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Me telling housemates about radon risks: Haha fuck yeah!!! Yes!!
Me being asked to split radon detector costs: Well this fucking sucks. What the fuck.

#*adds a radon testing unit to the List at position 17*

now I want to know about the rest of this list

Current edition of the List of Things to Save Up For (colloquially “the List”), redacted-and-annotated-for-public-display version.

(While I *remembered* the drywall repair, I noticed while annotating that I had not actually written it down, so now the radon testing unit is at position #18.)


#reply via reblog #oh look an original post #adventures in human capitalism #domesticity #poison cw


I have no idea how dental insurance companies make any money, why would you ever sign up if you didn’t know they were going to pay out more than you put in?

I come across so many personal-finance bloggers who think dental/prescription insurance is just obviously a basic necessity, and then you look at the plan they’re on and the payout caps are so low that it’s damn near physically impossible to get out more than you put in no matter *how* bad your health luck is.

(Meanwhile they live in a jurisdiction where the government has high-deductible anti-catastrophe prescription insurance for everyone and they don’t know it.)


#reply via reblog #medical cw #adventures in human capitalism #(unfortunately there *isn’t* high-deductible anti-catastrophe government dental insurance) #(and my dad sure did have some dental catastrophes this year) #((but a dental plan with a $400 cap wouldn’t have helped a damn))

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spotify wrapped is weird because of how many of you are apparently using subscription services for music

you know there are legally operating websites your ISP will be cool with you visiting that have tons of music files on there, right?

Spotify is free, though; i assume most Spotify Wrapped posters are just using the ad-supported free plan, not paying for a subscription. I do dislike the ads, though – which are the legal music piracy websites?

Youtube. For ad-free, Youtube + UBlock Origin.

(note for some of the mobile Internet users out there: UBlock Origin *is* available on Android Firefox)

The breadth of their library, already substantial a decade ago, has improved tremendously. It has been several years since the last time I searched for a song on Youtube and did not find it.


#anyway I agree with OP #for songs I know I’ll want to listen to many times in the future I use local files #but if I only want a song once or twice‚ or if I’m looking up new songs‚ that is what Youtube is for #(this is actually my *primary* usecase for Youtube) #((well‚ that and videos to watch while on the treadmill)) #reply via reblog #the more you know #music #I think different aspects of this post qualify for both #proud citizen of The Future #and #disappointed permanent resident of The Future

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if you liked @earlyandoftenpodcast (which is itself excellent as an amalgamation of a century of history, told with an imperceptible amount of fnords), I recommend Presidencies of the United States

it’s a bit slow (it’s taken him six years to cover twenty years of history) but i like it that way


Presidencies of the United States does have transcripts, if you’re so inclined. You can find them at the bottom of the page for each episode, such as the most recent one.

#i couldn’t find it for a while but i remembered hearing the guy insist that he had transcripts #also early and often *was* great and i highly recommend it as a sort of background to Presidencies #the New York episodes in particular helped to set the stage for understanding NY at the time of the Clinton faction #even if NY politics truly is the devil’s own incomprehensibles

Ooh, thank you!

*adds to reading list*


#reply via reblog #oh look an update #podcasts #recs #history #home of the brave #that excuse for communication called speech

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In the big list of “terms of art in a specific discipline that suddenly everybody is familiar with”, I think that to go with “coronavirus”, “core inflation”, etc. we’ll shortly be adding “cascading failure.”


tags from @brin-bellway

#I desperately want to make an “in the future‚ ‘zoonosis’ will be a word everyone knows” reference here#but I can’t think of a suitable word to stick in there#maybe if I were more fluent in webdev jargon#(…why does that quote not turn up on search engines)#(please tell me somebody knows what I’m talking about)

There’s a fancy word for this phenomenon, used by scientists who study infectious diseases from an ecological perspective: zoonosis. […] It’s a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century.

2014 Oct: Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus, by David Quammen

I got that off Siderea’s Great Age of Plagues series, though perhaps you got it from elsewhere.

That’s getting at the same idea, yeah, but I don’t think it’s the exact line I was thinking of. (I wouldn’t be surprised if the thing I saw was a David Quammen author interview, though.)


