Let's have a salon

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:00 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Several years ago, I ran a series of weekly salon posts, where I'd post a topic to get us started, people would show up in the comments, and conversation would ensue. Now seems a good time to try them again!

(You should not feel restrained to keep on this topic! Start other topics! Encourage topic drift! That's part of the point. Feel free to ask random questions, there's a chance someone might know about the thing.)

This week's question


What are you learning right now that you're really interested by? (That might be a project for work, for personal stuff, a gaming geekery thing, a book you're reading, a podcast you're listening to, the fact you're learning a lot about Dreamwidth and how it works this week, or anything else.)

What do you like about it? What are you finding more challenging?

Things currently contemplating


I'm currently reading Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones, which is well-researched and has a really interesting structure where he's looking at different pieces of it through small slices (individual people, towns, situations) and tracing back to the origins as much as possible. I really like books where the information part is well done, but the structure creates connections between pieces of information in helpful and new ways.

Notes:


* Consider this a conversation in my living room, only with a lot more seating. I reserve the right to redirect, screen, and otherwise moderate stuff, but would vastly prefer not to have to.
* If this works this week, I'll do an updated FAQ and continue.
* If you don't have a DW account or want to post anonymously, please include a name we can call you in this particular post. (You can say AnonymousOne or your favourite colour or whatever. Just something to help keep conversations clear.)
* If you've got a question or concern, feel free to PM me.

Socializing when you're not a partier

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 01:22 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (Default)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
So here's a topic inspired by one of those Facebook memories. I have this problem less now that I'm in my thirties and my friends are mostly boring old people* parents or have other grown up obligations or just aren't that into partying anymore, but it used to be hard to make friends because I wasn't into, you know, going to bars and stuff. I don't drink much, so getting drunk to get drunk really wasn't an option.

At the same time, and I'm curious if this was the case for others, I felt like a lot of non-party people were either anti-social altogether, or they weren't into partying because they had strict moral values. So not only could we not party, everything had to be "good." No watching PG-13 movies, for instance. Also, they weren't available often because they almost exclusively did stuff with their church. I have nothing against being how they were, it just... wasn't who I was. I was somewhere in between "let's get plastered every night" and "let's drink Shirley Temples and talk about Jesus."

Like I said, it's less of a problem now - I don't know if it's because I'm older, because I've found my "people", or a little bit of both. (My guess would be it's a mixture. I have a feeling one or two WERE party people in their twenties who've since mellowed, but many also just seem like me - they want to have fun, just not beer kegs at 4 AM.)

*Kidding, obviously.


(Great idea for an entry, btw!)

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 02:03 pm (UTC)
anandrine: (ouat. belle: book lover)
From: [personal profile] anandrine
what a fun idea!

right now i'm researching the long-term effects of climate change -- like what our world will actually look like thousands and millions of years from now as a result -- for a story and it's fascinating. there's obvious things, like obviously rising temperatures are going to impact what wildlife (flora and fauna) can survive. BUT also when i think heat i think dry, which isn't going to necessarily be the case: we'll actually have new forests and swamplands! i was watching a documentary last night that said mount everest is actually growing taller. when i said this to my wife, she said "duh, that's how plate tectonics work" and i was like, i KNOW that exists but i didn't realize the tectonics and continental shifting actually made existing mountains GROW. that's pretty cool. also weather impacts plate tectonics (which in turn impacts weather again) so the continents are gradually shifting more and are going to create new mountain ranges! it's pretty cool.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:05 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Sailor V being Sailor V (even more sailor v)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?

Well, there's working on getting ready to run a Pathfinder Adventure Path (Strange Aeons, it's got a lot of Cthulu-esqe stuff going on), so I'm learning about the Mythos and getting all the stuff ready for the game.

I'm also learning all the best ways to do home improvement without money. :D

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:11 pm (UTC)
dejla: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dejla
I've been doing research lately into the Regency Era, as many books as differently focused as possible. (There are three different books entitled Jane Austen's England or variants of that.) I'm trying to do a novel in that era as much as like Jane Austen as I can (probably not very like, but I do try). And I love history anyway, so...

I've put Dreamland on my TO BUY list.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 05:45 pm (UTC)
makamu: (Default)
From: [personal profile] makamu
That's a clever idea - thanks for hosting us [personal profile] jenett! *shyly offers virtual tea and cookies*

I am currently doing a lot of research into both Elizabethan theatre and gender conceptions (as well as political theology) and late-eighteenth century political debates in England (think: Jacobins, Burke, Wollstonecraft and how the political ideals of that period are reflected in the literary output of the younger Romantics (especially Mary Shelley) for my Phd.

I am also researching a lot about the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany (especially cultural history) for a fic I am planning to write. For another fic, I am doing an extensive read-up on turn-of-the-century Austria-Hungary and all sorts of politics and cultural history there. Of course, as a history nerd, I am going hopelessly overboard with all of those topics because I am learning interesting stuff
Edited (typos happen when you type too fast) Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 06:10 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:12 pm (UTC)
maellenkleth: a wind-blown coastal pine tree, done as a stained-glass window (tree-window)
From: [personal profile] maellenkleth
I'm studying the palaeogeographic and palaeobotanical controls on the rheological behaviour of melted coal (including answering questions concerning why some coals won't melt at all). It's a subject of great interest to people who smelt iron in blast-furnaces, and also of interest (at much smaller scale) to blacksmiths who care about their work.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 08:54 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
Right now, I'm still in the middle of learning that permanent getting rid of a toxic relationship is both time and money intensive. It comes with learning that I have good friends and family support, but it seems to be taking up an outsized amount of those things at the moment.

