayal of the Southern Hemisphere as dependent on the North is?

# # #


In response to a question about how long it would take to reestablish a civilization comparable to one today (circa 1983):

What would replace it and what would be the course of social and biological evolution is a matter of guesswork and would primarily depend on how many of the artifacts and how much knowledge survive. […] If, however, some major centers of learning were preserved and if some organized cities in the Southern Hemisphere persisted, then human culture might return to ‘higher’ levels much more rapidly. But I would say there is an awful lot of hubris and personal attitude in that. I have lived with the Eskimos and I could argue that in many ways their culture is a lot higher than the one we have today.

This one bugs me because of a) the assumption that 'centers of learning' aren't in the Southern Hemisphere and b) the idea that rebuilding society means returning to the old, pre-war model of how things were done.

So, um, thoughts?
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
How would one justify the expense/hassle of insuring/defending the reproductive freedom of genetically engineered transgenic beings who are in some cases monogendered and/or otherwise dependent on outside help to reproduce? Where outside help entails a lab plus all the stuff/oersonnel that goes with said lab?

Also, as a total aside, my kindle fire keyboard sounds like a typewriter and that makes me laugh. Also, am tired & may have fatstylused some words.

Also, m'go bed now.

Edited to add sense, hopefully.
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
General Post-Apocalyptic rambling about some ideas I want to explore in my fiction:

The ugly side of life continues. Abortion and contraception are likely to be highly illegal. We MUST have those babies. There will be more than enough parents who have lost their own (or have received too high a radiation dose to chance the FLK problem) to look after any that are unwanted. Women are enslaved by their reproductive systems again. Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it. The social pressure on women to have children will be immense in both material and moral senses. Women who can have children get the best of everything, the cleanest and best food, the most comfortable housing, the most careful protection. Women who can have children but refuse to do so will be social outcasts (and in this sort of society to be an outcast is virtually a death sentence). We're likely to see a situation where women of childbearing age are "protected" by severe restrictions ("don't go outside the house, the radiation may harm your babies" gets abbreviated to "don't go outside") . This is a grim and disturbing picture; we take an old woman out of her house and throw her in the snow to provide shelter for a pregnant mother and her children - then lock her in. Newborn babies obviously damaged by radiation are likely to be killed on the spot. That may or may not be justifiable but I think its inevitable.

Source: Nuclear Warfare 103

In the course of goofing off under the pretext of researching nuclear war (my chosen method of ending the world as we know it), I found this article through TV Tropes. It's the last of a series of articles about Nuclear War that cover everything from how possessing nuclear weapons affects a company's policies through to the aftermath of a nuclear war (go here for Nuclear Warfare 101 and Nuclear Warfare 102). The above quote is about the need to repopulate a country (specifically the U.S.) after a nuclear war.

Now, it's not like this essay is the first place I've seen this idea -- it's a pretty common post-apocalyptic trope -- but for some reason reading this article got me thinking. Probably because the dismissiveness of "Don't like that but there is nothing we can do about it" just emphasized that this was yet another post-apocalyptic scenario being envisioned by a man (the name of the author listed on the article is Stuart Slade) without considering the impact or even the input of the women who might survive.

Before I start going through this point by point, I want to start off by saying that I don't think the author was trying to ignore women or to put forth some kind of male fantasy playground where women exist simply as sex toys and brood mares. I think this was just a case of wanting to give a quick and dirty overview of a topic and not thinking about the unfortunate implications of what was being said. Also, please be warned that I'm going to touch on a few trigger-y topics throughout this essay.

Point by Point Ramblings, possible Trigger Warnings for rape, abuse, abortions and injury/death of children )
dunmurderin: Deadpool from "I'm a Marvel, I'm a DC" saying "And boom goes the dynamite..." (And Boom Goes the Dynamite...)
After Xavier:
A Primer to Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse


Originally posted at [livejournal.com profile] superhero_muses on 5/14/2009

SPOILER WARNING: This essay contains spoilers for more or less anything connected to Marvel’s Age of Apocalypse, Exiles and several regular continuity X-Titles, including but not limited to events in Uncanny X-Men, Alpha Flight and X-Factor from the mid to late 1990s/early 2000s -- as well as a few minor bits of more recent continuity (and by recent, I mean 2006-2007).

Disclaimer: Keeping track of the changes made to one comic’s continuity can be tricky enough, particularly when the continuity is several decades old and has been written, rewritten and altered by dozens of writers and editors and artists over time. Trying to do so with TWO (technically three) timelines is like trying to untangle cooked spaghetti while wearing oven mitts. I have made every effort possible to be as accurate in my portrayals of both regular Marvel continuity (known herein as Earth-616 or simply 616) and the Age of Apocalypse continuity (known herein as Earth-295 or the AoA), but chances are good that I have made errors. For which, I apologize in advance.

