I am struck occasionally, usually while snuggling the cat, with our faith in domestication.

The cat is a small, ferocious predator, twelve pounds of…well, flab and fur, frankly, in Athena’s case, but what muscle there is is strong all out of proportion to her size. I have watched three 150+ primates try and fail to subdue a ten pound cat, and consider it not at all unusual. The cat is as flexible as a snake and as strong as an ox. She has quite dainty looking teeth and claws, but there’s nothing dainty about their ability to flay flesh from bone.

If the cat and I were in a duel to the death, I would almost certainly win. I am 15+ times larger than she is, after all, and while my teeth and claws are pathetic, I have prehensile hands capable of doing terrible things. But if I had to go in naked, as the cat does, (and assuming the cat was aware that she was going to have to kill me, and not taking a nap in the corner) I can pretty much guarantee it would be a Pyhrric victory. I’d look like I’d gone ten rounds with a wolverine. I would need stitches. A lot of stitches. Possibly a glass eye. And antibiotics by the truckload. It’d be a mess, and there would even be a chance of an upset if the cat managed to go face-hugger on me.

And yet, despite the knowledge of the shocking amount of damage my small predator could inflict, it never occurs to me to worry. I pick the cat up and she tucks her head under my chin and purrs, canine teeth centimeters from my jugular, and despite the fact that I am carrying a ruthless carnivore in a position where she could, with great ease, remove me from the gene pool, I am thoroughly content with the world. Even knowing full well that cats are not even a truly domesticated animal, that Athena’s kin might best be described as “consistently tamed,” my greatest concern is that my black tank top is now coated in white cat hairs.

We have such faith in the process of domestication, despite the sheer unnaturalness of what’s happening. Small predators do not curl up on the chests of large primates and purr in the wild. And yet, every now and again, generally when my small predator is purring on the chest of this particular primate, I think How strange, how strange… that we’re doing this, and even stranger, that we both take it completely for granted, and find nothing unusual in such a completely unlikely alliance.

Ursula Vernon (via aliothturtle)

(via befrecktaling)

Source: fuckyeahursulavernon


Always auto-reblog for RBG.

gaypocalypse:

Diane Sawyer: So, have you thought, how many women is enough? How many women [on the Supreme Court] would be enough?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Nine, nine. [Applause.]
Sawyer: Oh! Oh. [Laughs.]
Ginsburg: Well, there’ve been nine men there for a long long time, right? So why not nine women?

(x)

(via befrecktaling)

Source: gaypocalypse


If noraleah hasn’t seen this yet, I’d be amazed.

photojojo:

Behold, the first ever elephant selfie! Scott Brierley was admiring the elephants at a safari park outside of Worcestershire, England when he unexpectedly dropped his phone.
Brierley thought the phone was a goner, but after a few days it was returned with this glorious photo in his camera roll.
The First Ever Elephant Selfie
Thanks Laurel!

If noraleah hasn’t seen this yet, I’d be amazed.

photojojo:

Behold, the first ever elephant selfie! Scott Brierley was admiring the elephants at a safari park outside of Worcestershire, England when he unexpectedly dropped his phone.

Brierley thought the phone was a goner, but after a few days it was returned with this glorious photo in his camera roll.

The First Ever Elephant Selfie

Thanks Laurel!

Source: photojojo


Meghan does this with our books and it used to drive me nuts.  If Nate Silver does it, though, I know she must be on to something.

peterwknox:

shareyourshelf:

(via FiveThirtyEight | What the Fox Knows)
Nate Silver:
The books in my office — I have about 500 — are arranged by color. It’s quite aesthetically pleasing. It’s not all that convenient, however, when I have to track down a book. I have to remember its color, or I have to scan through every row and column of the shelf. The color-coding system is perhaps a little better as an organizational method than shelving the books at random, but not a lot better. Still, with 500 books, it’s a manageable problem. In the worst case, I might spend a few minutes looking for a book. I’m willing to make that trade in exchange for having a prettier bookshelf.
But what if instead of having 500 books, I had 50,000, or 50 million? At that point, I’d need a more rigorous approach toward classifying the books — alphabetical order, or the Dewey decimal system, or whatever else. Otherwise, I might spend hours trying to find my copy of “What It Takes.”

Leave it to Nate Silver to bring back SYS for a post or two.

