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firefly124: Gwen and Ianto don't have ship wars by skkyborn (Gwen and Ianto don't have ship wars by s)
I hate getting this invested in a fic (I do not want to look at the chapter number, bad enough that it's 3 digits long) only to find that it's going to have large undercurrents of character-bashing. Especially given that it was recced in a comm that specifies no character bashing. And yes, it is still bashing if the characters in question are turned into evil caricatures of themselves only until they are no longer a threat to the ship you are setting up and then become more recognizable as the characters the reader is familiar with.

It is possible to ship Snape/Hermione without bashing either Ron or Lily. It is possible to ship Miles/Gregor without bashing Ekaterin or Laisa. It is possible to ship Jack/Doctor without bashing either Ianto or Rose, and it is possible to ship Jack/Ianto without bashing either Gwen or Lisa. It's even possible to ship Jack/Gwen without bashing Ianto or Rhys. I know this because I've seen plenty of authors do it and do it well.

Harumph.
firefly124: charlie bradbury grooving in a glass elevator (Default)
1. Badmouth the former coworker who sold me the last one. I don't care if you think he sucked. He actually did well by me, and in any case, that was hugely unprofessional.

2. Explain that he was fired for "not having enough drive to be in sales." You've just announced you plan to put the screws to me. Thanks for the warning.

3. Spend all your selling time not telling me how good the car you're trying to sell is, but telling me how bad the other options I'm considering are, and how foolish I am for even entertaining them.

4. Engage in a completely juvenile pissing contest with the IT guy over how to get the sales software to work. Admittedly, this one is as much or more on the IT guy.

5. Encourage the rest of the sales team to gang up on me back you up on how stupid I would have to be to consider any other option than the miraculous deal you have cooked up for me.

There are a number of ways I could have been convinced that buying a lowish mileage used car with a reasonable monthly payment was a better option than the higher mileage buy-outright car I'd tested earlier and elsewhere. Instead, you reminded me that, so far as I'm concerned, buying any car, especially used, is more expense than investment, and you pushed me in the direction of trying to squeeze another year out of the crappy car that just STB on me. In any case, I definitely won't be buying from you, Mr. Unprofessional.
firefly124: charlie bradbury grooving in a glass elevator (Default)
This, however, I thought was rather obvious.



Clearly not. Queerty didn't seem to know what to make of it, but then again, I'm often unsure what to make of Queerty. Some of the absurd commenters at this blog ran with it into total biphobic territory. The comments at the original vid site on YouTube are a mix of people who get it, people who are offended because they took it seriously, and people who ran with the stereotypes.

It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which the "greedy" and/or "insatiable" claims come up.

Not all bisexuals are poly, and not all poly-folk are bisexual. Heterosexual people who commit to being monogamous do not cease to be attracted to other people of the opposite gender, they just enter into an agreement not to act on it. Homosexual people who commit to being monogamous do not cease to be attracted to other people of the same gender, they just enter into an agreement not to act on it. Bisexual people who commit to being monogamous do not cease to be attracted to other people of both/all genders, they just enter into an agreement not to act on it. People of all orientations both succeed and fail at monogamy, polyamory, celibacy, and whatever other sexual and romantic arrangements may exist. Why is this brain surgery?

Despite my failure to recognize the Pat Robertson thing earlier as satire, I actually really like the use of satire to show the absurdity of things, especially stereotypical and prejudicial assumptions. Just like Dementors in HP, the Fear Demon on Buffy, and any number of other heavy-handed metaphors, some things are best beaten with a good dose of laughter at just how Riddikulus they are.

Math rant

Oct. 24th, 2010 12:14 am
firefly124: conan o'brien hearts nerds (nerdsobrien by __instant_karma)
I doubt anybody wants to listen to this, so it's all going under a cut. But when I woke up for work tonight and checked my Twitter feed, there was this Washington Post editorial about the state of math education in the US. I actually agree with some of his points. A lot of textbooks have gone in bizarro and unhelpful directions trying to stir up math interest in students and in the process have completely missed the point. Unfortunately, so has the person who wrote that editorial. Among other things, so far as I can tell, no we didn't "survive the new math of the 60s," in the sense of it being a fad that came and went, we just now call it plain old "math."

