Why I will not Watch World War Z

1:26 PM Posted In , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
The book was written documentary style as a series of oral interviews of survivors a decade after the end of the war.  The result is a rich tapestry of people from all over the world, all different lifestyles, and different stories to tell.  Ultimately, this presents a critique on the flaws of our society and government today, with a vision of how things could be, even after apocalyptic conditions.  For example, conflict in the Middle East is resolved in light of the greater threat, the US forgoes its imperialism, and international bureaucracy and politics are virtually non-existent.
The movie, on the other hand, is reduced to the narrative of one person: Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator.  The horrors and experiences of an entire world are condensed in the body of a white, heterosexual, cis male.  We go from having vivid snapshots of individuals from around the world with names like General Raj-Singh, Dr. Kwang Jinshu, Nury Televaldi, Fernando Oliveira, Saladin Kadar, and Father Sergei Ryzhkov to Thierry Umutoni, Jurgen Warmbrunn (played by a white actor), Segen, and Tommy as the few named characters who are not white.
In the movie, the "least-white" area that our hero visits is South Korea.  (Don't even get me started on how the origin of outbreak was moved from China to Russia for fear of offending someone).  The other stops on his world tour?  Philadelphia, New York, Jerusalem, Cardiff, and Nova Scotia.  So not only are the stories of others written out of the plot, but evidently so is the entire rest of the non-white, non-US allied world.  Kind of hard to call it World War Z, eh?
What it really boils down to is that they gutted a wonderful social commentary in order to create a cookie-cutter action film wank-fest for dude-bros.  The trailers make it rather hard to see the zombies around the close-ups of Brad Pitt.  It's sad that they took zombie culture, really a criticism of society itself, in order to sterilize, package, and market it for what Hollywood thought would "best" and least offensive.  It's the undead eating the living.  It's meant to be offensive.

10:13 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Am I nuts enough to attempt to design and create a cosplay for my PFS character at PaizoCon in less than a week?  Yes, I am.

Man Chalks Pro-Health Care Message On Sidewalk, Gets Arrested For Writing ‘Derogatory Remark’

1:02 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
"A health care activist in Pennsylvania was arrested Wednesday night for writing a message in sidewalk chalk protesting the governor’s decision to block health care for 700,000 residents in the state. Like many Republican governors around the country, Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) has opposed expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania..."
There is no such thing as free speech anymore.

GMO Sugar Beets Destroyed in Oregon

11:09 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
"Federal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.
The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta."

The Badpiper Thunderstruck

11:02 AM Edit This 0 Comments »

Worker Sues Employer For The Death Of Her Baby

10:56 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
"Reyna Garcia, a 30-year-old woman who works for the California grocery chain Albertsons, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the company refused to accommodate her pregnancy, which led to the death of her baby, the Huffington Post reports. In her complaint, she says “that she presented her superiors with three separate doctor’s notes explaining her high-risk pregnancy and asking that her job duties be restricted,” the Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson reports. Her role as merchandise manager involves loading and unloading pallets of heavy goods, climbing ladders, and moving pallet jacks carrying hundreds of pounds of product. She told her store manager that she has a history of pre-term delivery, but her requests to be shifted to lighter duty at the deli counter or in customer service were denied, her complaint states. She kept working because she couldn’t afford to lose the income and health insurance."
Since I moved to Canada, I have to come to realize more than ever before that the US treats human life as an expendable commodity.

The Five Craziest Reactions To The Marriage Equality Rulings

11:36 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
Including beastiality, polygyny, and the Christian apocalypse.

How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today

10:35 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
"Monday was a great day for sexual harassers and for bosses who retaliate against workers claiming discrimination. The rest of us did not fare so well in the Supreme Court."

Prepping for Summer LARPing

8:00 AM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
While summer may have already hit some parts of the continent, the northern Pacific coast is still taking it's sweet time, as usual.  Here are some ideas on how to get you prepared.
1.  Water
     When in doubt, drink more water.  My gnome wizard carries a leather water bottle on her belt, and I cannot tell you how much I love that thing.  My healer has a knitted cozy for hers.  I also make all my potions out of mini water bottles to make sure that people get water and because some people in my group can't have energy drinks, are diabetic, etc.
2.  Sunscreen
     There's no reason not to us it.  Use a stronger SPF than you think you need as it might get sweated/washed off or you might not have a chance to reapply.  I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch because I hate greasy lotions and makeup/prosthetics can be applied over it.
3.  Bugspray
     Mosquitoes were so bad this last weekend, that I killed at least 20 of them that were trying to eat one of my friends through his t-shirt.  I use all-natural, citronella based bugspray, and got away with only two bites where I forgot to apply it.  Being the only one who thought to use it, I'm tempted to start selling it on-site by the spray or by the bottle.