Meghan does this with our books and it used to drive me nuts. If Nate Silver does it, though, I know she must be on to something.

peterwknox:

shareyourshelf:

(via FiveThirtyEight | What the Fox Knows)

Nate Silver:

The books in my office — I have about 500 — are arranged by color. It’s quite aesthetically pleasing. It’s not all that convenient, however, when I have to track down a book. I have to remember its color, or I have to scan through every row and column of the shelf. The color-coding system is perhaps a little better as an organizational method than shelving the books at random, but not a lot better. Still, with 500 books, it’s a manageable problem. In the worst case, I might spend a few minutes looking for a book. I’m willing to make that trade in exchange for having a prettier bookshelf.

But what if instead of having 500 books, I had 50,000, or 50 million? At that point, I’d need a more rigorous approach toward classifying the books — alphabetical order, or the Dewey decimal system, or whatever else. Otherwise, I might spend hours trying to find my copy of “What It Takes.”

Leave it to Nate Silver to bring back SYS for a post or two.

Source: fivethirtyeight.com



The Other Bridge: Hello, Legislators of Sacramento,My name is San Francisco-Oakland Bay...

sfbaybridge:

Hello, Legislators of Sacramento,

My name is San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. No, not a person with a strange name, but the structure itself. I figured out how to communicate with the people who use me by way of Twitter three years ago, and that has been very fulfilling, and now I’m…

My favorite bridge, speaking from its heart.

Source: sfbaybridge


Offices don’t want honest, proactive square pegs walking around, making noise about more efficient ways of doing things. They want passive-aggressive, bullshitty round pegs that will fit neatly into arbitrary, inefficient, “team-oriented” round-hole roles.
How true, how true.

(via befrecktaling)

Source: dignityisforotherpeople


Welcome to post-Constitutional America
By Peter Van Buren, salon.com
The Manning trial finished what the Patriot Act began — and ushered in a new era of US politicsOn July 30, 1778, the Con­ti­nen­tal Con­gress cre­at­ed the first whistle­blow­er pro­tec­tion law, stat­ing “that it is the duty of all per­sons i…

 normally don’t post things like this, but this is a must-read.  Read the whole thing, and follow the embedded links, even though it gets scary.

Welcome to post-Constitutional America
By Peter Van Buren, salon.com

The Manning trial finished what the Patriot Act began — and ushered in a new era of US politics

On July 30, 1778, the Con­ti­nen­tal Con­gress cre­at­ed the first whistle­blow­er pro­tec­tion law, stat­ing “that it is the duty of all per­sons i…

normally don’t post things like this, but this is a must-read. Read the whole thing, and follow the embedded links, even though it gets scary.


TIME TRAVELS

thetuesdayten:

Time travels. 

The first in a series of pieces on travel for Fast Company, Faris explores what it’s like to work in a global market where time is relative and requires constant juggling.

…I can’t just wait until I get home, since I don’t know when or even where that will be.

…Are you playing catch-up, or enjoying a few hours head start every day? Is the call 2 p.m. my time or yours?

This.

I’ve tried so many times to explain to people, usually unsuccessfully, that this is what stresses me out when I’m not in the office.   It’s not so much that I am constantly “on call” that creates stress, it’s that I have to be ready to adapt and synchronize to whatever working hours happen to be the “present” for my clients and/or colleagues, instantly upon their demand.  That means most of the time I have to achronotize, to be “outside” of time, and can never be in the here-and-now.

So far, I’m trying to combat it by predicting what things people will need when (which is exhausting in itself) and also by trying to hone my ability to compartmentalize in smaller time increments — where I used to need a non-work activity to last a few hours for me to fully focus on it, now I can turn off my work-brain and dive in to activities lasting as little as 15 minutes, such as getting coffee or ice cream, though this also costs some energy and effort.  It also takes a toll on my relationships — when friends and family experience me being present and attentive for 15 minutes, they expect that to continue for awhile, and it can be upsetting to them when I switch back to work mode so quickly.

Source: thetuesdayten


Almost 50 percent of respondents who feel least rushed and who also feel least excess time report being “very happy”, almost twice as high as the rest of the US public. It is an elite group, making up less than 10 percent of the population. They not only seem happier by ignoring the “rat race” and subscribing to a philosophy of “Don’t hurry, be happy,” but by organizing their lifestyles to minimize spells of boredom and lack of focus as well. Thus, there seems dysfunction in having either too much or too little free time. In a society that otherwise seems obsessed with speed and the latest IT gadgets, this would seem to offer a path to a more contented lifestyle.
Since starting my new job a few weeks ago, I’m a true believer. I had a lot more free time before that, but I was more bored as well. Now I’m well on the road to being rushed just enough.

(via thetuesdayten)

Source: scientificamerican.com


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