jennythereader: (Flying Owl w/Full Moon)
Does anyone know if it's possible to pull some data out of a family tree?

I'm especially interested in a way to automatically count what first names have been used most often, and in tracking lifespans and how they change over time. At the moment I'm keeping track manually in a Google spreadsheet, but that's kind of cumbersome.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
If you could make one change to the US electoral system to increase voter turn-out, what would it be?

I have two major ideas:
1) Have the polling places be open for 24 hours. Every polling station in the country opens at 12:00:01 am Eastern Time and closes at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time. That triples everyones opportunity to get to a poll, and would have the side benefit of reducing the influence that early results can have on people who vote later in the day. I would let stations close early if everyone who was registered at that location had already voted.

2) When people register to vote, let them pick a secondary polling place in addition to the one based on where they live. I suspect most people would chose one near work. It would have to be limited in a couple ways, to prevent people from voting twice and from voting on purely local issues that don't affect their lives. Maybe you would have to declare a month (or a week) in advance which of your options you'd be voting at, and if you chose the non-residential one you'd be given a special ballot with only the races/issues the two locations have in common.
jennythereader: (White Owl 1)
If you could make one change to the US electoral system to increase voter turn-out, what would it be?

I have two major ideas:
1) Have the polling places be open for 24 hours. Every polling station in the country opens at 12:00:01 am Eastern Time and closes at 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time. That triples everyones opportunity to get to a poll, and would have the side benefit of reducing the influence that early results can have on people who vote later in the day. I would let stations close early if everyone who was registered at that location had already voted.

2) When people register to vote, let them pick a secondary polling place in addition to the one based on where they live. I suspect most people would chose one near work. It would have to be limited in a couple ways, to prevent people from voting twice and from voting on purely local issues that don't affect their lives. Maybe you would have to declare a month (or a week) in advance which of your options you'd be voting at, and if you chose the non-residential one you'd be given a special ballot with only the races/issues the two locations have in common.
jennythereader: (Default)
Does anyone know a way to make Google maps zoom out to specific distances? What I want to be able to do is something like center it on my house and then zoom to 2 miles (my recreational walking range), or center it on Albany and zoom to 100 miles (recreational driving range).

If you can't zoom to a specific distance, can you tell it to draw a circle with a specified radius?
jennythereader: (Default)
Does anyone know a way to make Google maps zoom out to specific distances? What I want to be able to do is something like center it on my house and then zoom to 2 miles (my recreational walking range), or center it on Albany and zoom to 100 miles (recreational driving range).

If you can't zoom to a specific distance, can you tell it to draw a circle with a specified radius?
jennythereader: (Giles 012)
If somebody were to film Girl Genius, who would you cast as which characters?

I'm sort of drawing a blank for everybody, but I might edit them in if I do come up with something.
jennythereader: (Giles 012)
If somebody were to film Girl Genius, who would you cast as which characters?

I'm sort of drawing a blank for everybody, but I might edit them in if I do come up with something.
jennythereader: (Opal *)
Following up on this post, I've narrowed it down to three boxes that seem like they'd be good choices.

1. The Little Black Box
2. BlissMoBox
3. My Dream Sample Box

I also decided that rather than try to arrange in advance to split a subscription, I'll just sell anything I don't want to friends who do. To make it fair, anything I sell will be at what it cost me or less if I opened it before realizing I didn't want it.

So (for example) if the box I decide on costs $15 a month, and has 10 items in it, I'd offer the things I didn't want for $1.50.

Does that seem fair? Has anyone else tried sample boxes? What did you think?
jennythereader: (Opal *)
Following up on this post, I've narrowed it down to three boxes that seem like they'd be good choices.

1. The Little Black Box
2. BlissMoBox
3. My Dream Sample Box

I also decided that rather than try to arrange in advance to split a subscription, I'll just sell anything I don't want to friends who do. To make it fair, anything I sell will be at what it cost me or less if I opened it before realizing I didn't want it.

So (for example) if the box I decide on costs $15 a month, and has 10 items in it, I'd offer the things I didn't want for $1.50.

Does that seem fair? Has anyone else tried sample boxes? What did you think?
jennythereader: (Opal *)
After reading this thread about sample boxes over on the BPAL forums, I kind of want to subscribe to one.

The problem is that judging by the reviews on that same thread, I'm probably only going to like about half of what I get (on average). While that's still more cost effective than going out and buying full size things at the store (and ending up using less than a sample size amount of most of them), it's not ideal.

So, if I did end up getting a sample box of some sort, would anybody be interested in splitting it with me?

I can think of a couple different ways to manage the split, but we can figure out exactly how to do it once we've picked which box to get and know (generally) what sort of stuff it will have and how much it will cost.
jennythereader: (Opal *)
After reading this thread about sample boxes over on the BPAL forums, I kind of want to subscribe to one.

The problem is that judging by the reviews on that same thread, I'm probably only going to like about half of what I get (on average). While that's still more cost effective than going out and buying full size things at the store (and ending up using less than a sample size amount of most of them), it's not ideal.

So, if I did end up getting a sample box of some sort, would anybody be interested in splitting it with me?

I can think of a couple different ways to manage the split, but we can figure out exactly how to do it once we've picked which box to get and know (generally) what sort of stuff it will have and how much it will cost.
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
Inspired by A Way With Words, the podcast I'm listening to today, I have a question for everybody:

How do you refer to an out of the way part of something? For example, you're at the mall and the parking lot is full enough that you need to use the outermost part of the lot, and end up with a long walk to the place where you're meeting your friends. When you meet up with them you say "I'm so sorry, the lot was packed and I had to park ________."

How do you fill in the blank?

I'd most likely fill it in with either in the back 40, or in the north 40.

Edit: If I was really annoyed, I might say in the back of beyond.
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
Inspired by A Way With Words, the podcast I'm listening to today, I have a question for everybody:

How do you refer to an out of the way part of something? For example, you're at the mall and the parking lot is full enough that you need to use the outermost part of the lot, and end up with a long walk to the place where you're meeting your friends. When you meet up with them you say "I'm so sorry, the lot was packed and I had to park ________."

How do you fill in the blank?

I'd most likely fill it in with either in the back 40, or in the north 40.

Edit: If I was really annoyed, I might say in the back of beyond.
jennythereader: (Hedgehog *)
1)How does mixing types of bones work? At the moment I have a chicken carcass, a duck carcass, and a ham bone. Should I make three separate batches of stock or one big batch?

2)I actually have way more stock than I really need. Anybody want to trade for something they make? Local(ish) only please. The stock is just frozen, so we'd need to be able to make the swap in person.
jennythereader: (Hedgehog *)
1)How does mixing types of bones work? At the moment I have a chicken carcass, a duck carcass, and a ham bone. Should I make three separate batches of stock or one big batch?

2)I actually have way more stock than I really need. Anybody want to trade for something they make? Local(ish) only please. The stock is just frozen, so we'd need to be able to make the swap in person.
jennythereader: (Default)
Anybody else not getting comments emailed to them?
jennythereader: (Default)
Anybody else not getting comments emailed to them?
jennythereader: (John Lennon 2)
What is your least favorite song by your favorite performer?

Mine is "Revolution #9" by the Beatles. They wrote other songs that were almost as pointless, but I can't think of a single one that is less fun to listen to.

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