Recent blog entries for marnanel

The Ghost in the Crown - Act 1

What if Dr Seuss had written Hamlet?


The sun did not shine.
There were clouds overhead.
I sat in the castle
And wished I was dead.
My father had perished.
My dad lost his life.
My uncle usurped him
And married his wife!
An action more evil
Than man should commit.
And I did not like it!
Not even one bit!

My mother, the queen,
And her husband, her kin,
They knocked on the door.
They said “May we come in?”
They opened the door
Of the room where I sat.
And they said to me,
“Why do you sit there like that?
Did you know derrières
Are a bit like your dad?
For everyone’s got one.
(Or everyone had.)
You cried for a night
When he died without warning.
But you can have lots
of good fun in the morning!
There’s plenty of fathers!
They’re twenty a dime!
They don’t last forever.
They die all the time!
So stop going round
In a suit of black cloth.
You’re sure to be sad
If you dress like a goth.
Don’t run off to college.
Just chill for a while.
Now I’m your new father.
So give us a smile!”

And then I was sadder
Than ever I’ve felt.
My body’s alive
But I wished it would melt.
My mum, like a beast,
With my uncle was lying,
In less than a month
From her mourning and crying.
They jumped into bed
While her tears were undried,
And I wished that the Lord
Would allow suicide.

My friends came to tell me,
“Come quickly! Come down!
We’ve seen on the ramparts
A GHOST in a CROWN!
It gave us a fright
Like we never have had!
It shines in the dark!
And it looks like your dad!”

I went to the ramparts
High over the town.
I looked! And I saw him!
The GHOST in the CROWN!

He said, “Listen closely,
For everyone’s sake!
They said I was killed
By a venomous snake.
My bruv did the deed!
Not a serpent that hisses!
He wants to be king
And to sleep with my missus!
Tell your uncle from me
He’s a murdering swine!
Or your haircut will look
Like a mad porcupine!”


I’ll be posting these over the next few days, one for each of the five acts of Hamlet. When I’m done I’ll work on some illustrations. Feedback and sharing are very welcome. This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/335745.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-07-01 16:38:00 from Monument

getting to church early

This morning I'd set the alarm assuming Kit was coming with me to church, but she was soundly asleep-- we'd stayed up to watch the Nebula awards in Chicago last night (because a friend was a nominee and another friend was speaking).

So I got to church uncharacteristically early, and there I discovered I'd been elected a sidesperson in absentia at the parish meeting a fortnight ago. (I had to miss the meeting, and I forgot I'd put my name down as a possible candidate.) Not only that, but today was my first day on the rota, and I had no idea what I was doing. But if there was one day I should have got there early, it was today!

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/335479.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-06-07 16:27:55 from Monument

trans unicode erratum

trans tech folk, other trans folk, other tech folk:

I'm planning to submit an erratum to Unicode. U+26A5, U+26A6, and U+26A7 all have the informative alias "transgendered sexuality".

code chart
(from http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2600.pdf. Original encoding proposal: http://www.unicode.org/L2/L2003/03364-n2663-gender-rev.pdf)

I think the first word should be "transgender", and the second word should be something other than "sexuality", but I'm not sure what.

The questions I have are:
1) do you think asking for this change is sensible?
2) what do you think the informative alias "transgendered sexuality" should be changed to?
3) can you think of good sources I can cite when I'm explaining why the change should be made?

If you saw this on Facebook or Twitter or wherever, feel free to answer there and I'll copy the answer here onto Dreamwidth/LJ.

love and hugs.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/334879.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-05-26 22:39:20 (Updated 2015-05-26 22:55:40) from Monument

On Josh Duggar and Mike Huckabee

TW child abuse, sexual assault

so, this is what i have to say about Josh Duggar.
Q: what's it called when you hush up your own children being raped to preserve your reputation?
A: it's called Omelas. and if you, like Mike Huckabee, care nothing about walking away from Omelas, i don't want to know you. that's all.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/334831.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-05-22 18:44:48 from Monument

16 May 2015 (updated 17 May 2015 at 15:08 UTC) »

Humans of Manchester

Three people I met today:

1) His granddaughter was a chorister at the cathedral, and she has to work very hard at Chetham's both on her schoolwork and on practicing. He'd done his national service in the army as a young man. It was a terrible two years, being ordered around by people who weren't fit to lick your boots. But he was glad of it, because he'd learned to play the system, and this knowledge comes in useful anywhere. If you were "a follower" you'd probably have got far more bored than he did. The other good thing about it was that having to learn discipline meant you got self-discipline thrown in, and that had been really useful for organising himself after he was demobbed.

2) She was in charge of all the cathedral volunteers: there were about seventy of them of all faiths and none. She herself was a Roman Catholic, which she said made very little difference in an Anglican cathedral. When she was a young girl living in Ireland, her grandfather was asked to send the kids to the local Church of Ireland school by the headmaster. The school's intake was too low to be sustainable that year otherwise. Her grandfather agreed. Soon he saw the RC priest walking down his front path to talk to him. He wouldn't go out, but he told someone to tell the priest that he was doing what was best for the community.

