nenena: (Default)
So it's finals week and for their traditional post-final treat I let my Art History students watch Red Cliff. Before the film I explained a little bit about the historical context of the film (although I didn't have to explain much because a group of students had already given a fabulous presentation about the Han Dynasty as one of their semester-final projects last week), who the characters in the film were, and how the film was based on a mixture of historical fact and Romance of the Three Kingdoms fictionalization. We did a couple of activities comparing/contrasting Three Kingdoms to Arthurian myths, and we talked about the differences in technology levels between China and Europe of the time period (mind-blowing for some of the students), but mostly it was just letting the kids turn off their brains and enjoy the film.

Anywhoo the movie was met with rave reviews (and from a very tough crowd, might I add!). But on Friday at the end of class one of the students asked me, "Do you have any more Three Kingdoms stuff?" Which was followed immediately by a chorus of nearly the entire class echoing his question.

Aaaaaand I told him that I would get back to him about that because honestly, I kind of don't. Or rather, I know that there's a ton of Three Kingdoms-based media out there but I have no idea how much of it is available in English, appropriate for high school students, or even, er, good.

So, flist! I come to you with a question: I've got a group of high school students who are very interested in The Fabulous Adventures of Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang and The Knights of the Peach Orchard. What would you recommend for them to watch, read, or play?

They do not speak or read Chinese, so anything that you recommend to them will have to be available in translation. They are pretty savvy about acquiring material online, so stuff that's only available via piracy is okay to rec. They seems to be mostly interested in the military and martial arts aspects of the stories, so action-based stuff would be best. Any films, books, comics, or video games y'all could recommend for these kids would be very appreciated!
nenena: (Default)
The Hero Initiative is seeking donations to cover the cost of Robert L. Washington III's funeral. Please please please help if you can. Washington was a groundbreaking writer who neither got the acclaim nor the financial compensation that he deserved from the comics industry. Without funds to cover the cost of a small, modest funeral his remains will literally be thrown into a ditch on Hart Island, without any ceremony, and without giving his family an opportunity to say goodbye.

Other links of interest:

Chris Claremont, Ann Nocenti, and Louise Simonson re-unite to discuss the original plans for Madelyne Pryor's character in the X-Men comics. Wow. Wooooooooooow.

Justin Sevakis explains the mysterious process by which film properties are licensed and distributed internationally: Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Molly McIsaac lists the ten best manga (available in English) for children. Comments argue about whether Dragonball should be on the list because of its sexual humor and whether the list fails for excluding Astro Boy. In response to the former, meh, I'd say there's no hard or fast ruling on that one - it really depends on the age, maturity, and experiences of the kid reading it. As for the latter, well, if I had to pick one kiddie Tezuka manga to put on the list, I would choose Princess Knight over Astro Boy. And I still think it's a shame that Honey Honey will likely never be available in English because it is still one of the greatest kids' manga of all time.

In much less light-hearted fare, Foz Meadows explains some basics of Rape Culture 101 in her two blog posts about rape culture and gaming: One | Two. The comments on the first post are unsurprisingly full of fail, hence the follow-up post. But I agree completely with the way that Meadows lays out the differences in terms of what rape culture looks like in a digital community versus how it manifests in meatspace. Both posts are definitely worth a read, even if you don't exactly need a 101-level explanation of the basic concepts involved.
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Quoted from ladiesmakingcomics:

I’m sorry, I have to do this, because it seems like everywhere I turn people are going “Did you hear the Supreme Court took some stuff out of the public domain and put it back under copyright??? CORPORATIONS WILL SOON OWN ALL OF CULTURE ARGLEBARGLE!!”

That is not what has happened.

The Supreme Court has interpreted an international copyright treaty to enforce copyright on foreign works that are still under copyright in their own countries, but that were in the public domain in the U.S. only due to the U.S.’s own jumbled copyright history.

