Model Deals with Dirtbags Online

So Emily Sears is a model, and like many models, she posts pics of herself online regularly. It’s part of the job, building her reputation and brand, all that good stuff.

But there are dudes online who think it’s just neato-kewl to send her pics of their penises, just… because? I don’t even know. Do these guys really think some woman they’ve never met is going to look at a crappy phone-pic of their junk and think, “OMG I wanna this guy to bang me hard!!” Really? [eyeroll]

Eventually Ms. Sears got sick of this crap, and decided to start doing something about it. She looked at the guy’s online profile, and found his wife or girlfriend, and sent her a screenshot of what the guy sent, with a note saying she thought the woman should be aware of what her husband/boyfriend was doing online.

I think this is an awesome solution. 🙂 A friend of Ms. Sears, a DJ named Laura, who also gets dick pics on a regular basis, has started doing the same thing.

Good stuff, click through and read about it. The comments are actually worth reading too. I particularly like the one where a woman tells about how, when she was fourteen, some dude sent her a dick pic and she sent him a picture of cutting a banana. [smirk] I hope that had him crossing his legs for a while.


But It’s Groundhog Day…?

So I’m sitting here working on a story (which is due in by midnight) and I hear this hollow, distant boom from outside. Weird. Sounds like a fireworks type rocket going off, but there’s only one, so I figure it must be a car backfiring or something. About ten minutes later there’s another one. Then a few minutes after that, another one.

Then a few minutes ago it sounded like Fourth of July outside and I’m all o_O because it’s NOT Fourth of July. :/ I go call downstairs to Jim, “Did Groundhog Day become a fireworks holiday when I wasn’t listening?” Because this is seriously weird, like, Twilight Zone type weird.

Jim calls back, “It’s the Superbowl. Seattle probably won.”


Can you tell I’m not any kind of a football fan? I vaguely remember hearing that Seattle was playing, but giving no damns, I let it slip out of my head. I guess the city fathers care more than I do, if they spent the money on a fireworks show. [wry smile]

I suppose my city winning the Superbowl is somewhat more likely than my city deciding to set off fireworks for Groundhog Day.

Yay Seattle?

Angie, going back to writing

Dear Dudebro

This is why John Scalzi pretty much owns the Internet.

Some months ago, Scalzi said that if his Twitter followers could raise $500 for Clarion within the next half hour, he’d have someone take a picture of him wearing a very nice Regency frock, and post it to his web site. They did, and he did. Much more recently, some misogynistic little boy whose insult quotient is about at the level of “Neener neener!” took the picture and memeized it, in a way he clearly thought would be distressing to Mr. Scalzi. [smirk]

Click through to see the picture, and enjoy seeing Scalzi hand it all back to this guy with a dumptruck. Seriously, this is awesome. 😀


On the Gay Marriage Case

Writer Courtney Milan, who’s a lawyer in her day job IIRC, wrote this seriously awesome summary of Tuesday’s Supreme Court arguments in the Gay Marriage case, in transcript form. They’re nowhere near done, but this is interesting and humorous and well worth reading. Probably a lot moreso, for most of us, than the actual transcript (which is 82 pages long) although she links to that if you want to tackle it.

Oral argument starts with Charles Cooper speaking on behalf of the petitioners, who are not in favor of same-sex marriage in California.

COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court. Today, we—

ROBERTS: In keeping with the practices of this Court, we don’t allow anyone to complete a full sentence before interrupting them. Tell us why the people who hired you should even be allowed to bring a case.

COOPER: Because California said so.

GINSBURG: So? We’ve said before that in order to be able to bring a federal case, you have to have an injury in fact, something that is specific to you.

COOPER: But these people were injured. They didn’t want gay people to marry, and now look! Gays. Lesbians. Able to marry at will. It’s very injurious. They’re injured just thinking about it.

Click through to read the rest.

She also summarized the next chunk, which is shorter but still has some good ??? stuff in it. She says she’s not going to do any more, which is a shame, seriously.


Random Penguin

This site? Is great.

