ideatrash

Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Using An Alternate Browser As Your Communications Hub

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I have friends who enjoy messaging on several different platforms - notably, SMS, Hangouts, Skype, and Facebook Messenger.  (I use a Google Voice number and Hangouts integration for SMS; substitute your favorite SMS/Web app below.) 

In the past, I've used Franz to be able to get all the messaging apps in one place. But... there's issues.  Occasionally Franz decides to eat all the RAM.  And there's no way to theme it to a dark interface.

This is where an alternate browser comes in.  (And yes, this works regardless of operating system, so you Windows and Mac people are in luck.)

It's no secret that Franz is an Electron based wrapper for web services. So I started wondering if an alternate browser (my main one is still Firefox) would be handy.  Short form: Oh yes.

I am currently using Vivaldi, but I believe that Min or Opera would work just as well if you'd prefer. (I'll explain in a second.)

Quite simply, have your alternate browser set up with the startup tabs for the web version of the messenger service(s) you use.  For example, I have hangouts.google.com, www.messenger.com, and Slack.com all set up as "startup" tabs.  (I managed to convert the person using only Skype to using FB Messenger instead.)

There's two reasons why I think using an alternate browser is better than using Franz.

First, I get to use Stylish so that I have have things tweaked how I want them. Vivaldi uses the Chrome web store, so it's trivial to install Stylish and install the Messenger Night, Dark Skype Web, Hangouts Dark Theme, and Hangouts: No Decorative Images themes.  So I've got the dark styles taken care of, so my eyes don't bleed.

This is more than just a simple visual tweak - there's quite a bit of research that shows the default of "pure white background" is not good for our eyes (one site compares it to "staring at a lamp"), so being able to tweak and alter the color scheme is super important to me.

Then - and just as important - there's The Great Suspender (Chrome Web Store), or Suspend Tab (Firefox variant) which unloads tabs that aren't being used. That means that - unlike Franz - Vivaldi isn't eating up CPU cycles or memory for things I'm not looking at right then. 

As someone who is regularly pushing my home computer to its limits, having that functionality is vitally important.

Yes, I would love it if the APIs were open again, so I could use Pidgin for everything like in the old days. But as much as I wish that would happen, even the hacks that allow hangouts and messenger in Pidgin (and I love you all for it) don't support the featureset that I need.

Best of all, because Vivaldi is a pretty straightforward browser, it's pretty easy for even non-techies to set up as a communication hub.

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Challenging Your Ethics Can Be A Gift

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Sometimes I end up spending a lot of time and energy dealing with questions around my ethics, my values, and my actions. (Yes, like the stuff around Steampunk Universe last week.) Enough that others tell me they would have given up, or not bothered.

My privilege is part of that. As a middle-class straight white cis guy, I've got privilege to burn. I'm sure that not having to deal with the microaggressions and just generic crap that women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks have to face every single day means that I've got more tolerance for taking on this kind of stuff.

It's also part of why I take on this kind of stuff. I've long noticed - and it's gotten worse over the last year - that a woman or person of color says exactly the same thing as I do, they'll get so much more blowback.

The other part - and the part I really wanted to focus on here today - is a mindset thing. (Admittedly, this mindset also comes from my place of privilege, YMMV.)

When someone challenges my actions, my ethics, and my choices, I consider it a gift.

It can be an emotionally trying gift at times. It can be a difficult gift. But it is a gift.

I do my damnedest to be consistent. My choices and actions should reflect my ethics and values. But I'm also aware of how good the human brain is at being able to create post-hoc justifications for actions. There are all sorts of examples, like this one about how religious Trump supporters have suddenly changed their mind.

But as Yeshua said, one should remove the beam from one's own eye first. He didn't point out how *hard* that was, but that's why criticism, challenges, and critique are a gift.

It gives me the opportunity to look at myself, to look at my own actions, and to see if I'm really and truly being the person that I want to be. To see if I'm acting like the person I think I am.

As a final note, though, it is important to remember Ze Frank's advice when choosing what critiques to listen to:

Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic, but when the intent is evil that's what the block button is for.


