This wonderful piece of artwork was brought to my attention by Daz, and I’m so grateful. This was done in 1536. Makes you want to smile, doesn’t it? Makes me laugh, because I think we’ve all had at least one “OGNI HOMO ME GUARDA COME FOSSE UNA TESTA DE CAZI (Every man looks at me as if I were a dickhead)” moment in our lives.

Artists, no matter when they were active, never cease to delight me. If there’s one thing to be sorry about in having a relatively short life, it’s that I won’t be around to see all the delightful artwork which will abound in the future. The importance of art cannot be underestimated, this is vital to us, to our humanity. It’s often quite good for fostering and embracing rebellion, too, even the tiny ones.

Joss Whedon’s Save the Day!

Some of America’s biggest stars — including actors Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson — appear in a short video, taking potshots at Donald Trump while rallying voters to the polls on election day.


Save the Day was founded by Joss Whedon, director of two installments of the hit “The Avengers” films, among other works.

Via Raw Story.

Breaking: Dakota Access Lake Oahe Work Stopped.


© C. Ford.

A U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. has ordered the company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline to stop construction for 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe while the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s appeal of its denied motion to do so is considered.

“ORDERED that Dakota Access LLC be enjoined pending further order of the court from construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline for 20 miles on both sides of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe,” a three-judge panel wrote in its decision, handed down late on Friday September 16. “The purpose of this administrative injunction is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for injunction pending appeal and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion.”

This solidifies a request by the federal government on September 9 for Energy Transfer Partners to cease construction along the same swathe, which the Standing Rock Sioux say contains sacred artifacts and ancient burial grounds.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II expressed relief at the decision.

“This is a temporary administrative injunction and is meant to maintain status quo while the court decides what to do with the Tribe’s motion,” he said in a statement. “The Tribe appreciates this brief reprieve from pipeline construction and will continue to oppose this project, which will severly jeopardize its water and cultural resources. We will not rest until our lands, people, waters, and sacred sites are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline.”

Attorneys for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe—which has signed on as an intervenor in the case—faced off with Dakota Access LLC attorneys on September 15 in federal district court in Washington before the three-judge panel that will also hear the appeal: Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas B. Griffith and Cornelia T.L. Pillard. They voted 2–1 to stop the company from working, according to the order, with Brown casting the dissenting vote.

Also on Friday, a Bismarck judge dissolved the temporary restraining order on protesting that had been levied against Archambault, Tribal Council Member Dana Yellow Fat, and several other tribal members.

Full story here.

Invisible 1 & 2.

In1Not too long ago, Jim C. Hines edited personal essays on representation in SF/F, and it was excellent and eye-opening. It was certainly uncomfortable at times, but that discomfort is just panicked relics of oblivious privilege trying to assert itself. I had more than a few stabs of serious guilt in reading this anthology, particularly the one about Albinism. (Having enjoyed that “evil Albino trope” more than a few times in the past, without ever thinking about actual people.) The essays in the first Invisible are:

Introduction by Alex Dally MacFarlane.

Parched, by Mark Oshiro.

Boys’s Books by Katharine Kerr.

Clicking by Susan Jane Bigelow.

The Princess Problem by Charlotte Ashley.

Autism, Representation, Success by Ada Hoffmann.

Gender in Genre by Kathryn Ryan.

‘Crazy’ About Fiction by Gabriel Cuellar.

Evil Albino Trope is Evil by Nalini Haynes.

Options by Joie Young.

Non-binary and Not Represented by Morgan Dambergs.

Representation Without Understanding by Derek Handley.

Shards of Memory by Ithiliana.

I Don’t See Color by Michi Trota.

SFF Saved My Life by Nonny Blackthorne.

In2If you missed Invisible the first time around, I could not possibly recommend it enough. While happily slumbering away under my rock, I was unaware that Invisible 2 had been put together and published. That’s been remedied, and like the 1st, this is excellent reading. As Jim C. Hines notes in the afterword, “They help us to become better readers, better writers, and better human beings.”

So many of these essays resonated, and others were serious wake up calls to stop being so bloody blinkered. Like the first anthology, this one is littered with highlights, bookmarks, and notes. Too Niche, by Lauren Jankowski about the complete invisibility of asexual people in SF/F was one of those that was a good smack on the head. In her essay, she mentions that Stephen Moffat declared Sherlock Holmes can’t be asexual because he’s too interesting. That left me spluttering and outraged. That’s an incredibly wrong, stupid, thoughtless, and insulting thing to say. Other essays which really hit home were Breaking Mirrors, Fat Chicks in SFF, Not Your Mystical Indian, Exponentially Hoping, and Colonialism, Land, and Speculative Fiction: An Indigenous Perspective. 