Is there a risk of U.S. works being taken out of the public domain? Yes, but only by an act of Congress—which is not very likely. I know everyone is worried about SOPA and PIPA and ACTA and think that every aspect of free expression is under attack, but unlike Internet law, copyright law has about 225 years of precedent in the U.S. and even further back in English law from which the American legal system descends. The only direct effect I can see this case having on any American works is probably going to be Margaret Mitchell’s estate running to Australia to get Gone With the Wind put back under copyright there.

Here’s the thing— those media conglomerates that poured millions into SOPA/PIPA/ACTA? They have little interest in touching the current public domain. All those Sherlock Holmes movies and TV shows, all those Jane Austen adaptations, all those high school comedies based on Shakespeare that they make means that they benefit from the public domain as much as anyone.

So, stay vigilant about future copyright legislation, but the Supreme Court made a good decision in this case.

TL;DR version: Stop freaking out about Golan v. Holder. Take action to stop ACTA instead.

And asdfghjkl;asdfghjkl; the misleading reporting about Golan v. Holder from major news outlets that should know better has been driving me up the wall.
nenena: (Devi - Flaming Tara)
I am not participating in the "internet blackout" to protest SOPA today because, Jesus tapdancing skateboarding Christ on a cracker, of all the ineffective protests ever conceived in the history of armchair internet activism, this has got to be the least effective of all. (ETA: I mean ineffective in the sense that the I'm not going to post to Tumblr or Facebook today because I'M PROTESTING! "blackout" is ineffective. The major websites like Wikipedia turning black and redirecting visitors to information that helps them contact their legislators? WAY more effective! But most of Tumblr and most of my Facebook contacts seem to have interpreted "blackout" to mean let's not use the internet today, which, uh, NO. Not an effective protest!)

I do, however, count myself among those who realize that SOPA is a horrifically dangerous and poorly-written law, and it SHOULD be killed with fire. Why?

This article by Chris Heald explains exactly why SOPA is a bad law, breaking down the actual text of the proposed law point-by-point and explaining how that would impact internet usage in the real world. Meanwhile, PIPA, the evil twin of SOPA created by the Senate, is so poorly-written that six of the Senators who originally sponsored the bill have asked majority leader Harry Reid to CANCEL the upcoming January 24th vote, due to concerns that the bill as it currently stands is, well, a poorly-written and dangerous mess.

What can you do if you ACTUALLY want to take action to stop SOPA/PIPA?

Contact your Representative and Senator. By phone, as that's the best and most direct way to persuade them.

The Reddit article linked above gives a pretty good idea of what you need to do and how to go about doing it, but just to repeat some key points:

1. Read up on SOPA/PIPA before you make your phone call. Have a couple of talking points ready.
2. Be calm and be polite. You are going to be more persuasive if you sound like an informed citizen than an angry internet nerd.
3. You are probably going to be talking to an aide instead of your actual Representative/Senator. That's okay. It's the aide's job to take phone calls like this and relay voters' opinions to their bosses. Your call won't be ignored. Trust me.
4. Don't be surprised if the person that you talk to has never heard of SOPA/PIPA or has no idea what the heck any of this is about. That's exactly why these phone calls are so important!

I called my Rep last night, talked to an aide, and it went pretty well. From my time in AmeriCorps I can definitely say that direct phone-call-to-lawmakers action is always the best way to seriously get shit done.

Please please please take a moment to make a phone call. It shouldn't take more than three to five minutes of your day. Your internet will thank you later.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
The Putnam County Humane Society in central Indiana is closing down on September 30th, at which time all of the remaining animals at the facility will have to be put down.

If you live within reasonable driving distance of Greencastle, IN (which is not far from Indianapolis) and have been thinking of adopting a pet, NOW would be a really great time to do so.

Even if you can't give one of these animals a home yourself, please spread the word if you can. Maybe somebody else that you know is thinking about adopting a pet. Please help give these pets a good home!

