slumber: (red rising)


Urgh, you guys, this makes my heart swell ten-fold. ♥

For those new to my flist, I've written about the LGBT movement in hockey before. It's not anything grandiose, and it isn't really league-led, but considering this is one of the four big sports, it's definitely something. (I don't follow the other three so I'm not aware of how the developments in hockey compare to those.)

Anyway, an update to that is the You Can Play project, spearheaded by Patrick Burke (Brendan's brother), and their first step involves filming a PSA from some of the biggest names in the league. They may not look like it, but those are All-Stars, top players in the league. And Burke says they have filmed 30 players in total out of the 35 who are committed to joining this.

This is a really good recap of everything too.

You Can Play is Burke's bold new initiative that enlists NHL players — the count is up to around 30 as the campaign kicked off Sunday — to "change the sometimes homophobic culture of locker rooms with a message that athletes should be judged on athletic skill and ability, not sexual orientation or other discriminatory factors," according to the organization.

"Through You Can Play, we want to let guys know why that [casual homophobia] is hard for gay athletes to hear. Even if you don't mean it in that sense, there's probably a guy in the locker room that can't take it in any way but in that sense," said Burke.


It's just a really awesome thing to have happen, and like I said last year, I just hope we continue to move in this direction.
slumber: (Default)
First man 'functionally cured' of HIV:

There's not much good news when it comes to this devastating virus. But that is perhaps why the story of the man scientists call the "Berlin patient" is so remarkable and has generated so much excitement among the HIV advocacy community.

Timothy Ray Brown suffered from both leukemia and HIV when he received a bone marrow stem cell transplant in Berlin, Germany in 2007. The transplant came from a man who was immune to HIV, which scientists say about 1 percent of Caucasians are. (According to San Francisco's CBS affiliate, the trait may be passed down from ancestors who became immune to the plague centuries ago. This Wired story says it was more likely passed down from people who became immune to a smallpox-like disease.)

What happened next has stunned the dozens of scientists who are closely monitoring Brown: His HIV went away.

"He has no replicating virus and he isn't taking any medication. And he will now probably never have any problems with HIV," his doctor Gero Huetter told Reuters. Brown now lives in the Bay Area, and suffers from some mild neurological difficulties after the operation. "It makes me very happy," he says of the incredible cure.


And from the local CBS in San Francisco:

“One element of his treatment, and we don’t know which, allowed apparently the virus to be purged from his body,” he observed. “So it’s going to be an interesting, I think productive area to study.”

Volberding continued, “Knock on wood, (Brown) hasn’t had any recurrence now for several years of the virus, and that hasn’t happened before in our experience.”

As a result, at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation some are now using the word “cure” after so many avoided it for decades.

“You sort of felt like you couldn’t say ‘cure’ for a number of years. Scientists and clinicians and people with HIV alike felt that was a promise that was never going to be realized and it was dangerous to direct a lot of energy toward it,” said Dr. Judy Auerbach. “And now things have shifted.”
slumber: (house of awesome)
I know very few of you are into hockey, but I know I've got a flist made up of pretty much all the colors of the rainbow, so I thought you might be interested in something that's been going on in hockey fandom about the LGBT movement. I was actually going to copy&paste a post that someone had made on the latest development, but then I realized that maybe not everyone knows what most of the developments had been. I don't know how much of the stuff in hockey actually transcends national news/interest, so in case you aren't aware, I thought I'd put together a little bit of a primer on what's going on. (Granted, this is stuff as I remember it, so it's not meant to be all-encompassing or anything, but still.)

It started with Brendan Burke )
slumber: (yikes again!)
Eight years in debate is enough for me to know that there is a way I can argue for the release of Polanski. There is a way, because of technicality, because of jurisdiction, whatever else, that his arrest may have been technically fumbled.

I can find an argument for it, but that doesn't make him any less deserving of arrest, of justice. Because what's lawful and what's just are not always the same thing, and giving him a free pass for achievements that are irrelevant to what he did is careless and ignorant. Am I missing something? Because I don't understand how people could even think to stand behind this man.
slumber: (house of awesome)
Gay marriage gets legalized in Maine:

"In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions," Governor Baldacci said. "I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage."