Rant )

So, after all that, I guess my point is that yes, there is a huge problem in math education in this country. Yes, some of it is the patronizing dumbing-down of concept applications and some of it is the cramming of advanced concepts and operations into what should be basic courses. But not because "there's no need to love math," but rather because there should be no need to fear it. If we would actually give people a solid foundation in their basic skills, then spend algebra focusing on true problem-solving techniques instead of over-emphasizing "how to make numbers and letters dance on a page" ad nauseam, we might actually make some progress in math and science education. Because seriously, those of us who are destined to be math geeks will go off on our own and have fun with making numbers dance on a page, seeking out or even creating bizarro setups to play with laws of exponents and rules of logs, because it really can be fun if that's your thing. But there's no reason to torture people with it who don't have any reason to care, especially at the expense of teaching the actual core concepts and how they apply to the real world.

Speaking of the real world, now that I've got this rant out of my system, I suppose I should get to work.
firefly124: charlie bradbury grooving in a glass elevator (Default)
No good deed goes unpunished.

Cut to spare your flist. Click at your own risk. )
firefly124: abby lockhart rolling her eyes (abbycantbeserious by teddibear)
So, I mentioned that this past Thursday appears to have been Southeast Connecticut Fail Day. The more I look around, the more I think the whole week has been International Fail Week, but I've got enough to rant about.

Dunno why I didn't go ahead and write this yesterday. Did I mention this was a rant? Logic has no place in it. So why was I waiting to be coherent? *shrugs* Though not being incoherent is a reasonable goal, hopefully acoomplished.

The language fail and race fail went hand in hand, as they are often wont to do, when we had our "Intro to Geriatric Nursing" lecture, and thus, there was the age fail to go with them. The size fail appeared to come directly out of left field. Here are some of the comments my classmates were making that had my blood boiling. Did I mention that I ended up stuck with a seat back in the "chatty corner" of the classroom this semester? So most of this didn't filter up to the front to the prof. I wish I could say the same for myself.

Lecture point (and actually, this was in the ortho segment before we even hit geri): The various arthritic diseases have huge health care costs associated with them, and the incidence of arthritic diseases and disorders increase with age.
Classmate: DNRs would fix that.

As someone with an arthritic disorder, can I just say thanks so much for that? While I'm a firm believer in DNRs, I can't say that they're particularly applicable to arthritic disorders in and of themselves. In fact, I can't imagine where in seven hells that comment came from, and I probably don't want to know. What I do want to know is why this classmate is going into nursing at all with an attitude like that.

Lecture point: With the changes in demographics, geriatric nursing is a growing specialty.
Classmate: Something I didn't entirely make out that included "fat nursing" accompanied by a sneer and several giggles

Dear classmate, I'm not sure if your problem is with overweight nurses or caring for overweight patients. Either way, I'd like to point out the numerous times you've thanked me for saving your academic ass. Look back on them fondly, because I'm not all that inclined to give any future repeat performances. Sincerely, your fat classmate who sits two seats away from you

Lecture point: Also, the demographics within the aging population are changing, and there is a growing need for nurses with the ability to speak more than one language. Some statistics about racial demographic shifts. A classmate up at the front of the room shared that one of the computerized med systems automatically gives both Spanish and English drug info.
Several classmates: Various comments about that being "just wrong" and "learn the language" and other crap.

Dear classmates, WTF? No, seriously. I realize the immediate area here is pretty white-bread, at least until you get a bit closer to New London. I remember being hugely weirded out by that when I first moved here from Boston. So I guess I shouldn't be quite so surprised that there are folks still just starting to get used to the idea of not being a 90-something percent majority and resisting like hell. But can I just point out two reasons why, even if that's your attitude overall--which is still in dire need of adjusting, imo, because whether you like it or not, these demographics are shifting and you can either adapt or get left in the dust--it has no place in healthcare? First, when people are hurt or sick, they're going to have a harder time communicating in a secondary language, even if they're otherwise pretty fluent in it. (Never mind that with several dementias, they may very well totally lose a language they were once pretty fluent in.) Second, if a nurse needs to look up a med, and his or her first language isn't English, wouldn't you rather they had the option to read it in their own language to make sure they're not missing some critical nuance? Of course, given the demographics of our immediate area, I'll grant that Creole, Polish, French, and Mandarin are at least as needed as Spanish, if not a bit more.

