Regarding poor jokes and whether or not it's trollish, being an Earnest Feminist, I could have done without the remark that it's never ok to beat up on a woman. Because us ladeez need *cough*patronising*cough* protecting?
Look, it's not ok for anyone to beat up on anyone else. In our culture(s), it's just more endemic for men to be doing the beatings (quite a bit on each other as well - fisticuffs at the pub and on the footy field seems to be just dandy).
I will say, regarding dubmugga's comments, having been in situations where one person has tried to slap some sense into someone else, it doesn't work. It escalates things. (And yes, I've been on both sides of that one; learned better now.) If someone starts brandishing a weapon at you (in the usual context of a DV incident), leave and call the cops. Simple.
Getting back to somewhat the original point, my issue with drug-testing, which should be about ascertaining whether someone is fit to drive or perform their work, is that it is purely to prove you've imbibed naughty substances and you should therefore be locked up. It's a condition of my employment that I can be drug-tested if I seem impaired, or potentially at any time when visiting certain facilities. If I have a positive test (no matter if it's the residue of a joint 4 weeks ago), I'm likely to lose my employment. You know, because Drugs Are Illegal and potentially impairing. However, if you get done for drunk-driving, unless you hold a passenger licence and that's your job, it's unlikely that you'll lose your employment. But you've still broken the law by getting behind that wheel.
Maybe if the powers-that-be actually came up with some figures for drug impairment, developed tests that could define if someone were likely to be impaired, and legislated on that basis, I'd feel a little less cynical about EVUL DRUGS BOOGA BOOGA, but as it is, I think it's a load of bullshit.
Sure, I know plenty of idiots who drove while drug-impaired and should have had the book thrown at them. I also agree that there needs to be a look at the culture of drug-driving being somehow more acceptable than drunk-driving (because it seems to me that it is, but I also think that's partly a function of there being no defined "safe" limits). But I also believe that the vast majority of the dangerously-impaired people behind the wheel have consumed that perfectly legal drug. And having a philosophy of saying "we don't know how much of X is dangerous, but we'll nab you anyway" doesn't really confer much confidence that it's about public safety rather than being Seen to Be Doing Things.
Call me old-fashioned, but I've never used eftpos for anything less than $10 nor a credit card for less than $50 (except the few occasions when I've been caught short).
I'm glad that England's now caught up with the glories of "chip and pin" eftpos - it tweaked me no end having to sign for eftpos things when no-one ever checked the signature. I was, however, more tweaked in the late 90s by the phone banking system - internet banking took a while to get underway and the IVR systems had problems with my kiwi accent, especially when I used "yis" for an affirmative (I still say "yeas" now).
As for the US, everyone I know there still does things like rent payments with cheque or cash. The last time I wrote a cheque was in 2000, paying a housing bond in the UK.
Australia has some oddities as well. Direct credits seem to do some organisations' heads in. I lived in a flat where the letting agency was transferred to Independent Real Estate. Before then I'd paid by direct credit, but they refused to accept a DC and insisted on a direct debit. The only trouble with that (other than the fact I refuse to do them, after being stung in the UK) was that the DD form did not have an amount, a payment interval or an end date. They couldn't see why I was so shitty about the fact that they could take as much money out of my account as they wanted whenever they liked. They reckoned it was "in case of your owing us money for something like damage to the property". Funnily enough, I was under the strange belief that was what a BOND was for. I paid my rent in cash for two months before finding somewhere else to live.
I don't think you'll be able to hear me from down there. Or at least, not before they throw Megan and Jo in with me.
I can't think of another two women I'd be so happy to share a cell with!
Honestly! My mind went to a very very Bad place. In a good way, of course. Naturally, the mention of bewbs on book covers didn't help.
...also, must resist comments on Lockwood and BEWBS. Or ignorance thereof.
I wish I could read the Listener article - I'm sure it's the usual delay until it comes online.
Not to sound like an apologist - because I do think sources should be attributed - but I'm sure universities in general would not hold a piece of fiction to the same standard as an academic essay/publication. And nor should the standard be exactly the same. For example, I don't think that an author should have to give footnotes or citations throughout a piece of work.
On the other hand, they shouldn't do this either. And as a writer of fiction, surely it isn't that difficult to paraphrase source material in your own language (unless quotes are used for a specific reason), and then have some acknowledgements in the preface or afterword.
Well, it's a shame. I do think Auckland Uni's response is weak; even if the standard is less stringent for fictional works, plagiarism is still less than cool.
