Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday morning random

* Was slightly alarmed to hear of a stabbing in my town last night. (There are about 15,000 people in my town but it seems we have disproportionately much violence like that). This morning, I learned (as I kind of expected) it was a "domestic" - the man's daughter stabbed him for some reason.

I don't know. I sometimes tell people "Don't get involved with drugs and don't leave your doors unlocked, and you'll avoid most crime" but I guess I really need to add, "Don't have a messed-up family" though that's probably harder than remembering to lock your doors.

I dunno. In the few bad arguments I had with my parents as a teen, the end result was me stalking out of the house and going for a walk until I calmed down....

* Mowed the lawn last night in what was probably a brief break between rainy systems. I'm already wondering if this year is going to shake out to be like 2007 again. On the upside, our drought will end and the lakes will refill. On the downside, in 2007, a lot of the field sites flooded and it was challenging finding places I could do the summer labs.

* I started a new pair of "simple" socks (just ribbed cuffs with stockinette everywhere else). I pulled out one of the many self-striping yarns - this one is a Biscotte et Cie. yarn (Felix). The colorway is called Rond Rond Macaron. I bought it because (a) purple) and (b) the Macaron made me figure it was named for the colorful French cookies.

Now I find out that Rond Rond Macaron (more commonly written, it seems, Ron Ron Macaron) is a children's game of sorts, kind of like "our" (anglophones) "Ring around the Rosie."

I found a couple versions of the words online but the French is so telegraphic that I can't really figure out what, if anything, is being said.

* There's the old urban legend (And apparently it is JUST legend) that Ring around the Rosies was derived from plague times. (It seems folklorists tend to believe it's mostly a nonsense rhyme - well, maybe Ron Ron Macaron is also, which is why I can't parse it out).

* I also have a yarn from that company called "Bonbons Pyramide" which now makes me wonder if the name means more than just the pyramid of candy I envisioned. (Both socks - the macaron socks and the Bonbons Pyramide socks that I will make later - I will probably wind up thinking of as Pinkie Pie socks, because of the sweets connection)

(Okay. A quick internet search suggests that Bonbons Pyramide is just that - something like a wedding cake, but composed of stacked-up bonbons).

*And on the dyer's website (the English version), there is a picture of macarons next to the yarn I am using - so maybe it really is just about macarons here.(And I see several other yarns I might want - Creme Brulee, Chevalier, and Scotland Inspiration...)

* Interesting link over at Hit Coffee about The whole Gamergate thing and another way of interpreting the hostile reactions. The idea that the long-term gamers feel "displaced" when new people come in. And while I IN NO WAY sympathize with what they did - doxxing and death threats and hurling sexual/racial/whatever epithets is Bad Human Behavior of the worst kind, it's also, I think....maybe a bit of a common human reaction, at least among people who are outsiders, when something they like increases in popularity?

I mean, how often on knitting blogs or boards have you heard a woman sigh that a man knitter is getting attention because (to be PG about it) he's XY rather than XX? I've done that myself. And I will say I've seen cases where a male knitter got in the news and I thought, "If he was a woman what he was doing would not be seen as newsworthy, and what's more, women doing far more amazing or artistic knitting are being ignored." And I admit to being a bit of a crank about this new thing called "arm knitting" - where you don't use needles but use your arms and use superbulky yarn and I feel like it's kind of limited in what you can make (as compared to knitting with needles). Okay, maybe it's a good way for people to try out a new craft with less investment up front (needles are expensive) and maybe it would be a good way to knit if the TSA said you couldn't take needles on the plane (then again, I bet there's not enough space on a crowded plane to arm-knit). But I feel like....people who do it the traditional way are being bypassed in favor of something that's new! but not necessarily seems to be that way everywhere.

(I will not belabor the point but there is the whole "OMGosh, you lecture?" response when someone learns about your teaching style, the unspoken thing being, "Don't you know that's an AWFUL way to teach and you should be doing flipped classroom/discussion/active learning/some other new technique" And of course it's generally someone who hasn't been in a classroom - or hasn't been in a classroom with the type of students I teach. I tried stuff like that some years back when I was younger and had more energy and found it failed a lot of the time with our students - oh, the super engaged 10-20 percent were still engaged, but I "lost" a lot of people. With lecture, the super-engaged still are, but the less-engaged people also learn something, I find.....and I don't buy the idea that it's my fault if less than 100% of my students are fully engaged in the class. )

But anyway. I said something a while back about traditional groups (knitters, quilters, whatever) needing to be willing to welcome new people (because that's the only way stuff carries on into the future). And also, being rude to "noobs" is just being a crummy human. But I will also admit a certain weariness with the sort of breathless, everything-is-a-trend way that things go now.

So while I don't sympathize with the behaviors and think they were definitely wrong, I will say many knitters have sighed when some new member of an online knitting group signs on and either goes "Can you bring knitting needles on a plane I am flying to Paris next week and I don't want to have to sit and do nothing for ten hours and I have this scarf I am working on" or who acts like s/he invented some "new technique" s/he just discovered.....and it's something many knitters have done for years. (And I am not a fan of the periodic trends for super-chunky yarn, or yarn in eye-searing neon colors....)

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