ETA: The Putnam County Humane Society homepage has more information about shelter hours, their emergency adoption specials, and how to look up their adoptable animals on
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)

[ profile] helpthesouth
Fannish auctions to raise money for areas in the southern United States affected by the devastating tornadoes on April 27th.

[ profile] help_japan lightning round
Parts of northern Japan still look like a warzone. Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in emergency shelters. Shortages of food, water, gas, and medical supplies are an ongoing problem. Here's a second chance both to offer and to bid on auctions to help Japan.

In case anybody reading this is still poo-pooing the idea of fandom auctions to raise money for real-world causes, let me just remind you that the first round of auctions at [ profile] help_japan raised over $45,000 that was donated directly to groups working on relief efforts in Japan.
nenena: (Haruhi - To the Haruhimobile!)
Signal-boosting from access_fandom:

Call for Papers
Midwest Popular Culture Association (MPCA)
2011 Conference

October 14-16, 2011
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Deadline for Paper Submissions: April 30, 2011

The Disability & Popular Culture area of the MPCA invites proposals (or abstracts) for papers on any aspect of the intersection of disability and popular culture. All topics, approaches, and perspectives related to disability and popular culture are welcome. Interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, as are discussions of new directions in disability studies and popular culture studies.

Proposals should be 250-300 words in length, and must be received by April 30, 2010.

More information available here:
Information about travel grants for graduate students:

Proposals and inquiries should be sent by e-mail to the Disability & Popular Culture area chair

Asim Ali
nenena: (Default)
As of today, the official death toll from the Tohoku Offshore Earthquake has climbed past 11,000 deaths, with 17,000 people still missing. Over 300,000 people are living in shelters without adequate food, water, or medical supplies. It's freezing cold in the Tohoku region right now and vast numbers of people are without heat or electricity. Many roads are still impassable which means that grocery stores are running out of food and gas stations are running out of kerosene (which fuels heaters in many Japanese houses).

If you can spare any money, please please please donate to the International Red Cross. They are the most deeply embedded in the afflicted regions right now and they're your best bet for making sure that your money goes directly to supporting somebody who needs it.

My friend Yoshiko also recommends donating to the Ashinaga Fund for Children, which provides financial aid, therapy, and psychological support to children who were orphaned by the disaster. They provide a desperately needed service in a country where the concept of "therapy" is still taboo for a lot of people, so please spare them some money if you can.

It's still not too late to make a bid at [ profile] help_japan, either. Auctions won't close until March 31st. The auction website is much easier to browse through its delicious account - especially if you need to instantly sort through the over 1800 different fandoms offered - so please give it a look.

For those of you who use Tumblr, you can now donate to the Red Cross of Japan directly from your dashboard, and Tumblr has pledged to match user donations for up to $15,000.
nenena: (Default)

[ profile] help_japan on livejournal and help_japan on dreamwidth are two charity auctions where you can offer fannish (or non-fannish) gifts such as fic, art, food, graphics, audio, video, and all sorts of other services in order to raise money for tsunami relief efforts in Japan and in other affected parts of the Pacific as well.

If you would like to contribute to relief efforts but don't have money to donate at the moment, offering your talents in one of these auctions might be a good option. Past experience has taught me that these sorts of auctions can sometimes raise a lot of money (heck, somebody once paid $28,000 for some Twilight BNF's offer to write Edward/Bella porn!) and all of the proceeds go directly to charity.

I am participating in the LJ auction and offering both fic and a doujinshi translation service. :) Hope to see some of y'all there, too!
nenena: (Default)
TEPCO is updating their English-language website with hourly technical briefings on the status of their reactors, including the two in Fukushima that may or may not have experienced meltdowns.

More terrifying Science Facts: The initial 8.9-magnitude quake has opened up a new gigantic fault in the seabed and tilted the Earth's axis by 10 cm.

