Blunt responses to transphobia 

My old college has become embroiled in The Great Washroom Debate, and released some helpful signage to assist people who may find themselves confused in this trying time.

Oh, but the best part about shamefully forgetting The Protomen exist is the joy of stumbling across them again.

"We will build cities in a day.
(Men would cower at the sight.)
We will build towers to the heavens.
(Man was not built for such a height.)
We will be heroes.
(We will build heroes.)"

youtube.com/watch?v=vgGYwXYt3J

Politics, wild animals 

Foxes have begun to invade electoral stats. I'm not sure who to blame, but I am fairly certain they're around here somewhere.

Canadian Electoral Reform 

New polls:
angusreid.org/electoral-reform

I wish to emphasize how endlessly magnanimous the left must be for not responding to this by running around yelling 'VINDICATION' in their best Captain Holt impression.

Y'know, in public, anyways.

BUT, as much as I might not mind a solid five minutes worth of all of Canada collectively stoning the Conservatives on account of the massive blatant hypocrisy in this sudden reversal of opinion, I'd much rather pass this off as a mysterious but well founded epiphany and agree to never speak of the timing again - should it end with electoral reform.

No promises there, not yet - the Conservative leadership certainly hasn't budged - but those are some big ol' super majorities in favour for basically every party, and an "I'll take it" majority for the libs. Time to see where this goes.

Well, the CBC just spent 15 minutes detailing how Bernier Maxime, Canada's casual flirtation with extreme right politics, failed to secure even his own seat and never broke out of single digit percentages for any other.

I will forgive you if you imagine this as a series of hosts mutely making their best attempts at shocked expressions for a quarter of an hour before cutting to something that could credibly be called news.

Git awooed

Why does a public still matter?
Spoiler: beyond books, it's making and available to all, not just the rich & clever.
youtube.com/watch?v=dPb9o3uDF_ (5m)

Ottawa Grows Up 

Bonus gifv of the underground section courtesy of u/Requins over on the Ottawa subreddit.

Tiny, but fierce. Apparently they hit a train every 4 minutes on launch day.

i.imgur.com/QxZfOGO.gifv

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Ottawa Grows Up 

Suddenly, TRAINS.

i.imgur.com/ybENVYD.jpg

Mixed reviews the first day, sure, sure, things are a little buggy on the commute, Ottawa needs to learn boarding etiquette, but it's two days old. The planned rejiggering of the bus lines won't even kick in until October 6th. But TRAINS. We have become a real city now.

On the other hand, I don't actually know how many points we get for this, as we both already technically had a very tiny above ground light rail line, and this underground addition is quite small, but it's only the first of several phases. So, maybe Ottawa isn't grown up. Teen years, perhaps. Still, we're getting somewhere, and faster than ever before.

Canada tries that democracy thing 

Woes about the failure of our most recent attempts at electoral reform could be very well assuaged with even a small growth in Conservatives backing the idea. They were previously thought out of reach, a bipartisan (tri, I suppose, but nevermind that) response wasn't on the table. Pushing the idea further on the left seemed like a slow prospect, and winding down at that, but even a little commiseration from the right could provide fertile new land.

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Canada tries that democracy thing 

And so it begins. Dandy.

What's more, the polls have given us a fun topic to launch the Canadian electoral season with:

338canada.com/ is reporting with increasing mild concern that the Liberals are the favourite to not just win, but take a majority - despite maybe losing the popular vote. This is an exciting opportunity to see the arguments presented by the left and right in the wake of Canada's 2015 election and America's 2016 election rehashed, just with reversed incentives.

Now let me qualify, I'm not saying the entirety of the right will instantly abandon their opposition to electoral reform the very instant it looks like it might help them, no more than I suspect that the whole of the left might suddenly defend the status quo now that the wheel has turned, but I do wonder if seeing the system broken and broken in a way that is failing your party has an effect that carries past partisan lean. This may be, after all, something of a new experience for some voters. And new experiences are an exciting opportunity to shift values.