The Essays in Invisible 2 are:

Introduction by Aliette de Bodard.

Breaking Mirrors by Diana M. Pho

I’m Not Broken by Annalee Flower Horne.

Next Year in Jerusalem by Gabrielle Harbowy.

I am Not Hispanic, I am Puerto Rican, by Isabel Schechter.

No More Dried Up Spinsters by Nancy Jane Moore.

False Expectations by Matthew Thyer.

Text, Subtext, and Pieced-Together Lives by Angelia Sparrow.

Parenting as a Fan of Color by Kat Tanaka Okopnik.

Alien of Extraordinary Ability? by Bogi Takács.

Accidental Representation by Chrysoula Tzavelas.

Discovering the Other by John Hartness.

Lost in the Margins by Sarah Chorn.

Too Niche by Lauen Jankowski.

Fat Chicks in SFF by Alis Franklin.

Not Your Mystical Indian by Jessica McDonald.

Exponentially Hoping by Merc Rustad.

Colonialism, Land, and Speculative Fiction: An Indigenous Perspective by Ambelin Kwaymullina.

Nobody’s Sidekick: Intersectionality in Protagonists by SL Huang.

The Danger of the False Narrative by LaShawn Wanak.

Both these anthologies are excellent, if often uncomfortable, reading. Seriously recommended if you haven’t read them.

This Time, Acceptance Takes the Cake.


A trans Ken doll cake created by Freeport Bakery in Sacramento. (KTXL-TV).

SACRAMENTO — A local bakery is getting a flood of support after one of its custom cakes caught quite a bit of flack on social media. The cake was baked and molded into a transgender Ken doll.

“It wasn’t that unusual, we do doll cakes all the time.”

Eggs, milk, butter and a dash of controversy, the recipe at Freeport Bakery for the unorthodox custom cake.

A Ken doll wore a pink dress made of frosting, a sash, a tiara and jewelry.

“Naively, I guess I just thought this is a really cool cake, and look at how great they did with the butter cream,” said Marlene Goetzeler, co-owner of the bakery. “What’s wrong with a Ken cake?”

Baked at 350 degrees, but the real heat didn’t come until Goetzeler posted a picture of the dolled up delicacy on Facebook.

“I started getting some negative comments … Then a couple days later I noticed there was a big dip in unlikes. I was kind of surprised,” said Goetzeler.

An LGBT debate ensued. After a few hundred comments, and more than a thousand reactions, the bakery’s page lost dozens of Facebook likes and potential business, all because of the post.

“I was shocked that somebody would be offended,” said Goetzeler.

“Oh, I thought it was fantastic,” said Chad Graham, who attended the party where the cake was served.

Graham says it was at the birthday party for a member of a group that meets once a month for a dice game. He says the cake’s recipient is not transgender nor was he trying to make a political statement whatsoever. The cake’s recipient didn’t wish to speak to FOX40. The backlash took the group by surprise.

“I thought it was a little ridiculous. It was just cake,” said Graham.

But when word of the confection controversy began to spread, hundreds of people came to the bakery’s defense, both on social media and at the storefront.

“In the beginning, I thought ‘What’s the big deal?’ but now I realize how important it is to take a stand if you believe in something,” said Goetzeler.

A small gesture with a big impact. Goetzeler says this time acceptance takes the cake.

I think that’s a great cake, and I’m really happy that so many people took a stand and supported the Bakery.

Via Fox40.

Pence, Oh So Awkward.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) gets a haircut in Norristown, Pennsylvania on Aug. 23, 2016. (CNN).

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) gets a haircut in Norristown, Pennsylvania on Aug. 23, 2016. (CNN).

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) isn’t that recognizable outside of his home state, going by his stop for a haircut in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

According to Philadelphia Magazine, Pence went to Jones Barber & Hairstyles for a haircut, a visit that was captured on video by CNN. After discussing football, among other subjects, Pence steps out of the chair calling the haircut “perfect.”

“It’s been a pleasure, young man,” the barber replies. “Now, your name?”

“Mike Pence,” the vice-presidential candidate explains. The barber repeats Pence’s name without suggesting he recognizes it.

“Governor of the state of Indiana. I’m running for vice-president of the United States,” Pence explains, prompting surprise from the barber.

There’s video at the link. Via Raw Story. Seriously, these old white men need to stop trying to court the vote of People of Colour, it’s not only awkward, it’s downright embarrassing.

