Anglo-Saxon art!

Nov. 27th, 2014 14:01
thnidu: A shield-shaped hunk of watermelon rind, with bits carved away to make 2 staring eyes and a mouth. By bensanaz (melonhead)
[personal profile] thnidu
(shamelessly ganked from [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith )

Just in case you thought only modern art needed a secret decoder ring, check out this Anglo-Saxon stuff.

The link is to a post on the British Museum blog, which begins thus:

Decoding Anglo-Saxon art
Rosie Weetch, curator and Craig Williams, illustrator, British Museum

One of the most enjoyable things about working with the British Museum’s Anglo-Saxon collection is having the opportunity to study the intricate designs of the many brooches, buckles, and other pieces of decorative metalwork. This is because in Anglo-Saxon art there is always more than meets the eye.

The objects invite careful contemplation, and you can find yourself spending hours puzzling over their designs, finding new beasts and images. The dense animal patterns that cover many Anglo-Saxon objects are not just pretty decoration; they have multi-layered symbolic meanings and tell stories. Anglo-Saxons, who had a love of riddles and puzzles of all kinds, would have been able to ‘read’ the stories embedded in the decoration. But for us it is trickier as we are not fluent in the language of Anglo-Saxon art.

And a couple of images to set the hook...

Early Anglo-Saxon brooch

Turning the brooch upside-down reveals four heads in profile on the rectangular head of the brooch, highlighted in purple.
[syndicated profile] thisaintliving_feed

Posted by s.e. smith

We live in a world surrounded by the great myth of free speech. Anyone can take up a blog, a microphone, an op-ed column, or any other tool and speak out, and others will listen. In the United States in particular, free speech is considered both a fundamental right and a key component of our national identity — speech can take so many forms, and all of them are important, from political commentary to pop culture criticism to expressing a personal opinion on tacos. We celebrate free speech, and decry attacks on the freedom of the press as well as individuals.

But can we say that speech is truly free in the US when so many people encounter death threats, rape threats, and other acts of terrorism in an attempt to silence them? Around the world, people who have spoken up against governments and in an attempt to fight for social movements have faced similar repression, both from their governments and from society in general. The US has condemned such cases, and in some cases has even threatened to go to war over them — the issue of free speech around the world is a subject the US government feels passionately about, and it’s one that comes up in foreign relations and other negotiations on a routine basis.

As a nation, we think ourselves superior to countries without free speech protections enshrined into their laws, and to nations where people cannot speak without great personal risk if they’re voicing minority opinions. We pride ourselves on being AMERICA, where all opinions are welcome and all voices have value, from the President’s addresses to the nation to the small, individual blogger with a handful of followers who wants to put forth a great idea. We believe in the possibility of free speech in a nation, in the power of being able to write, to protest, to comment, to create and respond.

Yet, speech in the US isn’t free when people are afraid to speak — this is a form of suppression that may not be addressed under the law (as only governments can commit censorship) but is no less important. If people cannot speak up about something because the personal risks are too high, their human rights are being infringed, whether a court or the government would agree that they deserve protections. Why aren’t these issues addressed, in this great nation of ours that claims to value free speech so much?

This is, of course, particularly striking when it comes to progressive commentary on social issues. It’s a particularly common issue for women, of course, who commonly find their speech suppressed. Let’s take, for example, a woman writing about pop culture who is repeatedly screamed down by people who don’t like her. That’s simple disagreement, and it’s not very polite, but there’s nothing about it that constitutes a particular violation, though she might not feel inclined to write when facing that level of vitriol on a regular basis.

But what about when that response starts to transition into something more sinister, with credible threats against her, her family, or her friends? What happens when her identity is outed, when people distribute her home address, when it becomes clear that she is at great personal risk, simply for speaking up? Many women go into hiding, valuing their security more than the possibility of being heard (an entirely legitimate respond, mind you), while others struggle to continue speaking out, to be open about the abuse they are enduring, and to get the issue addressed by law enforcement and social groups that claim to be invested in protecting free speech rights.

