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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

MegaCon 2018: Cary Elwes (1)





Photos from the Cary Elwes panel at MegaCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida (part 1).

Cary Elwes is probably best known, especially among convention goers, for his roles in The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. However, he's a fairly prolific actor and has done tons of other stuff. His role as Brad Follmer on The X-Files is a favorite of mine.

More photos from this set: https://supload.com/rkAsKBzN7

All photos were taken by me.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Vintage Photos - Oestreicher (11)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.


I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.


Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.


This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/


This set of slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand printed or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.


All the pictures below were taken between 1960 and 1963, or at least that is when they were developed.


Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.


August 1960


January 1961


July 1960


January 1963


https://supload.com/SyOAeb-wm




Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 – Stary Olsa – Part 61 (Niemiec)


Stary Olsa performs "Niemiec" at the 2018 Brevard Renaissance Fair in Melbourne, Florida (2018-01-28).


https://dai.ly/x6wauwp

Monday, October 29, 2018

JoyStik (November 1983)





JoyStik (November 1983)

Most early video game magazines had the misfortune of being born right around the time of the video game crash and hence did not survive very long. JoyStik is no exception. The November 1983 issue includes: Neo
  • The Secrets of Dragon's Lair - Laser disk technology in the arcades with the latest entry from Cinematronics. We'll show you how it works...and how to win.
  • The Winning Edge
    • Joust - Even the best flyers will rack up higher scores with these top strategy tips from Eric Ginner.
  • Features
    • Star Wars - The force is with you with Tad Perry's strategy tips for Atari's flashy new space game entry.
    • Hurdling the Obstacles of Bump'N'Jump - Fast-paced strategies for the newest game to hit the driving circuit.
    • Millipede: The Bugs Are Back - The Swarms have returned, but they're not unbeatable in this sequel to Centipede. Beat them in no time with these tips.
    • Interactive Video: The Choice Is Yours - Home computer technology from Pioneer and RCA offers the player a series of options.
    • Reaching the Summit of Cannonball Blitz - Master the rivet and springboard screens with updated strategy for an Apple classic.
  • Departments
    • Letters
    • New Waves - The best from the Consumer Electronics Show.
    • Home Front - The last word on bargains for your home video library.
    • Tricks of the Trade - Inside tips from the arcade pros.
    • Technocracy
    • Charts

MegaCon 2018: Lucy Lawless (10)




Photos from the Lucy Lawless panel at MegaCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida (part 10). This is the final set.


Lucy Lawless is best known for her roles as Xena in the tv show Xena: Warrior Princess. However, she has also had a number of other roles on shows such as Parks and Recreation, Battlestar Galactica and Ash vs Evil Dead among others.


More photos from this set: https://supload.com/rkAsKBzN7


All photos were taken by me.


Vintage Photos - Leo Oestreicher (10)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.


I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.


Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.


This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/


This set of slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand printed or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.


The first photo in this set is dated May 1962 while the rest are dated September 1962.


Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.














https://supload.com/Hk_hDilDm

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Because of Inflation, We’re Financing the Financiers

Because of Inflation, We’re Financing the Financiers


It may come as a surprise to you that the United States has been financing a welfare program that takes money from the poor and gives it to the rich.
If you read a lot of modern macroeconomic literature or major in economics in college, you’ll hear economists talk of the “multiplier effect” of monetary and fiscal stimulus. In times of economic slump, money injection (for monetary policy) or government spending (fiscal policy) greases the wheels of our complex economic machine, bringing unemployment down and output up.

In response to these policy proposals to change the level of unemployment or production, “real” metrics of the economy, Milton Friedman argued that money is “neutral.” In other words, changing the supply of money in the economy to manipulate relative price levels doesn’t actually change anything in the long run. When people realize their money is worth less than before, they adjust their mindset, demanding higher wages for higher prices. After these changes are made, unemployment and production end up in the same place as before.

While Friedman’s argument sheds light on many failed economic policies from the latter half of the 20th century, it doesn’t explain the mechanics behind rising price levels (from inflationary policy) once the newly created money travels through the economy, sector by sector.
Richard Cantillon first suggested in 1755 that money is not as neutral as we think. He argued that money injection—what we could consider inflationary policies—may not change an economy’s output over the long-term. However, the process of readjustment affects different sectors of the economy differently. This analysis, known as the Cantillon Effect, serves as the foundation for the non-neutrality of money theories.