Latrines and the LARPer

4:07 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
If you're in town, answering nature's call isn't that big of a deal.  But say you're in the back end of 40 acres and have to hold your position and bladder, what do you do?  A couple of people (of both genders) I know hold it all day long, which is unhealthy and not an option for some.  Luckily for you, I spent a couple years on trail crew and experienced in no-trace camping where the closest flush-toilet was eight hours away.  (We would even swap stories around the campfire of what was the best natural alternative to toilet paper, and the most comfortable positions to assume).  With a couple supplies, and some knowledge, you can mark your territory with ease.
1.  Hand sanitizer
     While on-site, I carry this on me at all times.  The 2 oz. bottle is discreet, and can be easily palmed in order to prevent breaking character.  (Bonus: I get the larger sizes because they're cheaper, and refill my little bottle).
2.  Tissues
    Even if you don't plan on needing to find a bush, sometimes the latrines are out of toilet paper or someone is simply having an allergy attack.  Keep a handful in a pouch or a closeable pocket to prevent wetting or soiling before you intend to wet or soil them.
Once you have an attempt at the trappings of civilization, familiarize yourself with poison oak/ivy/sumac (depending on your region) and stinging nettle.  Even if you do not react to urushiol, you and your gear can spread the oil to others, which can be dangerous.  For example, every time that I'm exposed to it, I end up on steroids because my eyes and airways swell shut.  So be careful.
Now to pick a tree or bush free of poison ivy/oak/sumac, stinging nettle, and brambles that is a sensible distance away from bodies of water and the trail.  (Nobody wants to step in your mess, nor have the swimming hole contaminated).  With a sturdy stick, dig a "cathole" deep enough to suit your needs.  If it's #1, only a few inches is necessary.  For #2, six inches is ideal.  Set your stick aside as you will use it to push the soil back over your nightsoil.
Before you can assume the position, ensure that all your pouches, weapons, clothing, and other dangly bits are tucked away out of the line of fire.  Since both of my characters wear skirts/robes, I pull the bottommost hem (usually my chemise) up around my waist and draw the excess to the front.  In this process my overskirt, pouches, and weapons are safely enveloped in my skirts.  When it comes to pants you might be better off just removing your belt.
Get comfortable.  I typically just squat in a wide stance, ensuring that the topography won't funnel anything back onto my shoes.  The bulk of my skirts are sandwiched between my torso and my thighs.  If it's a big job, then you may wish to grab the backs of your ankles or, if the land slopes steeply enough, you can put your hands uphill behind you to support yourself.
When your deposit's been made, use as little tissue possible.  (Animals can dig it up and eat it, making them sick).  If you're feeling particularly adventurous and recognize poison ivy/oak/sumac, experiment with plants.  My days on trail crew gave me an appreciation for young sage leaves, soft and sweet-smelling.  A second close is pine needles, taking care to use them with the grain, not against.  If you're careful, rounded river rocks work well for #2.  Just do not use sandstone, as one of my old crewmates learned the hard way.
Sort out your clothing and squirt some hand sanitizer.  Take the stick you set aside before and use it to scrape the displaced earth back into the hole.  If you were unable to dig very deep, place a big rock over it.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it's mostly thinking about what you're doing when it comes to both yourself and your surroundings.  But if you happen to use a she-wee, let me know what you think.

12-Year-Old Girl Kicked Off Football Team Because Boys Had ‘Impure Thoughts’ About Her

11:58 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the 7th-grade football team, even though she started on the sixth-grade team and has been playing football since second grade. The reason she won’t be allowed on the field? Because her male teammates are beginning to have "impure thoughts" about her.

11 Ways to be a Better Roleplayer

6:05 PM Posted In , , Edit This 0 Comments »
In some people’s eyes, I break #7 by knitting.  Not intricate lace or anything, basically TV knitting.  But it helps me deal with anxiety, and I have no problem telling people to kindly fuck off.

3:14 PM Posted In , Edit This 0 Comments »
Today, I was compared to a roll-your-own cigarette: filter-less.

Let's Support Life by Selling Machines Designed to Kill!

10:07 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Anti-Abortion Group In Ohio Is Fundraising By Selling Assault Rifles

Maine Governor Blacklists Newspapers for Exposing Scandal

9:55 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Maine Governor Blacklists Newspapers After They Expose Administration’s Anti-Environment Commissioner

Don't forget to always check the teeth before buying!

3:18 PM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
This commercial has been playing constantly for the past few months, and it drives me up a wall.
1. She ignores her friends with whom she’s having coffee to preen for a stranger.
     Woman: “That’s a nice argument for deficit spending, but…  Ooh, man!  Drop everything!”
     Woman’s Friend: “But what about your career?”
     Woman: “BLASPHEMER!”
2.  Her solution for getting his attention is by having blindingly white teeth,  instead of, oh I dunno, perhaps saying, “Hello”?
    Woman’s Friend: “Why don’t you offer to buy him a coffee?”
    Woman: “Because he might think I’m a slattern who can fend for herself?  Who would want to marry someone like that?”
3.  Who would want to date, let alone marry, someone who’s so shallow that they judge you based on the colour of your bone structure?
      Man’s friend: “Why don’t you go say ‘hi’?”
      Man: “Ew, no.  Have you seen the colour of her teeth?  I bet you don’t check the teeth before buying a horse, either.”
4.  Call me crazy, but someone who fantasizes about getting married and having children before even knowing my name would result in a perfect cut-out silhouette of my body in the nearest wall, leaving only a puff of smoke behind me.
     Woman’s Friend: “Why don’t you try seeing if you anything in common first?  Like maybe attraction to the opposite gender?”
     Woman: “Nonsense.  My teeth shine brightly enough to turn anyone straight!”

Medieval leprosy genomes shed light on disease's history

1:46 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Leprosy, a devastating chronic disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium leprae, was prevalent in Europe until the late Middle Ages. Today, the disease is found in 91 countries worldwide with about 200,000 new infections reported annually.

The First Vikings

1:43 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Two remarkable ships may show that the Viking storm was brewing long before their assault on England and the continent