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Feline “Kitty” Kittykat
Works at Seelie & Unseelie Fae Courts
Attends Chrysta Rae's Photography Scavenger Hunt
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A different spin on Sojourner
There have been a lot of comments about Sojourner since its release, mostly complaining about some of the negatives of this medal. I'm not here to talk about these.

I want to talk about #Depression  and Ingress, and how Sojourner creates a positive challenge for those of us that struggle with depression.

A fair number of you know that I play pretty hard. What you probably don't know, is that like anyone with depression, my level of play is dictated by my mental state. The better I feel? The more I get out and play, and the more it reinforces this behaviour - more exercise in particular spawns a better mental state, further exercise etc.

The worse I feel? Well, I don't play at all. Will happily take a few days off and not play at all other than chewing through cubes recharging portals. Some days with depression you just won't leave the house - and no, I don't have a couch portal ;)

What does this have to do with depression then? Well, for someone with depression, it is incredibly hard to expect to maintain a long run of hacking day-to-day required for Sojourner.

But does this mean that one should ignore it and give up? Absolutely not. Whether you choose to do Sojourner is your call.

As someone that falls prey to depression, I'm choosing to accept the Sojourner challenge, because it directly challenges my depression. Getting out and hacking twice a day, ideally morning and night, is something that can be pretty hard for someone with depression. Sojourner challenges that head on.

So yeah, I'm accepting the Sojourner challenge solely to challenge my depression, and to force me to get outside every day, for 360 days. Like everything in life, it is easy on the easy days - the challenge is keeping the streak going on those down days.

I also want to challenge my Ingress friends that struggle with depression to also accept this challenge. Get out into the world every day, no matter what :)

#AHackADayKeepsDepressionAway  
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Interesting debate in my head.  Unplugged wedding or not?  Kinda leaning toward it.

Would like people in the moment, not updating social media or living the moment with glass separating them from the ceremony.  We'll have a photographer.  She can handle things.  We'll hire a videographer.  They can handle things.
If you're considering having an unplugged wedding but aren't sure how to say it in a way that won't piss off your guests, we're here to help with copy 'n' paste wording ideas for your officiant, we...
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it doesn't seem "crazy" but you're unlikely to notice either way. I had no idea that no one was taking pics/videos until after it was all over and I realized we had to wait for the photographer to share any pics with my family who couldn't make it. then I thought back and realized, oh yeah, I never saw anyone on their phones and no one asked me to pose. we had a tiny wedding and somehow it still flew by so quickly. 
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More ink added to my right forearm. 
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I will miss you Sir Terry Pratchett....I've seen this many times today on many different boards.... and it is heart wrenching.