Dudes. Did somebody step on the Gay Agenda Gas Pedal, and where can we go to shower him with rainbows and shiny sparkly awesome things?
slumber: (yikes again!)
The US was the only major Western nation not to sign the declaration.


What. The. Fuck.

I mean-- okay, I hate going political and I know this will just open a whole new can of worms and that, you know, this is a debatable issue, well-- here's where I stand, basically:

  • I am glad that this declaration was sponsored at all...
  • But I personally don't know where I stand in the whole, you know, imposing one's concept of right and wrong onto wholly different cultures and I understand why some countries would opt not to sign it
  • But on the basis of what the declaration says... I would like to think that the US is past that. Maybe the reason the US did not choose to sign is so it could retain diplomatic relations with the states that chose not to sign as well, but. Really? Really? You don't want to sign a non-binding declaration that arguably upholds human rights?


Urgh.

PS. It has been a while since I kept myself abreast of world issues, and I haven't really been involved in debate in a while. I know there is another side to this story. If you know what it is, if you understand more than I do right now, please do let me know? Educate me. I'm hesitant to jump to too many conclusions, so if I'm missing something from this story, I would be really glad if you could tell me what it is. Thank you.
slumber: (slytherins for obama)
Looks like they're passing Prop 8. 52.1% of vote with 94.6% precincts reporting..

He was right when he said things will not change overnight. And they didn't. Prop 8 passed. There's still an uphill battle.

But you know, we're probably still just getting there.

I hope.
slumber: (slytherins for obama)




I am not an American citizen. I am not able to vote for your presidents, or donate to your candidates' campaigns, but I am glad that at least somehow, I am able to witness a turning point in your history, because somehow, I hope, this is a turning point in all of our history.



Grant Park was amazing, and insane, and kind of murderous-- I went with a friend and we arrived at 6pm, working our way through masses of people (Did you see my hand waving on CNN, flist?) until we finally saw the metal detectors that meant we were nearly there, and when we broke into open space we found-- yes, even more people.



We watched CNN while we waited for Barack Obama to appear, and I am sure the rest of the world was tuned in as well, but the vibe in Grant Park was electric. Every time a state was called in favour of Obama everyone cheered and broke into spontaneous chanting.



They called Pennsylvania first, far too early in the race, enough to cause drama, so I've heard. McCain was winning in Texas, but surprisingly, not by much. CNN was turning Star Wars on us, and we waited with bated breath. Wolf Blitzer was excited about calling one state, but we knew it was Ohio. Then NPR called Virginia, just a few minutes before precincts were scheduled to close in the West Coast.



At 10:00:01, CNN called the election, and Grant Park went wild. They quieted to hear McCain speak, booed when he mentioned Palin, but when Obama came onstage and addressed everyone-- well, that was the high point of the night. And man, that speech will be written about, studied, remembered, in the years to come.



So yes, America, you can. Yes, in fact, you did.

And yes, I was there.
slumber: (slytherins for obama)
  1. Nearly forget to print the all-important ticket needed.
  2. Leave work early to give self time to be at the event.
  3. Arrive home to discard bag and stuff.
  4. Wear rubber shoes.
  5. Set LJ up so you can text updates. :|


So, uh. I might get slightly annoying. I promise to only update if something REALLY awesome happens, like if there's a stampede or something. So you know you were in my thoughts. ♥ :| But yes. Whatever. I am off to witness American history in the making! ('Cause, you know, it's also the world at stake here! Maybe. :|)
slumber: (city girl: chicago)


Three guesses who's going to the Election Night rally tomorrow (which, can I say again, is right across my friggin' apartment), and the first two don't count.

AND! PS. Have you voted? Are you a size medium female? I'm giving out this shirt to someone like you! I'll decide on the winners (randomly) when I get the shirt. :| :D

PPS. Stores giving out freebies on Election Day:
  • Starbucks - free tall drip coffee
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Ben and Jerry's
slumber: (slytherins for obama)

I am giving away this shirt to one person on my flist.