Cantillon’s original thesis outlines how rising prices affect different sectors at different times and suggests that time difference effectively acts as a taxing mechanism. In other words, the first sectors to receive the newly created money enjoy higher profits as their pay increases, but general costs are still low. On the other hand, the last sectors in which prices rise (where there is more economic friction) face higher costs while still producing at lower prices. Because, as Friedman taught us, the real economic variables are still the same in the long run, the price of inflation is paid for by a “tax” on the sectors with more friction, which subsidizes more time-responsive sectors. In our modern economy, the Cantillon Effect is at play with a stratified socioeconomic impact, favoring investors over wage-earners.
Let’s say the Fed decides to lower interest rates (by expanding the supply of money in the economy). Soon after the Fed makes its announcement, investors anticipate new earnings from increased investment. In fact, once even a few people get wind of the Fed’s intentions, investors expect prices to rise, whether they rely on algorithms or rumors for their information. Investors flock to the financial markets, hoping to get there first; if they can buy stocks while the prices are still low, they can reap enormous profits once prices rise.

However, the sudden increased demand for stocks in the financial market bids up asset prices, and this happens rapidly. Within minutes—seconds, even—the expected increase in the price level has been factored into the financial markets. The first place where “inflation” is felt is in the financial marketplace.

This means that people who are most invested in the market are the first to benefit from inflation. They see their asset prices increasing, yet the prices in the rest of the economy are still low because this happens seconds after it’s clear the Fed is inflating the money supply.

While the companies with investors buying up shares see the increased inflow of cash, they also have new investment opportunities because of lower interest rates from inflation. Both of these factors help their profits rise, and they find ways to continue expanding business (by increasing their purchases of intermediate goods). The first few businesses to turn their profits into production benefit from lower prices, but once other companies start demanding more intermediate goods, their prices start to rise. Thus, the intermediate goods sector, which includes raw materials and technology that facilitates business, is the next to experience rising price levels. Companies that primarily sell these intermediate goods now have more profit, but the rest of the prices in the economy are still relatively low.

Afterward, these higher-priced intermediate goods increase the costs of business operations and production, so final goods (for consumers) begin to rise in price, as well. The companies that can turn around their initial investments to final goods the quickest have the most to gain.

But there’s more. When prices are higher throughout the economy, the last to benefit are workers, who see an increased cost of living and factor this cost into their wage demands. Even among workers, wage-earners are the worst off, for many salaried employees anticipate inflation and factor it into their contracts. And with that, the inflationary policy has passed through the economic system, raising prices. And, as Friedman said, the policy—in the long run—doesn’t change real factors.
In the modern financial system, the current realization of the Cantillon Effect looks quite similar to a regressive tax. The first to benefit are often corporations with plenty of investors, whether publicly traded or financed through private equity. Next, raw goods benefit from increased prices, including already heavily subsidized industries such as steel and aluminum. Technology also benefits, for it is utilized as an intermediate good for many companies. Even within the raw goods and technology sectors, the quickest corporations to turn investments into production—larger corporations like Amazon or Microsoft, which have the infrastructure to expand—benefit disproportionately.

On the consumer side, people investing most of their savings in the stock market benefit from increased investment bidding up prices. On the other hand, individuals living from paycheck to paycheck, or even those who just have a savings account in a bank, lose money to price increases.

Nonetheless, policymakers neglect these effects in an effort to reign in the economy without considering the consequences of their actions. Often, they justify surprise inflation by claiming it will “help the poor.” However, any inflationary monetary policy regime suffers from the ramifications of the Cantillon Effect.

In fact, even a price-stable economy requires money injection to counter the deflationary effects of growth. This money injection may keep prices for real goods stable, but asset prices continue to rise. It’s true that most economists accept a low level of inflation as fine—healthy, even. But when our current expansionary system, however well-intentioned, ends up exacerbating inequalities in the marketplace under the pretense of egalitarian stability, we ought to examine its true consequences more thoroughly.

