lace_agate: (random fluctuations!)
Well, not quite. But I'm getting pretty pissed off at New Zealand at the moment, and the rest of the English-speaking world doesn't look much better. And it seems like Iceland is doing some pretty cool things at the moment. And they have awesome geology.

But this isn't about Iceland. This is a rant about the upcoming New Zealand election.
On the plus side, the Greens are polling comfortably around 10%. On the minus side, pretty much everything else )
lace_agate: (mechanical bird)
I seem to be turning into more and more of a lurker, but I thought I should post something to justify my continued use of this site. So here are some cool things I found around the internet recently.
How to Rebuild the Wizarding World, according to Foreign Policy magazine. This is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in politics, Harry Potter, or both.
A Complete History of the Soviet Union, Arranged to the Melody of Tetris (scroll down for the video). Be warned, this will get stuck in your head for some time.
Calm Blue Oceans, a fun webcomic.
Knite, an absolutely beautiful flash comic that I can't recommend enough. Go and read it.
Some of those Viking warriors were actually women.
Rainbow cupcakes!
And a non-internet-related rec: the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I'm about halfway through this series now after [ profile] shadowsinfire persuaded me to read it and it's lots of fun. It's military sci-fi with a disabled hero who survives on his wits, a left-leaning, progressive political viewpoint, a good sense of humour, and some really interesting ideas. It also crosses into other genres: whodunnit, political intrigue, and, I kid you not, Regency romance. Highly recommended.


Jul. 9th, 2011 11:03 am
lace_agate: (Default)
So this journal is fairly dormant. I'm still checking my friends page regularly and I still post from time to time, but that's about it.
Anyway, I thought this was worth posting about.
There have been attempts in certain parts of the USA to cut off funding from Planned Parenthood. This seems to be mainly as part of an agenda that views all abortions as bad (regardless of circumstance) and PP as some kind of satanic abortion factory. This is patently false: Planned Parenthood is primarily a provider of contraception, STI testing, pap smears and other vital sexual and reprouctive health services. It is especially vital for low-income people where it may be the only health provider they have access to.
Melissa at Shakesville and Tami at What Tami Said have put together a blog carnival in response to recent attempts at defunding PP. A whole lot of people, men as well as women, have posted stories of their experiences with PP and what it means to them, in an attempt to raise awareness of the variety of work that PP does and how essential it has been (and continues to be) for many of them. I recommend that you go and have a look. It's well worth reading.
lace_agate: (scythes)
More here, with links to the full text of the ruling in comments.
My faith in humanity is partially reaffirmed.

And here is my other news: I AM GOING TO BEIJING THIS NOVEMBER! It's for a political science paper on Chinese politics. We spend three weeks in Beijing attending lectures (in English) at a Chinese university and visiting various important sites around the city, then we come back home and have all summer to write an essay on some aspect of Chinese politics and government. It's a limited-entry course that I applied for a few weeks ago and I just found out I got accepted.
lace_agate: (oxymorons are cool)
Went to my boyfriend's place yesterday to watch the new Doctor Who episode with him and his flatmates. One is also a Doctor Who fan and the other we have now converted, having showed her "Midnight", "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" and the new episode, "The Eleventh Hour". The episode was slow to download so we watched other videos while we waited for it, including the one from which the title of this post is taken: New Zealand's first home-grown internet meme. Or at least, the first home-grown New Zealand internet emem I've heard of. Basically, a guy from ACT on campus, the student arm of the ACT Party, was on a morning current afairs show talking about why Earth Hour is a bad idea. Hilarity ensued. The interview contains some truly headdesk-worthy logic (If pollution from our power consumption is causing environmental problems, let's just consume MORE POWER to solve the problems!) but also some gems: "It fails on three fun-loving levels" and the meme "I think my argument is so powerful, it's not necessary to talk about it".
And here's the video )
Aaaaand my thoughts on Doctor Who )
lace_agate: (mechanical bird)
ADD is annoying. Not being able to find a job sucks. I am sick and tired of politicians talking about climate change and then not doing anything.
Fandom-related essays are cool. Over-analysing fandom is fun. I even have some essay topics in mind about fandom. If I list them here I might actually write them sometime:
-Air Gear, why I love it, and why aspects of it make me deeply uncomfortable (some form of feminist analysis)
-The awesome portrayal of women in Fullmetal Alchemist
-Related to the above: the roles of Riza and Winry in FMA and their links to female archetypes
-The Immortals arc and coming-of-age motifs in Naruto (I actually started this one... don't know if I'll ever finish it though)
And, because I feel like it, here are some really interesting fandom essays from other people:
Labyrinth as feminist myth
Feminism in Bleach
...Dammit, I know there are more than that. Well, I am leaving out some of the more controversial/argumentative shipping essays, but there are others
Ooh, here's another one (sort of): Sherwood Smith on modern reinterpretations of Jane Austen books. She also has quite a few other essay-type things on her journal.
lace_agate: (accio brain)
Back at uni and taking four papers this semester. This means a much bigger workload. Not to mention the fact that I'm now half an hour late to every dancing lesson because I have lectures finishing at the same time as dancing starts on the other side of town. Fun.
Things I have learned so far this semester:
Realism is one of the most depressing ideologies out there.
Petrographic microscopes are awesome.
No one wants to be called an idealist (except me).
There are many devious strategies employed by course coordinators to ensure that all the students actually do all their readings and remember what they've learned.
The Bruces' Philosophers Song is surprisingly useful for POLS 112 and INTP 113.
Reading Hetalia makes one look at International Relations in a whole new light.
lace_agate: (accio brain)
To all my NZ friends of voting age:  you might want to have a look at this.
I still haven't even decided if I'll vote in the referendum.