It is from 200 Nipples, a site that sells only 100 designs of a shirt ever (and prices them each from $1 to $100-- I got this for $26), and as their description goes:

This is for the people who think, “It’s my own spit in that ocean, dammit, and if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain. I’m headed for the polls!”


Yes, it is free. Yes, it is random. Yes, I'm shipping it for free, too. No, I wasn't asked to do this by anyone else. It's a slow day in the office, I got bored. And yes, there are strings attached:

  • You must comment with an election-themed haiku;
  • You should be female (as the shirt has been ordered for the female figure);
  • Keep in mind the shirt was bought in size medium;
  • You've got to be an American citizen (unless there's a way you can spin this so it's ironic that you're wearing a shirt despite not being American);
  • You should have actually voted for this election (and prove it, too, unless you're the ironic non-American)


This shirt ships out on November 12, so I'll leave this post open for whoever wants to comment til then.
slumber: (she ruined everything)
From [livejournal.com profile] squishstoy:



Really, America? Are you really gonna vote for this man?
slumber: (Remember remember)
Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post (which somehow always makes me think of Harry Potter and Hufflepuffs) makes an awesome point about the whole Sarah Palin thing:

...Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are simply a bountiful collection of small lies deliberately designed to distract the country from one big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is committed to continuing.

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain.

[sic]

And the plan has worked beautifully. Just look at what's being discussed just 57 days before the election. Is it the highest unemployment rate in five years? The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The suicide bombing yesterday in Iraq that killed six people and wounded 54 -- in the same market where last month a bomb killed 28 people and wounded 72? That the political reconciliation that was supposedly the point of "the surge" is nowhere near happening? That Iraq's Shiite government is now rounding up the American-backed Sunni leaders of the Awakening? That the reason 8,000 soldiers may be leaving Iraq soon is so more can be deployed to Afghanistan where the Taliban is steadily retaking the country?

No. We're talking about whether Sarah Palin was or was not a good mayor, whether she was or was not a good mother, whether her skirts are too short and her zingers too sarcastic.


Christ but it's true, isn't it?

Read the full article here.
slumber: (dive into work)
so. much. work. to. do. Haven't been able to get on YM, though I've been commenting on some of your LJs (that was me putting off work, btw) and catching up on The Daily Show. Colbert Report up next. :|

and also, somehow, I was able to watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when he had Russell Brand over. (Which Americans, I believe, can watch here.) Russell Brand is ♥ ([livejournal.com profile] boho, thank you so very much for introducing him. :D)

I loved Jay Leno's monologue at the beginning about Sarah Palin:

"She may actually be the first beauty pageant contestant to bring about world peace."


Except, of course, she's also Sarah Palin.

"Another Vice President who hunts. What could go wrong?"


Palin is the Twilight of the political fandom, y/y?

Okay, I really should be working now. :| ([livejournal.com profile] acidpop25, I shall be on YM tonight.)
slumber: (Default)
Since it started reading like Gossip Girl, that's when.

Apparently Palin's daughter is pregnant.

Not to be confused with the alleged cover-up of her daughter's pregnancy, mind.

Man. Where's the popcorn?

ALSO, omg, where's Gossip Girl? Us TV-less people need our fix still! D:
slumber: (facepalm)
Just in case you all thought my political posts were biased-- so I found out John McCain picked a woman to run as his vice president. (She is a woman who, according to [livejournal.com profile] ccharlotte, wants to take polar bears out of the endangered list so that we can drill for oil in their habitats. :|)

In marketing we talk about how people/companies/brands send out messages based on what they do. Instinctively, this is the message I got from McCain:

"O HAI AMERICA. I guess I don't look like I'll be changing anything in this country compared to Obama over there, but HERE ya go-- white female veep, so in case I croak in the next four years (and I probably will)-- you guys will STILL have your first non-white-male president!

"PS. I can has votes nao?"



Sorry for the spam today. :|
slumber: (insane)
SO a couple of nights ago I was re-watching one of my favourite shows in the world, and a scene just really struck me as very, very relevant to today's current issues.

A man had just been voted to premiership, and three people were sitting around a living room telly, talking about him. Slightly paraphrased:

"I was going to vote for him," said the girl.