Curiously, the same kinds of people who deluge women like these are also the same people who scream ‘free speech!’ in comment threads where moderation is used to cultivate a productive discussion. They claim that free speech at all costs is critical to them, yet, when that speech goes against their own personal views, or cuts too close to the bone, they’re the first to engage in suppressive activity that is designed to push people into silence, or, in some cases, to silence them permanently; people in the US are absolutely murdered for speaking up for what they believe in, and they are raped, and they are otherwise punished for having voices and using them.

The disconnect between the claim that free speech is a fundamental value in the US, that everyone has an equal chance, that everyone can speak without fear of reprisal, and the facts of the situation on the ground, is striking. And telling. It’s dominant social groups who feel unafraid when it comes to raising their voices, while minorities fighting back on social issues and trying to construct a more just world are, of course, hung out to dry. When the crowds clamoring for free speech rights see someone being attacked, suppressed, and assailed, they look the other way, because that person’s speech isn’t to their taste.

I value free speech, intensely, as long as it doesn’t include hate speech and incitements to violence. It doesn’t always agree with me, and I can choose to not engage with it, or to criticise it, as case may be. But I don’t believe in suppressing speech — and I have (and will) ridden to the defense of people with opposing beliefs who are being threatened and shouted down by people who should know better.

Because we cannot truly have free speech in a world where if you don’t like what someone has to say, you can just hurl a threat at that person and call it good.

Image: A Soap Box., Matt, Flickr

the giving of thanks

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:35
silveraspen: lighthouse with beam against the sky at dusk (keep the light burning)
[personal profile] silveraspen
This has been a rough year for many, many people. On this Thanksgiving Day, I want you all to know that I am thankful for each and every one of you, who have made my life richer in so many ways. You are loved, and you are cherished.

* * * * * * *

Fire Dreams
(Carl Sandburg)

(Written to be read aloud, if so be, Thanksgiving Day)

I REMEMBER here by the fire,
In the flickering reds and saffrons,
They came in a ramshackle tub,
Pilgrims in tall hats,
Pilgrims of iron jaws,
Drifting by weeks on beaten seas,
And the random chapters say
They were glad and sang to God.

And so
Since the iron-jawed men sat down
And said, "Thanks, O God,"
For life and soup and a little less
Than a hobo handout to-day,
Since gray winds blew gray patterns of sleet on Plymouth Rock,
Since the iron-jawed men sang "Thanks, O God,"
You and I, O Child of the West,
Remember more than ever
November and the hunter’s moon,
November and the yellow-spotted hills.

And so
In the name of the iron-jawed men
I will stand up and say yes till the finish is come and gone.
God of all broken hearts, empty hands, sleeping soldiers,
God of all star-flung beaches of night sky,
I and my love-child stand up together to-day and sing: "Thanks, O God."

* * * * * * *

coconut milk

Nov. 27th, 2014 10:08
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Does coconut milk (the thickish stuff from a can) make decent chocolate milk with cocoa powder and honey, or would that be asking the liquid to hold too many things in suspension at once?

Wanting to eat pear gingerbread without grief, I've used coconut fat and milk in place of butter and cow milk this time on the suggestion of an experienced baker-friend, but now I have about 250 ml of fancy coconut milk left over. I've never had coconut milk in my home and don't want to waste it---tips would be welcome.

(Half-sized gingerbread recipe this time. Arithmetic is fun. It's because my mother didn't get to eat gingerbread at Reason's birthday party: it vanished too quickly.)

From Kate's brother

Nov. 27th, 2014 09:38
davidlevine: (Default)
[personal profile] davidlevine
Kate got this note from her brother:

Don't let this opportunity go unrealized:

Sudden craving for pad thai and pickles? "Brain Surgery"

Caught watching "My Pretty Pony"? "Brain Surgery"

Tell everyone it was a sunflower seed you put up your nose when you were four, or an absorbed twin.