Sunday Facepalm

(File Photo) The man's affidavit was not accepted by court due to his stated occupation Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

(File Photo) The man’s affidavit was not accepted by court due to his stated occupation Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

An Irish High Court judge has ruled a litigant could not describe his occupation as “Disciple of Jesus Christ” in a sworn statement.

The presiding judge, Mr Justice Richard Humphreys, criticised the litigant for attempting to challenge a decision by the Residential Tenancies Board to fix a market rate for his rent, describing the case as “frivolous, grandiose and vexatious”.

He upheld the decision by the Central Office of the High Court to refuse to accept the litigant’s affidavit as it did not comply with the rules of the court, reports the Irish Times.

The Tenancies Board had stated the man and another tenant were using such court actions as a “tactic to delay and frustrate proceedings”.

Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said: “The courts are not a playground in which litigants can amuse themselves at will.

“For the court to bask in self-congratulatory patience for quirky insouciance of applicants would be to play the role of a judicial free-rider.

“If such a mode of description were permitted, one could not stop the next deponent describing themselves in the opening of an affidavit as a ‘Guardian reader’ or the one after that as a ‘keen golfer’ and so on.”

Plus, we have Banana Jesus! Did this belong to Ray Comfort?


There’s a slideshow at the link of various things people have found Jesus to be inexplicably occupying.

Via Independent.

You’re never “just joking.” Nobody is ever “just joking.”

Jason Steed’s tweet storm has gone viral, and with good reason. He tackled the idea that Trump was “just joking” about that whole 2nd amendment people taking care of Clinton.

But in a certain sense, it doesn’t really matter what Trump intended. This tweetstorm, from Dallas lawyer Jason P. Steed, explains why.

Before becoming a lawyer, Steed was an English professor. He wrote his PhD dissertation on “the social function of humor” and found something important: Jokes about socially unacceptable things aren’t just “jokes.” They serve a function of normalizing that unacceptable thing, of telling the people who agree with you that, yes, this is an okay thing to talk about.

This, Steed explains, is why “it’s a joke” isn’t a good defense of racist jokes. By telling the joke, the person is signaling that they think racism is an appropriate thing to express. “Just joking” is just what someone says to the people who don’t appreciate hearing racist stuff — it shouldn’t matter any more than saying “no offense” after saying something offensive.

Likewise, Trump is signaling that assassinating Hillary Clinton and/or her Supreme Court nominees is an okay thing to talk about. He’s normalizing the unacceptable.

This is very much the same as the standard you walk past is the standard you accept, but people are always trying to exempt humor from that, and it is not exempt, in spite of all those who wish it to be.

Vox has the whole tweet storm, and Think Progress has an in depth article and interview with Steed.

The Ministry of Silly Walks.

One of the zebra crossing signs in Haparanda. Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi

One of the zebra crossing signs in Haparanda. Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi.

The Ministry of Silly Walks is alive and well in Haparanda, Sweden. I think these signs are very cheerful, fun, and uplifting.

Close to Sweden’s border with Finland, Haparanda has brought a smile to local faces with these new road signs that are shaking up the town centre by urging pedestrians to jump, dance or play the guitar while crossing the street.

The Local got in touch with Terese Östling, who is in charge of “Remake the City”, a project launched in 2012 to revamp the heart of the historic parts of the town, to ask why.

She said the idea for the new signs came from Jytte Rüdiger, the local authority’s chief of culture.

“She (Rüdiger) picked up on the fact that people in Haparanda had lots of ideas for development in the ‘old’ parts of town. Many cities in Sweden struggle with dying inner parts as new, big shopping centres pop up outside of town, attracting visitors and locals out of the town centre. Business, attractiveness and inner city life suffers as a result,” she explained. […] But perhaps unsurprisingly, the signs have sparked the most reaction, with a report by national broadcaster SVT trending on social media on Monday.

How to cross the street while carrying a guitar. Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi.

How to cross the street while carrying a guitar. Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi.

The ideas for the various designs – which include a zebra crossing sign of a man doing a version of Monty Python comedian John Cleese’s famous silly walks – were thought up by local residents.

“The result has been overwhelming! Every day I go into town, I see people taking pictures of the signs and other new attractions, enjoying the new vitality of a once tired and shabby inner city. Haparanda is on its way back,” said Östling.

When asked if she had actually seen anyone give a quick boogie while crossing the street, she said: “I have seen it, but I can’t prove it with a picture sadly.”

Want to dance across the street in Haparanda? Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi.

Want to dance across the street in Haparanda? Photo: Stefan Haapaniemi.

Full story at The Local SE.