Source: Because of Inflation, We’re Financing the Financiers - Foundation for Economic Education

Friday, October 26, 2018

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 60 (Knighthood)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 60 (Knighthood)

Info (December/January 1990)





Info (December/January 1990)

While Info (or .info) at one time also covered the Commodore 64, by 1990 it was Amiga exclusive. One unique aspect of this magazine was that it was created with home computer hardware and software. Commodore 64s in the early days and later the Amiga. The December/January 1990 issue includes: Focus
  • The Battletech Center - .info reporter Jeff Lowenthal jumps into the cockpit of a 31st century BattleMech simulator... in a Chicago mall!
  • Dear Santa, I Was Very Good This Year - Judith Kilbury-Cobb sorts out this Holiday Season's best software stocking stuffers for younger Amigoids.
  • .info's Top Twenty-Five Games of 1990 - The .info staff picks the hottest games of the year.
The Amiga Pro
  • Toaster Talk - Publisher Benn Dunnington delivers his first impressions of what it's like to really use NewTek's Video Toaster.
  • Video - Oran J. Sands examines Elan Performer 2.0, the latest incarnation of Elan Design's presentation sequencer.
  • Product Review - David Martin cracks open his A2000 to install a shiny new space-saving GVP Impact Series II SCSI RAM Controller.
  • Product Review - The ever-busy David Martin reports on the state of development of Commodore's industry-standard UNIX for the Amiga.
  • .info Technical Support
    • Hard Disk Management - Part 2
    • AmigaDOS Scripts and Iconx
    • RAD:ICAL Ideas
    • Programming Fundamentals - Part 2
Departments
  • .info Monitor
  • Reader Mail
  • New Products
  • .info Update
  • News & Views
  • Rumor Mill
  • Back Issues
  • Public Domain
  • Unclassifieds
  • Advertiser Index
Cyberplay
  • 21 New Diversions
  • Game Tips
  • Coming Soon
  • Adventure Road
...and more!

MegaCon 2018: Lucy Lawless (9)




Photos from the Lucy Lawless panel at MegaCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida (part 9).


Lucy Lawless is best known for her roles as Xena in the tv show Xena: Warrior Princess. However, she has also had a number of other roles on shows such as Parks and Recreation, Battlestar Galactica and Ash vs Evil Dead among others.


More photos from this set: https://supload.com/Sy9p3Mp77


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 59 (Ciupa)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - Stary Olsa - Part 59 (Ciupa)

Fear Effect (PlayStation)





Fear Effect (PlayStation)
Fear Effect is a 3D action game that was originally released for the PlayStation in 2000. It sort of reminds me of a cross between Tomb Raider, Dragon's Lair and Survival Horror games like Resident Evil. Game play will remind you of Resident Evil but there are more pure action parts as well. Timing is typically very important in these which is what prompted my comparison to Dragon's Lair. There's a lot of puzzle solving as well.
The game takes place in a future Hong Kong in which you are hunting for the daughter of a gangster. You control one of three characters depending where you are in the game. The game takes some twists though as you end up searching in outskirt villages infected by zombies and even Chinese hell. This was an era when everyone seemed to be trying to come up with alternatives to a standard health bar so this game features a fear meter instead.
Fear effect features some unique graphical effects. Characters are textured to resemble cell shading even though that isn't the actual technique used. In addition, instead of pre-rendered backgrounds, looping video is used. It fits the game well but it also caused it to span four CDs.
This game generally got very positive reviews though there were complaints about difficulty in some sections, particularly when it comes to boss battles. A prequel was released in 2001 called Fear Effect 2: Retro Helix. A third game in the series was finally released in 2016 for Windows, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch called Fear Effect Sedna though it was a differently style of game. It was more of an action RPG and played from an isometric point of view. If you want to play the original, you'll have hunt down and original copy, use emulation or you can wait for the remake, Fear Effect Reinvented that is supposed to be released at the end of the year for Windows, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. The above ad is from the November 1999 issue of the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine.

Vintage Photos - Leo Oestreicher (9)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.


I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.


Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.


This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/


This set of slides had the date they were processed (presumably) stamped or printed on them (month and year). I've found that in cases where I could verify the date, either because a more specific date was hand printed or there was something to specifically date the photo in the photo itself, that this date has typically been the same month the photos were taken. In other words, I expect that in MOST cases these photos were taken relatively near the processing date. No doubt there are some exceptions.


The first three photos in this set are dated September 1962. The last one (of the picnic) is dated October 1968.


Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.














https://supload.com/BkgbMjewQ

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MegaCon 2018: Lucy Lawless (8)




Photos from the Lucy Lawless panel at MegaCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida (part 8).


