Sep. 4th, 2017

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“Did you name the characters Bill and Heather in The Pilot after William Hartnell and his wife, Heather?”

“Well, not on purpose. In fact, I hadn’t noticed, till Edward Russell pointed it out in the office. I toyed with lying, and pretending I’d done something clever, but no-one ever believes that, so I admitted it was a coincidence. But was it really? Had those names lodged somehow in my subconscious, mysteriously emerging as I typed my way into a whole new era of Doctor Who? Did those long-dead loves somehow speak to me from the other world, as Bill took form in my imagination?

No, because it was a coincidence.”

- Steven Moffat, Production Notes, Doctor Who Magazine #513
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When I was a wee thing, my parents moved out the the Highly dubious condo in East Palo Alto and into a relatively nice suburban neighborhood, into a house immediately across the street from my new elementary school.  Immediate, as in, less than 40 feet from the traffic circle.   Mom would wave at me from the driveway sometimes while I was in class.  This should have made getting me to and from school easy, but there was an issue:

I still had to cross the street, and because I was living in the over-caffeinated heart of silicon valley at the time, that meant dodging the local commuters barreling through the school zone at upwards of 40 miles per hour with no regard for the stop signs.

The flashing “School Zone” signs were ignored.  
The city refused to put in speed bumps or devote extra patrol cars.
One of my classmates grandmother’s volunteered as crossing guard, and some jackass in a BMW ran over her foot on the first day.
Now, mom declared as we drove Mrs. Manchez to the hospital her foot in a beer cooler full of ice, Would be a good time to take the law into my own hands.

So after dropping Mrs. Manchez off at the hospital, we drove to the thrift store, where my mom found a navy blazer, aviator sunglasses, a pilot’s cap and an old, clunky-looking hair dryer.  

The next morning, mom went out to the sidewalk in her new “uniform”, with the hair dryer and a legal pad so she could write down the grocery list.  Every time a car would come roaring down the road, Mom would look up, point the hairdryer at them, and, and write something down.  

I remember listening to brakes squeal all day the first time she tried it, Mercedes and BMWs screeching to a crawl as they passed the school, glaring at her.   By that afternoon, cars were creeping along at an over-cautious 10mph, and I was able to get home without taking my life into my hands.

After that, Mom went out “in uniform” every couple of days, because intermittent re-enforcement is what REALLY gets a change in behavior going, and point the hair dryer at anyone speeding through the school zone, usually while writing down grocery lists or short stories, or drawing unflattering caricatures of the other PTA moms.
Eventually, however, one of the cars that came through was a patrol car, and he slowly pulled to a halt in front of mom, glaring at her though his own reflective glasses.
She smiled an waved the hair dryer.  “Good afternoon!”
“…What’re you doing?”  he groaned, 3 in the afternoon entirely too early for this shit.

“Writin’ a grocery list.”  She beamed, and when that failed to satisfy him, she explained about the speeding problem and that if they couldn’t send a partol car out here to ticket people regularly, she figured that a hair dryer would be the next best thing.  Working like a charm so far.  They didn’t even notice the little airplanes on the Pilot’s hat.

The officer stared at her for a moment longer before his face broke out into a slow grin.  “Y’know, when we’re out of a car, we usually wear visibility vests.  So more people see you and your… Phaser.”
And that’s the story of how Mom and Officer Brown met and started the neighborhood watch program.

I fucking love this
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IKEA Releases Instructions How To Make ‘Game Of Thrones’ Cape After Costumer Reveals Actors Wore IKEA Rugs

Lmao, I’m so mad, I did this for a Halloween costume in college
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Serena Southerlyn: I think we can get a jury to add two plus two.
Nora Lewin: And a good defense attorney can get them to say it's 17. - Law and Order 12.15 Access Nation
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So in the 19-20th century Conan Doyle published his Sherlock Holmes books with this super smart detective and in France  Maurice Leblanc was writing about a gentleman burglar, Arsène Lupin. Both characters were very popular but the two writers kinda hated each other and that’s the cutest thing because one day Maurice Leblanc sent a letter to Conan Doyle and asked if they could write something together since their characters were obviously made to meet each other. But Doyle said no and he didn’t allow him to use Sherlock Holmes’ name in his books. So Leblanc was like okay lol and he wrote this novel “Arsène Lupin vs Herlock Sholmes” and he called Watson “Wilson” and Doyle was so pissed! He sent letters saying how furious he was and stuff and Leblanc sent letters back like come on I didn’t use his name just like you told me let’s be friends
Doyle was like this grumpy talented writer who didn’t really like how famous his books were and Leblanc was this happy and creative guy GUYS IM 900% SURE THAT WAS SOME 1900’s TEENAGERS OTP OKAY
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I don’t know if brit milah counts as a “holy object”, but if it does, then arguably it makes the entire body into a holy object, and thus nobody who has had a brit milah could ever be turned into a vampire because no vampire could touch him.  On the other hand, if it doesn’t affect the entire body but only the relevant part, then … well, then theoretically anybody who has had a brit milah could still ward off vampires by …