If you haven't yet, please consider chipping towards our Kickstarter for Steampunk Universe, which has done a lot for me and others in exactly the ways I talk about above.

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On Litmus Tests and Invisible Illnesses; more on Steampunk Universe

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http://steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com
This is a mirror of the latest backer update for Steampunk Universe.  If you haven't backed the project yet, you can at steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com

For context, see this post: http://www.ideatrash.net/2016/10/two-issues-around-steampunk-universe.html

Because of a comment on the last update, please let me clarify: All of the stories feature disabled or aneurotypical characters. Not all of the authors have shared with us whether or not they're disabled or aneurotypical.

The figure I quoted previously - that slightly less than 50% of the authors were themselves disabled or aneurotypical - was based on the information that they themselves shared with us in cover letters or bios.

We find the idea of litmus tests disturbing in general in determining who gets on a table of contents. I have long advocated for determining one's efforts by evaluating who is submitting. When I brought this up in July, I recognized that my efforts in getting submissions needed improvement. I got several good suggestions on broadening my calls for submissions, and D. Morgenstern pointed out several others in their critique of my response yesterday.  I can do more in that arena, and will. Sadly, these are of limited use now, since the two years we were accepting submissions ended back in July.

But I want to again point out that we did not specifically quiz authors on this subject. 

Aside from the above, we are personally and strongly aware of the way society can shame and stigmatize those who have disabilities or who are not neurotypical.

For example, while I have previously mentioned publicly which of my family members is aneurotypical, I have not named them here because they're an adult and deserve to tell their own story in the way they choose to.

Or Ms. Coe, who wrote the essay I posted yesterday. She wrote me last night (different time zones and all) to share this:

"The sentence basically came from the fact that I have depression - to severe levels at times - but I am not legally disabled; I am not neurotypical but I don't experience a lot of the disadvantages, especially as I am able-bodied. It was meant to highlight the invisible illnesses that don't always get included when a lot of people think of disability, but can often be crippling."

I want to personally thank Ms. Coe for sharing this part of her personal story with us all.

While depression and other mental issues can qualify as "legally disabled", it can be extremely difficult and painful to share that publicly. They are also massively and shamefully stigmatized, leading many to not share their stories publicly.

I appreciate the critique from others.

I am going to ensure that future calls for submission include the new sources that have been brought to my attention.

I appreciate Ms. Coe sharing her story.

I am not going to force any of my authors to answer questions about their personal lives to pass a litmus test or judge whether they're disabled "enough" or aneurotypical "enough".

I am - with your help and support - going to bring you a kick-ass anthology featuring characters who are aneurotypical and disabled.

Thank you for your support.

Your comments are welcome; please comment here instead of on the project itself.

If you haven't backed the project yet, you can at steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com.

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Two Issues Around Steampunk Universe, Addressed

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http://steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com
[Edit: Follow-up post at http://www.ideatrash.net/2016/10/on-litmus-tests-and-invisible-illnesses.html]

I'm glad - and that's not sarcasm, folks - to see people calling me out within hours of me asking people to.

In this case, it's based around our current Kickstarter for Steampunk Universe. (I'm posting an abbreviated version of this post as a backer update as well; as I said in the post earlier today, I want to promote the idea that questioning and calling out behavior is appropriate.)

I've seen two sets of comments pop up recently - some in e-mail, some in twitter. Some directed at me, some not.

The first concern can be summed up in this tweet.


The answer is "just under half". This was - and is - a serious concern of ours that we asked fans and readers opinions of back in July.

While it would have been really cool to have 100% disabled or aneurotypical (or neurodivergent or neuroatypical) authors, after two years of soliciting stories, that simply isn't what we ended up with. We had a choice between doing a good job of increasing representation of characters ... or throwing in the towel and doing nothing.