When the merger of Random House and Penguin was approved, it was clear to all that the new company needed to be called Random Penguin. Well, perhaps not to all. That the executives in charge decided to call it Penguin Random House instead just proves that their souls had withered some decades past. One lone protester decided to demonstrate against this great nomenclatural wrong by putting random penguins into the covers of books issued by Penguin or Random House. The results are great — check ’em out.

I particularly like Mists of Avalon and Throne of the Crescent Moon. 😀

(Note that they’re taking submissions, too, so if you feel inspired, fire up Photoshop make with the random penguins.)


Blog Moderation Techniques

Okay, this is awesome. 🙂 How does one handle jerkwad commenters? Sure, you can delete their posts, but certain practitioners of gluteal haberdashery are annoyingly persistent. What to do?

John Scalzi (a big-name SF writer, for anyone not into SF) has a ridiculously popular blog and doesn’t shy away from controversial topics. I generally agree with him, so in my world he’s a good guy, but there are folks out there who disagree with him strongly on various matters. If they’re willing to be civil then all is well, but certain individuals come sliming and frothing their way onto his blog, spraying putrid stupidity all over the curtains. His usual response is to delete them (using the Mallet of Loving Correction — some SF fans actually gave him a real one at WorldCon, like a fancy judge’s mallet but about three feet long) but some folks, when their comments have been malleted, just keep coming back over and over. Handling them is annoying and takes up time.

So he borrowed a technique from blogger Jenny Lawton, in a move one of his commenters called “setting the Mallet to ‘Kitten.'” It made me laugh, and after a couple of kittenings, a recent jerkwad couldn’t take it anymore and vanished, yay!

I only wish I had 1/100 the blog traffic Scalzi does. My current jerkwad visitors are all comment spammers; moving up to active asshats would be an indication that my blog had achieved a new level of readership, so I’d actually kind of welcome that, at least as an indicator of popularity. [wry smile] Right now, I don’t even need a Mallet, much less one with a “Kitten” setting. When/if I ever do, though, I’ll keep it in mind. [snicker]

Check out the Kitten setting.


Oatmeal vs. FunnyJunk and Charles Carreon

Copied from Dear Author, with permission courtesy of Jane.

The Oatmeal is a satiric cartoon site run by Matthew Inman. About a year ago, he noticed that his content was being uploaded without attribution to a site called The FunnyJunk. The FunnyJunk is a site that contains user generated content. This means that account holders post things that they like from all over the internet. Maybe a pre-Pinterest sort of site. The Oatmeal writes to the FunnyJunk requesting that the information be removed.

FunnyJunk took down the comics but proceeded to create a mirror image of The Oatmeal’s website. The Oatmeal responded by asking his readers what to do.

The FunnyJunk responded with a call to action to its own users asking them to inundate The Oatmeal’s inbox and facebook page. The FJ’s users responded in droves using their arsenal of retorts such as gay slurs and incoherently misspelled sentences to insult The Oatmeal and his biological predecessors for having the gall to procreate and, I guess, learn how to spell and draw.

According to Ars Technica, after the furor died down, the FJ admin acted somewhat responsibly, possibly realizing that its site could be in jeopardy due to all the copyrighted material illegally reposted there.

When the flame war finally died down, the FunnyJunk admin issued an unsigned note saying, “We’ve been trying for the longest time to prevent users from posting copyrighted content” and “I’m having all content, comics, comments, etc. with the names of your comics in them deleted/banned by tonight… The site barely affords to stay alive as it is and has enough problems.”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there in November of 2011, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history. But no.

The FunnyJunk for some reason came into contact with Charles Carreon, Esq., an attorney who came into national prominence during the domain name lawsuit. Carreon penned a letter on behalf of FJ, threatening The Oatmeal with a lawsuit for the post where The Oatmeal points out that the FJ has copied his website. Carreon, on behalf of FJ, wants the post to be taken down and $20,000 in damages.

