Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts

a miscellany of the wonderful and the banal

Archive for January 2011

UNIVERSAL TRUTHS YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO PICK UP AS A RESULT OF WATCHING FILMS OR TELEVISION

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With thanks to Amelia & Liza G.

1. Not all cancer is fatal.
2. AIDS can be managed with extensive medication and lifestyle adjustments and is no longer an instant death sentence.
3. Countries that do not speak English as a first or official language exist!
4. Lawyers spend a lot of time reading.
5. Learning, class-planning, and exams are part of life in schools as well as rampant romance, sports, and rallies.
6. Regardless of someone’s moral status, a gunshot wound can be a) instantly fatal, b) fatal after a long time, or c) not be fatal at all. C) applies even to gunshot wounds to the head. Yes, really.
7. A defibrilator is not a magical death-reversal machine.
8. Sharks don’t growl.
9. Nor do snakes.
10. Most women would really prefer it if you didn’t talk them. NB: It is still stalking if poetry, chocolates, and flowers are included. Even if the guy is “really good-looking”. Still stalking! Still don’t like it!
11. People lie, good guys included. Sometimes you will not actually know they’re lying. Sometimes they don’t even lie out of spite!
12. Alcoholism does not magically produce stubble.
13. People can become homeless for a number of reasons, and “being crazy” is not always number one.
14. Not every gay man is there to be some white chick’s sassy best friend. Nor is every black woman.
15. People who aren’t white go to colleges, work in law firms, and make important scientific discoveries. Also, there are black nerds and Asian gangstas.
16. Trans men exist.
17. Sex does not automatically result in love, nor vice versa.
18. Fat women have sex lives. So do disabled women. So do butch women.
19. There are women in this world who do not want to have babies.
20. Sometimes nice people are bitchy. Sometimes nice people are promiscuous. Sometimes nice people are violent. The inverse also applies.
21. Having perfect hair and nice shoes doesn’t automatically make you a good person, male or female.
22. Not everyone is attracted to slenderness and white teeth.
23. Some disabled people are assholes, just like some able-bodied people are assholes.
24. Serial killers are actually pretty rare.
25. Some women don’t cry much. Some men cry a lot.
26. Being an abuse victim does not automatically make someone an abuser.
27. Paedophiles do not wear a uniform.
28. One in three pregnancies end in miscarriage. Of those, approximately 85% occur before the woman knows she’s pregnant. Miscarriage is not an easy moral alternative to abortion.
29. Plenty of women have abortions without it destroying their lives or their bodies.
30. Not all athletes are dumb and not all nerds are unfit.
31. It is possible for someone to love Star Trek and get laid. In fact it is possible for someone to get laid as a result of loving Star Trek.
32. Female nerds exist; two of them write this blog.
33. Scientists spend a lot of time involved in research and testing hypotheses and have to write a lot of peer-reviewed papers; they do not generally leap to untennable conclusions in the space of five minutes – at least, not in their professional lives.
34. Women with martial arts training usually prefer not to fight in skin-tight PVC as it is not the most comfortable or easy to move in of fabrics.
35. Adult men are capable of making decisions even when there is a woman in a short skirt in the room.
36. Women have sexual desires, many of which don’t involve shoes.
37. There are mental illnesses which are neither depression nor schizophrenia.
38. Billionnaire philanthropists are very rare.
39. Most rapists are someone the victim knows; most rapes do not take place in dark alleyways.
40. Mexican intellectuals, academics, scientists, artists, and general non-maids, non-gang-bangers, and non-police officers = also exist!
41. Women have periods. Even outside of RomComs.
42. Loose clothing is easier to move in than form-fitting clothing, more practical for concealing weapons, and more likely to be favoured by professional thieves and assassins.
43. There are people who do not like dogs / are not liked by dogs and who are still not minions of Satan.
44. Food quite often looks like ass and tastes like heaven.
45. People from non-English-speaking communities have this tendency to communicate primarily in not-English rather than talking to other members of their community in accented English.
46. Not all Generals are incompetent.
47. Most crimes are not solved.
48. Removing a woman’s glasses does not automatically transform her into a sex kitten, it usually just means that she can’t see.
49. In emergency situations such as cave-ins and flash floods people’s survival instincts invariably kick in, which means that they will calmly and carefully do their best to preserve the lives of everyone in the group, rather than having histrionics, princess fits, or becoming monstrously selfish.
50. Sometimes, parents abuse their children. Sometimes, the children don’t hug and make up. Sometimes they never forgive their parents. That is their right.

