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Kate Orman's Writing CV

Sep. 30th, 2020 | 10:21 am

Published Books and Short StoriesCollapse )
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Books Read, 2017

Dec. 31st, 2017 | 11:55 pm

Time for my annual struggle to remember how to post stuff with a future date. (ETA: Post it, then change the date. It says "postpone", but doesn't postpone it.)

William S. Burroughs. The Cat Inside.
Buchi Emecheta. The Joys of Motherhood.
Franz Kafka. The Castle.
Han Kang. The Vegetarian.
Frederik Pohl. Man Plus.

Running fiction tally: white guys: 3 everyone else: 1

Books bought and borrowedCollapse )
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zzz

Mar. 10th, 2017 | 07:43 pm

The tranquillising effect of some of my antidepressants seems to be cumulative. Over the last couple of weeks I've been getting dopier and dopier, until today I've barely been functional. I'm going to have to wean myself off the Escitalopram, starting tomorrow.
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Drifting

Mar. 10th, 2017 | 01:15 pm

Draft -1. SF short story. All the scenes are there, though there are bits of them that still need to be written out. It's about 11,400 words - looks like it'll end up at something over 12,000.
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A-cha

Mar. 4th, 2017 | 10:33 pm

Oops! Withdrawal, I guess. Really wasn't expecting that after just one day, and such a small dosage change. Fatigue, racing thoughts, tripping over my tongue, feeling a little spaced out. Keeping an eye on it.
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Desperation

Mar. 3rd, 2017 | 09:44 pm

Dropping from 700 mg of Epilim to 500 mg tonight. Keeping the Brintellix and Escitalopram the same. I can't stand this fucking sanity any longer.
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Refugee Update

Feb. 26th, 2017 | 04:52 pm

Asylum seekers living Australia, prevented from applying for refugee status, are suddenly faced with intricate paperwork which must be completed at once or they risk deportation. The Asylum Seeker Resources Centre urgently needs donations to provide legal help.

Dengue fever outbreak on Nauru threatens health system (GA, 25 February 2017)

Manus Island asylum seeker with cardiac condition flown to Australia (SBS, 17 February 2017)

Refugee Loghman Sawari granted bail in Papua New Guinea after charges (GA, 17 February 2017)

Lawyers to argue Manus Island detention is false imprisonment (Radio New Zealand, 22 February 2017)

Most agree, keeping refugees on Manus and Nauru is cruel: pollster (SMH, 21 February 2017)

Asylum seekers detained in Australia can keep phones for now, court rules (GA, 19 February 2017)

State of the Nation 2017: Refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia (Refugee Council of Australia report, February 2017)

The dubious hope of Australia's refugee deal with the US continues to taunt those on Manus and Nauru. The PM yet again turned down an offer from New Zealand to take 150 refugees from our offshore detention camps. CNN interviewed child refugees on Nauru (6 February). Meanwhile, refugees are fleeing the US for Canada.

Hazara refugee Nabi Zaher's citizenship fight (The Saturday Paper, 25 February 2017) "The case of a Hazara refugee whose Australian citizenship was arbitrarily delayed and vexatiously questioned serves to highlight the Department of Immigration's continued administrative bungling." The question that constantly haunts me: incompetence or malice?

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Landmark

Feb. 25th, 2017 | 10:41 am

I flew from Sydney to Canberra this week without tranquillisers or panic. Achievement unlocked.
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Links: Random Stuff

Feb. 20th, 2017 | 11:52 pm

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism (The Good Men Project, April 2015). If you're white, like me, this spells out some of the assumptions you've absorbed from the surrounding culture. It's US-based, but much of it applies to Australia. Come to think of it, a lot of it applies to feminism as well, with the important difference that racism is taboo and sexism isn't.

The bacterial flagellar motor: brilliant evolution or intelligent design? (ABC Science, July 2015). "A central tenet of this theory [intelligent design] is the notion of 'irreducible complexity'. This asserts that some biological machines — like the flagellar motor — must be the product of design, because if you were to remove one or two components from the motor it would not function properly, or at all. The logic being, this motor was designed as a whole construction — it didn't evolve through a series of steps, so the individual parts of the motor would serve no purpose on their own. So the creationist argument relies on us finding no evidence of individual parts of the motor having a role outside of bacterial flagella. Luckily, individual components of the bacterial flagellar motor have indeed been found elsewhere. And they work. So the motor is 'reducible', and certainly not 'irreducibly complex'." This is one of my favourite things about evolution - the kludgy use of whatever's in the toolbox at the time. It's why some antidepressants give you tummy trouble; the same receptors are present in the brain and gut, being used for different purposes. (Well, I say "favourite"...)

The Evil Has No Name (The Daemons): Phil Sandifer's review of the story, from five years ago, which I've just enjoyed re-reading and bookmarked because of the observation that Doctor Who is about putting things together which shouldn't go together. That's missing from the SF I'm trying to write at the moment, I think.

Is Nature Unnatural? (Quanta Magazine, April 2013). That is, is there some explanation for the constants in physics, or are they the result of a multiversal roll of the dice?

I'm only two decades late in discovering the Planescapes setting for D&D - somehow I stumbled across this page on the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Salt and it's captured my imagination. Takes me back even further to reading Heinlein's "Number of the Breast" in the eighties.

Rare, lonely 'lefty' snail seeks mate for love—and genetic study (phys.org, October 2016) Not only does the sinistral brown snail have a "left-handed anti-clockwise spiralling shell", but its genitals are on the "wrong" side.

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Links: Language

Feb. 20th, 2017 | 05:11 pm

The Hidden Bias of Science's Universal Language (The Atlantic, August 2015). Talks about some of the problems for scientists worldwide caused by the hegemony of English. I would have liked more specifically about how this affects scientists' thinking - for example, more about why it matters that many languages just transliterate English terms like "quark" and "chromosome" instead of creating their own words: eg Korean 쿼크 kweokeu "quark" but 염색체 yeomsaekche "chromosome" (literally, dye colour body, which is what "chromosome means, of course).

Why There's No 'Right' Way To Speak English (Atlas Obscura, April 2016): "The English language is the ultimate code-switcher, gaining multiple personalities when it travels." Still on Korean (as is my wont), "Konglish" is not the local variety of English, but rather English loan-words. Often these have changed meanings ("I couldn't come because I had a schedule") or are just used with Korean grammar ("I asked one of the staffs.")

The code that took America to the moon (QZ, July 2016) Includes that epic photo of Margaret Hamilton, director of software engineering, standing next to a print-out of the code which is slightly taller than she is. Also many amusing comments by the programmers (and an excellent punchline to the whole piece).

100 Most Essential Words in Anime. (Anime fans, what do you think of this list?)

Why Do Most Languages Have So Few Words for Smells? (The Atlantic, November 2015). "And why do these two hunter-gatherer groups have so many?" IIRC Korean has an adjective - a verb, really, meaning "to smell like roasting sesame oil".

What's the Plural of Emoji? "There is a correct answer, but no one has agreed on it yet." More accurately, there will eventually be a standard plural. Or standard plurals. More interestingly, though, this discusses how loanwords settle into the grammar of their new language (like that singular Korean "staff").

Dolphins recorded having a conversation 'just like two people' for first time (Telegraph, September 2016) The dolphins took turns creating "sentences" of distinct words or phonemes.
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