The Oatmeal gets a lawyer and responds back with well worded, backed by research, rebuttal. The Oatmeal also goes on to decide to raise money off this ridiculous situation because so many of his readers want to help but the money isn’t going to Inman, instead he raised money for charity. Initially, he only thought to raise $20,000 for charity but the donations came in thick and fast and in the end, Inman raises over $200,000 which is donated to The American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife Federation.

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history and with its own Wikipedia entry. But no.

The situation gains the attention of the mainstream media and Carreon begins to make personal threats. He expresses wonderment and dismay at the internet’s reaction (he calls it bullying) toward his legal demands of Inman and The Oatmeal. He suggests that there might be other legal problems for the Oatmeal such as the fundraiser being violative of IndieGoGo’s term of service.

The internet continues to make fun of FJ and Carreon. Other attorneys make public statements about Carreon’s actions which include statements like “Holy fucking shitballs inside a burning biplane careening toward the Statue of Liberty, Captain! I hope that the reporter merely got the story wrong, because if not, that’s more fucked up than a rhino raping a chinchilla while dressed up in unicorns’ undergarments. ”

The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk could have died there later on June 12, 2012, only to be a footnote in internet flamewar history, with its own Wikipedia entry, and a few mainstream media mentions. But no.

Charles Carreon’s pride has been wounded. In his delusionary state, he must see that the only way out is to double down on the Jack and the Six (i.e., worse blackjack hand in the deck). He takes the situation to DefCon 5. Last night, Popehat was alerted by another legal watcher that Charles Carreon has filed a lawsuit against The Oatmeal, IndieGoGo, American Cancer Society, and National Wildlife Federation.

He transcended typical internet infamy when he filed a federal lawsuit last Friday in the United Sates District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland. He belonged to the ages the moment he filed that lawsuit not only against Matthew Inman, proprietor of The Oatmeal, but also against IndieGoGo Inc., the company that hosted Inman’s ridiculously effective fundraiser for the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.

But that level of censorious litigiousness was not enough for Charles Carreon. He sought something more. And so, on that same Friday, Charles Carreon also sued the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society, the beneficiaries of Matthew Inman’s fundraiser.

Popehat is a site run by a bunch of lawyers and they are offering Inman pro bono legal work and they are asking the internet the following:

1. Kevin and I have offered pro bono help, and will be recruiting other First Amendment lawyers to offer pro bono help. It’s not just Mr. Inman who needs help. IndyGoGo does to. So do the charities. No doubt the charities already have excellent lawyers, but money that they spend fighting Carreon (whatever the causes of action he brought) is money that they don’t have to fight cancer and help wildlife. That’s an infuriating, evil turn of events.

2. You could still donate through the IndieGoGo program The Oatmeal set up. Or you could donate directly to the American Cancer Society or the National Wildlife Federation. I like animals, and I loved my mother who died at 55 of cancer, but I have no qualms whatsoever about encouraging people to donate to those causes as part of a gesture of defiance and contempt against Charles Carreon and the petulant, amoral, censorious douchebaggery he represents.

3. Spread the word. Tell this story on blogs, forums, and social media. Encourage people to donate as part of a gesture of defiance of Charles Carreon and entitled butthurt censors everywhere. Help the Streisand Effect work.

4. Do not, under any circumstances, direct abusive emails or calls or other communications to Mr. Carreon. That helps him and hurts the good guys. I don’t take his claims of victimhood at face value — not in the least — but such conduct is wrong, and empowers censors.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part IV from Popehat.

Feel free to copy this entire post and repost it (even without attribution) anywhere you can.

