Saturday, July 21, 2018

Internet wading: Lost and found

Every month the Internet shows me things I didn’t already know, as well as some I’ve seen and forgotten about. These “Internet Wading” posts are my way to share that sort of stuff, most of which wouldn’t make it into a blog post otherwise. But this month begins with something I thought I’d blogged about, but didn’t.

The video above, “How gay men used to speak – A short film in Polari” is a fascinating look at the coded language gay men used in England when homosexuality was still illegal. The langauge is largely dead now, but still exists in some pockets (see also: “This Secret Language Allowed Gay Men To Communicate When Homosexuality Was Illegal”).

The piece, “A brief history of George Washington Carver: the greatest 'bisexual' black scientist of his time”, was talking about another person who was bi or even gay, though most people these days still don’t know that. As I said last month when talking about Baron Von Steuben and other famous dead gay people:
What all these people have in common is the need that some heterosexual scholars have to “de-gay” people in the past. It denies LGBT+ people our history and our culture, but, worse, by erasing us from history, it also perpetuates the political myth that LGBT+ people are something new, and it’s some sort of fad.
Besides, where do those scholars get off acting like there would be something BAD about someone having been gay?!

Speaking of history: “Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Gets ‘National Treasure’ Designation”, a story that made me happier than it probably reasonably could be expected to have done.

Maybe some more of the past being encountered in the present: “Out of the wreckage”. “Last year, a Yukon couple investigated a crashed plane in the B.C. mountains near Alaska. What they uncovered solved another family's 50-year-old mystery.” It’s a fascinating story, and a very human one.

It wouldn’t be one of my Internet Wading posts if some pop culture didn’t sneak in: “‘Babylon 5’ is great, so why does it look so bad?”. Sure this answers a question I didn’t know that I wanted an answer to, but it turns out to be a really interesting subject. I was a fan of the show back in the day, and its multi-year story arc (something Star Trek: Deep Space Nine also did really well).

Maybe some personal improvement? “Miserable in your 40s? Don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal”. Well, I certainly wasn’t miserable in my 40s, and that’s coming up on decadeS (plural) ago, but it’s interesting all the same to learn about the commonality of human experiences.

Something unexpected: “The Best Way to Wipe Your Butt, According to the Experts”. Who doesn’t want to be clean and tidy downunder? Based on the title, I thought this article might be a bit tongue in cheeks, so to speak, but it’s actually serious. I suppose someone had to be.

Something we all need: “10 Science-Backed Tips for Getting a Cat to Like You”. Personally, I don’t think it’s that difficult.

Did you know that “Our homes don’t need formal spaces”? well, sure, we probably all DO know this. Maybe it’s why I’m so utterly fascinated with tiny houses, even though I could never live in one.

Back to some things I meant to share at some earlier point, like this article from 2012: “Jesus wept … oh, it's bad plumbing. Indian rationalist targets 'miracles'”. At the time I saw it, it made me chuckle—until I found out that those revealing the truth were facing jail time for having done so. Sheesh, some people need to relax!

Another article from 2012, “’Can I Use This?’ How Museum and Library Image Policies Undermine Education”, talks about how museums and libraries are missing out on the digital age, partly for lack of appropriate use of technology, through to inappropriate use of copyright, and forms of harm these policies cause.

From the (2013) news files: “Gavin Newsom: We put a human face on same-sex marriage debate” from Salon. The article takes on the charge that Newsom’s actions helped re-elect Bush the Second.

That same year, TruthOut published a piece, “FCC Poised to Open the Door for Unbridled Expansion of Media Empires”. This seems so quaint now, with the FCC now under control of more radical rightwingers, the end of Net Neutrality, and the growing influence of far-right media outlets, many of them outside traditional media structures.

These old articles were “lost” to me because I’d saved links to them on a page of an Apple program called “Notes” on my desktop computer and laptop. There are equivalent Apps available on all iOS devices, like my iPhone and iPad, as well, and they all sync with each other using the cloud. Some years back, when I saw an interesting article, I’d put those links on a Notes document—and forgot about them. I also tried a Google Doc for the same purpose, and created one of these posts from it. However, it was much more cumbersome than Notes. Later, I started emailing links to myself, something I still do, in fact.

However, I've realised that having one place where everything is accessible from all my devices is incredibly useful, and starting this month I resumed using Notes. And that’s how I came across those old articles (I saw the video up top about Polari when it was new, back in 2015).

Now that all ye olde links are out of the way, I’ll clear the file so I can use it for next month’s post, and so on. I finally have a system to ensure I keep doing these posts regularly.

Which goes to show that I can learn something because of Internet Wading posts, too.

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