… you know what, I was happier before I started along this line of thought.  JUST WAVE A MEZUZAH AT THE VAMPIRE, IT’S PROBABLY SAFER FOR EVERYBODY INVOLVED
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Today is the day and I’m not okay! 😭⚡️🤓
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“See? Dust, just like the rest of ‘em. I don’t know what’s coming next. But I do know it’s gonna be just like this; hard, painful. But in the end it’s gonna be us. If we all do our parts, believe it, we’ll be the ones left standing. Here endeth the lesson.”- Buffy Summers; Showtime.
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New The Last Jedi promo art.
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“Home alone is a movie, not an alibi.”
- Lennie Briscoe, Law and Order 12.20 Dazzled
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“The dead-er they are, the more we care.”
- Lennie Briscoe, Law and Order 13.23 Couples
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Sep. 4th, 2017 03:45 pm
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i may despise galen erso from the bottom of my shriveled maggoty heart but i have to tell you guys how he managed to sneak in the death star weak spot according to the rogue one novelization because it’s hilarious. if you’re expecting some feat of engineering genius so subtle no one noticed it, you are wrong. galen got krennic to sign off on it himself.

he annoyed the fuck out of krennic by cc-ing him in like a million emails to death star r&d. 

so i know we’re behind schedule here but we found this structural flaw and wanted to let you guys know about it, says galen.

and r&d is like okay so how do we fix it? 

and galen is like well we could start over? 

and r&d is like no that’ll take too long. 

and galen promises to think about it and writes to them later all hey how about we make some additional investments and get better materials?

and r&d is like no that’s too expensive. 

and galen is like weeeell…. 

and r&d is like well what?

and galen goes well there’s something we can do but you’re not gonna like it.

and r&d is like okay what is it. 

and galen is like are you sure you want to hear it?

yes, goes r&d. 

like, really really super sure? 

yes, goes r&d.

okay so the problem is radiation buildup, says galen. have i mentioned the problem is radiation buildup?

30 emails ago, r&d says.

right, so. says galen. we could build this exhaust port but it’s not going to get rid of all the radiation all the time, so if you’re having some stormtroopers around they might be exposed to it. i can look into some other options to reduce–


and galen is like okay :)

This, THIS is EXACTLY why I felt the need to tweet Alexander Freed and let him know why the novelisation was so important to me, because this is a man who understands the absolute mind-numbing tedium of project management by committee.

Star Wars is and always has been about human nature, and sure, we chuck in some lasers and spaceships for funsies, but it’s about politics and human behaviour, and if you can make one of the the biggest plot holes in sci-fi history turn into a completely logical and rational event just because you understand that big decisions get made precisely because “I AM TOO TIRED TO BOTHER WITH THIS ANY MORE” then you are an absolute immortal genius, to my mind.

Oh my god I wish this was included in the movie somehow.

This is the most amazing and accurate and True To Life thing I have ever seen.
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Marvel has us so freaking whipped, we’re all willing to sit through 10 minutes of credits for 30 more seconds of movie
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via the Fidget Spinners Fad Reveals About Disability Discrimination:



I’m angry about the sudden popularity of fidget spinners, but probably not for the reasons you think.  I’m not mad that they’re disruptive in class, or obnoxiously trendy.  I’m furious because of what they reveal about societal power structures, and the pathologizing of disabled people by non-disabled persons.

Autistic people (and others with developmental disabilities) have been fighting a war for decades.  It’s a war against being forcibly, often brutally, conditioned to behave more like neurotypicals, no matter the cost to our own comfort, safety, and sanity.  And those of us who need to stim in order to concentrate (usually by performing small, repetitive behaviors like, oh I don’t know, spinning something) have endured decades of “Quiet Hands” protocols, of being sent to the principal’s office for fidgeting, of being told “put that down/stop that and pay attention!,” when we are in fact doing the very thing that allows us to pay attention instead of being horribly distracted by a million other discomforts such as buzzing lights and scratchy clothing.  We’ve had our hands slapped and our comfort objects confiscated.  We’ve been made to sit on our hands.   We’ve been tied down.  Yes, disabled children get restrained — physically restrained — in classrooms and therapy sessions and many other settings, for doing something that has now become a massive fad.

Think about this: Decades of emotional punishment, physical violence, and other abuses.  And then some guy (who just happens to be in a position with more social clout than most disabled people will ever attain) writes an article about how having a fidget toy helps him concentrate during meetings, and all of a sudden, every neurotypical person in America is falling all over themselves to get a fidget toy of their own.  The first time I heard about the fidget spinner craze on the news, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.  But I was leaning toward “cry,” for the reasons I just explained, and because the irony made me feel ill.  Sometimes the universe has a cruel sense of humor.