March Stuff and an April Mishap

Writing: 5997 words = 1
Editing: 114,093 words = 23
Sub: 1 loooong novel = 1
TOTAL = 25 points

I didn’t look at my total until April, so of course I didn’t have a chance to write another Three Freaking Words to get another writing point. [headdesk]

Koala Challenge 9

I finally finished Emerging Magic the sequel to A Hidden Magic. Actually, I finished it in February, but it took most of March to get through an editing pass and ready to submit, but it’s in, yay! This sucker’s taken more than twice as long as I thought it would, and having it finally finished feels wonderful. 🙂

I’m visiting my mom in Reno over Easter, and the world is letting me know I should’ve stayed home. :/ I only have one pair of jeans that fit, so I wore them up here, and brought a couple of pairs of sweats to sleep in, and bum around the house in, and hopefully wear to the gym if I can go with my brother whenever he goes. Also brought a skirt in case we go somewhere fancy for Easter dinner. So I flew up Tuesday, and when I got in, my mom made me a cup of hot chocolate. She has a tablecloth on her table, which I’m not used to, and somehow while sitting down to drink (with the cup at my place already) I managed to catch the tablecloth on… I don’t even know what, maybe I sat on it somehow, although I didn’t think it was that long. Anyway, next thing I know the cup’s fallen over and I have HOT chocolate all in my lap and some on my top, and a second later it soaks through and it’s freaking HOT! Damn!

So I go change out of my jeans and top, put on a pair of sweats and a T-shirt, and put my jeans and top and the tablecloth and the placemat and all in the laundry. They wash, and I put ’em in the dryer when I go to bed.

Yesterday, we’re going grocery shopping so I go to get dressed. Get my jeans out of the dryer… and there’s a huge shredded rip down the seam in the seat! [headdesk] Totally ruined. The washing machine just ate my jeans, and of course they’re all I have. 🙁

I get online and go to the site where I bought the jeans to get more. Can’t just go out and buy a pair; no stores I know of carry pants for women who are tall and fat both, right there on the rack. I wear a 24T, and the only way to get those is mail order, and not from very many places even that way. :/ So I go to Woman Within, and sure enough they have a nice selection. I pick a couple of pairs, both on sale yay, and order. I was originally thinking to just have them sent home and that I’d be wearing sweats the rest of my time here (got the skirt, but I don’t like wearing them unless I have to) but I see the site has a super-duper express-zoom delivery option that’ll get you your stuff the next business day if you order before 4pm Eastern, for only twenty dollars extra on the delivery charge. O_O Okay, yeah, it’s a lot, but if I can get jeans to wear while I’m here, that’s awesome. The stuff I ordered was on sale, so it sort of makes up for the delivery charge, right? 😛 So I change delivery to Mom’s address and go for it. By this time it’s like three minutes after 1 here, which is 4 on the east coast, so I’m hoping it’ll sneak in and be delivered tomorrow (which would be today now) and if not then it’ll come on Friday and that’s still good.

I hit confirm order and it chugs along… and the confirmation screen comes up showing regular delivery to Mom’s address, estimated delivery date April 14th. WTF?? O_O

I won’t even be here then! 🙁 🙁 🙁 Something screwed up, and I’m pissed off.

So I send an e-mail to their customer service address, explain what happened and why this is completely unacceptable. I tell them I want delivery expedited to arrive either Thursday, or Friday at the very latest, or I want the order cancelled, one or the other. Hit send, then we go off grocery shopping with me in my sweats.

Give them credit, by the time we got back, there was an answer in my e-mail with an apology for the screw-up. The Customer Service lady said she’d make sure I got my stuff on Friday. We’ll see. If so, then cool. I still wish their system had worked the way it was supposed to the first time, but an efficient and prompt fix is what you want from a good company. Everybody makes mistakes; what separates the good companies (and people) from the bad is what they do after they’ve made the mistake.

I hope everyone has a great Easter, or just a great weekend if you don’t observe the holiday. [wave/hugz]

Angie, hanging out in sweats in Reno

WorldCon Part 2

Another panel I made it to was John Scalzi’s “A Trip to the Creation Museum.” I’d previously read Scalzi’s blog post about the visit and had a great time reading it. I knew it’d be even more fun in a room full of like-minded folk, so I made sure to get there to hear it live — I even managed to get a seat. 🙂

Scalzi explained in the panel how this came about. The Creation Museum (which is exactly what you think it is) was built within a reasonable distance of Scalzi’s home, and someone asked if he was going to go. He explained exactly how unlikely it would ever be that he’d visit such a place, even under considerable duress. A bunch of people thought it’d be hilarious for him to go, though, so he finally made a deal — he’d go if the people who thought it’d be hilarious raised $250, which he would donate to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He says on his blog:

As of 11:59 and 59 seconds (Pacific Time) last night, the “Drag Scalzi’s Ass to the Creation Museum” donation drive raised $5,118.36. That’s 256 times the admission price to Creation Museum, a multiple I find both amusing (from a dork point of view) and gratifying, since it means what tiny bit of income the creationists running the museum gain by having me pass through the door will be utterly swamped by the amount I’m going to send to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Would that it worked that way for every admission to that place.

