Conservatives are trying to rebrand gay conversion therapy as “Christian counseling”

  • What’s in a name? Well, as it turns out, a lot.
  • Protesting a Democratic-backed bill that would classify practitioners of gay conversion therapy as “fraudulent,” online Christian group The Resurgent is claiming Democrats are trying to impinge on its religious freedom. 
  • Rather than calling the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation  "conversion therapy,“ they’ve relabeled it as ”Christian counseling.“
  • "There’s no medical condition known as being gay,” representative Ted Lieu, a sponsor of the bill, told the Washington Post
  • “LGBTQ people were born perfect; there is nothing to treat them for. And by calling this what it should be, which is fraud, it would effectively shut down most of the organizations.” Read more (5/2/17)
Witches in the Ancient World

Witches were not revered, loved, or respected in ‘Pagan Times’. Magic was widely used in the ancient world, and more open for sure, but that didn’t change much when Christianity came around. Magic was still used, but the names were changed. Witches, however, were always detested.

I’ve noticed people trying to pin in back to Rome when it converted to Christianity, so let’s start there.

When Rome was still ruled by pagans, witchcraft was outlawed. The use of it was severely censured and could result in death. Practices like necromancy, maleficium, and the like were not accepted or tolerated. When it converted to Christianity, the law stayed the same. As they colonized, they brought it with them. But the fear of witches did not begin with the Romans.
The fear and detesting of witches was widespread in the ancient world.
Close by, pagan Greece had sects of witches who were feared by the locals. Their mysterious rituals involving mandrakes, crossroads, and ghosts caused a fair amount of alarm.
In the Ancient Near East, high magic flourished. Magic involving the stars, spirits, deities, and the like was popular. However, sorcerers and witches were not welcome. Charms and spells against witches were made out of clay, written on, and buried.
In the Americas (pre-colonization), witches were feared and hated. Still within indigenous communities, witches hold a bad reputation. To insinuate that someone is a witch is to make a very big accusation. 
In the British Isles, you’ll hear lovely tales and myths of wizards, but witches are always given a tone of darkness. Wizards helped kings, aided in battles, found missing object, etc. Witches cursed heroes, stalled them, gave them obstacles, etc. 
There is, of course, the argument of cunning folk, now called ‘white witches’. However, there was almost always a distinction made between cunning folk and witches. The people who called them witches were few and far between (and most likely disagreed with the cunning person’s use of magic). Cunning folk were the enemy of witches. They used spell and charm to attack and derail witch attacks. The Benandanti of Italy are a good example of this. Though they rode through the air on stalks of Fennel, cast spells, and attended secret meetings in spirit, they are not called witches.

This is what I referred to before when I said there was a difference between magic and witchcraft. A rectangle is a square, but a square isn’t a rectangle. Similarly, witchcraft is magic, but not all magic is witchcraft.
Historically, witchcraft has always been a shadowy thing. It’s dark, secretive, dangerous, etc. It’s practiced on the edge of society. Magic is found all over in the ancient world, not just on the fringe. However, if you called a magician a witch, you would’ve either made them laugh or spit.

The word was ‘reclaimed’ relatively recently. Its meaning changed. It was taken from its darker background. Instead, it became associated with pagan elements, some ceremonial practices, and other forms of magic. 

That isn’t to say that the modern definition is a false one. Simply put, it means that it’s modern. It did not mean the same thing thousands of years ago, and for certain circles, it doesn’t mean the same thing now.

Witches have always been feared, according to the history and folklore left behind for us to see. Magic over time was called evil by many different faiths, despite the fact that it flourished in the very walls of the churches and temples they were taught in. It lived on in different names. Witches, for the most part, did not change their name. Many things were relabeled as witchcraft. 

As far as history goes, try not to get it from witchcraft books. Read anthropological essays and journals. Read books written by historians who are passionate about the subject. Always double check facts. Put them to the test.

bisexuals who are questioning their identity shouldn’t feel pressured to stick with the bisexual label because they don’t want to perpetuate the stereotype that bisexuals are just experimenting or just using bisexuality as a “bridge sexuality” to coming out as gay/lesbian. your label is your label and if bisexuality doesn’t fit you, don’t be afraid to change it!


Summary: Stiles might have a crush on his co-worker, who always brews him amazing tea.