Just to derail back to car stereos, totally seconded about the only available option being CD-player-sized jobbies these days, which are not the best thing for 1970 Kingswoods.
I don't have an iAnything, but my Cowon MP3 player quite happily plugs into anything with a 3.5mm jack. And no, I don't want to cut a too-wide by too-narrow hole in my dash just to play music; CDs really are passe in cars. I'll stick with the headphones for now, meh.
My first thought on being confronted with the phrase ‘vegetarian lesbians’ was filthy.
As it ought to be. Glad things are heading back in the right directions. :-)
Abiword works well for me. And yes, Zoho or Google Docs if you're happy with the cloud.
People who use docx when they aren't working in the same organisaton (with Office 2007 presumably installed everywhere) ought to be shot. I was sending docs around in Word 6 format for at least three years after Office 97 came out.
But anyway, I save the doc files into the Abiword format to edit them, and then export them into doc format when I'm done. Although editing regular doc files goes ok as well.
Regarding bloody flash, it's hilarious that it runs better on Mint Linux for me than it does in the 64-bit version of Firefox in Vista. Because, hello, there's no 64-bit version of Flash for Windows yet. GAH.
Also, Vista is running fine on my very sexy Dell Studio XPS with the LED screen. I'm waiting for my Win 7 disk as we speak (I only bought the machine last month as it was eligible for the Win 7 upgrade free of charge).
Oh, and @Zach, while Dell laptops are fine, and their desktops are ok, I was reluctant to buy from them due to their dire support. This view was entirely vindicated by the fact that it took 16 emails from me to fix up the details of my machine on the upgrade site so that I would receive the Win 7 Ulitmate upgrade I was entitled to. Just amazing. Still, the machine is very nice. I can fix it if it has an OS problem and most physical problems, which was why it was worth the risk.
I like the idea of something that's actually useful to something other than cars, and which doesn't look like a cheap-knockoff of the Sydders HB.
And yes, can we let the brainstorming session continue a bit longer before howling down the idea? It's obvious that the current bridge is inadequate, and a tunnel all the way across is bloody expensive for not much greater benefit.
It's hard to get excited about tunnels, anyway, as examples of stunning civic architecture and engineering (ok, the Chunnel is amazing, but not for its aesthetics). The Severn Bridges are less than 5km in length, and not that exciting, but are a hell of a lot more exciting than the Chunnel at 10 times the length.
I'll put my hand up as being a Kinsey-5 lesbian who is predominantly attracted to women who range from Kinsey 3 - 5. "Gold star" lesbians (who have never had sex with men - I dislike the term, but eh, handy shorthand, especially with the illuminating nuance of sanctimoniousness) do not float my boat at all.
Don't ask me why. My first g/f was bi and I imprinted? Or the fact 100% lesbians can have a fear/disdain of men thing going on that I'm dubious about (not to say all or even most 100% lesbians feel that way, but some do, as do some of us elsewhere on the spectrum, including plenty of het women...)
(One day I'll write a paragraph without parentheses.)
I tend to go with multiple axes as well - the gay/straight one (or should that be the "preferred gender object" one?), the kink/vanilla one, the asexual/lotsa-sexual one, the gender self-presentation one, the monogamous/polyamorous one, there's even the pansexual/monosexual one. And so on.
Anyway, it certainly wasn't Kinsey who said that there weren't any people at the extremes of his continuum. He found plenty who'd never had an inkling of attraction for the opposite sex or the reverse. Personally, I think if there is a continuum, it's just logical to expect at least a few people to be fairly hard-wired in one way or another, even if we can leave aside societal pressure. We haven't got to that "no-one gives a shit" utopia yet.
Mmm, hot and buttery crumpet. Both kinds.
As for nomenclature, as well as the "hotties" and "babes" solution, I go for "lust objects" myself. And yes, I say it in RL. Whether that would work for a particular character's voice is another matter.
For poly people, when talking about those you have shagged, "sweeties" seems to be common. I find it a bit twee myself (and not that great for prospective lovers), but since my last partner called me that, I'm somewhat more reconciled to it. My favourite poly term is "metamour" - a lover's lover.
@Lucy - Aral is definitely bi, and Lois actually did cop a bit from a few bi people with that line from Cordelia saying he was bi, and is now monogamous. However, it was understood what she was getting at; just some clumsy phrasing.
Also, I'll vote for Byerly being the coolest potentially bi man. And Lois also wins for having a hermaphrodite significant character.