When you come out of surgery, don't recognize anyone and claim your name is Ethel Shapiro.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

thanksgiving, 2014

Nov. 27th, 2014 09:34
metaphortunate: (Default)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
Ah, parenting small children on this particular Thanksgiving morning. Lazing about in bed, cuddling, being a wrestling referee ("NO BITING!") explaining that people want to shut down the Thanksgiving parade because the police keep killing black guys, explaining that their parents are sad and what death means. Relaxing!

And Rocket is cutting FOUR molars, poor little thing. No wonder he's been so fussy and demanding. I keep trying to tell myself that there will come a day when no one wants any of my time, and I probably won't be happy about that either, so I should try to enjoy this while I got it. True, I don't really want two or three decades of that, but could I have like a weekend of it right now, though?

The Junebug verbally asked me for a hug the other night, for the first time ever, though. It was wonderful, although also pretty funny, because I think the cunning little bugger played me. We were out getting burgers for dinner, and he went to grab my arm with his greasy little hands, and I said "DON'T touch my sweater with your greasy hands, you know the rule!" And he said "Mama, can I have a hug?" And I knew this was manipulation and you know what, it didn't matter. When they offer you the bait you want just that much, you see the hook and you take it anyway. Because it's worth it. Didn't even hesitate; hugged the crap out of him and he hugged me right back and I'm pretty sure I got grease and ketchup all over my sweater and in my hair and I didn't even care.

To be fair, it's not that he doesn't ask for cuddles. It's that the way he does it is, he says "I'm the lobster and you are the shark that ate me." - or the lion that ate him, or whatever. This means he will curl up on my lap in a little ball and I will wrap my arms around him and tell him that he's in my tummy and he was delicious. This is because no matter how Freudian my life gets, parenting is one long streak of the universe telling me it's just not Freudian enough yet.

Got to see some friends last weekend that I don't get to see nearly often enough, which was wonderful. Why is distance? :(

Rocket got his first haircut and I held him on my lap and he did not even cry once. He's a hero!
[personal profile] lady_curmudgeon
Harlow the Shelter Kitty makes his photographic debut to this journal! J caught Dorene, Lars, and Harlow all sitting calmly on my recliner in the den last night after I went to bed and managed to get a picture of it with his cell phone! :) Dorene's on top of the chair, Lars on the arm rest, and beefy Harlow is on the seat. This is the first time I've seen these three so close together without fussing with each other since we first left Harlow out of the safe room full time a few days ago. This is great!! :)

Dorene, Lars, and Harlow
settiai: (Leaves -- roxicons)
[personal profile] settiai
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it! Otherwise, have a great Thursday.

Despite being invited upstairs by the neighbors for dinner, I'm still spending the day cooking. Partly because I already bought all of the food (or started defrosting it yesterday before the invitation arrived), and partly because there's a good chance that -- other than walking upstairs later today -- I won't be leaving the apartment until Monday. Or, at the very least, Sunday. So, you know, food is good. And the roast needs to cook for 4-6 hours, so I'd like to get that out of the way. Reheating is perfect fine.

(Also, just in case something explodes at the last second, I'd like to still have food to eat. There's that too.)

I've got my roast on the stove, and I'll probably try to make that fudge pie to take upstairs in a little while. I probably won't make the baked and sweet potatoes until I actually plan on eating said food (which will probably be tomorrow?), and my corn is the kind that comes frozen in a bag so the same goes for it. I'm not sure about the rolls. I'd already started defrosting them before I was invited, and they don't do that well if they're defrosted for more than 24-48 hours. They might last until tomorrow...