Notes: Short and sweet! Inspired by this post. (On AO3)

Stiles puts all the little sample boxes into a paper bag, then staples on the string with a tag at the end. It holds the business information, and it makes the package look like a giant tea bag. Sort of. If you squint.

The girl smiles and pays him, then waves as she walks away.

“Tea you later!” Stiles calls cheerfully. Then he says, “Oof!” when Derek smacks him in the side.

“You deserved that,” Derek says mildly. “Didn’t we already have a discussion about using the word tea inappropriately?”

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Why Are Middle Easterners Considered White On The US Census?

In 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that Middle Easterners were Caucasian, but were not “white” because most laypeople did not consider them as such. This case was being brought to court because Middle Easterners were being treated as “coloreds” and not “Caucasian/Whites” in US states with segregation laws. If a group was considered “Caucasian/White” they had access to better facilities, better schools, and sometimes entire towns which kept out “coloreds.” The 1923 ruling basically said that Middle Easterners could be legally discriminated against. They could be considered “coloreds.”

The U.S. Supreme Court changed its mind in 1946, relabelling them “white.” And through today, Middle Easterners check the box next to “white” on the US Census.

Stewart and her identity ― gay, bisexual, fluid or otherwise ― aren’t problems or problematic. Quite the contrary, whether she knows it or not, she is emblematic of the future, at least if we’re lucky (and smart) and follow her example. That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to constantly (or ever) redefine how we each personally identify ― interrogating your desire and your politics to determine your sexuality and then sticking with it is just fine, too. But finding the courage and conviction to embrace labeling and then relabeling if it feels right should be an option. No one should get to tell us how to feel or how to identify and no one should get to tell us that we’ve got it wrong or we’re confused because we might change or challenge our minds about who we want and when and why at any point in our lives ― whether it be once or never or every other weekend.
—  We Need To Talk About WTF Is Up With Kristen Stewart’s Sexuality | Noah Michelson for the Huffington Post

I keep seeing these posts about how sad or upsetting it is to see CHILDREN who identify as ace. So this is a friendly reminder to all my ace minors who may need to hear it today.

1. You are NOT sad, and no one has a right to be upset by your identity.
2. You do not need to explain, to an adult person or anyone else, what you consider sexual attraction, or why you think you are not experiencing it. No one has the right to ask you to question your own identity.
3. You do not need to listen to anyone trying to convince you you are probably more gay or more straight, or anyone trying to change the way you identify in any other way.
4. Asexuality is not about whether you have had or are having sex. If you self-identify as asexual, that is not you sexualizing yourself, and you are not harming yourself by taking on a label that MIGHT change in the future. and don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise. 
5. You are not required to keep an open mind that your orientation may change. It MIGHT change, and if it does, i hope you can welcome and enjoy whatever you are feeling when it arrives. But you aren’t required to participate in the rituals of dating, crushes, or experimenting just to prove that it’s really NOT what you want. 

I am a firm believer in self-exploration, and obtaining self-knowledge through questioning what we know about ourselves, and the world. But the way ace kids are constantly expected to provide answers for how we are the way we are, and what it means, and how we’re really really open to being something else, is just disgusting. It does more to turn kids AWAY from relabeling or reexamining themselves.

If you’re a minor, and you ID as ace, then you’re ace. You’re not broken, or alone, you’re not wrong, and you don’t need to answer for it.

It’s good practice to remember that the old “gotcha” chestnut of “if straight aces aren’t straight then are gay aces not gay?” has it’s roots (5 or so years ago) in people forcibly relabeling asexuals to fit both their understanding and agenda.

It wasn’t a “straight asexual” saying “I’m not straight even though straight is right there in my orientation.” and seeming to contradict themselves (aside from pointing out how capital s Straight works), it was people looking at a heteroromantic asexual and saying “I’ve decided that you’re actually a straight person who doesn’t like sex. Get out of here you str8.” and the heteroromantic asexual saying “No, I’m actually a heteroromantic asexual, it’s different, don’t call me “straight” like that.”.

The same thing happened to homoromantic asexuals. Saying “you’re actually a gay person who doesn’t like sex.” to homoromantic asexuals asking to be called homoromantic asexual. Asking to have their orientation respected.