Temp Contractors Might be Evil 

Yeah, I know, that CW isn't exactly news around here, I've read recently renewed my contract, and had the audacity to phone in to discuss a raise, which went a little like this:

Git: So, rent is doing what rent does, and I did just secure another 24 weeks of contract for you, so maybe I could get a tiny cost of living incre-

Contractor: Nope. That's impossible. It's never done by anyone. No budget space could allow for it. The very skies would fall.

Git: I... disagree?

Contractor: Reasonable. It's completely doable. Common practice. Here's your 3%, have a good one. *click*

...

This is paraphrased, but less so than you might think. The whole conversation did not get past 60 seconds, and it took about another 60 for me to feel infuriated by it. Raises are CLEARLY budgeted. They've just thrown a wall in front of people who might not feel comfortable asking, and then another in case they don't take confrontation well.

They're just punching down at those least likely to be able to take the hit. They don't even automate matching INFLATION, so if people can't jump their hurdles they end up with less in their pocket for sticking around.

Look, I know none of this is news to anyone, but fuck if it doesn't get under my skin seeing it in the flesh.

Oh. Oh, I see. I guess I listen to THIS now:

black midi - ducter
'Schlagenheim'

youtu.be/86NGJmUfRlM

Star Wars Does Weird Things to Authors 

When I was a wee tiny child novels were among the first I read. In the broad strokes they're not particularly good or clever, but they make for fun novels that I enjoyed. Looking back, I still find myself fond of them in a way not entirely dissimilar to how I thought of the old family dog, who was a charming, aoldorable golden retriever mix who walked into glass doors more often than not and was occasionally out-smarted by inanimate objects.

I've more or less stopped caring about the franchise these days, and only by this weekend's festivities discovered that, apparently, they're asking Timothy Zahn to do a Thrawn Trilogy. Again.

At some point they declared everything in the old books garbage, only to realise Thrawn was a bit of a fan favourite.

How the fuck does that meeting even go?

'We need you to write a Thrawn Trilogy.'

'I - uhm, did?'

And then they hold up a giant-cheque sized print out of the Well Yes, But Actually No meme? And then, maybe, and actual giant cheque?

After extensive investigation I have determined that inner ear infections do, in fact, suck.

Also, if you've found yourself too dizzy to remain standing and just been violently ill, no, no amount of 'feeling a bit better right now' makes driving yourself to the clinic a good plan.

I am not a smart man.

Okay, it may just be the variety of vulpines I encounter around this part of the net doing it, but when I read a title like Fuzzy Ontology Used for Knowledge Mobilization I can't help but think the paper is just the authors going, "Why don't we just ask how the foxes do it?"

There is something breathtakingly frustrating and a little amusing about looking up a series of articles on Knowledge Mobilization only to find them locked behind paywalls.

Incredibly Fruitful Internet Dialogue 

Also, I get it. Sometimes you find people who, if you concede even the tiniest thing, jump all over it and posture like you're an idiot and somehow 'lost'. This is not a discussion. This is giving a jerk too much of your time. If you can't even tell someone they might be right without them becoming a dick about it, they're probably not worth talking to.

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Incredibly Fruitful Internet Dialogue 

I know it is incredibly common, but if you find yourself having made a point in some discussion and get confronted by a counterpoint, please, please do not let yourself say 'yeah but -'. It leads to this:

Point A,
Counterpoint

Yeah but Point B!
Counterpoint

Yeah, but Point C!
Counterpoint

Yeah, but - - and it never ends. This is breathtakingly frustrating on its own, but the real kicker is the inevitable circle, where, after enough Yeah But's go by people loop back and say,

Yeah but still, Point A!

And we do it all over again. Even if all you do is a simple 'Hey, you might have a point there, but there's another thing I want to talk about...' you avoid this terrible, terrible fate.

Also, in further Things-Occasionally-Happen-in-Canada news we have this:

cbc.ca/news/health/government-

Which I feel I ought go on a long happy rant about, but honestly the choir has already heard this one a dozen times and I'm a bit of a garbage preacher, so, simply:

Neat.

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