Lucy Lawless is best known for her roles as Xena in the tv show Xena: Warrior Princess. However, she has also had a number of other roles on shows such as Parks and Recreation, Battlestar Galactica and Ash vs Evil Dead among others.


More photos from this set: https://supload.com/B1vMFpi77


All photos were taken by me.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 33 (Step It Out Mary)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 33 (Step It Out Mary)

Vintage Photos - Leo Oestreicher (8)

See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.


I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.


Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.


This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/


This set is undated but appear to be from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The subject matter is pretty random and while I don't personally recognize these locations, you might if you have been there. They seem pretty recognizable anyway. :)


Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.














https://supload.com/BkQzoN1w7

Computer Gaming World (June 1986)





Computer Gaming World (June 1986)

Already up to issue 29 in October 1986 but this was still very early days for the best computer games magazine. At this point it still wasn't a PC specific magazine as there were plenty of competitive platforms at that time. This issue includes:

Features
  • Battlegroup & Mech Brigade - Twice More With Feeling
  • Psi 5 Trading Company - A Review
  • Macintosh Window - A New Column
  • Battle of the Atlantic - A Review
  • Universe II - Playtester Overview (The Perils of Playtesting)
  • Island of Kesmai - Telecommunication Gaming
Departments
  • Taking A Peek - Screen Photos and Brief Comments
  • Scorpion's Tale - Borrowed Time Tips
  • Over There! - British Games
  • Strategically Speaking - Strategy Game Tips
  • Micro Reviews
    • Countdown to Shutdown
    • Moebius
    • Norway 1985
    • Clash of Wills
    • Adventures in Flesh
    • The Black Death
    • Make Millions
  • Reader Input Device
  • Game Ratings - 100 Games Rates
...and more!

7 Non-Tech Jobs That Underrepresent Women (And the Story They Tell)

7 Non-Tech Jobs That Underrepresent Women (And the Story They Tell)







It’s common to hear today how underrepresented women are in tech. These critiques are often leveled by important Silicon Valley heads like Melinda Gates and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, as well as media commentators who lament that “women are being left behind.”

It’s true that women are underrepresented in the tech world. Data show that women occupy just 20 percent of tech jobs in the U.S., while women own just 5 percent of startups.

These statistics and others like them are a source of great distress (and shame) for Silicon Valley. There are two primary reasons for this.

First, diversity, particularly in regards to race and gender, has become a cultural dogma, an idea to be pursued (never questioned) even if it comes at the expense of personal choice. Second, it is taken as gospel that the gender disparity in STEM fields stems (pun intended) from gender discrimination.

There is immense pressure to correct the gender imbalance, and proponents have adopted a tried and true strategy often employed by religious institutions to make it happen: get them while they’re young.

CNBC, for example, recently reported that there are organized efforts to press school girls into coding as early as the third grade.

“We have to start as young as we possibly can because we know that essentially it's in middle school where all of a sudden these subjects aren't cool," explained Reshma Saujani, the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code.

Local governments are also getting in on the action of promoting women in tech.
There may be nothing wrong with nudging little girls toward tech, but it’s worth pointing out that tech jobs are not the only positions in which women are underrepresented. In fact, other occupations have gender disparities much greater, government data show. Here are seven of them:
  1. Loggers (94.9% male)
  2. Roofers (98.3% male)
  3. Garbage collectors (91.4% male)
  4. Steelworkers (98% male)
  5. Miners (99.9% male)
  6. Fishing workers (99.9% male)
  7. Truck drivers (94% male)
These statistics raise several questions. Why are these fields dominated by men? And why are there no highly visible campaigns to “correct” the underrepresentation of women in them? Regarding the former question, it’s certainly possible that gender discrimination is to blame. But could other factors be responsible?

Alison LaValley, a vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, told me industry leaders are aware that roofing has historically been and continues to be a male-dominated business. She said women probably account for about 10 percent of the roofing workforce—not 1.7 percent—if supplying, manufacturing, and support positions are included (versus just roofers).

According to LaValley, the gender gap is largely attributable to perception and communication. Many people view roofing as a “male” occupation, similar to how nursing was once considered a “female” industry. Also, many women simply may be unaware of the many career opportunities available in roofing. Some women, like some men, might shy from working on a roof, she admitted. But she said there are many career paths in roofing that do not involve labor or going on a roof.