This essay is broken into two parts: the first is a primer to the AoA universe for those unfamiliar with it and the second is me justifying my 'shipping of the Age of Apocalypse versions of Sabretooth and Wild Child. Thanks to [personal profile] mithen for the opportunity to write this essay and thanks in advance to all of you who read it.

ETA: Added another link to the General Resources section.

AoA 101, or, The Very Least You Need to Know )
Not Exactly Lassie: Sabretooth/Wild Child in the Age of Apocalypse Universe )

References/Fic Recs )
-------------
Notes: )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Bisexuality, Visibility, and Fanfic Labels, or, Being the Blue M&M:


There's been some recent discussion as to why bisexuality tends to fly under the radar in fandom, particularly as it relates to slash fandom where characters with canonically heterosexual love interests/relationships/tendencies are frequently written as being closeted homosexuals rather than bisexuals.

My pet theory is that, in part, this has to do with how fandom labels fics with romantic/sexual pairings. As it stands, there are only two widely accepted labels for romantic/sexual pairing fics: Het and Slash, both of which tend to imply/reinforce monosexual portrayals/attitudes in fanfics. We'll get to my reasoning in a moment but first...

Long Ass Disclaimer Time )Getting On With It )

X-posted to Dunmurderin @ InsaneJournal.com
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (not a combaticon)
Bisexuality, Visibility, and Fanfic Labels, or, Being the Blue M&M:


There's been some recent discussion as to why bisexuality tends to fly under the radar in fandom, particularly as it relates to slash fandom where characters with canonically heterosexual love interests/relationships/tendencies are frequently written as being closeted homosexuals rather than bisexuals.

My pet theory is that, in part, this has to do with how fandom labels fics with romantic/sexual pairings. As it stands, there are only two widely accepted labels for romantic/sexual pairing fics: Het and Slash, both of which tend to imply/reinforce monosexual portrayals/attitudes in fanfics. We'll get to my reasoning in a moment but first...

Long Ass Disclaimer Time )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
The Bechdel Test is a test adapted from the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel (it goes by other names, including the Mo Movie Measure, Bechdel's law and the Bechdel/Wallace Test). In the strip in question, one of the characters is talking about how she only goes to see movies if they meet the following criteria:

1. It has to have at least two women in it,
2. Who talk to each other,
3. About something besides a man.


Apparently, this has become something of a litmus test in certain circles for determining whether a movie, book, play, etc. has a non-sexist portrayal of women. Particularly, as Charlie Stross points out inhis blog about the test, you expand the last point to "about something besides men or marriage or babies"

This way to the Teal Deer Enclosure )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (techrat)
That's right, I've written a Ship Manifesto! Posted here for archive purposes and to make sure my html isn't borked. This will also be posted at ship_manifesto@LJ in a day or so.

Title: High Tech Just Turns Me On: Techrat/Minx from Jem and the Holograms
Author: [insanejournal.com profile] dunmurderin
Spoilers: Some minor spoilers for Season 1-3 of Jem and the Holograms.
Email: dunmurderin (at) yahoo.com

High Tech Just Turns Me On: Techrat/Minx from Jem and the Holograms )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
Posted here because once again, I rambled. Will make more sense if you read Nightwind's Yay rant. first.

Reply to Nightwind )
dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (cosmos from lilformrs)
Edited to add perfect icon and correct figures.

Got to watching Cosmos (not the one in the icon) on the internet tonight and saw the episode where Carl Sagan condensed the history of the universe, roughly 13.7 15 billion years worth, into one year to give a sense of the scale of time. You can see a version of the Cosmic Calendar here. (note: the version in the link uses 13.7 billion years for the age of the universe.)

Now, being that it's almost time for me to go to work and I am bored and nerdy, I decided to try and figure out when various events in the Transformers timeline would have taken place (err, the G1 cartoon timeline, that is).

According to the episode ("The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean") the calendar breaks down like this:
1 month = 1.25 billion years
1 day = 40 million years
1 minute = 30,000 years
1 second = 500 years

Using those figures, I determined that a million years is roughly half an hour if you figure 1,000,000/500 = 2,000 and 2,000/60 = 33.33333... (I'll be the first to admit my math may be wayyyyy off so any corrections are more than welcomed.)