(no subject)

Date: Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 11:13 pm (UTC)
mrissa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrissa
I read a history of butter last week, and now I have embarked on an exploration of butters. This is going to take me awhile. But it's another thing to be thoughtful and intentional about in my life, so that's pretty cool.

I'm also learning how to write this book, but that's pretty much always true for some book. Right now it's true for this one.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 12:21 am (UTC)
used_songs: (martha)
From: [personal profile] used_songs
Recently, I've started using some new (to me) technology tools at work - DocHub, Nearpod, Clips, Storybird, and Thinglink. I like using stuff like that with students, but the challenge is not spending too much class time on teaching the tool because I have so little time as it is. I teach mainly English language learners, so we are always pressed for time to get through the curriculum anyway and then we also do a lot of language study. But I want my students to have a lot of technology skills! Anyway, figuring out how to explain an online tool well enough that they can get started is always a challenge.

I really enjoy using technology in class. Today we had a catastrophic failure in 1st period with Nearpod and the co-teacher was panicking a little and the kids were all saying, "It isn't working! It isn't working!" But we got it straightened out with a little bit of calm figuring it out time, and it was worth it.

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 12:59 am (UTC)
teigh_corvus: ([Dino] Don't Mess with Plant Eaters)
From: [personal profile] teigh_corvus
This week has been the slow but steady increase of Thoughts on The Monster Show [that is, the horror genre]. I'm running roughly three threads currently - listening to audio ride-thrus of the Haunted Mansion, listening to novelty monster rock [mostly from the 50s] and horror film scores [50s through 80s], and getting obsessed with King Kong. Though, the obsession isn't Giant Apes exactly, but more WHY this branch of the creature feature continues to fascinate.



(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 02:48 am (UTC)
kyrielle: A photo of kyrielle, in profile, turned slightly toward the viewer (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyrielle
"What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?"

...I'm not. And thank you, because I hadn't really REALIZED that and it's part of my frustration. I'm so swamped I'm only learning what I have to, not any want-to's, and then I go hide in fun-mindless for my leisure time.

I wonder if I can find something fun-but-slightly-learny that I might work with, at least....

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 03:44 am (UTC)
umadoshi: (sleeping on a book)
From: [personal profile] umadoshi
Is it okay to signal boost this, or would you prefer that I don't? (Either is fine!)

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 04:09 am (UTC)
mindways: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mindways
I've started learning Brazilian Jiusitsu! It's a grappling martial art, and it's really neat. I've taken 4 lessons and am looking forward to more, particularly because the instructor tends to phrase / present things almost like a board game: move and countermove, variations and conversions. If I can get the raw physical skills... well, I'm good at board games. And I'm finding that stuff from all manner of other physical skills I've learned is translating just enough to help me learn more easily.

This is part of a larger project of "learn what types of exercise I will like enough to continue regularly without my aversion kicking in". My working hypothesis is that one strong factor towards enjoyment is connection: working in partnership, a sense of camaraderie/community, and/or going with friends. (This deduced from how much I enjoyed acroyoga for years, whereas other forms of exercise I'd grow aversive to within weeks or months.)

("Music" is another thing I suspect will keep me coming back - none of that at BJJ, but our local gym offers a Zumba class...)

(no subject)

Date: Thursday, April 13th, 2017 05:17 am (UTC)
ofmonstrouswords: (reading: medieval woman)
From: [personal profile] ofmonstrouswords
I'm learning Dutch via Duolingo. This is an ancestor veneration thing as well as a "building future things for future kids" thing. My mom never really taught me Dutch when I was a kid because part of assimilation into "white culture" here in N. America means you view your language and customs and heritage and culture as "useless." Huzzah, I pass for white, and thus have lost much of my heritage. Great.

So she and my Oma basically elided a lot of our Dutch heritage and now I spend time thinking about what I lost because I wasn't able to ask Oma questions in Dutch about her life in Holland. She spoke English very well but often when it came to talking about her life in Holland she would default back to Dutch without realizing it, meaning I didn't get as much info as I wanted.

There are very few traditions that were passed down to me, so learning Dutch is one way of rebuilding what was lost (and as time goes on I'll be finding out about other traditions as much as I can, either by researching Dutch culture more or asking mom if there's anything she can remember).

Anyway, I'm enjoying it a lot, even when it's frustrating, and finding a lot of the sentence examples very silly and/or animist. Such as Goedendag, sap, which translates to Good day, juice. Also I can't stop laughing over the fact that thanks is bedankt.


Eventually I'll be doing a similar project with my Native side and the lost heritage there, but I'm guessing it will need to include some trips to the States, which are...not really something I'm wanting to do a lot of right now. Also pretty sure Duolingo doesn't have Cherokee on it.

(no subject)

Date: Friday, April 14th, 2017 06:22 pm (UTC)
carbonel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] carbonel
What are you learning right now that you're really interested by?

Fiber arts of various sorts. As you may remember, I started spinning (on a spinning wheel, not the exercise type) around eight years ago. I'm still spinning, and am currently learning about the history of spinning and fiber arts, various spinning techniques (it's easy to get in a rut, and I want to avoid that), and have been reading books about breeds of sheep and non-sheep fibers (cotton, flax, and silk).

This has also led me into flirtations with dyeing and weaving, but those have been very casual affairs to date. Spinning, on the other hand, is a long-term love -- though, time permitting, I'm happy to be polyamorous with all the fiber arts.
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