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Stephen Brandon
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Hey! My friend Dave just started a non-profit to make it really easy to give to a whole bunch of worthy causes without having to keep track of a whole bunch of different monthly or one time donations. Just give here and know your money is going to some great organizations.

Even if you're already giving to some of these organizations individually (I am), you can still add a small donation here so some of your money gets to all of them. Then you can make your own additional donations to the organizations that are most important to you. They're all doing important work in different ways and in different areas, a gift here makes sure you're supporting all of the important work they're doing.

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I just voted. If you can vote here in the US, you should too!

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Hey Virginians. Were you unable to register to vote before the old deadline? Well becuase the registration website was having so many issues, it's been extended until midnight tonight!

Get registered, and then vote!

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If you're playing Pokemon Go:

Chances are, you'll never need this, but it's pretty simple to do so I don't see any reason not to. Just send to the email address and use the subject line mentioned in the article, and one sentence in the body should do it: "I am opting out of the arbitration clause in the Pokémon Go terms of service."


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It's getting to be swimming season here in the northern hemisphere. It's good to refresh on this every so often.
Please reshare. It might save a life.
Drowning doesn't look like drowning. It's time for the annual re-post of maritime safety expert and former USCG rescue swimmer +Mario Vittone 's article.

What's happening physiologically when someone is drowning -- why it doesn't look like on TV:

1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.

2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.

3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.

4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.

5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

Head low in the water, mouth at water level
Head tilted back with mouth open
Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
Eyes closed
Hair over forehead or eyes
Not using legs—vertical
Hyperventilating or gasping
Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
Trying to roll over on the back
Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

More on the topic at +Mario Vittone's website:

(The article is available in several publications, not just Slate, but this version of the article includes short videos.)

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Signal boost.
Share Widely

Gen Con has a diversity problem. We're seeing a lot of talk about it the last couple days, and a lot of positive progress. But there's still a big barrier to better representation: Money.

Gen Con is expensive. The Queer As A 3-Sided Die gang (me, +Steve Kenson Wes Schneider, Jeremy Crawford, Joe Carriker, and Crystal Frasier) want to help in some small way, as do a lot of our publisher friends here on G+. But we can't do it without your help.

And you get awesome games for doing so!

Happy Beard Fortnight everyone! #beardstrong

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Here is how to turn off having your +1's shared with your followers: (click on "Choose who can see your +1s on Google+ posts" for instructions. I suggest just choosing "only me" but it's up to you, you can even limit it to certain circles. Perhaps you have or could create a circle of people who have expressed interest in seeing your +1's.)

If your'e on Google+, and haven't explicitly turned it off you may not know that many of your +1's are getting shared with people who follow you. This isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world, but it can be a problem both for you and for the people who follow you.

Some people may follow you just to see the things you post, or may follow only some of your collections (if you use them), and may not want to see everything you +1 outside of that context. Especially if some of that stuff is occasionally NSFW or whatever. They likely don't care that you like that stuff, but they may not want it showing up in their stream unbidden.

It's of course up to you if you want to turn this feature off, but just realize that some folks may decide to unfollow you if too many such things are showing up in their stream as a result.

The other side of this is of course the implications for your own privacy. Especially if you don't know it's happening, you may not WANT others to see things you've +1'd!

Anyway, I occasionally see posts like this pop up and inevitably there are a bunch of people who didn't even know this was happening to their +1's, or didn't realize it could be annoying to others. I just saw a discussion of the issue in another share, and figured I'd make a post about it for my followers.

I haven't personally had a problem with this, most of the people I follow seem to have turned off the feature when it was first introduced, and the few that haven't tend to mostly just +1 things I've either already seen or don't mind seeing, but I certainly could see how it could be annoying.

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Nothing too substantial here. Just some info on a couple of deals on games I like.

I want to try to get into the habit of posting stuff to the blog when I think about it, even if it's just alerting folks to deals on games I like. Hopefully I can create the habit so I remember I have this thing!

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Or at least, stop sharing it as anything other than what it is: an imaginary alt-history map.
Please stop sharing this map!

This is not a map of pre-European Invasion tribal territories. It is an alt-history map. Check the date on the right.

Also, it is reductive and false. There were many more cultures and territories than this map shows. Moreover, these territories often overlapped, because indigenous cultures in North America didn't rely on geopolitical cartography like this, which is more of a European thing.

Here's the information on this map:
The creator's post (their handle is "liminalsoup") on reddit about how he's working on an alt-history setting where the Americas were never "discovered" by Europe.

Post on imgur also by the creator trying to set people straight:

The creator's comment list, which shows how frustrated they are that people are taking this work as a historical document:
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