#reply via reblog #illness tw #amnesia cw? #apocalypse cw?



Seeing more and more blogs without a [username].tumblr.com site which means you can only view their blogs in tumblr.com/[username] mode, and I realized just the other day that nowadays you have to manually go to your blog settings and toggle the “enable custom theme” switch to have a browser site activated.

I REALLY recommend activating this! Especially if you’re an artist or if you have a themed blog, like if you reblog fanart for a specific fandom or ship. First and foremostly you can change the whole theme if you want to, you can really just go wild with building your personal aesthetic for your page.

But what I think is even more important, is that you NEED to “enable custom theme” to enable access to your archive! The link [username].tumblr.com/archive doesn’t work if you don’t have this enabled!

If you post art or archive fanart or fandom content of any kind, letting people access your archive makes it so much easier for people (and yourself) to find older art on your blog or to look for something you drew a while ago that they remember loving and want to look at again.

We talk lots about how on Tumblr old art gets to circulate, and the archive is part of how that works. It’s a really useful tool in finding good content that isn’t brand new. And especially if you are good at tagging, it’s very easy to filter the archive to find ship content or meta or fics, whatever you want to find.

Checked on this and you have to activate it on web view – the option isn’t there in the mobile app. I didn’t have it activated, so even if you’ve been here since well before Dashcon, might want to check on that.

It looks like they’ve fixed the inability to view “/archive”, but I recommend having a browser site anyway.


#fight the slippery slope towards Internet silos #PSA #reply via reblog #Tumblr: a User’s Guide #The Great Tumblr Apocalypse #disappointed permanent resident of The Future


The overwhelming dominance of free verse poetry in English sucks actually. It’s not a bad form but it IS bad that it’s the main form of english language poetry being published

I know everyone is conditioned to think rhyme, rhythm and meter is for either maudlin, sing-songy and childish poetry or excessively formal, pretentious poetry, but these things are just what makes phrases and lines memorable and punchy.

English naturally has rhythm and all poetry uses this stuff a little bit, it’s legitimately just What Make Word Sound Good

more importantly, rhyme, rhythm and meter are very connected to memory. there’s a reason why little songs and chants are our most enduring and effective memory tools


It occurs to me that most people don’t know how these things work so here:

How Poetic Rhythm, Meter, and Rhyme Actually Work!

People seem to only learn about rhyme in grade school, and they don’t appear to learn that rhymes other than perfect rhymes (rhymes where the ending ‘sound(s)’ perfectly match) exist.

When I first got into writing my own poetry, I repeatedly heard “don’t use rhymes like ‘true’ and ‘blue’,” but for some reason it’s hard to find an explanation of this.

So here it is. “True” and “blue” are perfect rhymes because the ending sounds are identical.

Most pairs considered ‘rhymes’ in poetry do not perfectly match like that. I’m sorry grade school and colloquial usage lied to you. Rhymes are sounds at the ends of lines (or even inside lines!) that echo each other. That’s it.

Here’s a set of rhymes that are at least close to perfect, from the song “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC:

She was a fast machine, she kept her motor clean/She was the best damn woman that I ever seen

However, imperfect rhymes are REALLY, REALLY COMMON and they often sound better. Here’s a couple rhyming lyrics from the song “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison:

Every rose has its thorn/Just like every night has its dawn

This still rhymes. It’s just not perfect.

Here’s the thing. Rhyme is supposed to make Poem Sound Good On Brain, and it is only about 20% of what makes poetry Sound Good On Brain.

To talk about meter, we have to talk about stress. Stress is, like rhyme, inexact, but it arguably messes stuff up a lot more if you don’t understand it.

To explain what stress is, imagine this scenario: You are seen walking hastily away from the zoo in a ski mask, carrying a large cage covered with a sheet that occasionally emits strange sounds. (I promise this will make sense in a second.)

Before you can leave the parking lot, though, you are stopped by an angry zookeeper. “Did you steal the capybara from its cage?” the zookeeper asks.

You make one of the following excuses (please read these aloud, it’ll help):

I didn’t steal the capybara from its cage.

