"Games cost much too much money to focus on a niche market," she said. "To survive, they need to be such a broadly popular part of entertainment culture that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t play games. Women represent over 50 percent of the population, tend to be in charge of household finances, and are the majority purchasers of games (when factoring in games bought by women as gifts for husbands, children, friends, etc.). To indulge a community that is actively trying to alienate this powerful market segment (not to mention gay men, casual gamers of all types and anyone new to the hobby), is suicidal.

"It’s important to listen to fans about what’s important to them, but it’s equally important to listen to people who are not currently gamers about why they aren’t playing. Hardcore gamers want a product that is made specifically for them and is actively unfriendly to anyone new. They will beg and bully to get this product and then praise and wax nostalgic over any game that lives up to their standards even if the company that made it went bankrupt. They don’t care about keeping companies in business or artists employed. Their only job as fans is to say what pleases them, and it would be foolish to expect them to think beyond that. But to cater to those desires without thinking about how to bring new audiences in and make them comfortable will ultimately result in a stagnant and money-losing industry.

"I could go on and on about this, but I’m just going to consider one example: the word ‘noob.’ If you decide to take up almost any other hobby in the world, you can find beginning classes teaching you how to do it. If you want to knit, you can go to a yarn store and meet fellow knitters who will help you get the basics. If you want to play basketball, you can join a rec center or community league at a beginner level. And generally, the people already involved in those hobbies are thrilled to have someone with whom they can share their passion. But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, ‘go home noob,’ because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult. How are we supposed to thrive as an industry if we are actively hostile to growing our audience?"


- Jennifer Hepler (source)

I’m not sure how to comment on this truthbomb more than to say “THIS,” because—on top of being the right fucking thing to do—making a more inclusive environment for all kinds of gamers is the only logical growth strategy. Now someone tell every other game company to read this as well.

Starry quartz

We recently did a post on rutile, the most common form in which the Earth distils titanium out of its depths (see http://tmblr.co/Zyv2Js1V-hTem), mentioning that it was a frequent inclusion in other minerals such as garnet, corundum and quartz. Here is a beautiful example of the latter, with the natural crystal being enhanced by passing through the atelier of one of the world’s foremost gem sculptors. The rutile star has aligned along the crystalographic axes of the rough material, having exsolved when the temperature went below the point where rutile and quartz could coexist as liquids.


Image credit: Lawrence Stoller


A thought on inclusive teaching

When you teach a class or lead a discussion, participation is often easy for some people and hard for others.

People who find participation easy will tend to talk a lot and ask a lot of questions. They can really easily fill up all the space with their confidence and their speech. This can result in people who struggle to participate feeling like they have no way to say anything. (This is not necessarily anyone’s fault.)

It is possible to create space for them in several ways. They all start from presuming competence. Specifically - start from the presumption that people who aren’t participating have worthwhile things to say, and 

They also start by paying attention to who is and isn’t participating. If you notice whose voices are absent, it becomes easier to find ways to include them.

Some specifics:

It can help to call on people specifically when you notice they’re not saying things, in a low-pressure way:

  • Say you notice that Susan hasn’t said anything in the discussion
  • You can say, “Susan, would you like to add something?” or
  • "Susan, what do you think?"
  • If you’re not asking for an answer to a particular question, and you ask in a non-demanding tone, this can be a good way to give people a chance to talk
  • Particularly if you wait a few seconds after asking, and take no for an answer (whether it’s a stated no or an implied no)

It can help to ask in a more general way:

  • Sometimes the conversation is dominated by a few people 
  • You can often address this by saying something like
  • "Would anyone who has not said anything yet like to say something?" or
  • "I’d like to hear from people who haven’t spoken."
  • This lets people who aren’t speaking up know that you care about what they have to say without putting individual pressure on anyone
  • It also lets people who are taking up the space know that you’d like to make sure you hear from everyone

It helps to be available through email:

  • Some people who care deeply about the subject and want to participate aren’t able to do so in real time
  • If they are better at using email, being available by email will make it possible for them to participate
  • (It might also make it easier for them to tell you about barriers to their participation)

People who teach: What have y’all seen work well for people who want to participate but find it difficult? 

People who find it difficult to participate: What have teachers done that made it easier for you? What made it harder?

We did this, with Pride in Diversity: the employers’ guide to intersex inclusion.

It contains information on intersex bodies, identities, medical issues in the workplace, some short case studies and a whole lot more. It’s also useful for intersex inclusion in service delivery and general reference.

