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flac  ·  35 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 16, 2019

Hey.

Something sad happened this weekend..

In the grand scheme of things, this building doesn't mean that much - it hasn't been a functioning theater for a few decades, and was close to falling down on its own anyway. I grew up right next door to it, and played in the park outside it every day. I threw rocks at it in middle school, broke into it in high school, and helped try to fix it in college. I spent weekends painting walls that were falling in on themselves, cataloging moldy costumes, laminating old playbills.

My family has run a theater program the last 5 years on the grounds of the theater, and have been trying to get the place opened up again, at least so people can see inside of it. They've had some success - we did a play last summer on the balcony of the theater, and opened it up for tours for the local schools. They both work full time jobs and put all their spare time and money into this program. They've gone to every town meeting for 5 years to try and get any support they can, with very little luck.

They stayed up all night to watch the fire, because what else can you do?

-----

I used to sneak out of my bed and sit on the roof with my brother when I was a kid so we could hear the shows they did on summer nights. We couldn't see anything through the trees, but we could hear the words, and my brothers tried to explain what was going on.

I was planning in getting married in the park. Just ordered invitations, too. Going to visit the wreckage this weekend and make some decisions.

Anyways, here's a song I wrote.

PS: the kicker is that at the last town meeting, people were talking about how now they could finally build condos there.

elizabeth  ·  78 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Are Gender Reveal Parties a Thing?

It’s just another excuse to do a party! Maybe i’m culturally unaware of traditions having grown up in a Russian household, but I feel there has been a proliferation of what I feel are corporation driven fake celebrations.

Take weddings with the engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, bridal luncheons... I feel that’s a bit too much. And they all have been codified with “what you’re supposed to do” down to the decorations and games. Has it always been like this and I was just oblivious?

I feel the same about the gender reveal parties. Feels like a fake occasion invented by the party industry. But maybe it’s just because it’s never been a thing in my culture and now I see my generation of people throwing these, with the parents a bit confused about what’s going on. I mean, I’m all about parties and I don’t want to rain on anybody’s parade. We all need excuses to get together with friends and family and enjoy each others company. But there is a lack of authenticity in the cookies cutter nature of these that rubs me the wrong way somehow. Maybe it has to do with the fact that a lot of them are centered around giving someone presents and not the actual occasion.

About the transgender standpoint, maybe I’m talking out of line here, but gender does matter! If it was all inconsequential, there would be no queer movement. Celebrating that you’re going to have a boy does not mean you will not be supporting them in whatever gender indentity they will later identify as.

elizabeth  ·  91 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How wombats make cube shaped poops

time for a new logo?

"Hubski: pushing out the dark"

bhrgunatha  ·  148 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Bill Cosby Sentenced to 3 to 10 Years in Prison

It does seem light, they could have appointed him to the supreme court and that's life.

Cumol  ·  140 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 3, 2018

Hubski. Yesterday, I was courageous!

On Monday evening a friend I know from Israel contacted me with the info that there have been two drug-related deaths at a festival in Israel and that her sister, a moderator at a national radio station, needs someone with expertise in harm reduction and drug checking to speak on her show.

My first reaction was "HELL NO!". The radio station she works for is one of the most listened to in the country and the time of speaking would be during lunch break. After 8pm, the second peak of listeners per day. In short, maaaaaany people would be listening.

Many fears came up. My hebrew is not good enough. The drug checking I am doing is - strictly speaking - illegal. I was afraid one of my parents or people I know from my home town might listen and what effects it might have... "Your son is talking about drugs on national TV!!"

Nevertheless, I agreed. After a quick 5 minute chat with one of the workers at the station that simply told me to "speak about what you know", it was set.

From that moment I was SO nervous! I started to read everything possible about what happened. Sadly, very little information was known at that point.

The next day, I was super nervous. The closer the interview came, the worse it got.

Then I got the call. I could hear the current live show running in the background and another voice talking to me. She verified who I was and asked me how I want to be introduced. I told them with my full name and profession.

A few minute later me and another guy were on air. First the other guy was speaking. Someone who attended the event and could answer general questions about what happened. I was getting more relaxed.

Then my turn came.... Honestly, I only have a vague recollection about what I said. I just remember three things.

1) When she asked "what is MD (slang for MDMA)?" I went on a full-blown neuroscientific response, just to realize halfways that nobody would understand me.

2) At some point I got nervous again and my voice got shaky. Which made me stutter.