-----------------------------

"I would like my pudding now nurse. And then I think I'd like to... write... something... I don't remember what."
Standing in the corner, he waits. The sand slowly flows, but it nears it's end. The old man still glows, as thousands of threads spread away from him.
SQUEAK.
I AGREE. IT IS A SHAME TO SEE HIM THIS WAY.
SQUEAK.
NO. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.... BUT I CANNOT WAIT TO ASK HIM HOW IT ALL ENDS.
The old man looks up, through them at first... and then he sees them. For once, the smile on the hooded figure's skull is genuine.
"I... I remember you. The anth... ant..."
ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION.
"Yes, that. We knew each other?"
ONCE. AND WILL AGAIN, SIR.
He so rarely said it, and these feelings... remembering his young apprentice, and beloved daughter. The beautiful child they have.
"There... is a girl, yes?"
SHE IS SPEAKING TO THE AUDITORS, SIR. THEY ARE UNWILLING TO LISTEN.
"Well then. You know what they say, two things you cannot avoid. Taxes and..." He looks into the firey blue eyes, and becomes aware.
SQUEAK.
"Quite right. Is it time already? I have so much left to do."
YOU HAVE GIVEN ALL YOU CAN SIR.
"No, not cancer. Alzheimers."
I AM AWARE.
"So, where is the boy? I remember a boy."
CARRIAGE ACCIDENT.
"Ahh. Never much trusted cars. Or horses."
THEY GET YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO.
"Must I?"
SOON. BUT WE MAY SIT HERE AWHILE.
SQUEAK
DO YOU HAVE ANY BISCUITS?
"No. Shame really."
YES.
"Is it truly turtles?"
ALL THE WAY DOWN. I HAVE SEEN THEM.
"Ahh. I would love to see it. Perhaps a small trip before?"
IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE.
"The light is slower there... and there's a monkey...."
ORANGUTAN. SAME PRINCIPLE.
"Yes... will they remember me?"
SQUEAK.
"What was that? I could not hear you."
HE SAYS WE WILL, SIR.
"I never much liked the trouble people had with you. You seem like a nice fellow."
I HAVE MY DAYS.
"Don't we all?"
SOME LESS THAN OTHERS.
"Is it quick?"
YES. AND I BROUGHT THE SWORD. CEREMONY DICTATES IT.
"Ahh. How about a cup of tea?"
I WOULD ENJOY IT. DO YOU PLAY CHESS?
"No. how about checkers?"
And so they sat, two old friends regaling each other, though the old man could not remember all of the details, the cloaked man and his rat filled him in, when it was needed.
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sniffs
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I can only imagine Mr. +Tejas Richard already posted this, but just in case he hasn't.... new Femmes from around 8 days ago (I've been lax in posting it).  ;)  
  Violent Femmes have unleashed upon the world, via Soundcloud, the new song “Love Love Love Love Love.” Apart from a charmingly odd cover, in 2008, of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” this is the first new release from the band since the 2000 LP Freak Magnet. “Love…” is itself a cover, of a song by a Los Angeles musician named Jake Brebes, but it heralds a new Femmes E.P., Happy New Year, due out next month. There’s good news and bad news. The good new...
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You hadn't seen it, yet?  I'm surprised!
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giggle
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Don't run! Frieeeennnnd? Yes?! Frieeennnnd ... with benefits?
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Blessed Ostara to those that celebrate (just ignore the snow, really).
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<3
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You guys didn't have a section for g+ in your Ambassador Survey today.  I filled it out based on facebook numbers, but I have 4589 followers here with 3,235,915 views.  ;)
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Because this is an interesting research topic, I figured I'd share.
 
Research: When Size Matters.

Or, participate in awesome (anonymous) sex-related research.

Okay, it's a survey about sending and receiving naked selfies (aka: dickpics), but before you blow this one off, this is for science and art!

Specifically, this is the graduate research study of an artist friend of mine who A. Does some bad ass work with intense sexual themes and B. Is also working on her graduate degree.

If you aren't up to participate (and saying you've never done anything IS an answer) do give it a share. I'd love to see the results of this anonymous survey with a huge sample size.

Because, sometimes, size really does matter. 
Thank you for participating in this research study. In this survey the term personal pornography refers to nude selfies sent from one person to another though text, email, aps, and/or online. All participants will remain confidential. If you are interested in a personal interview via phone or email, please email aevere@saic.edu. Please share! Thanks again!
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Happy Kitty is happy. :D
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Sex redefined - Escaping the binary prison

This collection of hard hitting snippets from an excellent Nature article worth reading in full makes clear how the societal boundaries between the sexes are beginning to break down under the weight of reality. Hopefully mainstream knowledge of work like this will ultimately help us move away from having to conform to expectations surrounding both sex and gender.  

As a staunch advocate of transhumanism I can draw a lot of inspiration from the LGBT community who is in many ways our advance guard. For decades they have been trying to establish the right to construe one's own identity instead of being forced into one of the two rigidly defined prefabricated package deals. They have done so in the face of enormous adversity which makes their perseverance especially admirable. Considering that the LGBT community has trouble getting the world to accept them for who they are, it's nigh impossible to imagine a world embracing people for who or what they want to be. If people are forced to make their case by explaining that they were born this way and thus don't have a choice, this does not bode well for the expanded cognitive and morphological rights transhumanism hopes to enshrine.

I can only hope that some day soon my home country of Belgium follows Germany's excellent example and will too introduce a third gender. It's rather infuriating that we currently lack both the common decency and the basic courtesy to implement even the barest minimum.


http://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943

As a clinical geneticist, Paul James is accustomed to discussing some of the most delicate issues with his patients. But in early 2010, he found himself having a particularly awkward conversation about sex.