Download for free: http://oii.org.au/employer


Danny J Sanchez   Photomicrography

Photography through the microscope - inclusions within gemstones!

I am a native Los Angelino who loves gems and what’s happening inside them.
From the first time I looked through the microscope, into the heart of a gemstone, I was absolutely hooked and after I opened the Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones by Eduard Gübelin and John Koivula, I knew what I wanted to do with every moment of my free time.
I can be found on…
Instagram: @mineralien
Twitter: @innermineralien
Tumblr: mineralien.tumblr.com

At the center of most of Sanchez’s pictures are the random bits of minerals stuck in a larger gem as it forms–what are called inclusions. To collectors, they’re imperfections that reduce the value of the stone–to Sanchez, they are things of beauty.

Bottom Image Negative crystal in Spinel
Field of view = 2.9mm • Depth of field = 0.85mm

It’s not uncommon for spinel to form negative crystals within, but this is one of the most shockingly perfect negative crystals I have come across. The way the light races across its terminations and ghosts the inner cavity with a confusion of color makes this negative space one of the most exciting pieces in my collection.

Ten Tips for including Deaf People at Xmas

1. Buy a round table

This isn’t the sexiest tip to start on (unless you have a thing for tables of all shapes and sizes) but it’s first in this list because it takes time to fix – after all, you can’t pop to the corner shop for a new dining room table.

I’ve got nothing against rectangular tables, but for deaf people, they make it hard to see everyone around the table, which has a knock-on effect on communication.

Round tables, meanwhile, give us a better chance of clocking it when someone is about to speak, and look at them in time to lipread.

We think this round table is perfect. Just kidding.

2. Turn the subtitles on

Christmas telly is great, isn’t it?

Well, it is if you can understand it. And for that, most deaf people use subtitles.

So first, hearing friends, tackle the mental side. Make sure you’re prepared – psychologically – to turn your subtitles on. Even if you find them annoying. No excuses – it’s only for a day or two.

Second, before your deaf relative comes, work out how to turn on the subtitles on your digibox. It can be fiddly, but you’ll get there in an hour or so, with a bit of luck.

It’ll save us the hassle, and it’s a double win, because it also shows you thought of us before we even arrived.

Which means you’ll get an even better present next year.

3. Give the kids a pep talk

Children get very lively at Christmas, with a mountain of presents to open, and far too much chocolate to eat.

So it’s worth mentioning some deaf awareness tips to them a few days before Christmas.

Something like: “Uncle Charlie needs to be able to see your lips to understand you, so can you try to look at him when you’re talking to him?”

Even if a child remembers just once, it makes a real difference.

You might want to mention that Father Christmas is watching (always), just to add a sense of importance to the whole thing…

4. Speak clearly and face us

Now the party’s started, remember this maxim:

If we can’t see you, we can’t ‘hear’ you.

Since we’ve been away, you might have got out of the habit of speaking clearly (we don’t mean using HUGE lip patterns incidently) and making sure you’re facing us, as you natter away.

And at Christmas there’s so many times you might be looking away. When you’re slaving over the stove, or opening presents, for example.

So remember, when you’re talking to us, look up, make eye contact, and maintain it (even if you start to feel self-conscious).

Most important of all: be prepared to repeat yourself when we still don’t understand.

Without a flicker of annoyance crossing your face.

We’re highly attuned to that kind of thing.

5. Shave

Everyone loves Father Christmas, right?

Well, yes. But deaf children who visit Father Christmas are often underwhelmed, because his bushy beard obscures everything he says.

Don’t make the mistake Santa made.

Have a shave.

Or, failing that, a trim.

Around the mouth area.

It’ll grow back.


6. Brush up on your signing skills

Your deaf relative may be a sign language user.

If so, you might want to get back into the swing of things in advance of their visit. Why not watch a few episodes of See Hear? Or watch a few dramas on the BSL Zone?

At the very least, brush up on the fingerspelling alphabet - so you can spell any words you get stuck on – or browse the signs relating to Christmas by clicking here (it starts with beer, so it’s spot on in my view).

7. Include us

Maybe you’re halfway through an anecdote.

Maybe you’re making a comment on the TV programme that you’re watching.

Or maybe your neighbour has popped in to wish you Merry Christmas.

Whatever it is, when your deaf relative looks in your direction, or arrives in the room while you’re talking, do this one simple thing:

Give them a brief summary of what you’re talking about.

“Mum’s telling me about Auntie Ginny’s delicate operation. Ouch.”