In Memoriam

Nov. 27th, 2014 08:31
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 P.D. James, novelist (mysteries)


Nov. 27th, 2014 11:25
the_shoshanna: cartoon women sipping drinks together (sipping together)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
In the last decade or two, Thanksgiving was the biggest holiday of the year for my father. He would spend all day (and much of the day before) cooking, I always made the cranberry sauce, and the house would be filled with friends. The first couple of years after his death, my stepmother came up here to visit me and Geoff, because she didn't even want to be in the country for it.

This year she's volunteering at a community dinner, held in an excellent brewpub run by friends of hers: the perfect thing for her to do. (Also she had a huge snowfall and lost power, so it's good that she has a place to go!) And Geoff and I are going to go out for sushi.

This is the first year I've tried to buy something in one of the Black Friday (-ish) online sales, and I'm finding it unexpectedly stressful. The one I most wanted to catch seems to have opened a day earlier than I thought it would, and the thing I want is all sold out -- except that it came back into stock long enough for me to hit "add to cart," and then sold out again and disappeared from my cart before I could actually buy it. Now I'm sitting here -- well, walking here; I'm currently on the treadmill -- refreshing the page every couple of minutes; sometimes it shows in stock, but hitting "add to cart" always throws an error, and sometimes it shows sold out. Bah.

I did manage to get a present for my stepmother; the big irony is that the sites I'm checking for deals refuse to accept a credit card with a Canadian billing address, ARGH, so I had to call her up and ask to use her card for a -- thing! That I want! For myself! -- and promise to pay her back when I see her next month. (We were going to go down last weekend, but Geoff's grandfather's declining health meant we had canceled that plan even before he died.)

I am thankful that that's about the biggest problem I'm dealing with today. And for all my blessings, among which I never forget to include my friends.

(Especially when they give me salon etiquette advice! Thanks for bolstering my spine, guys.)

Thank Goodness for WiFi

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:27
archangelbeth: A spork with an ascii squinch-eyed face, and "iSpork" written below. (iSpork)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
And that a restaurant with WiFi is open.

We lost power yesterday, late afternoon. We still have no power. The ETA on regaining power is "several days" for the area.

...I am probably not going to bother updating bookwatch till I get power back. Then I will hopefully have huge jumps! Spend your Thanksgiving sampling books? O-:> #HaloOnnaStick

NOTE! As my ability to update may be erratic, if you have a dragon that needs care, check out ...

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

(no subject)

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:17
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I had two extra kids yesterday because Cordelia's best friend and her younger brother (I think he's eight now) came over for the day. Their parents were both working, and there was no school, so I offered to take them. It wasn't really a big deal except that I got nothing much done all day, but I probably wouldn't have gotten much done with just Cordelia, so... The other kids' mother sent pasta with spicy ground beef for lunch. Cordelia ate it but she complained that it was too spicy. The other two kids had seconds.

Scott was scheduled to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today, but when he called in to see if they needed him, the supervisor who answered told him to stay home. He's also not working on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so we've got the weekend to ourselves. I don't know what we'll accomplish. I'm opposed to shopping this weekend, but one of the things we need to do is to go to Value World, a used clothing store, to see if we can find dress up clothes for our three year old niece. I suppose a used clothing store isn't likely to be as difficult as, say, the mall, but I don't know that we want to do that this weekend.

Scott has made the apple pie we'll take to his parents' place. It's in the oven now. I have to start making the salad now that he's done with the big yellow bowl. It shouldn't take long. We bought a couple of bags of romaine and some radishes and a cucumber. I have to chop the radishes and the cucumber, but that's pretty easy. We'll take the leftover cucumber and radishes with us. They won't get eaten if we keep them.

I've suggested to Scott that he and Cordelia should go see Big Hero 6 on Friday afternoon. He likes the idea, but we don't know that Cordelia will. A lot will depend on whether or not we can find a friend to go with her. She doesn't want to do things like with her parents only. The main complicating factor for inviting someone along is that we don't have a school directory for this year yet. (I wonder if it would help to get one if I volunteered to help compile it?)


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