“From Stoicism to Hysteria: The 1957-58 Asian Flu Pandemic: Why Did the UK Respond So Differently?”

Interesting article by Freddie Attenborough. Some may find it not ‘left-leaning’ enough, particular in its criticism of the Guardian, and some snide remarks about contemporary social mores, but this is well researched with a lot of media articles quoted and presents a picture of what some have been calling a “panicdemic”, where media scare stories heighten fear over giving unemotional facts.
Some highlights:

“you can have as many scientists, virologists, epidemiologists, mathematicians and clinicians as you like; but decisions about which experts get the ear of government, which get favourable write-ups in the mainstream media and which end up on government special advisory panels – those decisions reflect and are driven by a society’s overarching values, fears, anxieties, norms, assumptions, prejudices, obsessions and expectations. ”
Continue reading “From Stoicism to Hysteria: The 1957-58 Asian Flu Pandemic: Why Did the UK Respond So Differently?”

Birthdays — via The Drabble

By George Potter If depressed by your age Remember the Sage Who by numeric twist Would thereby insist That at year Twenty-one (The age of great fun) A mathematical quirk Commences to work Stopping further addition From then to perdition. He said “Double your age, Then add an ‘0’ Divide by your age, C’mon,don’t be […]

via Birthdays —

Fic: Fandom Policing

This month’s theme is ‘gatekeeping’. Today’s piece looks at gatekeeping and harassment in online spaces.

access black and white blur cage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

John deletes his Instagram, his DeviantArt; he’s already deleted his tumblr and other sites linked to his J05draws username and set up a twitter under a new psuedonym. He’s relieved he never put his real name on those sites. Ten years ago he was enjoying being a fanartist. He was recently starting to use his popularity to highlight his original works and planning on taking commissions.

Continue reading Fic: Fandom Policing

Fic: No Pride in Exclusionism

This month’s theme is ‘gatekeeping’. Today’s piece looks at gatekeeping within the LGBTQ+ community.

access black and white blur cage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“You’re home early,” Roger said. Mae sat heavily on the sofa next to him, kicking off her heels. She leaned over to kiss his cheek and then leaned back, staring at the ceiling.

Roger muted the tv. “You okay?”

“I dropped out of the planning committee.”


Continue reading Fic: No Pride in Exclusionism

Best Wishes!

Cup and saucer, spoon, red diary, pink flower, chocolate cake on plate and lined book on a table with the text With Best Wishes

Happy Holidays! Happy Boxing Day to those celebrating today (assuming the scheduled post has gone out on the right day ;p) and I hope you’ve been having a wonderful time.

Thank you for following me, and for reading my work, for all the likes and shares and comments.

Best wishes for 2019, may it be a year of happiness and abundance for us all.

As this is the last Wednesday of the month and the year, I’ll mention my previous Christmas and winter themed works, maybe there’s something you haven’t seen before or would like to see again. They are all ficlets from the WiP:WRE with shapeshifter friends Romaine (wolf), El (cat) and Kit (also a cat).

Fic: Christmas is Coming wordpress ; fic blog


Fic: Hot Chocolate wordpress ; fic blog


Fic: Cookies wordpress ; fic blog



Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Theres a kid inside my mind.  He wants me to make sense of all the horror and wonder contained in the world, and lace it into a compelling narrative—a narrative that lifts his heart, opens his thoughts, and inspires him to write a story of his own.

I think when we craft a story for that hidden version of ourselves, it seems to connect with everyone else’s.  And for an undeniable moment in that spot-on story, it seems we can be that kid again; the one who turns the pages with wide-eyed wonder, and has to restrain themselves from jumping up from their seat and whooping in delight.

View original post


Samhain Comments & Graphics

~Magickal Graphics~Happy Halloween and a blessed Samhain, or All Soul’s Night, to those celebrating.

All Hallows Eve, or Halloween, is the modern name in English for the great north European festival which signalled the end of the light and warm half of the year, and ushered in the cold and dark one, and so divided the season of autumn from that of winter in these northern lands. It was known in Irish as Samhain, summer’s end; in Welsh as Nos Galan Gaeaf, “winter’s eve”; in Anglo-Saxon as Blodmonath, “blood month”; and in Norse as the “winter nights”. As such it was one of the greatest religious festivals of the ancient northern pagan year – x

Samhain also known as Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows Eve, Lá Samhna and Allhelgona amongst others. It takes place on the last day of October. It is the end of summer, where only summer and winter are recognised as seasons. In certain traditions this is the start of the new year. Samhain is celebrated as the Dia de los Muertos in Mexico (Day of the Dead–usually held on November 1) and All Saints Day (also on November 1) by the Catholic church.
It is the last of the harvest festivals in the Wheel of the Year. Across the world, in the Southern Hemisphere, it is Beltane, a fire festival full of fertility symbolism – the time of Brighid rather than the Cailleach.

It is believed that the Veil between the worlds is at its thinnest at this time and so it is both a time to be wary of spirits – hence the jack’o’lanterns to scare away evil spirits. Pumpkins are carved into lanterns, though any squash can be used, and before the American influence of pumpkins took over, the more traditional turnips and beets prevailed. This article Original Irish Jack-o-Lanterns were truly terrifying and made of turnips discusses the original folklore behind the carving of gourds.

It’s also a time for remembering ancestors or those who have passed on. Some people hold a dumb supper at which their loved ones who have passed over are welcome at. Livejournal member introduced me to Allhelgona; the Swedish version of All Hallow’s Eve – full name Alla Helgons Dag which translated to English would be “All Saints Day”. For the protestants of the Swedish Church it’s the time to go put flowers and little white candles on the graves of their loved ones.