3) After telling her about the drug checking action that I do, she asked "Isn't that illegal what you are doing?" I somehow got angry. Suddenly all the nervousness went away and with a clear voice I said "honestly, I don't know if it is legal or not. All I know is, if I have a way to stop someone from injuring themselves or dying, I would do it".

And with that, the interview ended. I was shaking for the next hour.

I felt so bad. So many things I could have told but didn't. All the little mistakes. I thought "Why wasn't I more prepared?".

Then I got a message from a friend that listened to the interview. She loved it. She loved the message and was happy to hear my voice through the radio :)

And I remembered, that for the first time, I showed a part of me to the broad public. Fully knowing what kind of consequences it could have.

I told my mother later. She was proud.

Quatrarius  ·  168 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: September 5, 2018

i am:

in college

making friends + meeting people

doing well in classes

feeling happy and confident, about myself and the things i'm doing

i have:

gone on a date with somebody (verdict: just friends)

gone to my first futbawl game (verdict: the student section is fun, but standing for 3 hours on concrete makes my feet hurt)

got invited to a linguistics research lab thing by a professor (verdict: very excited - first meeting on friday)

Thoughts

This is the happiest (and most consistently happy) that I can remember being, if not ever, then for a long time. I see no reason for things to get worse, and a lot of reasons for things to get better in the next little bit / the future.

(it's amazing how much easier things are when you consistently have energy and don't hate yourself)

Life is goodski.

swedishbadgergirl  ·  156 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear Hubski, how have the past 2 years been for you people?

I have no idea were to start. 2 years is a long time when you are 20.

But eh, yesterday I openly challenged the unofficial leader of the local county wing of my party. Well, my previous party. I did say that I would leave if the members approved the suggestion that he get a mandate to completely on his own negotiate with the other parties.

6-4 was the result. And that isn't bad for a first try. It was very clear it was him or me, and that it was almost even is something I am very proud of. I argued my position for one and a half hour. With no support.

I didn't win. But I did try.

And I was extremely cool.

Doing this kind of thing is literally a childhood dream of mine.

And the local wing of the party that is next most ideologically similar to mine has accepted me with open arms. Especially as I say that I am a very ideological person.

So doing something even cooler than I thought possible at 14 is a very, very nice feeling.

kleinbl00  ·  152 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Everything You Know About Obesity is Wrong

    How does obesity happen?

Pearl Harbor. Walk with me.

______________________________________________________

There are well-known and less-well-known consequences of American involvement in WWII. It's common knowledge that the eventual nuclear annihilation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki set up the Cold War which was the ultimate battleground between capitalism and communism. Less well-known is the fact that the United States didn't ultimately win the war because of the atom bomb but because of our powers of industrial and agricultural production.

Marc Reisner argued that the Army Corps of Engineers won WWII with Grand Coulee Dam. It produced an impossible surplus of power when it was brought online; it had no customers. Then the war broke out and Americans were able to refine aluminum (an electrically-intensive process; the Intalco plant in Blaine, WA uses more electricity than Los Angeles) at a fraction of the price of anyone else in the world.

But in addition to aluminum, the impossible edge in oil refining really took off in WWII. Germany ground to a halt when we took their oil fields in North Africa. Meanwhile our fields in California and Texas turned out gasoline in quantities unmatched anywhere else in the world. And when you make gas, you can also make fertilizer. And when you've converted the Great American Desert to "the Heartland" you make food. You make food that travels. You make corn, potatoes and rice. And you feed that corn and rice to chickens, cows and pigs. And you drop food on the Russians, you drop food on the Chinese, you ship food to England and Australia, and while Germany and Japan are wracked with famine you share your American bounty around.

An interesting side note: because it was a Japanese attack, the safe thing to do, obviously, is lock up all the Japanese. Especially as they're sitting on a bunch of plum farmland on the West coast. You know, the one closest to the Japanese Empire. The one full of refugees from the Dust Bowl. Itinerant farmers from the South and the Midwest who came to California and starved because there are only so may people to pick oranges and strawberries. The ones who will thank you and vote for you and keep growing oranges and strawberries and everything else on formerly-Japanese farms they bought for pennies on the dollar when their original owners get shipped off to Manzanar.

So now Europe is in ruins and the Marshall Plan is going to make everything better. Ship that food out. Soft power! But it's got to travel. Hedgerow to Hedgerow we'll even push the Soviets around by selling it when they behave and withholding it when they don't. But it's got to travel. So corn, rice, soy and potatoes are food. We'll do anything we can to grow more food so that we can influence the behavior of the world with food. We'll subsidize the shit out of food so that everyone is growing food. Meanwhile those now-rich farmers on the West Coast who are growing carrots and olives and lettuce and spinach and oranges and apples? Yeah, they don't need any competition. They don't grow food because then those uppity black folx might go into competition with them for the high-value stuff. So they grow specialty crops. And it's assigned a fair market value.