Some of the comments we got from potential readers were very powerful. The one that moved me the most was this: "As for me, as a reader, I can tell you that I suffer from an extreme case of obsessive compulsive disorder, BPD and depression, and I am always, always reading novels, short stories and poetry that speaks to me, that tells my story. I crave that solidarity with the character. But never have I been concerned whether or not the writer is disabled or suffers from a mental illness themselves. So long as their story is engaging, and their characters real and represent the true side of what I live through, I am more than happy to read their words."

So we forged ahead. As with Steampunk World, we hope that Steampunk Universe will help create more diversity in both steampunk and other areas of fiction, even if (as far as we knew) not all the authors were personally disabled or aneurotypical.

This is important, because the first "behind the story" I shared today had this line in it: "Disability is such a hard thing to quantify; I’m not disabled, yet I have things that stand in the way of my everyday life, and I really wanted to get that across."

This public comment sums up the second issue, so I'll quote it as representative:



I hear you.

First, the responsibility of this falls on me. I (Steven) solicited these "behind the story" essays, and I'm also the one who solely edited and approved them. (And I did do some rewording with this one.)

Now that I've been (figuratively) smacked upside the head - and thank you for that! - I realize how that language came across to a number of people. I realize that it came across as minimizing both disabled people and minimizing the disability itself.

I apologize. To minimize you - any of you - is exactly the opposite of the intent of anyone involved in this project.

I can explain how I understood that sentence.

When I read that sentence, I thought of when I was stationed in Korea. When a cab refused to pick me up, because I was a white American. When I was denied entrance to a club, again, because the sign said "NO GIs".

These are trivial complaints, and they're things that I can simply walk away from.

They're also one of the few times in my life (thanks to being straight, white, middle class, and American) I've experienced something like the actual racism and bigotry so many others have to deal with on a regular basis.

Let me emphasize: My experiences do not compare. Not even a little.

But they do give me a little window where I can start to empathize. And that empathy is the beginning of being able to write characters outside of my own experience.

I check, of course. I've asked people that belong to specific demographic groups to read my work, to ensure that my empathy hasn't become projection, that my empathy is giving me just enough insight to be able to provide the emotional context for my characters.

And that is how I understood that sentence's intent. I understood the intent as an able-bodied writer seeking to try to empathize through the closest experiences she could find, in order to create a character and story that was as authentic as possible, to make "their characters real and represent the true side of what [others] live through."

Regardless, that does not change how it came across. And again, I take responsibility and apologize.

I've been thinking for most of the day how to better communicate this idea: That we, as authors, seek something with a close emotional resonance or feeling in order to empathize and communicate the worlds of others that we might not be a part of...but to do so in a way that doesn't unintentionally convey a disregard or minimizing of others.

While I don't have any answers yet, I am not giving up. (If you have any suggestions, they're very welcome.)

I hope that explaining the intent in that backer update - as well as taking this critique seriously - communicates all of our seriousness and passion for this project and everything it stands for.

If you have not yet backed the project, you can find it at steampunkuniverse.alliterationink.com

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Call me on it when my privilege blinds me to my actions

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I'm not a stranger to (and definitely don't shy away from) calling people on bigoted behavior.

There are two things I want to say around that issue, though.

I will almost certainly screw up at some point.

I'm a straight white cisgendered male. That has an impact on how I view the world. I do my damnedest to broaden my perspective, but ... well, I screw up.

This was recently brought home to me while listening to a podcast about increasing diversity and heard the guest Kevin Patterson talk about behaviors that folks think are inclusive, but really serve to reinforce the "othering" of minorities.

"Folks" in this case includes me. I know I've done at least some of the things he mentioned, and probably more that I'm not aware of.

And I had no idea until I happened to hear this podcast.

Which brings me to the second point:

I know that I've screwed up in the past.

I know that I've done things in the past that I wouldn't even consider now. But that doesn't erase the things I've done in the past. I've made amends there where I could.

If you looked, you could probably find someone I flirted with past the point of comfortableness. You could find someone I was too off-color with. I've said something homophobic. I've said something racist.

I'm not asking for absolution.

I'm asking that you knock me upside my head (figuratively) when I screw up, when I'm not living up to my own ideals.

