You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 11, 2012.

An explosion and/or fire at Shaw Court in Calgary has knocked out a significant quantity of telecommunications equipment, affecting not only bank machines and radio stations, but stuff like 911 service and the program that tells ambulances which hospital they should take a patient to.

Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Jayson Doyscher tells OpenFile: “the sprinklers have been keeping the fires in that room at bay. Just due to the amount of electrical equipment in there, we’re trying to make sure that we can secure it so firefighters aren’t at risk before they go into that room.”

I’m going to repeat the salient bit:




Normally when you talk about mission-critical infrastructure, you’re talking about stuff like the servers that handle banking and the stock market.  And for that kind of thing, the technology exists to have redundant servers in multiple locations that can fail-over almost seamlessly if something like this happens.   We don’t have all the details, but chances are some of this stuff is weirdass old mainframes and actual physical mechanical switches that can’t be failed over quite so easily.  Still, why in the name of the Invisible Pink Unicorn and the Flying Spaghetti Monster would you put sprinklers in with them?  I mean, I know the obvious answer, which is that halon is expensive.  But whose brilliant idea was it to cut this particular corner? Maybe it’s just me, but I think 911 service is a bit more important than the stock market.

I keep finding good stuff to repost.  This blog entry is by Salty Current with the original found here.


“If you say

I think sexism, misogyny, and harassment of women, including in this community, are real problems that need to be addressed,

you should stop there and consider what you’re actually doing and could be doing to counter them and how you might be contributing to them. If you then say

BUT feminists really shouldn’t talk publicly about their experiences, shouldn’t write blog posts about the subject, shouldn’t object to slurs, shouldn’t take sexually violent language seriously, shouldn’t be angry, should name names, shouldn’t name names, shouldn’t call out any man who’s ever done anything to support women, shouldn’t call out any man who considers himself their ally, shouldn’t call out prominent men, should only discuss prominent men, shouldn’t call out women who say misogynistic things, shouldn’t call out young people, shouldn’t organize events focusing on women, should mute their criticisms to protect skeptical organizations or events, shouldn’t talk about what’s said on Facebook, shouldn’t talk about what’s said on Twitter, shouldn’t talk about what’s said on YouTube, shouldn’t turn a skeptical eye to sexist “science,” should let their experiences go unexpressed because other women have it worse, should be more polite, should be less polite, should painstakingly qualify their every statement to make it less likely to be misconstrued by those with hostile intent, should calmly describe the entire history of the arguments to everyone who jumps into them ignorant of the context, should give the benefit of the doubt to every guy who’s done or said something sexist, should frame the issues in this or that way, shouldn’t talk about patriarchy, shouldn’t talk about privilege, shouldn’t talk about rape culture, should constantly and patiently explain sociological concepts to their interlocutors, should only discuss problems that affect them personally, shouldn’t work to change official policies, should only work through official organizational channels, should only focus on this or that part of the problem, should never analogize their situation or women’s oppression to anything else, should be more aggressive, should be less aggressive, shouldn’t insult people, shouldn’t ban commenters from their blogs, shouldn’t strenuously object to mischaracterizations of their statements,…,

you should realize that this belies your claim to caring about the problems and wanting to help address them, and recognize that you are contributing to the problem. If you insist on your preconditions for listening to and supporting feminists in their struggles against sexism and misogyny, you’re acting in a way that is harmful to the cause you claim to support.”

Ah yes, tokenism at its best.  Just imagine the dudely outrage when called out on this particular trope.  See!  See!  We have a female character… oh wait.

*update – textual goodness*

Take note of the Male-to-Female ratio.
I’m the only girl.
Marzipan, Homestar Runner

For any series not aimed solely at females, odds are high that only one female will be in the regular cast. The Smurfette Principle is the tendency for works of fiction to have exactly one female amongst an ensemble of male characters, in spite of the fact that roughly half of the human race is female. Unless a show is purposefully aimed at a female viewing audience, the main characters will tend to be disproportionately male. In many series, men will have various different personalities, but women will always be The Chick. Thus, by the Law of Conservation of Detail , you only need one. In other cases, the women are feminized versions of existing male characters. This trope has lessened over time, but even now it often applies to animated fare aimed at boys or a general audience. This is especially serious when the regular cast is full of synthetic entities or other species which have a voice or are sufficiently humanoid; these will always be more masculine than feminine, with any feminine examples receiving special attention, suggesting that women are merely an unusual subtype of men. Why does this trope happen? Often, the problem lies with the source material — the work’s an adaptation of something written or created decades before equal recognition for women started to gain momentum. Sometimes, however, writers will try to correct this problem by inserting a few more female characters or at least an Affirmative Action Girl. When the time for merchandising comes, unless the cast is all female, manufacturers won’t create as many figures of the female members as they would males of the franchise even if the series is Merchandise Driven (or at least, until the mid-90’s). This creates a vicious cycle in which The Smurfette Principle is upheld by both toy manufacturers and TV writers, each reasoning that the other will enforce it anyway. This may be because, statistically, companies believe that action figures of female characters don’t sell as well as the male ones, all evidence to the contrary. Of course, the shortage of female action figures to base those figures on can lead to another vicious cycle. In classic comedy animation or shows, especially slapstick, women are often absent because hitting a girl just isn’t considered funny. (In the case of harmless Amusing Injuries, this isn’t always the case.) This trope can also be justified by its unfortunate accuracy in certain contexts. It is fairly realistic for armies, police forces, adventuring parties, and similar groups to be predominantly male, especially if set in a non-Politically Correct History. As noted in the examples below, this trope is nearly universal in all forms of media. Most writers try to balance this out with Positive Discrimination, making the girl more intelligent and level-headed than everyone else, but it still doesn’t change the simple fact that there’s only one of her. Usually, all it does is turn her into a Mary Sue for everyone to loathe. Writers who recognize the problem after a season or two may expand the cast with Affirmative Action Girls. This is usually more effective. Interestingly, this can extend to Mooks and the Monster of the Week with Monogender Monsters, to avoid the Unfortunate Implications of violence against women. The name of this trope was first coined by an article in the New York Times printed April 7, 1991, called “The Smurfette Principle”. The article discussed the negative message which this trope gave its young audience: that males are individuals who have adventures, while females are a type of deviation who exist only in relation to males.


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