For those of you who were wondering, some statistics: The first milestone for this fundraiser, the $250 to get me to go at all, got passed within the first hour of posting the challenge. The $1000 mark got passed about 12 hours later. The $5,000 marker got passed last night sometime between 6 and 11pm, while I was out on a date with my wife, celebrating our anniversary. I’m particularly pleased about hitting the $5k mark. The least amount donated was $1; the most was $300. More than one person donated more than $250, usually with the notation “Ha! Now you HAVE to go!” Multiples and variations of $6.66 were amusingly common, although the $5 suggested amount was the amount most received.

The people at Americans United were reportedly delighted by the donation, if a bit bemused by the curiously specific amount. 🙂

The panel was indeed humorously awesome and I’m very glad I went. The visit report is funny too, scaled down a bit to take the solo experience into consideration. Highly recommended.

I went to another panel that I’m not going to name specifically, since I want to do a bit of constructive analysis, although I suppose anyone who gets ahold of the program book could figure out which one it was, since I have to give some detail to get my point across. :/

All right, fine, it was on world creation for writers, how to create a realistic world for your science fiction story. I’ve been to such panels before, and they’ve all gone pretty much the same way, which isn’t a compliment. What tends to happen is that there are several scientist types on the panel, one or two who are into the astronomy and planet creation end of things, and one or two who are into the smaller scale geology and biology end. The logical thing to do is to start out with the creation of the star system and the planets, talking about dust clouds and star spectra and magnetic fields and galactic arms and gravity and such. You have to have all that before you can have any small scale geology, much less anything biological, so starting with the bigger picture makes sense.

The problem is that the panelists get used to the idea that the stars-and-planets people are doing all the talking at the beginning, and… they usually just keep on doing all the talking. One person in particular has been on every similar panel I’ve ever attended; this individual really likes to talk, to jump in, and even to interrupt. To give the person credit, they’re a good speaker and know a lot about the subject and are very eager to share that knowledge, which is cool. But, as has often happened before, this person plus the other stars-and-planets person ended up doing about 85% of the talking. The biolologist did about another 10-12%, and the geologist squeezed in whatever shards of speakage were left.

This isn’t an ideal way to run a panel, and the moderator did nothing to get things under control.

Again, there was a lot of great info presented here, but it was frustrating to watch all the same. And judging by the look on the geologist’s face through the last third or so of the panel, that person might well be thinking twice next time an invitation shows up to be on panels. Or maybe their lunch didn’t agree with them. At any rate, they didn’t seem to be having a great time.

I think (if anyone cares what I think) that in future it’d be better to split this panel into two. Let the stars-and-planets people have a panel all to themselves. They’ll do a great job with it, and it’ll end up being essentially the same panel they’ve given for however many years, without the bother of having to talk over and interrupt those other folks. Give the smaller-scale geologists and the biologists — maybe add a botanist and an oceanographer to round things out — their own panel, talking about smaller scale landforms, climates, biomes, and what sorts of life might develop under different conditions. That’d be at least as useful to SF writers as the stars-and-planets panel, and separating them out seems to be the only way to give the smaller scale planetbuilding speakers a chance to get more than five sentences in edgeways. Everyone wins.


Speedy Delivery?

Google Notifications just e-mailed me a link to something mentioning me (or actually, my LiveJournal name) that was posted in October of 2007.

Umm, thanks…? [eyeroll]

Seriously, though, I’ve gotten Google notifications that were weeks late, but this is just silly.