HuffingtonPost is reporting that parts of Japan have literally sunk - because the quake was caused by the Pacific plate slipping ten meters below the North American plate - which in turn may have lowered the elevation of huge chunks of Pacific terrain, including Japan. Says the geologist quoted therein: ""You see cities still underwater; the reason is subsidence. The land actually dropped, so when the tsunami came in, it's just staying."

Speaking of HuffPo, they have also set up an excellent page keeping track of which charity/aid organizations are already on the ground in Japan and what kind of work they are doing. If you have money to donate, please donate to these groups in order to make sure that your money will directly help somebody in need.
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PSA for those of you who want to help relief efforts in Japan: Make sure that you donate to an organization that Japan is actually accepting aid from! So far Japan has only requested help from Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, Save the Children, and a few other organizations. If you give through they will disburse your money directly to groups that are already on the ground in Japan.

Also another PSA, shamelessly copied and pasted from [ profile] azuire: If you want to send a message to someone in the affected areas where all phone lines are down, NHK will broadcast your message on their TV service. The numbers on which to place your message are 03 5452 8800, or 050 3369 9680. if you are calling from outside Japan, please remember to put +81 before the number.
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A 6.8 just hit south of Sendai again and a 6.1 hit Nagano two hours ago. It just isn't stopping.

I haven't been able to contact anybody that I know in Japan yet.

Completely terrifying Science Facts, courtesy of the NHK news feed: A cubic meter of water weighs one ton. (Sciencey people: is this really true? I had no idea.) Now imagine how many cubic meters of water were in the first 20-foot-high wave that hit Japan yesterday. And that wave reached speeds of up to 500 kilometers per hour when it was traveling over the open ocean.

This is not just the worst earthquake in recorded Japanese history, but the fifth-most powerful earthquake ever recorded anywhere in the world, period.

Four passenger trains and a cruise ship with over 100 people on it have been missing since yesterday.

Links again, because these cannot be signal-boosted enough: CharityNavigator and Google People Finder.
nenena: (Default)
BBC has the best live coverage in English:

NHK streaming:

Shakemap is tracking the quakes, which are still ongoing in Japan:

CharityNavigator, to make sure that your donations actually go to a good cause:
nenena: (Devi - Monochrome)
Six ways that you can help tsunami relief efforts in Japan and the Pacific:

Also, Google People Finder, for those of you with friends and family in Japan:
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
Plug plug plug: [ profile] savetheproject, a fandom auction to benefit the Virgina Avenue Project. Rachel Manija explains it all here.

Guys, this is a really, really good cause. Please check out the items up for auction! If you can't afford to bid on anything right now, you can also make a smaller donation directly to the Virgina Avenue Project. Every little bit helps.

Those of you who know me RL know that several years ago I was involved in starting up after school programs in Minneapolis through AmeriCorps, so yes, this is definitely a cause very near and dear to my heart. Programs like the Virgina Avenue Project make a huge difference to disadvantaged youth. Please, please check out the auction and help save the project if you can!
nenena: (Default)
In addition to the previous round of signal-boosting:

Girls Drawing Girls (NSFW) is hosting a Haiti Earthquake Relief Charity Art Sale (also somewhat NSFW). There is some effin' amazing stuff being offered for sale, so please check it out.
nenena: (Default)
First! Please please please help a friend in need!

[ profile] corinn is a lovely, wonderful person who is being shafted by health care fuckery and driven into debt by the costs of her medications. She is working hard to get the help that she needs. But bureaucracy takes time, and in the meantime, she really needs some extra money so that she can keep up with the meds that she needs to function. She has an awesome etsy shop, which includes some exquisite doll furniture. I know that some of y'all reading this are doll collectors like me, so if you're thinking of getting some doll furniture, please check out the etsy shop! She also makes beautiful custom rose boxes and butterfly boxes. If you like pretty things and you want to do a good deed for someone who needs help, then please consider ordering something from [ profile] corrin. Or at least boost the signal and plug her shops if you can. Every little bit helps.