So there's the race, age, size, and language fail. Then, on to work for the other two.

Client 1: You can't say stuff like that around her. She's religious.
Client 2: What kind of religious?
Client 3: Oh, I'm non-denominational.
Client 2: Then how can you call that religious? You have to be some kind of specific religion to be religious.
Client 4: Hey, everybody has their beliefs, and you have to respect them.

Huge round of applause for Client 4 in my head. So, that bit of fail was interrupted early, and without me or any other staff member having to intervene. I do wish I'd caught what "stuff like that" referred to though.

Not much later, yet another client was commenting on what they had on television. Key phrases included, "They're all gay on there" and "that's disgusting." Mind you, this is a client I've had to have the, "Whatever your opinion of any particular person or group may be, derogatory remarks towards or about that person or group are not appropriate or acceptable, and you've signed a code of conduct agreeing to that" conversation with. Repeatedly. All I had to do was walk into the room to get an apology out of said client for this behavior and acknowledgment that it was inappropriate. Several other clients appeared relieved by this, at least two of whom had probably been trying to work out how to respond to this themselves.

Then I looked at the tv to see WTF they were watching. I'd been thinking probably Will & Grace, with Buffy as a close second (though that would normally have inspired a witchcraft rant from this client either instead or as well). I'm too out of touch with what's on regular broadcast tv to have any other guesses. It appeared to be Tom & Jerry. Yeah, I don't know either.

And of course my fail in all of this is that other than the very last incident, I did nothing but fume and resist the urge to slap people. Not that I could've done much else during class, but there could've been a conversation or two afterwards. Bleargh.
firefly124: giles saying "bloody hell" (bloody hell giles)
Dear boss,

If you look at the actual schedule hanging on the wall, the notes in the logs, or frankly anything that actually shows who worked on a given day, you will see that I did, in fact, work from 7pm July 2 through 8am July 3. That would be why I coded in 7-12 regular and 12-8 workhol/major on my timesheet.

Why, then, does my timesheet (and thus my paycheck) now show 5.2 non-worked holiday hours for the 3rd? Among other things, had I not worked that day, due to the ridiculous holiday policy, I'd have had to take another 5.2 hours off somewhere (since Friday is not a normal workday for me) or else lost the holiday pay entirely.

And if there has been a bait and switch so that the actual 4th is the day getting holiday pay at the 7-day programs, I worked midnight to 8 that day too. Either way, they're both 8 hour shifts (one of them being part of a 13-hour shift!) and at least one of them should be paid double time.

Please to be giving me my 2.8 hours and my double time and my compensatory time for working a major freaking holiday.

No love,
me
firefly124: abby lockhart rolling her eyes (abbycantbeserious by teddibear)
Is it a bit of a concern that one of the staff members who had contact with the infected nurse on Wed and was in our office on Thurs is now sick? Yes.

Since he mainly comes into our office for the express purpose of using our computers, does it make sense to extra-clean them? Absolutely. (Which would be why I redid them all yet again.)

But *glares @ can on desk* who the hell had the brilliant idea to use compressed air on them? I sincerely hope they at least were masked when they did it. Because while, on the one hand, they're seriously overdoing the mask bit here (and with the crappy 20 min ones), that would've been a good time to have one on. (The more I think about it, considering how disgusting keyboards get anyway, the more I think that's probably a wise idea anytime you take compressed air to a keyboard.)

*hides compressed air before anybody does that again*

Clean surfaces. Do not deliberately aerosolize the fomites, plskthxbai.

I just love that people are running around like Chicken Little in dire need of an Ativan, aren't using common sense, and are thus probably increasing the odds of spread, all the while thinking they're controlling it. Even the policy makers clearly haven't been educated enough about infection control, because I keep seeing the phrase "universal precautions" used completely incorrectly. Which (among other idiocy) I've been complaining about ever since they started developing the nearly-useless "pandemic flu protocol" last year, but nobody listens. *adds to file of "reasons we need at least one actual medical professional on staff, and no, I don't count yet"*

I'd headdesk, but the bleach fumes are bad enough without putting my face closer to it.

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