This happened to all asexuals who used romantic orientation labels (except aromantics who were mostly ignored, or called straight), while the community pleaded for it to stop. “Don’t split the asexual community by romantic orientations to decide our “real” orientations.” “Asexuals all face similar problems for being asexual.” “Talk to us as asexuals.” “Many of us are asexual first, romantic orientation second.” 

Neither “straight” nor “gay” were the preferred labels for many (not all, but many) heteroromantic and homoromantic asexuals. They were colloquialisms forced onto the ace community, used to sever our “real” orientation from our asexual orientation, through years of harassment over being privilege denying or homophobic. That’s what that question was born on. Shaky ground.

tl;dr - “If heteroromantic asexuals aren’t actually straight people who don’t like sex, then are homoromantic asexuals not actually gay people who don’t like sex?” is a much different question than “if straight aces aren’t straight then are gay aces not gay?”

So a couple weeks ago, I promised @copperbadge a review of the book I was currently reading, “Sorting the Beef from the Bull: The Science of Food Fraud Forensics.” And then my cat had a life threatening medical emergency (he’s okay!) and I got a little distracted. But, hey, better late than never, right?
First things first. I’m not a huge chemistry nerd. The word “science” is in the title for a reason. There’s a fair amount of it in here. I skimmed most of it. But there are two other aspects to the book that are fascinating and, honestly, rather terrifying. First, actual stories of food fraud throughout the world and history. Second, the non-immediate implications of it, looking at what it means for politics, economics, health, and the environment. It’s an extremely strong argument for the importance of regulations and, if you’re not terrified by the current push in the US government to deregulate, you will be. It’s a sadly timely book.

It starts out with an overview of the field, a couple anecdotes of food fraud (fake eggs in China, horse meat found in hamburger in UK grocery stores- one of the authors is British, so lots of examples from there), a breakdown of some of the scientific methods using the example of honey and why the whole issue is important.

Most people probably can think of the economic implications of things like olive oil being cut with cheaper oils. Consumers lose out on money, because we’re paying for a product based on the label, not what’s in it. Plus, it impacts honest sellers who have their market undercut by the cheaters. Raises some interesting questions on the idea that deregulation makes for a “freer” market place. 

The environmental implications are also concerning, and frankly, I may stop eating seafood. Turns out a lot of fish is mislabeled. Some of this can be chalked up to inconsistent naming conventions across countries, but given that fish are almost always mislabeled as more expensive varieties, that’s doubtful. But, important for those of us who try to eat responsibly, there have been cases of endangered species relabeled as allowable ones. Apparently, seafood laundering is a real thing. (A terrible thing, with a name that cracks me up). And good luck trying to be sure that your organic food is really organic. you may just be paying extra for the same stuff the rest of us are eating. 

But the scariest is the health implications. Olive oil is a good example in two cases. Mostly, you’re just overpaying, but it’s been adulterated with peanut oil in some cases. And then there’s the Toxic Oil Syndrome in Spain, where colza oil intended for industrial use was sold as “olive oil” in 1981 and killed over 600 people. Other horrifying examples include “monkfish” that turned out to be puffer fish (yikes!), fake baby formula in China, and chicken deemed not fit for human consumption that was washed up, trimmed of the ugly bits and then sold.

Some of it is not so horrifying from a health perspective, but more offends our sensibilities. The horse meat example, for instance, is not something that would hurt many people’s health. Heck, it’s probably lower in fat than beef. Ground meat was commonly found to contain other meat sources than the label said. All beef products, such as sausages, were found to contain chicken or pork, the later of which would certainly offend Jewish and Muslim consumers, but I’m fairly sure most religions don’t hold you responsible for something you are completely unaware of. A few have been found to contain rat, which certainly makes us go “ick” but unless it’s diseased, it probably won’t hurt us. 

The end result is a very strong argument of the importance of funded regulatory bodies, because the average consumer can’t determine this stuff for themself. Heck, the average chemist probably can’t figure out some of this stuff, because it’s ever evolving and our global food stream means there are too many points along the way where it takes one person looking to make a buck to screw people over, and people are really fucking creative at times. There are some amazing ways to catch issues, but a lot of people won’t want to pay for them, so only a portion of cases get caught. 

I was talking with a friend about the book and her response was “Wow, that’s important to know. Not sure I WANT to know.” True that.

You can relabel aphobia as sexism, or racism, or ‘misdirected homophobia/transphobia’.