Taking responsibility and speaking up

Too often, statements like the one I just made are used as a shield. "You didn't tell me, so I didn't know." They're designed to shift responsibility to someone else.

And that's crap. I take responsibility to police my own actions.

I'm saying this publicly for one very specific reason.

As Natalie Luhrs put it
The more entrenched and powerful you are (or appear to be), the more difficult it’s going to be for those who were harmed to speak up.

I'm inviting you to speak up.

As an author, as a publisher, as a human being, I'm asking you to speak up.

I want to hear about my mistakes, so that I can be better.

And I want to do what I can to create an atmosphere where not only missing stairs, but any bad behavior gets called out.


If you can, if you feel comfortable doing so, call me - and others - on our mistakes. That way you can know their intentions and, hopefully, help our world be a slightly better place.

Thank you.

And I believe you.

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The Complicated Mess When The Missing Stair Gets Noticed

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[Edit: I think the next post is an important companion and, hopefully, a step towards changing the systemic problems.]

Thanks to being on call for my day job all weekend, I didn't see that a missing stair - Sunil Patel - got named.  He wasn't the only one - Greg Andree also got named - but for a very specific reason, the accusations1 against Mr. Patel impact me directly. (There's a roundup of news and Mr. Patel's response on File 770.)

Because there's a story from Mr. Patel in the upcoming anthology No Shit, There I Was.

I do have a respect policy.  And there are some people I won't publish - because of their actions.

I want to make a big distinction here about that, because the accusations toward Mr. Patel include him claiming to have the power to make or break them, to blacklist them, in order to have the authors in question behave a certain way towards him. That's just...wrong, as Ann Leckie points out.

Me? When I choose not to publish someone because of their behavior, I'm saying that because I don't want to be associated with sexist, racist, bigoted, assaulting jerks. It's because I want the areas where I am, that I'm sponsoring, and that I'm representing to be safe and inclusive.

I believe the women who have come forward. I'm all too aware, as Natalie Luhrs put it, "[that] this is a problem that is endemic to our community, social and professional. There are people being abused right now who truly believe that no one will care if they speak up."

And I do care.

Which is where the complications come in.

I admire the example set by The Book Smugglers, but I can't exactly follow their example.

The contracts have already been signed, and the money already paid. Review copies have already been sent out. I can't undo those things. And undoing them would impact not just Mr. Patel, but all the other fine authors who are in No Shit, There I Was.

What I can - and will - do is offer that all backer rewards that involved Mr. Patel may be fulfilled by me personally, or if we can work it out, another author.

I will also investigate how to update future contracts so that should this situation happen again with a different author, I will have more options.

I welcome your feedback about the actions I'm taking. I am not interested in discussing whether or not you believe the accusations.

Signed by Steven Saus, publisher of No Shit, There I Was
Cosigned by Rachael Acks, editor of No Shit, There I Was


1 Note: I'm using "accusations" here in a pedantic legal sense.

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Switching from Twitterfeed to dlvr.it; a test post.

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With the sudden news that Twitterfeed is shutting down in two weeks, I've just changed all my feeds over to another service, dlvr.it.  If you see duplicate posts or other strangeness, please excuse as I get it all figured out properly.

Thanks!

Sadly, this GIF is too appropriate.

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Here's What Your Intro To Sociology Class Was Trying To Teach You In One Image

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All too often, Introduction to Sociology classes are boring as hell. They're all about memorizing things that don't seem to have any application to your life.

They do, of course. But that connection between real life and academic theories is (in my experience on both sides of the podium) rarely made.

Last week, I saw a vinyl decal that might help.  I've reproduced it below:
"You better praise him"

For many people, the message here seems obvious. It is familiar to a broad range of Americans (USAians, really, but you get the point).


Let's think about this for a moment, though.


1. Who does "him" refer to? The default USAian answer is "Jesus", but it's never specified. Cthulhu? Could it be.... Satan? The only thing we know for sure is that they're talking about an entity that identifies to itself as male, which definitely rules out Shiva, but could rule out JHVH.