“Dave is saying they had a power cut halfway through cooking the turkey!”

“The Queen’s message was the same old same old, wasn’t it?”

Stuff like that.

We may not want to join in, but you’re giving us the option – and we appreciate that more than you could know.

8. Give us a role

Personally, I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to helping with Christmas dinner.

But what I appreciate, despite that, is being given a role at Christmas time.

Whether it’s making the bread sauce, pouring wine, or just making the odd cuppa - while other people sweat buckets in the kitchen making pigs in blankets, obviously – it makes us feel like we’re part of it.

And that’s a very nice feeling.

9. Play a game

After hours of constant communication, which can be wearing when you’re lipreading, why not change tack and play a game?

It means that we can switch focus, and concentrate on giving you a good thrashing at Risk or Monopoly, rather than working out the detail of why you got that reprimand at work last month.

If there’s a lot of relatives staying, it can also really break the ice.

As long as they’re ok with getting beat by a Deafie, obviously.

10. Go easy on the dimmer switch

We all like a bit of ambience, don’t get me wrong.

But there’s a limit.

For, as the lights go down, us deaf folk find it just that bit harder to lipread.

It’s about as tiring as driving down a dark country road for hours on end.

This is why some deaf people go to bed at 8pm on Christmas Day. (Well, that, and, ahem, overconsumption of food.)

So dim those lights, but just a bit.

11. Go slow on the drinks

Whoops, as you can see, there’s more than 10… bear with me!

Christmas and alcohol are indelibly linked. And us deaf folk don’t want to be party poopers.

But please remember that as the bubbly flows, it’s very easy to find your deaf awareness skills flowing away, too.

Plus, you get really hard to lipread when you’re slurring your words.

12. Make phone calls deaf-friendly

It’s great when far-away relatives phone on Christmas Day, but why not ask them to make a video call using Skype or FaceTime?

This way, your deaf relative won’t have to rely on you to give an impression of how they sounded – they’ll be able to see them, give them a wave, and join in.

Though if it’s an annoying relative, please do ask them to use the phone.

Not that we’re taking advantage of our deafness or anything, you understand.


Deaf awareness is not just for Christmas, it’s for life

This is the most important tip of all.

Whether it’s Easter, Thanksgiving (hello to our fans in the USA!) a wedding, a family birthday party, or even just a weekend away, using just a few of these tips will transform your time together.

So keep using them. Merry Christmas!

Reblogged from http://limpingchicken.com/2013/12/19/10-tips-christmas-deaf/


Phantom quartz

Silica in whatever form is often a multi generation phenomenon, with new layers being added on to the seed of the old, sometimes with a considerable time gap in between. When the impurities change, so does the colour of the silica, whether nicely formed crystals with later overgrowths such as this one or in the banding in agates. In this case the first crystal to form precipitated from a fluid containing reduced iron producing a beautiful purple amethyst. 

There is also a tinge of smokiness about the surface of the seed crystal, which tells us that it was exposed to radiation in the bowels of the Earth. When aluminium substitutes for silicon in the crystal structure and is struck by the emanations from the radioactive minerals that granites distil out of the Earth, it starts to absorb light when electrons are knocked off darkening into the smoky brown to black colour. The deep opaque black crystals have been exposed for much longer than this specimen, that only carries a tinge at the outside of the crystal, showing that the damage occurred over a geologically short time since it didn’t diffuse far into the crystal.

After some time, new silica enriched waters started to precipitate another generation of quartz, though the small amount of iron precipitated early as the red flakes (probably of haematite) a little outwards from the seed crystal. Another generation of pure transparent quartz then overlay the original seed, forming the beautiful phantom.

We covered a similar multigenerational crystal recently at https://www.facebook.com/TheEarthStory/photos/a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258/771862732874773/?type=1&relevant_count=1


Image credit: Rob Lavinsky/iRocks.com

Posthuman Studios fires their MRA fans

Regarding MRAs, Rob Boyle:

There have been some heated discussions on our forums over the past few months involving several self-defined “men’s rights activists” (MRAs). We here at Posthuman have steered toward a low-key moderation policy in the past, but these discussions (among others) have prompted us to take on a more direct role. After some further deliberation, we’ve decided to just come out and make something clear.

Every single one of us at Posthuman Studios stands in support of feminism’s basic principle: treating women as people. As can be gleaned from our books, we’re a fairly left-wing group, and we don’t hide our politics or claim to be unbiased. We believe we live in a world where patriarchy and male privilege are real, ongoing problems, and equality for all people, regardless of sex, is a worthy goal.