A 46-year-old pregnant woman had visited his clinic at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia to hear the results of an amniocentesis test to screen her baby's chromosomes for abnormalities. The baby was fine — but follow-up tests had revealed something astonishing about the mother. Her body was built of cells from two individuals, probably from twin embryos that had merged in her own mother's womb. And there was more. One set of cells carried two X chromosomes, the complement that typically makes a person female; the other had an X and a Y. Halfway through her fifth decade and pregnant with her third child, the woman learned for the first time that a large part of her body was chromosomally male.

doctors have long known that some people straddle the boundary — their sex chromosomes say one thing, but their gonads (ovaries or testes) or sexual anatomy say another. Parents of children with these kinds of conditions — known as intersex conditions — often face difficult decisions about whether to bring up their child as a boy or a girl. Some researchers now say that as many as 1 person in 100 has some form of DSD.

When genetics is taken into consideration, the boundary between the sexes becomes even blurrier. new technologies in DNA sequencing and cell biology are revealing that almost everyone is, to varying degrees, a patchwork of genetically distinct cells, some with a sex that might not match that of the rest of their body. Some studies even suggest that the sex of each cell drives its behaviour, through a complicated network of molecular interactions.

These discoveries do not sit well in a world in which sex is still defined in binary terms. Few legal systems allow for any ambiguity in biological sex, and a person's legal rights and social status can be heavily influenced by whether their birth certificate says male or female.

That the two sexes are physically different is obvious, but at the start of life, it is not. Five weeks into development, a human embryo has the potential to form both male and female anatomy. 

For many years, scientists believed that female development was the default programme, and that male development was actively switched on by the presence of a particular gene on the Y chromosome. In 1990, researchers made headlines when they uncovered the identity of this gene which they called SRY. Just by itself, this gene can switch the gonad from ovarian to testicular development. For example, XX individuals who carry a fragment of the Y chromosome that contains SRY develop as males.

By the turn of the millennium, however, the idea of femaleness being a passive default option had been toppled by the discovery of genes that actively promote ovarian development and suppress the testicular programme.

These discoveries have pointed to a complex process of sex determination, in which the identity of the gonad emerges from a contest between two opposing networks of gene activity. Changes in the activity or amounts of molecules (such as WNT4) in the networks can tip the balance towards or away from the sex seemingly spelled out by the chromosomes. “It has been, in a sense, a philosophical change in our way of looking at sex; that it's a balance,” 

Studies in mice suggest that the gonad teeters between being male and female throughout life, its identity requiring constant maintenance. In 2009, researchers reported deactivating an ovarian gene called Foxl2 in adult female mice; they found that the granulosa cells that support the development of eggs transformed into Sertoli cells, which support sperm development. Two years later, a separate team showed the opposite: that inactivating a gene called Dmrt1 could turn adult testicular cells into ovarian ones. “That was the big shock, the fact that it was going on post-natally,” says Vincent Harley, a geneticist who studies gonad development at the MIMR-PHI Institute for Medical Research in Melbourne.

Many people never discover their condition unless they seek help for infertility, or discover it through some other brush with medicine. Last year, for example, surgeons reported that they had been operating on a hernia in a man, when they discovered that he had a womb. The man was 70, and had fathered four children.

Studies of DSDs have shown that sex is no simple dichotomy. But things become even more complex when scientists zoom in to look at individual cells. The common assumption that every cell contains the same set of genes is untrue. Some people have mosaicism: they develop from a single fertilized egg but become a patchwork of cells with different genetic make-ups. This can happen when sex chromosomes are doled out unevenly between dividing cells during early embryonic development. 

Biologists may have been building a more nuanced view of sex, but society has yet to catch up. True, more than half a century of activism from members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has softened social attitudes to sexual orientation and gender. Many societies are now comfortable with men and women crossing conventional societal boundaries in their choice of appearance, career and sexual partner. But when it comes to sex, there is still intense social pressure to conform to the binary model.

This pressure has meant that people born with clear DSDs often undergo surgery to 'normalize' their genitals. Such surgery is controversial because it is usually performed on babies, who are too young to consent, and risks assigning a sex at odds with the child's ultimate gender identity — their sense of their own gender. 

In most countries, it is legally impossible to be anything but male or female. Yet if biologists continue to show that sex is a spectrum, then society and state will have to grapple with the consequences, and work out where and how to draw the line. Many transgender and intersex activists dream of a world where a person's sex or gender is irrelevant. Although some governments are moving in this direction, Greenberg is pessimistic about the prospects of realizing this dream — in the United States, at least. “I think to get rid of gender markers altogether or to allow a third, indeterminate marker, is going to be difficult.”