LaValley, who has spent 30 years in roofing, did not mention discrimination or gender oppression until I brought it up. She told me she's seen little evidence of it.

In fact, she said the roofing industry, like the tech community, has been working hard to attract women. The NRCA’s board is 20 percent female, she said, and now has a diversity and inclusion committee. In 2016, National Women in Roofing was launched to help connect and empower women in the industry.

Still, there no questioning the stereotype that roofing is “men’s work.”

“We’re doing everything we can to tell people otherwise,” said LaValley.“Roofing is changing. The changes I’ve seen the last 10 years have been remarkable.”
Bringing up gender disparities in occupations can be a sensitive subject, especially in STEM-related occupations.

In 2017, when former Google engineer James Damore hypothesized that factors other than gender discrimination could help explain the gender gap in tech, he was fired. More recently, a professor of Pisa University was suspended after presenting a paper in Geneva suggesting that physics, an overwhelmingly male field, “is not sexist against women.”

As previously stated, it’s certainly possible that roofing companies and the like are discriminating against women. However, I’ll posit another theory.

It’s possible many women simply don’t wish to become truckers, garbage collectors, loggers, or roofers. There are several reasons this might be the case. For starters, these are the deadliest occupations in America (see below).



Second, these jobs are rather grueling, unpleasant even. I know this to be true because I’ve done some of them.

Personally, I can think of few jobs worse than slinging garbage on a hot July day—when juices have been marinating in the Wisconsin heat for days, and the maggots are the size of small worms—but one of them is roofing houses. Now, these are both noble and important jobs. Both, in fact, helped get me through college—in part because they helped pay my tuition and also because they strongly encouraged me to finish my coursework and get my degree so I would not have to do such work in my 50s and 60s. Roofing, in particular, is probably the most physically taxing work I’ve ever done. (Of course, as LaValley mentioned, career paths exist in roofing beyond labor; I just never reached them.)

I bring this up not to imply that women can’t do such work. They can. But I suspect that many women do not wish to do this work, and not because they’re physically incapable of doing it. In fact, I have no reason to believe that the average woman is any less capable than the average man of driving the 2,500 miles per week the average trucker does. But I suspect many women have no wish to do so, at least not for the compensation the market offers.

My point is that men and women might simply have different desires, tastes, and expectations in regards to their professional and personal lives. This would not seem to be an especially controversial idea, yet it is, especially when applied to the STEM fields.
Much of the heated rhetoric surrounding Damore’s infamous “diversity manifesto,” it seems to me, stems from people seeing and hearing different things. Critics often suggest that Damore said or believed women are “incapable” of working in tech and leadership roles because of biological differences. Others seemed to think Damore was saying women are “less capable” than men.

In reality, these words—“incapable” and “less capable”—never appear in Damore’s memo. Rather, Damore seems to suggest that these positions are less desirable to women for various reasons (biology, social constructs, etc.).

But, semantics aside, the primary point of Damore’s memo is this: “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”

These words, which appeared in the section breaking down personality differences between men and women, are what sent a shockwave through the tech world. Protests erupted. Damore was called a “fascist” and a “piece of s***.”

The words Damore said and the words his critics heard were quite different. It was almost as if Damore was speaking a different language than his critics. And in a sense, he was.
Damore’s memo created an uproar for two reasons. First, it directly challenged Silicon Valley’s political philosophy (progressive). Second, Damore essentially used a foreign language to challenge the paradigm.

In his book The Three Languages of Politics, Arnold Kling argues that three languages are used today to discuss politics: progressive, conservative, and libertarian. Each of these languages views the world through a different binary lens: oppressor vs. oppressed (progressive); civilization vs. barbarism (conservative) and freedom vs. coercion (libertarian).

Damore was essentially speaking the last of these languages (freedom vs. coercion). Women are not being oppressed, he argued, they are simply choosing alternative career pathways based on their own professional desires.

Many progressives, seeing the issue through the lens of oppressor vs. oppressed, saw Damore’s memo as mere “mansplaining.” This, to them, is an issue of oppression, not choice.
Damore’s memo is in a sense a Rorschach test. People’s responses to it are likely to yield more answers than the test itself. However, new evidence suggests Damore’s central claim—that the gender disparity in the tech world is more about choice than oppression—is correct.