This is important.  Really important, so read this next sentence twice: Something that was considered entirely pathological and in dire need of correction when done by disabled people is now perfectly acceptable because it is being done by non-disabled people.  This should make you stop and think, especially if you are someone who works with, educates, or researches people with diagnoses like autism.

What else might we de-pathologize overnight once the “right” people, the “normal” people, the “healthy” people start doing it?  Will somebody write a tweet that makes it socially acceptable to avoid eye contact?  Will a Facebook meme make it suddenly trendy to have texture sensitivities?  Will hand-flapping become cool after it shows up in a music video?

Normality is an illusion.  It doesn’t exist.  Human culture is constantly changing, and our everyday behaviors are changing with it, more than ever in the fast-paced digital age (yeah, I’m old enough to remember when phones couldn’t go everywhere with you, and believe me, social norms were very different back then).  Even if “normal” did exist, setting it as the goal towards which disabled people should strive is unacceptable.

Because insisting that disabled people act more like non-disabled people is not about improving functionality, it’s about who has the power to set social standards.  It’s the same reason certain accents and dialects are considered less “educated” and the people who speak that way snubbed.  It’s the same reason people with one skin tone are portrayed as less capable, or more dangerous, than people with the majority’s skin tone.  It's​ why “women’s work” is devalued and underpaid.  In short, it’s oppression, plain and simple.

Perhaps I should be more hopeful.  Perhaps we’re moving towards an era of acceptance.  Even before the fidget spinner hit the spotlight, more and more professionals have agreed that sensory needs are real, and should be acknowledged and met.  Many websites now sell chewy toys, app stores abound with sensory relaxation apps, and plenty of autism “treatment” programs (though certainly not all) have moved away from their prior focus on sitting still with immobilized hands while grudgingly accepted that stimming is actually a perfectly healthy thing for autistic people to do.

But the power structure is still there.  There’s still a rigid hierarchy of who gets to decide which behaviors are normal or pathological.  There’s still a societal subtext that tells people who are different “be less like yourself and more like us.“  We need to work on that. 

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challenge accepted

No you don’t understand, we’ve had a massive surplus of cheese since the Great Depression. The national government was determined to maintain the dairy industry when our markets crashed and so they developed a policy of buying up surplus cheese that regular citizens couldn’t afford. 

We’ve been shoving the stuff into caves in Missouri because there’s so much of it we haven’t really had anywhere else to put it because you can’t just destroy cheese. You try to burn it and it melts. It’s so heavily processed that it doesn’t biodegrade, and it can’t be fed to animals or turned into anything else. Our only other alternatives would be to dump it into the ocean which we would absolutely not do ever since the whole medical waste thing or to launch it into space which is way too expensive.

In the 1980s Reagan began a government cheese program to distribute some of the excess to welfare and food stamps recipients. And since then we’ve had the Got Milk? campaign which was a government scheme to get the general public to consume more dairy products to help slow the stockpiling. (By the way, cow milk may not be as good for us as we’re led to believe. There’s a lot of debate in the scientific community about whether the hormones present in the milk might have a link to cancer.)

Our surplus cheese is also why so many restaurants put so goddamn much of it into absolutely everything. A division of the federal government known as Dairy Management heavily promotes any restaurants that push cheesy menu items, even as the DoA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion warns of the health risks associated with a cheese-heavy diet.

Basically the feds are conspiring to kill us all with dairy products because they got so buddy-buddy with the dairy industry in the first half of the 20th century that they’ve dug themselves into a hole and they’re paying Big Dairy too much to back out now.

this is the best news ive heard all year

Oh God, this explains why it’s so hard to avoid cheese.(Well, I’m not in America, but I think our government has the same relationship with our dairy board.)

Okay, but Switzerland dealt with this problem by seriously pushing fondue. 

I bring a source

Cheese discourse for @copperbadge

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hell bent
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My bros I have been doing a lot of
reading about Wacky WWII Hijinks lately and I want to tell you a
story because I love it okay

once upon a time there was a dude in
Spain named Juan Pujol Garcia. Pujol was a chicken farmer. Pujol
hated him some goddamn fascists.