Samhain is an idea time for divination, be it through tarot cards, runes, scrying, or other means. Other themes and workings include reflecting on the past, release of bad habits/banishing, candle magic, protection spells, manifesting transformation, knowledge, death & rebirth/new beginning.

Apples are traditional for this festival, plain for apple bobbing, and covered in caramel as toffee apples/candy apples. Other foods and drink associated with the festival includes gourds, cranberries, baked potatoes, pork and other meats, soups, mulled cider/mead/red wine, nuts, sweets, pomegranates, dark breads, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds.

Colours include black, orange, grey, deep blue, deep purple, gold, silver, and burgundy. Stones like obsidian, haematite, jet, onyx, and amethyst are appropriate for October.

Deities: Cernunnus, Horned God, Osiris, Hades, Anubis, Loki, Dis, Arawn, Erebos, Pluto, Iku, Eshu, Gywnn Ap Nudd (Welsh), The Crone, Hecate(Greek), Cerridwen(Welsh-Scottish), Arianrhod(Welsh), Demeter, Caillech (Irish-Scottish), Baba Yaga (Russian), Al-Ilat(persian), Santa Muerte (Mexican), Bast (Egyptian), Persephone (Greek), Hel(Norse), Kali(Hindu), All death and underworld/Otherworld Goddesses and gods.

A besom or broom is an appropriate decoration. Other correspondences include: skulls, bones, cauldrons, pumpkins, gourds, sickles, scythes, representations of your ancestors, cornucopia, root vegetables, dried leaves, acorns, elder flowers, mandrake, wolfsbane, sarsaparilla, allspice, mugwort, divination tools, bats, owls, crows and ravens, water, midnight. There’s a list here and a longer list here and some ideas on correspondences and ways to celebrate here and here.

Some pagans worry about the more fun aspects of Halloween, like eating sweet foods, dressing up, and watching scary movies. The Thought.co Paganism and Wicca (previously about.com) guide puts it like this: Think of Samhain and Halloween like this – one is spiritual, one is secular. There’s no reason they have to be mutually exclusive at all. You can still observe the fun and silliness of Halloween — and pig out on candy, if you like — while maintaining the more somber traditions of honoring the dead at Samhain. The reverse follows; there’s nothing pagan about putting on a costume for fun, and paganism has no exclusivity on honouring ancestors.

Soul Cakes –Discworld readers are familiar with the Soul Cake Duck, and this is the origin of that reference. Soul cakes were traditionally baked as a gift for the spirits of the dead. In many European countries, the idea of “Souling” became an acceptable alternative for Christians. The cakes took many different names and shapes — in some areas, they were simple shortbread, and in others they were baked as fruit-filled tarts. Still other regions made them of rice flour. Generally, a soul cake was made with whatever grain the community had available. That text comes this site which has four recipes if you want to try baking something for the festival.

Selected sources and further reading

Samhain by winter-elf-witch
Wheel of the Year: Samhain
Samhain names and correspondences
Original Irish Jack-o-Lanterns were truly terrifying and made of turnips
This page gives ideas and links to ideas for decorations, recipes, and rituals.
Samhain History
Samhain Correspondences
Wheel of the Year: October
Halloween? It’s more than trick or treat
Soul Cake Duck


Asexual Awareness Week 2018

It’s Asexual Awareness Week. I’m not creating anything this year but I have tags for my previous asexual awareness week posts at my other journal, and a tag for all posts including meta and fiction looking at asexuality, theme: asexuality spectrum. 
I have some of those also posted as at WordPress tagged sexuality: asexuality.

There’s been pushback against asexuality in some places. Some tumblr posts insist that asexuals aren’t “oppressed enough” to be consider part of the LGBT+ community (those posts insist “queer is a slur” too despite significant commentary to the contrary on how important the reclaiming and use of the term is for many.)
There are posts accusing people of “sexualising” children by saying that we should acknowledge more than just heterosexual romantic and sexual attraction. That telling someone you’re asexual is “unneccessary” and exposing them to “information about your sex life”.
Posts saying asexuals just need hormones or counselling or to be raped.
Posts saying that asexual posts confuse people and prevent them from being gay because of “internalised homophobia”.

Most of those things have been, and in some cases, still are used as fodder against other queer groups.
“Trans people aren’t allowed in gay spaces because a transman with a woman is heterosexual”
“Bihets aren’t allowed in gay spaces!” (ie a bi/pansexual person in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender. The term bihet erases bisexuality by making same sex relationships gay, opposite sex relationships straight, and ignores trans people and nonbinary identities)
“Don’t mention lebsians or women won’t get married as they should.”
“Stop mentioning you’re gay, you’re throwing your sexuality in my face!” (As they wear a wedding ring and have a photo of their wife on their desk, secure in displays of heterosexuality)
“You’re not a gay man or a transwomen, you just need more testosterone and to pray harder to be the straight man you should be.”
“She won’t be a lesbian after I’ve f*cked her”

There’s been some interesting discussion about the Russian bots that infiltrated Tumblr and the rise of dissent amongst queer groups; “gold star lesbian” rhetoric, posts that are anti-bisexual and anti-asexual, a rise in TERF posts centering womanhood on menstruation and reproduction. It’s awful and it’s unacceptable.

If you don’t know anything about asexuality there’s a primer here and a lot of other links in this Asexual Awareness Week 2017 post.

Thanks for reading.