2. And for the default USAian answer (Christian), it's awfully aggressive. You "better" praise him? Not exactly the peace and love message that Yeshua was known for.

3. Further, we don't know that it actually refers to a deity. It could be referring to Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, or freaking Ronald McDonald.

4. And if it is referring to a deity, the person who put this on their vehicle has... well, issues. Many Judeo-Christian traditions have injunctions about even writing out the (man-made) names of their deity, but those that do allow it, always capitalize it as a sign of respect.

So if it is the presumptive default of someone espousing that one must believe in Yeshua (a.k.a. Jesus), they're not only taking a very aggressive tone about it, but are simultaneously disrespecting their deity in the very message meant to praise Him.

It's this kind of examination of the familiar - of questioning not only what is meant, but how it's meant, and what it says about the person saying (or doing) the thing - where sociology really shines as a tool to investigate human behavior.

While supposedly one of the "soft sciences", sociology is a science, when practiced properly. When we look for the strange in the familiar. When we realize that our "givens" about behavior are really nothing more than hypotheses dressed up in fancy clothing.  (LT Zapfino Four, in this case - FONT NERD JOKE! HA!)

When you give up your presumptions about people's behavior - and that's a hell of a lot harder than it sounds - not only does it lead you to have a more examined and thoughtful life, but it also leads to you begin to question the more insane elements of it.

How you respond to those more insane elements... well, that's your choice.

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Cthulhu, Azathoth, and Nylarthotep - Three Albums From Cryo Chamber That Earn the Name

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I've posted before that when it comes to "creepy" and "scary" music, I think that dark ambient stuff is far more effective than anything else. The mix I made several years ago on 8Tracks - Yog-Sothoth's Ambient Mixtape - is an example of what I mean.



Today I'd like to draw your attention to some other tracks which also invoke the Mythos in their titles... and they do so with good reason.

Cryo Chamber bills themselves as a "Cinematic Dark Ambient" label, and these three releases really exemplify that ethos.

First, they've got two free (really, name-your-price) releases that you can pick up - Dark Ambient of 2014 and Dark Ambient of 2015. As with the others I'll recommend here in a second, they're long tracks, mixed into a seamless soundscape of ambient dread.

But these three albums that I'm really wanting to talk about ... they'll give you hours of this stuff, and are well worth every penny. I've embedded the large players, because the artwork is as stunning as the music.



Cthulhu is the shortest - and least expensive - of the three, at US$7. It's just over an hour and twenty minutes.



Azathoth is longer - about two hours, split over two tracks, and clocks in at US$9.



Nylarlathotep is a massive 190 minutes (and US$15) of skin-crawling ambient horror.

And here's the thing, folks. Whether it's in the horror I watch or read, and especially the music I listen to while writing, I do not want something that's full of jump scares. I want something that unsettles, something that takes the world we know and points out how it's just a little bit wrong. These albums do so in a masterful way.

Whether to blast out over the neighborhood while trick-or-treating, or for your haunted house party, or while you're writing (or reading) your favorite scary novel, these works are simply incomparable. Highly recommended.

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Music Review: VvvV "LP" (or "Untitled")

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TL;DR: In this release, VvvV provides a dark distorted reflection of the current synthwave revival while displaying their skill within the wide range of electronic subgenres.

I got a chuckle when the label said they weren't sure why they offered me an advance review copy of VvvV's upcoming untitled release, but after giving it several listen-throughs, it makes a degree of sense.  (So yeah, full disclosure - I got an advance review copy of this recording.)

To quote the blurb under "Clean" on Soundcloud:
Armed with Strings from Heaven, Organs from Hell and Oscillators from the deep and Beyond; VvvV are a 2 piece from Bordeaux, France. Their (typically) enigmatically untitled debut LP [will be] released November 19th by Detonic Recordings.
An Epic, Elegant and Brooding ColdWave/Synthpunk/Kraut tour de force:[sic] providing a sensory-enhanced immersion into their black chromed version of reality.