I could, of course, go on… but Cracked.com already exists.

Written by Amelia &/or Delilah

January 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm

coming to you live and somewhat soggy

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So as you may have heard, we’ve had some rather serious floods down here in my little corner of the world. I’m fortunate enough to be high and dry, despite being uncomfortably close to Cash’s Crossing when it broke it’s banks, and aside from a few problems with landslides and falling trees there’s been no major property damage.

I realise it’s rather late in the game, but if you know someone in the greater Brisbane area who has been evacuated and can’t take their animals with them, get them in touch with me; we don’t have room for more people, but my neighbours and I are taking pets, and if they’re not in my location I know at least three other people who’ve opened their house to the same purpose. I’m not sure about other evacuation centres, but the RNA Showgrounds are not allowing non-service animals. I can take any cat, dog, bird, or fish on a little notice, and I can take livestock up to the size of a horse if you give me warning and BYO electrical or panel fencing (all our land has is dogwire on stakes, I’m afraid.)

Donations are very much appreciated, and the best place to send them is directly to the official relief effort; the money goes directly to the State Emergency Services, the evacuation centres, the sandbag stations, and (if there’s any left over when the water draws back) to the cleanup/rebuild as required. If you’re located in Australia and can get to an affected region without taking a plane or the Bruce Highway, Volunteering QLD is coordinating volunteer assistance; registering with them first is greatly preferred to just showing up, as they have up-to-the-minute information on where help is needed most. Everything helps, and I do mean everything; I’ve been doing any little job from delivering medicine to filling sandbags on their account, and with a little luck my friends/colleagues and I will have a functional crisis counselling service set up at one of the evacuation centres by tomorrow or the weekend. While the actual efficacy of counselling immediately after a crisis is debateable, it makes people feel better, and since I don’t have the skills required to fix a car or rebuild a house this is pretty much the best I can do.

So far, things have been pretty bad for my state. We had no warning about the flash floods that came down from the Range, and the confirmed death toll is now at 15 and expected to rise. Crocodiles and sharks have been washed up in odd places, and I can personally attest to the vast numbers of very venemous snakes who have fled the waters and taken shelter in my roof. We’ve gone from BrisVegas to BrisVenice quite literally overnight. But as much as I might bitch and moan about my state and its people and its politics, we’re really rather good at pulling together in a crisis. (Please disregard Tony Abbott. If someone could just make him sit down and be quiet until the crisis was averted, that would be lovely…)

Now, my fellow flood victims, some advice the SES have passed along that everyone should hear.

Cleaning Up After A Flood, Step 1: Wait.

No, longer than that.

No, longer than that…

Seriously, keep waiting. Neither Brisbane nor Ipswich nor Toowoomba nor any part of the Lockyer Valley has been declared safe to re-enter. The flood waters are receeding in places, but there’s still a king tide to deal with, and a strong chance that they will rise again this weekend or next week. It is very easy for people to get hurt or killed by returning to their property too early, and if you think cleaning up after a flood is no fun, wait until you’ve cleaned up after a flood twice in under a week. When the SES and Energex declare the all-clear and return power, then you can get started. In the mean time, stay high and dry, try to score some decent clothes and sheets out of the donation pile, and keep waiting.

Here’s hoping we can all stay safe and dry for the rest of the wet season.

Written by Amelia &/or Delilah

January 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Review: Black Swan

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This is what how my NYE started out:

I spent time with many different groups of friends, saw the midnight fireworks on the river, and went to seven or eight different bars, pubs, and clubs, woke up at my own house in my own bed with clear memories of how I got there, and had a disproportionately small hangover in the morning. Much better than last NYE, in the end.

In other news, I was lucky enough to be given tickets to an advanced screening of Black Swan and I went and saw that, and OMGWTFBBQ NATALIE.

(Some very minor spoilers, nothing you couldn’t get from the trailers.)

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Written by Amelia &/or Delilah

January 2, 2011 at 1:26 am