๐Ÿ“ท Day 2 of the photoblogging challenge! Today’s prompt is morning beverage. Last year I bought these neat insulated tumblers and plunger, to solve the problem of my coffee going lukewarm before I could finish it. Now I get to relax with my daily brew instead of chugging it ๐Ÿ˜Ž

a photo of a metal coffee plunger and a white tumbler of white coffee, on a white bench

๐Ÿˆ A neighbour’s cat, Ben, came to the front window to ask whether Gidget was home. I had to tell him she wasn’tโ€ฆ but even when she is, she likes to pretend she can’t see him when he does this anyway ๐Ÿคฃ

a ginger cat sniffing a window; photo taken from the perspective of inside the window

Just sharing a photo of the chicken tacos I made the other night, cos they came out very photogenic ๐Ÿ˜… (and delicious! ๐Ÿ˜‹) The supermarket did try to thwart me by not having any fresh coriander in stock. I used the semi-dried stuff instead, which wasn’t ideal, but didn’t ruin it.

a plate of chicken tacos, lying open

๐Ÿ“š A couple of days ago I read Vylar Kaftan’s short story, The Weight of the Sunrise (read it for free on the author’s site!). Quite an interesting alt-history, where the Inca Empire rebounded after initial deadly outbreaks of smallpox and kept existing into the 18th century. The story concerns the arrival of a vaccine, and contrasts Incan society to US society at the time (with its rhetoric of freedom and brotherhood, but actual slavery and profiteering). โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

So here’s a neat online game: The Royal Game of Ur is a FOSS implementation of a game first played in the ancient city of Ur in the third millennium BCE. Gameboards and a Babylonian tablet with the rules were re-discovered a century ago. Fun time-waster ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s an important article on how the Left must get ready to deal with deplatforming by Big Tech. It’s all very well to celebrate fascists getting booted off centralised web services like AWS or Twitter (that’s my instinct too!) but realistically, if the Left ever got its shit together long enough to be on the brink of forcing real, revolutionary change, we would also get booted off within the blink of an eye. Big Tech would never allow for the calling of a transfer of economic power away from board members and large shareholders, or the establishment of a democratically-run, zero-growth economy, and capitalist governments would never allow for the calling of decolonisation or real, direct democracy โ€“ not if these causes seemed within range of succeeding. I don’t think we’re in a historical moment where these concerns are applicable just yet (at least not in Australiaโ€ฆ) but I think leftists should familiarise themselves with the issues and solutions even so, to be prepared for if or when they are.

๐Ÿˆ Fun fact: while Gidget loves arid heat, she ALSO loves heavy rain. She likes to sit under cover and just watch it fall. She doesn’t so much like being rudely interrupted by selfish humans taking photosโ€ฆ

foreground: a tabby cat staring at the photo-taker. background: a blurry, rain-saturated courtyard

Dabbling in language-learning

In recent times, I’ve been tossing up whether I should try to learn some basic German. The thing that’s prompting my temptation is that I keep encountering German-language posts on social media, and with my current (completely non-existent) knowledge of the language these are impenetrable walls of text. I’m kind of wondering how much German I would have to learn for these to start to make sense to me. In contrast, you see, I can read short posts in most of the Romance languages fairly easily.

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๐Ÿˆ When the cool change came through yesterday, my heat-loving cat was not impressed. She was immediately demanding that I put the 40ยฐC (104ยฐF) weather back ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

close-up of a tabby cat's face, looking up impatiently at the photo-taker

photo of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society. See her homepage here.