Going by that on December 31st (information in italics is taken from the Cosmic Calendar link above; you can read more about the Transfomer-specific events at the TF Wiki's entry about the G1 cartoon timeline) -- Edited once more to correct times, these are my final figures (unless I realize later that they're not)

  • Origin of Proconsul and Ramapithecus, probable ancestors of apes and men: approximately 1:30 p.m.
  • The Quintessons establish themselves on Cybertron: approximately 5:24 p.m. (12 million years ago)
  • The Transformers' ancestors overthrow the Quintessons: approximately 5:54 p.m. (11 million years ago)
  • Megatron's Creation: approximately 6:30 p.m. (10 million years ago; not entirely sure where I got this figure from)
  • Events in War Dawn/Creation of Optimus Prime: approximatley 7:00 p.m. (9 million years ago)
  • The Ark leaves/Autobots & Decepticons stranded on Earth: approximately 9:48 p.m. (4 million years ago)
  • First humans: approximately 10:30pm (roughly 2.7 million years ago)
  • Pretenders crash-land on Earth: approximately 11:59:44 p.m. (roughly 8,000 years ago)
  • Widespread development of science and technology; emergence of global culture; acquisition of the means of self-destruction of the human species; first steps in spacecraft planetary exploration and the search of extraterrestrial intelligence: Now: The first second of New Year's Day -- also when the Transformers Wake Up.

    To put it another way: all of human history, from the rise of agriculture during the Neolithic period (roughly 12,000 years ago) to the moment you're reading this right now is roughly 24 seconds long on this scale. The entirity of Transformer history, from the time they rebelled against the Quintessons to the present day is 21,960 seconds long -- or about six hours and six minutes. Optimus Prime is at least 18,000 seconds old -- or about five hours.

    Non-G1 Timelines:

    In the movie timeline, the Allspark Cube crashed on earth at approximatley 11:59:20 p.m., roughly about the time humans developed agriculture (approx. 10,000 yrs ago) give or take a couple seconds (apparently according to the movie the Cube crash-landed 12,000 years ago).

    I checked for other timelines over at the Teletraan-1, the Transformers Wiki, but G1 is one of the few continuities that actually gives 'dates'. For everything else, less definite dates are given ("In Cybertron's Dark Ages" is not helpful).

    Addition: Wayward Martian reminded me about "Transformers: The Ultimate Guide" by Simon Furman (a.k.a. the Book of Holy Furman) which has a timeline for events in the Dreamwave comics continuity. Here is:

    Dreamwave Comics Timeline )

    And 'cause I found this today: IDW Comics Timeline )
  • dunmurderin: (lulz!)
    Inspired by a post on my friends page that had a link to yet another Raksha-bashing thread. And of course the fact that Raksha was a 'crazy female fan' was most of the bashing. I got annoyed. And long-winded.

    ----

    'Crazy Female Fans' )
    dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
    So, I joined International Blog Against Racism Week (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] raisedbymoogles for mentioning that it was IBARW time in her LJ) and I did it for a variety of reasons:

    1. As the icon says, I try to own my skanky race issues. Like any good white liberal, I try to think that I don't have any skanky race issues but deep down inside, I know better.
    2. The discussion of subtextual racism in the Transformers movie hit me where I lived. And the uproar over Daily_Deviant's use of miscegination as a fic prompt pissed me off.
    3. Because issues of race and color are yet another area where fandom is a warm and accepting place -- as long as you keep your mouth shut and don't make waves.
    4. Because I have cousins who are People of Color and while I can't know what life is like for them, I can hate the fact that people hurt them.
    5. Because racism is just plain wrong, damnit. And stupid.
    6. Because I'm a shameless attention whore who likes blathering in my journal and having people read it so hey, I can take a stab at writing about something other than how giant robots have sex.

    Note: Some spoilers for GI Joe: America's Elite below the cut.

    IBARW Entry #1 )
    dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
    Because somebody asked again over at FFR and because LJ wouldn't let my long-winded ass post it in comments, I'm posting this Too Long thing here.

    Note: This has become something of a work in progress. Links and additional information are still being added as I think of them or as things are suggested to me in the comments. Any new additions after this will be tacked on as appendixes to the end of this post. (Actually, not entirely true, in most cases the references have been worked into the original text of the article.)

    Updated 09/18/07

    Transformers Sex: The Back story )
    Okay, Okay, So HOW do they Do it?! )
    dunmurderin: A clownfish, orange and white, with a banner saying he is NOT a Combaticon!  So no one mistakes him for one, y'know? (Default)
    Most of what I learned about portraying mentally ill characters comes from Vampire: The Masquerade. Specifically vampires from the clan Malkavian who are all, at least in game-terms, afflicted with various forms of insanity. Done well, these characters can be vastly entertaining; done poorly these characters can be more irritating than .

    Because meta is universal, some V:tM gamers who like playing Malkavians have written various articles on the subject, generally centered around the idea of how to play Malkavians well (as opposed to the "I'm crazy so I can do whatever silly, stupid, random thing pops into my head and you can't stop me!" sort that need to be smacked *hard*.)