I didn’t steal the capybara from its cage.

I didn’t steal the capybara from its cage.

What are you doing to the bolded word that makes the meaning of your excuse different? You’re putting emphasis, or stress, on it.

All English speech naturally has places that are stressed. Without stress, it sounds like a robot in a 1970′s cartoon is talking. Specifically, almost all multisyllabic English words have specific syllables that are always stressed. (There are some regional variations.) You can figure it out by simply reading the word aloud with the stress on different syllables until you find the one that sounds normal and not evil:

  • Walrus vs. Walrus
  • Giraffe vs. Giraffe
  • Tiger vs. Tiger 
  • Baboonvs. Baboon
  • Ostrich vs. Ostrich
  • Raccoon vs. Raccoon
  • Penguin vs. Penguin
  • Gazelle vs. Gazelle
  • Gecko vs. Gecko
  • Vulture vs. Vulture

Okay, let’s leave the zoo. Try it with these words:

  • Divine
  • Shower
  • Convince
  • Pebble
  • Sidewalk
  • Carpet
  • Smoothie
  • Attract
  • Relax
  • Darkness
  • Garden
  • Surpass
  • Object

Wait, what’s that last one? That’s right, some English words are indistinguishable except for which syllable is stressed. “I object!” you might say at a wedding you don’t approve of. “It’s an unidentified flying object,” you might say if you glimpse an alien spaceship in a blurry picture.

Now try it with some three syllable words:

  • Immortal
  • Magenta
  • Poetry
  • Carnivore
  • Tomorrow
  • Entity

I feel like “entity” is a noun and “entity” would have to be a verb, if you catch my drift.

(You will notice that two-syllable English words typically have stress on the first syllable, and that three-syllable English words usually have stress on the second syllable or maybe the first.)

Single-syllable words have fuzzier rules. A single word can be stressed or unstressed depending on context. In general, content-heavy words are stressed, whereas connecting words that don’t have much meaning can kinda do what they want depending on the words around them.

English likes to periodically pick up stress, like a curious hiker periodically picking up rocks. You can barely say more than three syllables in a row without naturally emphasizing something.

This is convenient, because when stresses occur in a rhythmic pattern, ambiguous words will be swept along with the pattern.

Here’s another thing to read aloud. See which of the following couplets “sounds” better to you:

Supreme divine giraffes surpass raccoons/and gecko gods ascend beyond giraffes.

Angel giraffes beyond mortal knowledge/cannot defeat divine gecko powers.

Both couplets have the same number of syllables (ten in each line), but only the first line is metered. You might recognize it–it’s iambic pentameter! This is a form of accentual-syllabic verse.

You will notice that “pent” means five, but there’s ten syllables. Fear not– “pentameter” refers to the number of feet in the line. In this case, it’s the number of iambs. 

An iamb is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Giraffe is an iamb. Divine is an iamb. Any two syllables with that pattern can be.

There are three other main options for “feet” in English accentual-syllabic verse: trochees (stressed-unstressed), dactyls (stressed-unstressed-unstressed), and anapests (unstressed-unstressed-stressed). There is also the spondee (two stressed syllables) and pyrrhus (two unstressed syllables) but you can’t really write an entire poem with those (okay you TECHNICALLY can with the spondee, but there are only a few examples). Not all English meter is based on “feet,” but this is a good starting point.

When people think poetry, they think rhyme. Never meter. When people who haven’t studied poetry try to write poetry, they make it rhyme, but they don’t utilize meter.

This is not good, because in my opinion, rhyme, especially perfect rhyme, typically needs to be accompanied by some kind of rhythm to not sound like shit.

You know who can pull off perfect rhymes in poetry? Robert Frost. I’m going to put an entire poem here.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

This doesn’t have that cringy sing-songy effect that a lot of perfect rhyme creates, and I believe that this is BECAUSE the rhythm of the syllables is so formal and strict.

Imagine if it was like this:

These woods belong to someone I know.
He lives in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods, all covered in snow.

This is so bad.