See Spain had recently ended its civil
war, with the fascists taking power. So when WWII broke out in
Europe, Spain technically remained neutral but in practice was buddy
buddy with the Nazis. Juan Pujol Garcia thought this was pretty

so soon after war breaks out Pujol
travels to his local British embassy and goes “hey I wanna spy on
the Nazis for you”

“who the fuck are you?” say the
British, and kick him out

but Pujol is not deterred! He still
wants to dunk on some fascists, so now he goes to his local German
embassy instead. “hey” he
says, “I wanna spy on the British for you, I sure do hate them”

okay” say the Germans “that seems pretty legit”

just like that Pujol now officially works for the Abwehr, the German
intelligence agency. They hand him some spy gear (invisible ink and
such) and instruct him to travel to Lisbon, and from there make his
way into the UK. So Pujol heads to Lisbon, and a little while later
writes to his German handlers telling them he’s made it to England

had not made it to England. He had, in fact, made it to the Lisbon
public library, where he checked out a number of English guide books
and set about just wholesale making shit up

is slightly complicated by the fact that, for example, he completely
did not understand British currency and all his expense reports were
basically gibberish. He also reported things like bribing Scotsmen,
because the people of Glasgow would “do anything for a litre of
wine” (an actual quote) because, hey, people in Spain like wine so
that’s probably the same right?

is where it starts to get really crazy, because the Abwehr loves
this. “wow this dude is a
great spy” they say, because apparently none of them had ever been
the England either. In fact, they are so pumped about this new
awesome spy that the British start to get worried

see, by this time the British had cracked German’s supposedly
unbreakable Enigma code and were totally dunking on the Nazis by
reading basically all of their ~super top secret~ radio
transmissions. And, crucially, they’d become so good at breaking and
reading traffic that there were literally no German spies in England.
The Germans would set up a spy drop (usually dropping dudes in by
parachute in the middle of the night), the British would intercept
the message and then just scoop the dudes up as soon as they landed
in a move that must have been SUPER embarrassing to the spies

there are no German spies in the UK because they’re all sitting in a
prison run by MI5 (although some are being run under supervision as
double agents, feeding Germany bullshit). But suddenly MI5 is picking
up all this traffic from the Germans talking about their super great
spy- a spy the British do not have in their jail

shit” says MI5, and starts rereading all the transmissions they
have to and from this mysterious super spy.

wait” says MI5, upon actually reading the shit the spy was sending.
“someone is playing silly buggers, pip pip cheerio”

this point, Pujol, still in Lisbon, had actually been approaching the
British embassy again, repeatedly, but apparently “I am literally
an Abwehr agent and would like to offer you my services” wasn’t
interesting enough, because he was repeatedly turned away, again.
It wasn’t until MI5 started
asking around that one of the embassy staff was like “oh yeah we
know that guy”

so in
1942 the British finally make contact with Pujol and he officially
becomes a spy for MI5. They move him to London and assign him a case
officer so he can start making up even better bullshit

and he
does. Once actually in London, Pujol reports to the Abwehr that he’d
recruited a whole slew of informants- from a bunch of Welsh Aryans to
disaffected army officers. He ends up with a network of 20+
sub-spies, all feeding him information from around the UK

none of these people actually exist

just straight up invented like 20 people, keeping careful track of
their fake personalities, names, and activities. With the help of
MI5, the information he sends becomes even better- a mix of true but
ultimately useless facts and actually important intel timed to arrive
in Germany just slightly too late to be of any use. He and his “spy
network” become the Abwehr’s most trusted agents

now codenamed Agent Garbo (for his acting skills), ends up playing a
huge role in the run-up to D-Day, where the Allies mounted a huge
intelligence campaign to convince Hitler that the planned site of
attack was going to be Calais and not Normandy (this was Operation
Fortitude and you should absolutely look it up for more Wacky WWII
Adventures). Obviously you know how this ended

enough, the Abwehr never figured out that Pujol was a double agent.
After the war he received both the Iron Cross Second Class (which
require personal authorization from Hitler), and a
Member of the Order of the British Empire (from King George VI)

to resist being totally fucking ridiculous,
Pujol turned down MI5’s post-war offer to continue spying, but this
time against the USSR. “no,” he said “just help me fake my own
death and then I’m moving to Venezuela”

that’s exactly what he did. Juan Garcia Pujol died in 1988, at the
age of 76

Okay I’m just editing my reblog to add this picture of Juan Pujol Garcia because I feel that it adds so much to the story to picture him doing ALL THE ABOVE with this expression:

What a legend.

Thank you Jess for this extremely important addendum.

he’s my hero and also adorable

This is…holy fucking shit, I have no words for how much glee this story brings me. It’s like Mother Night but not soul-crushing

He was Catalan and his real name was Joan (not Juan) Pujol i Garcia.

After the fascists won the Spanish Civil War, Spanish names were mandatory, since the Catalan language and culture were completely banned by the fascist regime, but he referred to himself as Joan. So let’s refer to him as Joan as he would have wanted, and not use the name that the Spanish fascists imposed.

Here’s an interesting interview with him from the year 1984 (in Catalan)
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“I just feel so dead inside…”

“Dead inside, you say? I know something that might just work”
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“The law cannot control people’s hearts and minds, but it can and must hold people accountable for their actions.”
- Arthur Branch, Law and Order 15.01 Paradigm
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