The first track I was exposed to was that Soundcloud release - check it out here:


The haunting vocals, simple but driving drum program, and atmospheric textures really spoke to me, hearkening back to the darkwave I fell in love with at the turn of the century but with a more modern feel. This is also the feel you'd get if you check out "Contracts" from VvvV's 2014 release, The Beast:


While several of the tracks on the new keep that same kind of dark atmospheric texture, but there's a lot more variation on this album than you'd expect from just those two samples. "Nation" is easily the noisiest track (and I mean that in the best possible way), coming within shouting distance of acts like Combichrist and God Module. "Like", "Your Life", and "The Beast" introduce a goth-like shimmery organ component. And the last two tracks - "Alive" and "Light" - shift into the territory occupied by the softer parts of VNV Nation's repertoire.

But really, this 2016 album hearkens even further back - and explains the #NewWave tag on the SoundCloud file for "Clean". About half of the album is a solid kind of alt-synthwave, reminiscent of what it might have been like if we ran into a dark timeline version of Devo and influenced by all the music that came after them.

This is really my only nitpick; while "Clean" is a very good track indeed, it's not what I would choose as the most representative track from the release.

Overall, the album showcases the group's range and ability to slide between this range of subgenres while still maintaining a recognizable and distinct sound - not an easy feat. While you'll almost certainly favor some of the tracks in your "favorite" subgenre, the whole release is a solid release.

You can pre-order the album ("LP" or "Untitled", depending on which you prefer) over on Bandcamp at https://detonicrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/vvvv-lp

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Trump was acting like an abuser at the debate last night. He definitely triggered me.

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There's a lot of very good commentary about exactly what happened Sunday night at the debate. Commentary about the issues and so on.

I don't usually make too big of a deal about the crap that I've dealt with in my life. But I have gone through some crap. And last night, while watching the debate, I felt ... strange at times. I felt upset, occasionally confused, and very, very anxious.

It took me a moment to realize that watching Donald Trump speak was, quite literally, triggering the emotional reactions from prior incidents in my life. That the things he was saying - the way he was saying them - was what was triggering my anxiety.

Again, in the greater scheme of things, I've not really been through a lot. I know quite a few people who are, right now, dealing with situations far worse than anything I dealt with.

So I wrote this on social media:


I realize that me simply saying this probably isn't enough for those who haven't experienced this kind of thing. So below, I present several representative comments (that I also retweeted) that really highlight why Donald Trump's behavior at the debate was so upsetting.

Sometimes the comments are dead serious. Sometimes there's a comedic element to them.

Make no mistake, though. These behaviors are patterns with him and with far too many other people. They are not acceptable. They are not okay.

We will not be silent. We are your bad conscience.

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There's Supporting the Military and Then There's SAYING You Support The Military

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https://medium.com/@chrismaley/donald-trumps-non-military-militarism-should-terrify-you-5beb2a19cf9d#.hghdichxj
This article this image goes with
( http://bit.ly/2dINPoe) is kind of terrifying, BTW.

I posted about Donald Trump's bragging about sexual assault on Facebook, and added a caption I copied from a friend of mine:

"I swear to science if one more person says 'Hillary is just as bad' I will hulk out."

Which, of course, meant that a friend-of-a-friend (who is also prior service) decided to bring up Benghazi.

A bunch of mutual friends posted replies before I got to it, but I wanted to share mine here.
I'm going to say this as a former soldier to another one: Remember Tailhook? Remember the scandals with drill sergeants in TRADOC? Those were just the big ones while I was enlisted.

Bragging about sexually assaulting women - especially from someone who wants to be CiC - sends a very specific message that such behavior is OKAY. And when you've got 16% of your armed forces seeing such behavior defended as "okay", that does a HELL of a number on mission readiness.

We can talk about which party has done more for the military or vets (hint: Wearing a lapel pin doesn't count, denying climate change while DoD realizes the need and benefits of adapting to new realities doesn't help, and sending troops to do missions they're not trained for sure doesn't help), but the fact of the matter is, you're trying to deflect a question of sexual assault by saying it's about service to the military. And you're not correct *there* either.