You can try and acknowledge an issue and belittle its validity at the same time in this way. 'Aphobia isn’t real, it was ACTUALLY ________’

What you’re doing is erasing victims, restricting their language, and rewriting their experiences.

That’s not okay.

there are few greater pleasures than imagining Sport in some tiny local grocery store, just think about it

  • the ceiling are too low for him to be doing flips
  • he definitely found that out the hard way
  • instead he walks on his hands or cartwheels
  • he’s the type of person to help out around the store even though no one asked
  • the employees have no idea how to handle him
  • “greg, that guy who walks on his hands came back today”
  • “he organized all the fruit and veg by color”
  • “it’s like walking down rainbow bridge”
  • “he called them ““sportscandies”“??????”
  • “i think he might have cleaned the floors too”
  • “he told me that’s i’m doing fantastic work here, then he just bought his stuff and cartwheeled away”
  • “i think he gave me a tip too, how the fuck am i meant to react to this guy”
  • eventually, when they get used to him, they relabel the fruit section the sportscandy section and no one questions it

gay boys who used to identify as something else are still 1000% valid in being gay! you are allowed to relabel yourself as your experiences change and as your understanding of your experiences change! having identified as something other than gay does not make you any less valid in your gay identity! you’re still absolutely 1000% wonderful and amazing and good and valid and i hope you have a fantastic day!

anonymous asked:

'#OH or i could talk about the problematic nature of the dewey decimal system and how we should change the whole fucking thing' um. if you don't mind. please do?


The main problem is the inherent bias of the system. It was set up in the late 19th century, so the issues of the time are pretty prominent. Some things have been fixed, like homosexuality no longer being classified with “abnormal sexuality,” but there are still a lot of problems. It’s most obvious in the 200s–religion books. Here’s a rundown:

  • 200-220: General religion stuff–concepts of God, etc.
  • 220-230: Bibles!
  • 230-290: Christianity, Christianity, and more Christianity
  • 290-300: EVERYTHING ELSE. For example…
    • 292: “Classical” religion/mythology [also this tends to be mainly Greco-Roman while non-western and Native American religious stories sometimes get put in the 398s with fairy tales WHICH IS ANOTHER ISSUE]
    • 295: Zoroastrianism
    • 296: Judaism
    • 297: Islam and Baha’i
    • 299: Other not specified, including (some) Wicca books–other Wicca books may appear in the “occult” section at 133.

So the first 90% of the 200s class is Christian-centric, while all other religions get shoehorned into the last ten digits. Which doesn’t mean that a library will necessarily have fewer books on those religions, just that the call numbers become incredibly unwieldy and can be a barrier to discovery. With Christianity, there’s enough room to divide major topics into whole numbers–so 236 is Eschatology, 246 is Christian art, and 282 is Roman Catholicism, and you can subdivide each of those with the eponymous decimals. But to do the same thing in Judaism you get things like:

296.097 – Early American Jews

296.0973 – American Judaism: A History

296.09730904 – Judaism in Contemporary America

So as the decimals grow, the subjects get more specific, but honestly when the post-decimal numbers are longer than a phone number, It’s no longer an effective navigational tool. If the number doesn’t fit on the spine, its not useful anymore.

The trouble is, overhauling this would mean that every library using the DDS would have to recatalog and relabel every single book in their 200s, and you can well imagine how interested everyone is in that.