A market value that goes up because you don't need to eat "specialty crops," not really. After all, the Irish subsisted off of potatoes and potatoes are food. And corn can be made into anything, man. It can be made into sugar - sugar that's way cheaper than cane sugar! It can be fed to cows - way cheaper than grass! It can be fed to chickens! Pigs are less likely to eat it, so pig farming largely goes away (it's come back with a vengeance because the Chinese have a preference for pork but as a foodstuff it's consumption by Americans has plummeted). But Americans eat corn, and things that eat corn, and there's so much excess corn and rice and soy when we're not shipping it all over the world to cajole our foreign policy needs through soft power that there are entire divisions of the USDA trying to figure out what to do with all the stuff.

And you know capitalism. Make more money. Finished products make more money than raw ingredients; you'll get so much more for a box of macaroni and cheese than you will for wheat and milk. Process the shit out of it and it'll keep forever. Process the shit out of it and it'll travel far. Process the shit out of it and you can turn it into whatever flavor you want it to be. Process the shit out of it and you can sell it to anyone, anywhere forever.

Somewhere around here we've got an article that argues the dominant species on earth isn't humans, it's corn. After all, we've basically given over our food production to it. A Wendy's meal, if I recall correctly, was ultimately about 80% corn (including the French fries). And against that we've got "specialty crops" that we have to refrigerate to get them across country and there are vast swaths of the US where "specialty crops" aren't even sold because it's so easy and cheap to get food. A box of Little Debbie snack cakes costs less than a head of lettuce. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will keep you alive if you're starving. And a box of Little Debbie snack cakes will sit on the shelf for nine months or more and nobody will be the wiser. The power goes out on that head of lettuce and it's garbage before morning.

And it's fuckin' lettuce.

Meanwhile we're all working harder for less, working longer for less, driving farther for less. The calories are easy and the nutrition is hard and that's before you recognize that we've arranged our entire food economy around food not "specialty crops." Reuters pointed out yesterday that one in three workers also has some form of job in the gig economy; even if we're working 40 hours a week (we're not, we're working 47) we're also filling our spare time with TaskRabbit, with Uber, with Mechanical Turk. And as humans, we're biologically programmed to pack on pounds when we're stressed because stress means starvation. I think it was Richard Wrangham who pointed out that there have only been about 125,000 generations since homo habilus split off from Australopithecus. Homo Sapiens is only 7500 generations. Go to Mile High Stadium, start "The Wave" and by the time it makes its way back round to you, the person next to you is a Neanderthal.

So here we are. Impossibly cheap calories, impossibly sedentary lifestyles, impossible stressors. Fight or flight doesn't care if it's a mastodon or an impending bankruptcy they'll both keep you up at night. At least if it's a mastodon you can run. We can't. So we get fat. And because we're Americans, and we've got a nice Protestant work ethic, and because we're rugged individualists, if you're fat it's a personal failing. Society hasn't let you down, the system hasn't failed you, you're a glutton and you should feel bad.

    Is there any solution?

Well, I'd start with

1) Take it the fuck easier on the poor and lower middle class.

2) Prioritize nutrition over calories. Know who used to be in charge of school nutrition? The goddamn Department of Defense. Then Nixon kicked 'em out and Reagan categorized ketchup as a fruit.

3) Make healthcare a nonprofit industry again. Know what's stupid cheap? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know what's crazy expensive? The time of medical professionals. Know where you can't make any money? Diet, exercise and sleep. Know where your profit centers are? Prescription drugs.

Weight Watchers costs around $700 a month - including food. They get an extra $13 a week to tell you "atta boy! You're doing good!" Insulin costs around $500 a month. No food. Insurance pays for insulin, usually. It rarely pays for Weight Watchers. Can you imagine what our society looked like if we had, you know, nutrition?

The fundamental basis of this article is "we know how to make people healthier, but we don't give a shit." I think it's more than that. It's more than tradition. It's that in order to solve the problem, we have to break capitalism.

And nobody wants to break capitalism.

cgod  ·  265 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: PSA: The hubwheel is not a "like" button.x 2

The clicking of the hubwheel is a deeply personal decision of which any one else's dogmatic or relavatory advice should be considered purely advisory.

flac  ·  273 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 23, 2018x 7

Engaged.