You can do really cool things with the combination of rhyme and meter. Here’s one of my favorite examples, with stresses bolded:

Now I’m falling asleep and she’s calling a cab
While he’s having a smoke and she’s taking a drag
Now they’re going to bed, and my stomach is sick
And it’s all in my head, but she’s touching his

What’s the pattern? Unstressed, unstressed, stressed. How many of these per line? Four. Anapestic tetrameter, my friends. Except, of course, for the last line, which we expectto rhyme with “sick.”

The pattern is so powerful that when you listen to the song, your brain fills in…a word rhyming with “sick,” and it really turns you upside down when the pattern isn’t finished as you expect.

“Mr. Brightside” isn’t the usual example of a song that is “poetic,” but there is a lot of very competent usage of poetic techniques in these lines. Pay attention to how rhyme is used here. “Cab” and “drag” are not perfect rhymes, but they echo. “Falling” and “calling” are perfect rhymes within one line. “Bed” and “head” are perfect rhymes in the middle of two consecutive lines. The words that end in “-ing” create echoes.

Rhyme is used, but it’s never used in the exact same pattern twice. The different rhyme patterns interweave with each other and create a lot of variety while still having continuity.

I don’t have a conclusion here. I just think it’s sad that this isn’t common knowledge, since we absolutely do have an intuitive understanding of when something scans and when it doesn’t—we know when something “sounds right.”

It disappears when we’re trying to write a poem on purpose, but it’s there when we’re parodying a song or slogan, or sharing variations of the “roses are red, violets are blue” meme.


*bursts through the wall like the kool-aid man* POETIC METER MY BELOVED

I would argue that the best free verse does have meter—you can create rhythms without being so structured—but that’s because English is such a rhythmic language, and poetry relies on that.

I remember in one of my college poetry classes, I kept turning in free verse poems that the professor kept using as examples of meter. There was one specific poem about the rhythm of walking and how my disability interferes with that, and my prof was praising it to the high heavens because the lines describing other people’s walking were in iambic pentameter but the meter started breaking down as I described my own pace. None of that was something I thought about while writing, but it was absolutely something I emphasized in revision.

In my opinion, poetry is less about ‘poetic ideas’ and more about how language crafts meaning. Obviously, prose writers pay close attention to the rhythm and flow of their sentences too, but what we think of as ‘poetic’ prose doesn’t actually always make for good poetry. Good poems use the musicality of language itself to make their point.


Hello Im vibrating at the speed of sound at the mere concept of that poem about the rhythm of walking because that’s where the concept of “feet” in poetic meter comes from


Art! Art! ART! Metamorphosis! TRANSFORMATION! RE-INTERPRETATION OF THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE! Beautiful! Enriched by diversity!


That first Iambic pentametre example BAFFLED me until I remembered that you probably say Raccoon with a different stress to how I do- those regional differences really matter!



Like, you definitely don’t have to know about poetry to write prose, but if you love the kind of prose that sings on a sentence level and you want to know how to do that, READ POETRY.  Everything about poetry applies to prose – alliteration, rhyme, assonance, the visual structure and length of lines, and hoo boy howdy, does meter ever apply.

While you probably won’t use those poetry elements all the time, they will color your work, and when you need to have a showstopper sentence you can pull out those tools and make the words do exactly what you want.  And the bittersweet joy of this is that most readers won’t realize why they are being so affected; they’ll think it’s just plot and character and setting and theme and not know that they’re being influenced by the very beat and flow of the words themselves.

There’s music underneath the words and that is why they sing.

>>Here’s another thing to read aloud. See which of the following couplets “sounds” better to you:

Supreme divine giraffes surpass raccoons/and gecko gods ascend beyond giraffes.

Angel giraffes beyond mortal knowledge/cannot defeat divine gecko powers.

…the second one.

The first one is too repetitive, especially the first line where the iambs are all separate two-syllable words. It’s *slippery*: it goes in one ear and out the other, there’s nothing for the brain to grab onto.

The second one has more variation, a *rhythm* rather than a dull monotone beat. And its second line has exactly the same stress pattern as its first line, which gives it a nice echo.