The Emperor's New Groove Sentence Meme
  • "Will you take a look at that? Pretty pathetic, huh?"
  • "I was the worlds nicest guy and they ruined my life for no reason."
  • "You threw off my groove."
  • "I'm sorry but you've thrown off the emperor's groove."
  • "Trot out the ladies."
  • "Let me guess, you've got a great personality."
  • "Don't be fooled by the folksy, peasant look."
  • "You really should have thought of that before you became peasants."
  • "I'm the emperor and your the emperor's advisor, remember?"
  • "Um, how else can I say it? You're being let go...your departments being downsized, you're part of an outplacement...we're going in a different direction, we're not picking up your option. Take your pick I got more."
  • "Word on the street is you can fix my problem."
  • "When I give the word, your little town thingy will go bye bye."
  • "With him out of the way and no heir to the throne I'll take over and rule the empire."
  • "Why do we even have that lever?"
  • "I'll turn him into a flea, a harmless little flea, and then I'll put that flea in a box and I'll put that box inside of another box and then I'll mail that box to myself and when it arrives I'll smash it with a hammer!"
  • "Our moment of triumph approaches."
  • "I am one hungry king of the world."
  • "Now to get rid of the body."
  • "W...we were just making a your long and healthy rule."
  • "You my defense...your poisons all look alike. You might think about relabeling some of them."
  • "I am so glad I was unconscious for all of this."
  • "Don't listen to that guy. He's trying to lead you down the path of righteousness. I'm gonna lead you down the path that rocks."
  • "Demon llama!"
  • "I'm an ugly, stinky llama!"
  • "I have no idea. You're the criminal mastermind, not me."
  • "I got a little secret for you. Come here. No, closer."
  • "Maybe I'm just new to this whole rescuing thing but this, to me, might be considered kind of a backward step, wouldn't you say?"
  • "Don't tell me. We're about to go over a huge waterfall."
  • "For the last time, it was not a kiss."
  • "You know what? Some day you're gonna wind up all alone and you'll have no one to blame but yourself."
  • "And so it is with great sadness that we mourn the sudden departure of our beloved prince taken from us so tragically on the very eve of his birthday. His legacy will live on in our hearts for all eternity."
  • "Well...he's not as dead as we would have hoped."
  • "I was gonna have you imprisoned for life but I kind of like this better."
  • "I thought you were a changed man."
  • "Why did I risk my life for a selfish brat like you?"
  • "I was always taught that there was some good in everyone but, oh, you proved me wrong."
  • "Don't read too much into it. It was a one time thing."
  • "Anything sounds bad when you say it with that attitude."
  • "Break it down? Are you kidding me? This is hand-carved mahagony."
  • "Its called a cruel irony, like my dependence on you."
  • "I've never liked your spinach puffs! Never!"
  • "From above, the wicked shall receive their just reward."
  • "It's not the first time I was tossed out a window and it won't be the last."
Their Oni Hope: A Star Wars Hakuoki Story

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

*Cue Intro Theme* (I know you all know it 😉)

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Sen races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…

(Geeze, I never realized quite how cheesy that opening crawl sounds without the epic John Williams score to back it up…)

The Cast Reveal

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Defining topology

This will be a formal definition. It comes from years of sloughing away explanations of what a topology is to get the most general form.

Definition: Assume you have a set X. A topology on X is a subset of the power set of X that contains the empty set and X, and is closed under union and finite intersection.

There are a lot of very dense words, so let’s break it down.

Take a set X; a topology is a collection of subsets of X. For each subset of X, it is either in or out of the topology.

Nothing and everything must be sets in the topology.

If we choose a finite number of sets we know are in the topology, their intersection is too. If we choose any collection of sets in the topology, including any infinite collection of sets, then their union is also in the topology.

Having a slight asymmetry between intersection and union, since there is no guarantee of an infinite intersection being in the topology, leads to many important properties.

To make it make a bit more sense, here are all unique (up to relabeling of points) topologies on a set with 3 points.

(This one’s special. It only has the empty set and the entire set in the topology. That’s the trivial topology)

(This one’s special. The topology is the entire power set. This is called the discrete topology)

Here are sets that aren’t topologies.

This one is not closed under finite intersection, because the orange and purple sets are in the collection, but the set containing the point in the middle isn’t.

This one isn’t closed under arbitrary union, because red and blue are in the collection, but their union isn’t.

Some notation that will make talking about topology easier:

Definition: A topological space is a set X equipped with a topology on X, let’s call it T. If we want to make sure that we are talking about the topological space X equipped with topology T, we notate it (X,T).

Definition: Let’s say A is a subset of X. We say A is open in the topological space (X,T) if A is in T.

Note that A is not inherently “open” or “not open,” it is only open relative to a specific topology. And any set with more than one element has many different topologies on it.

RoboMaze III, the final game in the RoboMaze series, went through a few versions.

The initial shareware version, The Dome, was Volume 1. The second volume is The Final Journey, essentially a bonus version of the game with new levels.

Dome Quest is more mysterious. It appears to be a relabeling of The Dome, but not much is changed. The readme even recaps the plot of RoboMaze II. Maybe since this is a somewhat ambitious game (it’s Zelda-y), MVP Software decided to remarket it beyond the audience that knew RoboMaze.