As a group, we at Posthuman find the politics of MRAs to be toxic, offensive, and completely removed from reality. We have also found the conduct of MRAs on our forums to be far from ideal. We do not appreciate that MRAs are driving other fans away from our forums.

We want the Eclipse Phase community to be one that is inclusive of all viewpoints, but we must draw a line when there is a viewpoint that insists on attacking and offending others as an essential aspect of its existence. We are looking forward with Eclipse Phase, not back — towards the future, not the retrograde gender divisions of the past. No matter how MRAs may like to cloak their beliefs in the language of inclusiveness and equality, they support neither, and instead fulminate against the loss of privilege long afforded one half of society at the cost of another. Those who must attack the idea of another’s equality to better preserve their own benefits are not the sort we wish to encourage. They’re likely to do more harm than good in their toxic concern trolling and false equivalencies. So, we, the principles at Posthuman, are making clear our stance on the issue and the type of community to which we would like to belong.

Here’s our stance: If you self-define as an MRA, please fire yourself as an Eclipse Phase fan. We don’t want you. We want our forums to be open and inclusive, and we don’t see the point of debating with you anymore. You have other places on the internet where you can wallow in the awfulness of your male privilege.

While we will not be actively rooting you out, be forewarned that spouting offensive MRA bullshit will get you banned from our forums.

Rob, Brian, Jack & Adam
Posthuman Studios

(Note: We actually wrote this several weeks back, and were just waiting until we had finished recruiting some new moderators to post it. The recent attacks by Elliott Rodger just reinforce our stance on this matter and MRA politics.)

EDIT: Original post source was a Google cache as their site was down at the time.

Also, if you’re interested in Eclipse Phase, you can buy it (Indie Press Revolution, DriveThruRPG).

Or, you can download quick-start rules, the complete core rulebook, supplements, and adventures for free, legally and free to share, direct from one of the authors—it’s all Creative Commons licensed (BY-NC-SA). It was free before free was cool, Wizards! :P :P :P

Also, tagging adamjury. (Is anyone else from Posthuman on tumblr?)

EA Is Seeking a Diversity and Inclusion Manager!

We’re very, very excited to post this job from EA:

EA is looking for a Diversity and Inclusion Manager!!!

Manager Diversity & Inclusion http://bit.ly/1xTCVk1

Apply Now (requires account creation at EA’s HR site)

Req. Number: 37602 
Location Information: Redwood City, CA

We are EA

And we make games – how cool is that? In fact, we entertain millions of people across the globe with the most amazing and immersive interactive software in the industry. But making games is hard work. That’s why we employ the most creative, passionate people in the industry.

The Challenge Ahead:

Our desire is to build and cultivate an inclusive environment that brings together a diverse workforce with unique experiences, backgrounds, talents, and perspectives by developing and facilitating programs that enable EA to meet the needs of an increasingly global and diverse set of players. And, we need your help to make this happen!

What a Manager of Diversity and Inclusion does at EA:

Reporting to the Director of Global Talent Acquisition & Inclusion, the Manager of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) will be responsible for the long term planning and execution of functional D&I initiatives and will be expected to have the capability to design, develop and implement a comprehensive diversity strategy that can be tailored to meet the needs of select studios and business units.

The Manager role will have responsibility for the creation of (internal/external) diversity & inclusion initiatives, programs, and partnerships focused on the key pillars of the inclusion strategy, including: talent attraction, development, and engagement. Ideal candidates will have a passion for diversity and inclusion, deep experience working on a variety of diversity initiatives, global mindset, understanding of industry D&I best practices, excellent client partnership capability, executive communication skills, analytical skills, and demonstrated ability to collaborate cross functionally and drive strategy in a fast paced creative environment. This manager will be viewed as a diversity partner to Business leaders and HR, and is someone who can be strategic and inventive, as well as excellent at tactical implementation and operational excellence.

For more information, you may tweet @biancajand

Keep reading





Transactivist Cheryl Courtney-Evans, founder of T.I.L.T.T. (Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth), shares her thoughts on survival, community and more.


T.I.L.T.T. (Transgender Individuals Living Their Truth)

1530 DeKalb Ave. NE

Atlanta, GA 30307

Office Phone: 678-754-3506


Cheryl Courtney-Evans Contact Info.

Blog: www.abitchforjustice.com/

Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCI0v5FBRpNiJKyTB9qWFG_g

Other Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkSiqFnmInQ



Find your community!

National Groups



GSA Network


CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers


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