    Admittedly, since these links are for roleplaying games, they're probably not 100% accurate in terms of real psychology, but the authors generally are trying to treat mental illness within a fictional context with respect and realism rather than as a "Get out of Responsibility Free!" card.

    Playing a Malkavian -- this is a big site with a lot of different articles about various aspects of Malkavians and gaming. I recommend going here first.
    Burning Void: Mental Illness in Roleplaying Another big site with several links to articles written about mental illness and roleplaying. Does not seem to be a V:tM/World of Darkness centered site. Also includes an exerrcise from the blogger's writing section about Mental Illness Go here after you go to the first place. Or go here first. Is full of win. In fact, the site itself seems to be pretty win-full.
    Stupid LARP Tricks for Clan Malkavian and the companion piece Not-So-Stupid LARP Tricks for Clan Malkavian -- LARP = Live Action Role-Playing; the advice is mainly about getting into the right mindset.
    Johanna's Advice For Those Wishing to Play Malkavian Characters
    On Playing Malkavians -- a new site I just found today.
    dunmurderin: (lulz!)
    A recent discussion over at the Slash Haven at the Padded Cell, plus countless rants on FFRants as well as the lingering holdovers of Fanfic is Srs Bizness from Strikethrough 2007, have inspired me to blather talk about why badfics happen.

    Why do writers feel the need to create stories that are, by the standards of most fans, bad? Why do people feel the need to bend canon like Beckham in order to justify pairings or characterizations or scenarios that are for lack of a more polite term, stupid?

    In some cases, it’s because the writer is young and foolish and thinks that they’re the first person to stick the cast of their favorite book/movie/TV show/rock band/etc. in high school. Or the first person to magically fall into the world of [insert fandom] due to [insert reason]. Or that they are the ONLY PERSON in the history of EVER who has created a character who has their name, a lovely singing voice and the ability to warp the plot around them. Oddly enough, some of these young and foolish writers are in their early to mid 30s and 40s.

    Sometimes these authors learn better and start worrying about characterization, grammar and logic like the rest of us and their stories improve according to the standards of the community. But sometimes, these authors just continue on doing whatever crazy crack comes into their heads and get hundreds of reviews saying OMG! Write MORE! while more deserving fics get nothing and it’s not @#$#@ FAIR! seem perfectly content to live as heathens among us.

    But, why? Why would they do this? Why write stories where the improbable, the impossible and the down right implausible happen? Why drop your authorial pants and moon Lady Logic and Father Canon? Why would anybody write a story where they didn’t take time to run it through their spellchecker, do a line edit themselves before handing it over to a beta-reader to have it checked for grammar, spelling and canon before finally posting it?

    The answer, I think, is pretty simple: because they’re having fun doing it. They’re doing it for shits and grins and they really don’t give a good goddamn if meets the standards of a publishable work, they just did it for the sheer hell of it, so whadda you think?

    Note: this isn’t to say that people who do take time and effort to make sure their stories are grammatically correct, plausible and logical aren’t having fun. It’s more to say that not everybody approaches the fun of fanfic in the same way and that, to paraphrase Kipling, there are nine and ninety ways of constructing fannish lays (as in ‘laws’) and every single one of them is right.”

    “Right” in this case meaning good, in the sense of being suitable for a particular purpose -- i.e. the entertainment of the author and/or others. Sometimes you want to read a well-crafted epic and sometimes you just want something silly, light and entertaining.

    Not everybody writes fanfic because they’re practicing so they can write the Great Novel. Not everybody writes fanfic because they MUST write to appease their muses. Not everybody writes fanfic because they’re subverting the dominant paradigm or playing with a form of modern oral literature or claiming a space for women in a heteronormative patriarchy by having Jack Sparrow take it up the ass from Will Turner, Norrington, Davy Jones and the monkey.

    Some people just write fanfics for the sheer hell of it. They write what they want to read -- and sometimes what they want to read is, well, bad -- painfully so -- to other readers. And there’s nothing wrong with doing that.

    Personally, I think I stand somewhere on the border of “Fanfic is Serious!” and “Fanfiction is Fun”. I write my stories because they’re the kind of stories I want to read but that I don’t often find, but I have a tendency to want those stories to be good (i.e. for other people to enjoy reading them). So, I’m careful with my spelling and my grammar and my attention to details both real and otherwise. I want my stories to be internally consistent and to be consistent with other stories that I’ve written. Getting things right (for a given value of ‘right’) is important to me.

    This doesn’t make me any better or any worse than the writer who chugs a bottle of Mountain Dew and a package of Pop Rocks and says “Wouldn’t it be cool if the cast of NCIS were all squirrels!?” Yes, the latter writer will probably never be taken seriously with that sort of an attitude but that really only matters if the writer themselves wants to be taken seriously. If they don’t then, it’s rather like being denied admission to a club you don’t want to belong to.

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