In what The Atlantic calls “a strange paradox,” researchers at the University of Missouri recently found that women are less likely to go into math and science careers in countries where women are empowered. This is how Olga Khazan of The Atlantic summarizes the findings:
...the countries that minted the most female college graduates in fields like science, engineering, or math were also some of the least gender-equal countries. [Researchers] posit that this is because the countries that empower women also empower them, indirectly, to pick whatever career they’d enjoy most and be best at. [emphasis mine]
But is this truly “a strange paradox”? The idea that women increasingly pick careers they enjoy as they gain freedom (financial and political) hardly strikes me as strange. Nor would the average American find it so, I suspect.

This idea is “strange” (maybe even unfathomable) only to someone steeped in the oppressor vs. oppressed political language and mindset.
If women are simply choosing to avoid tech careers because they don’t find them all that appealing, would all be well? Well, probably not.

Women choosing to avoid careers as roofers, loggers, and truck drivers is apparently fine. We don’t see campaigns to get women into these positions (at least I haven’t). But if women, acting as individuals, are shunning promising careers in STEM fields, that is a problem. Because tech is the future, and the future is female.

A dearth of women in STEM careers runs counter to the narrative of female progress, which many interpret as achieving perfect economic parity with men. So if women are not interested in tech jobs, they’re going to have to learn to be interested in them for the greater good. Hence the public campaigns and organizations like Girls Who Code.

If you think women are individuals free to make their own decisions about their careers, you simply have not been paying attention.

“Collectivism means the subjugation of the individual to a group—whether to a race, class or state does not matter,” Ayn Rand once observed. “Collectivism holds that man must be chained to collective action and collective thought for the sake of what is called ‘the common good.’”

Source: 7 Non-Tech Jobs That Underrepresent Women (And the Story They Tell) - Foundation for Economic Education

Monday, October 22, 2018

MegaCon 2018: Lucy Lawless (7)




Photos from the Lucy Lawless panel at MegaCon 2018 in Orlando, Florida (part 7).


Lucy Lawless is best known for her roles as Xena in the tv show Xena: Warrior Princess. However, she has also had a number of other roles on shows such as Parks and Recreation, Battlestar Galactica and Ash vs Evil Dead among others.


More photos from this set: https://supload.com/SkWk1oLQ7



Vintage Photos - Leo Oestreicher (7)


See the previous post in this series here. Feel free to skip the quoted intro text if you have read it before.


I had the opportunity to pick up a huge batch of slides recently. These are pictures spanning from as early as the late 1940s to as late as the early 1990s (maybe earlier and/or later but these are what I have sampled so far). These came to me second (third?) hand but the original source was a combination of estate sales and Goodwill. There are several thousand...maybe as many as 10,000. I will be scanning some from time to time and posting them here for posterity.


Apparently, getting your pictures processed as slides used to be a fairly common thing but it was a phenomenon I missed out on. However, my Grandfather had a few dozen slides (circa late 1950s) that I acquired after he died. That along with some negatives is what prompted me to buy a somewhat decent flatbed scanner that could handle slides and negatives (an Epson V600). That was the most money I was willing to spend on one anyway. It can scan up to four slides at a time with various post-processing options and does a decent enough job. The scanner has been mostly idle since finishing that task but now there is plenty for it to do.


This set continues a rather large batch of slides that originally came from an estate sale and appear to have belonged to a locally well known photographer from the Spokane Washington area and later Northern Idaho named Leo Oestreicher. He was known for his portrait and landscape photography and especially for post cards. He career started in the 1930s and he died in 1990. These slides (thousands of them) contain a lot of landscape and portrait photos but also a lot of photos from day to day life and various vacations around the world. Here's an article on him from 1997 which is the only info I have found on him: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/1997/jan/04/photos-of-a-lifetime-museum-acquisition-of-leo/


This set is undated but appear to be from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The subject matter is pretty random and includes a picnic, a woman near the ocean, a man sleeping near the water and a garden.


Click on one of the images or the link below to also see versions processed with color restoration and Digital ICE which is a hardware based dust and scratch remover, a feature of the Epson V600 scanner I am using. There are also versions processed with the simpler dust removal option along with color restoration.














https://supload.com/BJQWzQkDm

Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 32 (In Taberna)





Brevard Renaissance Fair 2018 - The Craic Show - Part 32 (In Taberna)