ETA: apparently today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day.

Read this.

Mar. 18th, 2009 04:13 pm
lace_agate: (Default)
The pro-choice/pro-life debate has always interested me (I'm on the pro-choice side), but I never even thought about this aspect of it (some of the comments are worth reading too).  It really upsets me that there can be all this stuff about the negative psychological effects of abortion but absolutely nothing on the negative effects for the birth mother in cases of adoption.
Just go and read it.

lace_agate: (isane)
So, first, congratulations to all the Americans on my flist on the election of Barack Obama as president.
Second, WHY is it that New Zealand's answer to the mood for change or whatever it is that's sweeping the world at the moment is to elect a National Party government and to bring back Roger Douglas?  I'm also sad that the Green Party vote didn't live up to what the polls predicted.  Even so, eight seats in parliament is an improvement on six.

On a totally unrelated note, I LOVE FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.  Chapter 89 features the ruturn of Denny Brosh, Maria Ross, Havoc (now with a goatee that doesn't really suit him) and Riza's friend Rebecca, who hijacked an icecream truck to carry supplies to Roy and his allies.  IT WAS AN EPIC CHAPTER.


Oct. 21st, 2008 03:46 pm
lace_agate: (logic my dears)
I don't usually like saying "x should be required reading for y" but I'm going to say it anyway.  The section on economics in the October 18 issue of New Scientist magazine should be required reading for all politicians, economists, environmentalists and anyone else who's interested.

Basically it's attacking the idea that we have to keep growing and growing the economy and increasing our GDP and so on forever.  The point they're making is that we can't, because you can't have infinite growth when you have finite resources.  There are other, more sustainable ways of running an economy but they're being ignored because the dominant ideology is growth growth growth.

They explain it all far more coherently than I ever could, anyway, but it's fascinating.  They don't cover everything that's an issue (for example, they barely touch on population growth) but it's a good starting point to get people thinking.  I've just been hearing National belittling the Greens and Labour because by trying to be sustainable they'd be "putting economic growth on the backburner" which is apparently a Very Bad Thing.

Oh, whatever.  Just go and read it.


May. 7th, 2008 11:32 am
lace_agate: (quack)
Some mad ultra-conservative "scientist" person is saying that homosexuality is wrong and evil, etc., because the sex is apparently hotter.  How would he know anyway?
Blog entry with quotes from said mad ultra-conservative "scientist" person
(Link probably not worksafe unless your work involves studying sexuality and/or US politics)

Also, apparently those crazy Tsubasa spoilers have been confirmed.  I'm not going to say it's spoiled the story for me or anything, but it could spoil the story if they don't explain it properly.
lace_agate: (quack)
As summarised by frogblog:

"...single people are more likely than average to vote ACT, people in relationships are more likely than average to vote Green, but if they get married they are more likely than average to vote National. People are statistically more likely than average to vote Green if they describe their relationship as ‘it’s complicated’.

And just to add a new dimension to coalition talks three quarters of people in open relationships vote Green."  I will now imagine the entire cast of everything ever written by CLAMP voting Green.

In other news, I have developed a cold.


lace_agate: (Default)

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