Second! It's time for elections!

Yes, boys and girls, it's time for our first ever Girl-Wonder membership drive and Board elections. If you'd like to get involved, now is the time! Join our organization, nominate yourself or others to sit on next year's Board of Directors, and vote to make your voice heard. As a current Board member I can definitely say that being on the G-W Board is a lot of fun, it's a great way to be directly involved in the comics community, and it's a very manageable time commitment. So please join us, nominate some awesome people (including yourselves!) to next year's Board, and also please boost this signal if you can!
nenena: (Haruhi - To the Haruhimobile!)
Most of you have probably seen these links before, but signal boosting never hurts. Here we go.

Skywardprodigal's list of recommended organizations to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake. I'd personally recommend NOAH; I heard good things about them when I was in Minneapolis, and the money that you give to them goes directly to help the people who need it most. I donated to NOAH and I hope that some of y'all who can spare some money will do so too.

Post a Story for Haiti. Samit Basu is participating and he already posted an awesome story in his blog. If you read it, please make a donation to one of the charities listed on the Crossed Genres page. I'd recommend Doctors Without Borders; again, that's where my money went.

Heroes 4 Haiti. Comic book art auction.

[ profile] help_haiti. Auction of fannish things.
nenena: (Haruhi - To the Haruhimobile!)
So like, in case any of y'all were wondering what the heck's been happening to this past week or two:

Lately the site has been plagued by malware, the source of which is as yet unknown. After valiant effort at piecemeal destruction, the webmistress finally resorted to asteroid bombardment, and the destruction resulting is pretty extensive.

If any of you are experienced in CiviCRM, and could lend Betty a hand in putting everything back together, that would be excellent of you. Please contact her at sturdyandserviceable at gmail.

If you have as much idea of CiviCRM as I do (which is, it starts with a C) it would be great if you could signalboost this call for help.

BTW, I'm going to get Sequential Smarts back online next week-ish. And possibly be posting a long overdue review of Hikaru no Go, provided that Real Life stops bashing me over the head sooner rather than later.

Also, the Feminist-Friendly Comic Book Store Map is still online and still kicking, even if the submission form is temporarily kaputskies. I know that a lot of people rely on the link from the website to find the map, but as the website is still temporarily resting and recovering, you can still use the normal Google Maps link to view the map:

Anywhoo, if anybody can help Betty fix up the rest of our website, that would be totally awesome and much appreciated!
nenena: (Devi - Isana)
Wonder Woman is

1) awesome, and

2) the only female comic book character to have had her monthly comic book series more-or-less uninterrupted since 1941.

That's a pretty big freakin' deal.

Not that most of us would know that, of course, since Wonder Woman has been re-numbered at least twice (possibly more than twice?) over the years. But anywhoo, the upcoming issue #45 of Wonder Woman is actually going to be the six hundredth issue of her series (!!!!). And, in recognition of this utterly-amazing-when-you-stop-and-think-about-it anniversary, some fans have asked Dan Didio to please re-number WW #45 as WW #600, in order to give Diana the recognition that she deserves. DC has repeatedly stated that they consider Wonder Woman an iconic character on the same level as Superman or Batman. And, well, Superman got his monthly Action Comics title re-numbered specifically to recognize his milestone anniversaries, so doesn't Wonder Woman deserve the same?

Thus Didio said, "Send me six hundred postcards, and I'll make it so."

And boy, did he get postcards. Here's the official weekly tally so far. But there aren't six hundred yet. We still need moar!

So if you have a postcard, a stamp, and thirty seconds of free time, please consider helping out. Send a postcard with "Wonder Woman issue #45 should be renumbered #600" or some similar message to:

c/o Dan DiDio
1700 Broadway
New York, NY, 10019

More information: Amazon Princess blog | Westfield Comics blog

(No, I don't have a Wonder Woman icon, so here's some Devi for y'all instead.)