>>And it’s all in my head, but she’s touching his

I expect this *would* work for me in audio, but in text my first thought for the missing word was “head”, that it was referencing the first half of the *same* line rather than the end of the previous line. It works out to the same meaning, but still.


#apparently I am not getting a good grade in having an artistic instinct #reply via reblog #art #poetry #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what



has anyone else noticed it becoming less straightforward to keep apps updated on android or is this just me

I feel like the update all button used to be prominent in the google store and now it’s buried under twelve menus and I can never remember where it is

in theory google should just sneak the updates on to my phone but for whatever reason this does not reliably happen

wow we have very different experiences

i’m constantly trying to prevent google from sneaking updates onto my phone, mostly unsuccessfully

i don’t want 11 of the 16 GB my phone has to be spent on app updates for google-sponsored spyware and an ever-growing black box “System”

if I could just close off the internet entirely except for the browser and the individual apps I use, that would be amazing

>>if I could just close off the internet entirely except for the browser and the individual apps I use, that would be amazing

I use NetGuard for this and I recommend it.

You might be interested in the rest of this comment I wrote on the subject, too.


#Brin owns *two* 2010’s computers now #the more you know #reply via reblog #disappointed permanent resident of The Future #fun with loopholes


As of November 9th 2022, the CDC is telling anyone with a weakened immune system, over 65, or who is pregnant to not eat any meat or cheese from deli counters anywhere in the country.

You are at higher risk for severe Listeria illness if you are pregnant, aged 65 or older, or have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments. If you are in any of these groups, do not eat meat or cheese from any deli counter, unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot.

There have been 16 illnesses traced so far- 13 hospitalizations, 1 death. Illnesses have been clustered around New York State but have also appeared in California and Illinois. As always the true number of illnesses is certainly much larger.

Note that bit about “unless it is reheated to an internal temperature of 165°F”. Basically, treat deli meat as if it were raw: be careful what it touches until it’s been thoroughly cooked.

And, frankly, that goes for all risk groups: if you’re in a low-risk demographic listeria is unlikely to *kill* you (or even require you to navigate an already overwhelmed hospital system), but food poisoning is still well worth avoiding.


#PSA #home of the brave #food #poison cw #illness tw #death tw? #reply via reblog #(that’s not even counting the possibility that you might not *be* in a low-risk demographic anymore) #(I suspect there’s a lot of people out there with COVID-sequela immune dysregulation who don’t realise it yet)

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I have cleverly arranged my schedule so that I can participate in both canadian and american thanksgiving. I have no idea what canadians do for canadian thanksgiving but I ate a lot. wikipedia claims:

While the actual Thanksgiving holiday is on a Monday, Canadians may gather for their Thanksgiving feast on any day during the long weekend; however, Sunday is considered the most common.

which is, frankly, a lot more sane than having specifically thursday off for dinner. no I am not suggesting any amendment to the american practice

#frankly I like eating so I might adopt canadian thanksgiving to me extended schedule of holidays #dont currently have anything between labor day and thanksgiving unless we count 9/11 but that’s still a month ago #fills a good hole

The Objectively Correct solution to Columbus Day discourse.

hmm apparently google calendar a) doesn’t recognize Casimir Pulaski day and b) will not let you add a repeating event in the form of “nth day of the week of [month]”. going to need better software

til there is a federal “general pulaski day” on october 11th which google also does not recognize. federal german-american day is october 6th. but going by holidays people actually celebrate it seems preferable to leave mr pulaski in march and double thanksgiving. every day can be a holiday if you try hard and believe in yourself. this is my goal

There was a children’s magazine I was once subscribed to for a while as a kid (something run by Disney, I think) where each issue came with a calendar, and every day on that calendar was marked with one or another National Insert-Thing-Here Day or World Something Day (often two or three of them).

Sure, many of them are arbitrary marketing efforts, but hey, if you think something’s neat, why *not* observe–*throws dart*–Butterfly Day on–*googles*–okay apparently there are several Butterfly Days, one of which overlaps with Pi Day. BRB, making a pie crust with butterfly shapes on it.


#time #reply via reblog #fun with loopholes #discourse cw? #food #Pi Day

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