"Oh really?" one of the men asked.

"Yeah, me too," the second man said.

"Why?"

"I don't know," the girl said, "But I liked him."

"Yeah. He was always good to hear," the second man agreed.

"I felt safe," said the girl, tapping her fingers on the cup she held.

And then The Doctor frowned, because he'd heard that drumming sound before Martha was tapping out on her cup before, and then Harold Saxon started talking on the telly, and their telly got blown up and they had to be on the run because they were suspected terrorists--

But I'm getting ahead of myself. :|

Because you know-- maybe the United Kingdom didn't work out much for The Master, but he's definitely set his eyes on America since then! And I can't believe no one's pointed it out before.

Yes, flist. Obama is The Master! I need an icon for that. Come on-- good orator, rose to prominence fairly recently (when did we *really* start hearing about Obama, hmm? *narrows eyes*), bewitches the world with his words...

Observe what he did to the world when he was in power (PS: What follows is spoilerific of Doctor Who 3x12):



I would worry if I were you, flist.

I would. *nods solemnly*




PS: You know I love you guys hardcore, but as I really didn't invest myself in this whole election as little more than a bemused and fascinated observer, I thought last night that the reactions to his speech were interesting (Transcript available here, btw, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] morganashkevron who posted it). Actually, the reactions to him are, in general.

PPS: I can totally start a Real-Life Quibbler-esque blog of crackpot conspiracy theories, y/n?
slumber: (Default)
SO. I am back at my apartment (to talk to [livejournal.com profile] ccharlotte, who is too lame to come to Terminus with me even though she's practically in my backyard-- oh, who am I kidding, Terminus is in my backyard) and thus commences Terminus Day 2 recaps. Or updates, or whatever. Um. (ETA: I started writing this last night, but apparently I was exhausted, because I fell asleep in my apartment. Um. Yeah. :|)

I kind of really really want a comm where people can put up discussion points from their Terminus panels and some such, but like. I think Tai and I were the only ones dorky enough to have been writing notes, like, everywhere. :|

Highlights:
  • Finding out that the one character in the book given the most due process (ie, a trial, an appeal, witnesses and evidence) is actually, um. Buckbeak.

  • Buying a Slytherin sweater! No, really, I have been looking at Hogwarts schoolgirls all this time and being all "I WANT". Except I don't know. We'll see if I can wheedle Bri into being a Slyth again so I'll have someone with me. Yes.

  • Impromptu Wrock thing by The Remus Lupins (Alex Carpenter), who led a horde of fangirls all the way to the park. He is so awesome with his fans. I think I may be a little bit smitten.



Also, um. The Hilton has the most depressing elevators in the world. They have little TV screens tuned in to CNN so in between panels and roundtables and presentations we'd go in and the elevators would tell us that Edwards admitted to having an affair and that Georgia was invaded and the Obama and McCain coverage would be awesome.

But CNN did not tell me that Bernie Mac has died. I found out when I got back home. :(


PS: I have officially overheard something. :P
slumber: (femmeslash)
California has legalized gay marriage.



By the afternoon, gay and lesbian couples had already started lining up at San Francisco City Hall to make appointments to get marriage licenses.


Unlike Massachusetts, California has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, meaning gays from around the country are likely to flock to the state to be wed, said Jennifer Pizer, a gay-rights attorney who worked on the case.


I love how it fits. :D
slumber: (tragedy)
I thought that campus shootings had truly ended in the 90s, that we've heard the last of them and Virginia Tech was simply an aberration. But 7 people have now died in Northern Illinois University, just ten months since Virginia, apparently, and it's just. Short of doing bag checks at every entrance of a campus to ensure our own safety, this is really the kind of thing that no one can predict, let alone prevent. (Do you really think it's a matter of reaching out to the potential gunman in your class? Someone somewhere will tick in a way you would never see coming, I think, and we're all fucked up one way or another and it's just a matter of how we cope, and this is just where others' coping leads, sometimes.)

The thing with tragedies like this is that they should not be happening this frequently. I want to know what's going wrong but I'm inclined to think that these things remain senseless and that there are no answers.

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