3) He was in the Arndale Centre, begging via psych manipulation techniques. If I hadn't been trying to get to the loo, I'd have had more fun with this.

He, walking up: "So, do YOU speak English?"
Me: "Yeeeessss...?"
He: "Ah, I like the way you say yeeesss. My name's Daniel. What's yours?" (puts out hand; I shake it automatically; he now has eye contact. He smiles warmly. I grow increasingly suspicious.)
Me: "I'm Thomas."
He: "Well, Thomas, I was..."
Me: "Look, what's this about?"
He: "I was just wondering whether you could spare me some money for a coffee."

I gave him £1 (which was more than I could really afford) for a good try, and for teaching me a beautiful opening line. "So, do YOU speak English?" breaks the ice, and indicates he's been trying to talk to a bunch of people so he's frustrated and you'll want to help him, and makes you want to do better than all the people so far. [Edit: It also has an unpleasant racist dogwhistle side that I'd missed entirely-- thanks to Abigail for pointing it out.]

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/334388.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-05-16 20:45:51 (Updated 2015-05-17 14:22:27) from Monument

Repeal of the Human Rights Act

Some politics:

There has been talk of repealing the Human Rights Act recently. This is the legislation which makes the European Declaration of Human Rights binding on the UK. The EDHR is nothing to do with the European Union-- it was created after WWII as a check on states becoming totalitarian in the future. So repealing it worries me.

I keep hearing people say, "How can we let the Human Rights Act apply to murderers? What about the human rights of the people they killed?" But if the Human Rights Act applied only to "nice" people, it wouldn't be necessary. It exists to provide a baseline for absolutely everyone, no matter how much the state or the public dislike them.

Amnesty is getting a petition together against the repeal of the Act. I've signed it, and if this worries you as much as it worries me, please sign it too. You can find it at http://keeptheact.uk/ .

Anyone reading this post to the end deserves a cup of coffee, so I've put some on.



This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/334313.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-05-14 12:20:54 from Monument

Song sermons

"As Rick Astley says, never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down. And Joshua is told that God will never leave nor forsake him..."

"As Haddaway says, what is love? Baby don't hurt me no more. But St John answers that perfect love casts out fear..."

"As A-Ha say, take on me, take me on. And likewise in today's reading we see Elijah taking on the priests of Baal..."

"As Sting says, I hope that someone gets my message in a bottle. But the letters of Paul were written to specific situations..."

"As Wham say, wake me up before you go-go. In Ephesians 5, Paul also exhorts sleepers to wake so Christ can shine on them..."

"As Chumbawamba say, I get knocked down, but I get up again. So also, our Lord's resurrection on that first Easter morning..."

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/333380.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-04-15 01:24:52 from Monument

in which Final Fantasy is discovered to be a computer game

Today someone made a reference I didn't get to something called a chockoboo (I think). I looked confused, and they said, "Have you heard of Final Fantasy?" "Yes," I said, "but I'm not sure what it is. A film, maybe, or a computer game?" There followed a great deal of explanation which I have now forgotten because I have no context to attach it to, except that FF is a large series of complicated computer games and that chockoboos are important in some of them. I think they must have explained what a chockoboo actually *is*, but if they did I forgot it.

The main takeaway, however, was an alarming realisation that I do this too, to almost everyone I meet.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/332483.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-29 17:23:34 from Monument

Image accessibility

I have an accessibility idea. I shall probably do it, unless it turns out to be fundamentally flawed. Your thoughts are appreciated!

1) A site that takes an uploaded JPEG, and a string, and returns the JPEG with the EXIF comment field set to that string.

2) Browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome which set the alt property of each JPEG on a page to its comment field, if it has one.

This means you can describe an image before you post it, and that description travels with the image. Thoughts?

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/332220.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-27 15:27:19 (Updated 2015-03-27 15:27:29) from Monument

Poetry and risk aversion

A while back a friend said something about risk aversion, and I asked them about it.

There's a setup where you get given two choices. One choice means you'll definitely get £"x". The other means you'll have a "y"% choice of getting £"z", and if you don't you'll get nothing.

This showed me I am very risk-averse. If you ask me to choose between a definite £5 and a 25% chance of £100, I'm still going to choose the £5 because that's my lunch, dammit. For most amounts of money I won't take the bet unless the odds are better than evens. I suppose everyone has a set of heuristics like that, and this is mine.

There have been times when I've worked around these heuristics on purpose-- you may remember the business about Växjö. But that was merely a workaround; it didn't change the heuristics.

I was thinking yesterday that this explains a lot about why I usually don't enter poetry competitions or submit work to journals: the cost of entry is rarely worth the chance of payoff. "Cost of entry" here might include money, but always includes the manual and mental work needed to prepare and submit, the anxiety about not getting it right, and (if simultaneous submissions aren't allowed) losing the ability to use a particular poem for the next four months. And the payoff is small, and the chance of getting it isn't great. So mostly I don't bother.

See also: applying for jobs, asking people on dates, etc, etc.

This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/330990.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Syndicated 2015-03-19 23:38:58 from Monument

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