Aside from the bait-and-switch lack of an argument that guy tried, there's another reason I wanted to bring this up.  This is part of a pattern that's been disturbing me for a long time.  Specifically, that supporting the military has been less important to the loudest people out there than appearing to support the military.

This isn't some quick semantic difference, either. This is an important difference. It's the same difference that led me to write about the ways injured trainees were treated during my time at Fort Leonard Wood. Ways that hurt the military as a whole.

It's the difference between obsessing over a single incident and recognizing that we already learned that demeaning and dehumanizing large portions of your active duty military does not support the armed forces. (Edit: I was pointed to this article, illustrating that The Donald explicitly did not learn this lesson.)

It's the difference that led to me being heckled by well-dressed young men in a SUV while I protested the second Gulf War. The same young, well-dressed men who insisted they had more important things to do than to go enlist.

Of course, we probably should have expected that from another well-to-do person, who, as a young man, used four deferments (for bone spurs that didn't seem to impact his athletic performance) to avoid actually serving.

I'm not the most hawkish person out there. (Though I've surprised some of my friends in the past.)

But dammit, I am sick and tired of the military and vets being waved around by people and groups that don't actually do a damn thing to support it.

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SOLVED: Command line BPM (beats per minute) Analysis in Linux

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Here's a quick programming thing to help the many many many people looking for an easy way to analyze beats-per-minute (or BPM) on linux.

I'd been using an old version of MixMeister's BPM analyzer (free old version still available if you search) under WINE, but it would sometimes choke on my large music collection.  And I've been playing with music files for a while; surely there was a better solution?

Well, sort of.  I found bpm-tools (in Debian's package manager, homebrew, and quite possibly yours as well), which seemed like it'd do the job nicely. It even seems to be a bit more accurate than what I'd been using, especially in the metal genre.

Until I discovered that it also blanked out the "genre" and "album cover" tags.

Well, that just won't do.

So I wrote a little bash wrapper script so that eyeD3 (which is also used for the simple_covers script) will do the checking for existent BPMs (and compare the results for you if they're really different), optionally not overwrite them, and write the BPM tag properly to the file.


It starts at the directory it's run from and gets all mp3s recursively. 

It has three optional switches:

  • --skip-existing saves on processor power by skipping those with BPM data
  • --save-existing is an optional switch; default is to overwrite tags
  • --quiet tries to minimize output to the terminal (eyeD3 may still output some)

You can get the script (it's part of the yolo-mpd repository on GitHub as well) at https://github.com/uriel1998/yolo-mpd#bpmhelpersh

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Can you help change someone's life with a few bucks (or just a few clicks)?

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Dear friends:

I'll be honest - I didn't think a powered wheelchair would make that big of a difference in someone's life.

I was wrong.

I found out how wrong I was when I read about Tiffany on my friend's GoFundMe page to get her a new powered wheelchair at http://bit.ly/tiffanyschair
 
Take a moment to head over there, read about it, and if you're able to, chip in a few bucks.

And whether you can help yourself or not, please take a few seconds to share this with others on social media. The links below will make it an easy one-click thing for you.

 It will really help if you *like* and *share* this picture on Facebook.

http://bit.ly/2dCo3RN

Because of the way Facebook ranks things, the more people who like and share a specific post, the more people will see it.

Thank you so much.

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Have you gotten your dose of literary weird?

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If you haven't checked in on recompose since the Kickstarter, we've got two "official" issues under our belt, and (including #0), almost eighty pages of content.

Not bad for a magazine focusing on poetry and flash fiction.

We've continued to provide a free preview at recompose.press, or you can get the full issues at the links below. It's worth noting that if you buy the issues below, the funds are earmarked for the next volume of issues of this magazine.

Issue #0 - Indescribable Ossuary:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dBW6K8
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2dnBXrq
Play: http://bit.ly/2diWuld

Issue #1 - Tropospheric Scofflaw:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dBXht0
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2diXmWR
Play: http://bit.ly/2dnBiXe

Issue #2 - Ritualistic Pompadour:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2dcUre5
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2diWjGC
Play: http://bit.ly/2dnBJRi

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