So if the law requires that a person is male or female, should that sex be assigned by anatomy, hormones, cells or chromosomes, and what should be done if they clash? “My feeling is that since there is not one biological parameter that takes over every other parameter, at the end of the day, gender identity seems to be the most reasonable parameter,” says Vilain. In other words, if you want to know whether someone is male or female, it may be best just to ask.

http://www.nature.com/news/sex-redefined-1.16943


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disorders_of_sex_development
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_identity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_role
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgyny
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender

photo; Andreja Pejić

#ScienceSunday  | +ScienceSunday 
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My hands hurt from playing my drum today.  I think I played for 45 minutes straight at one point.  I think I played my shakere for another 45.  I belly danced for a few hours today, too.

Goodness that felt good.
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People
In their circles
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Have them in circles
12,183 people
Donovan Tiemie's profile photo
Terry Gruber's profile photo
Zakaria Sixteen's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Faerie, Teacher, Primal, Fire Artist
Skills
Amateur Art, Hobbyist Photography, Fire Fan Spinning, Fire Fleshing, Gender Blending, Glamourbombing
Employment
  • Seelie & Unseelie Fae Courts
    Chaos Engineer, 1977 - present
  • Seelie & Unseelie Fae Courts
    Amateur Artist, 1977 - present
  • Seelie & Unseelie Fae Courts
    Hobbyist Photographer, 2012 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Genderqueer
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Birthday
September 1, 1977
Relationship
Engaged
Other names
Kitty, Kittywampus, Feline Kittykat, kittyrevealed, Kitty Revealed, that weird art girl, that Bohemian chick, that Libertina, that strange one, Dean, Kittywampus, Cattywumpus
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
Story
Tagline
Bringing You Chaos & Creativity since 1977
Introduction
Introductions are a sticking point for me.  I don't do well at talking about myself in these.  I suppose I will give you my warnings first.  I post a lot to g+ and not a lot to blogger.  I get more interaction on g+ so it holds my attention more.  If you are circling me, you might want to put me in a circle where you can lower the number of my posts that appear as I do post a lot.  On the plus side, if I have circled you, I tend to be rather interactive.  On another note, sometimes what I post borders on NSFW.  I do self portraits with cleavage occassionally and there is a post someplace where my fat chick tummy shows.  I am also rather opinionated and can get a bit mouthy, so that can be a bit much for work filters.

So, now that the warning is out of the way, I will tell you about what stuff I tend to post.

I do a lot of art.  I'm not particularly good, but I am working on it and more importantly I enjoy creating art.  It helps keep me emotionally even keeled in my life.

I take a lot of photos.  I like to document the little things I see around me and I take a lot of self portraits.  I'm not a pro, it's really about the artistic nature of shots.  Someday I will grow up and maybe eve n be a real photographer.

I chatter a lot about my life. Surviving my current depression and still managing to leave the house for more than my job is sometimes a struggle.  I talk about it unabashedly.  I battle rapid cycling bipolarity.  I also battle food issues and self injury.  I am on a self discovery adventure this year.  I am trying to clean my life of both bad habits and physical items I don't need that just clutter me up.  I write a lot about that, too.

Circles I may fit in:
* Lifebook 2012
* Willowing's Ning
* Milliande's Ning
* Selfy Sunday
* 100 Strangers Project
* Wildfire
* Fire Fan Spinners
* Fire Fleshers
* Android Users
* Droidography
* Amateur and Mixed Media art
* Amateur and Digital photography
* Knitters
* Crafters
* Interactive
* Computer nerd
* Body Modification
* Bohemian
* Avant-garde
* Libertine
* Fae-touched
* Nutjobs
Bragging rights
I am a fire artist. I am Dragon Hatchling (new fire breather), Fire Snacker (new fire eater), Fire Handler (experienced fire flesher), and Fire Fan Dancer (with a bit of tech).
Education
  • Chrysta Rae's Photography Scavenger Hunt
    Photography, 2012 - present
  • Wildfire
    Fire Fans, Fire Fleshing, Fire Eating, Fire Breathing, 2012 - present
    Fan 101 tech, fan 202 tech, fan choreography, fan tosses, basic eating, basic breathing, basic fleshing, advanced fleshing, partner fleshing
  • Willowing
    Art, 2011 - 2013
  • Suzie Blu's School
    Art, 2010 - 2013
  • Selfy Sunday
    Photography, 2011 - 2013
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