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Living Will

 I have seen my mother-in-law dying slowly when her expressed wishes were to die quickly (she had bowel cancer, there was no way she would recover and the last two weeks were slow and messy).

My mother is not far from the end, I suspect. She has multiple issues and is frail. She too has said to me that she would like to be allowed to pass away.  She said that they make us stay alive for too long.  (It's that phrase *make* that is the killer. The NHS will provide operations, great hospital care, but they keep on treating, even when removing it would be in line with the patient's wishes)

Molly was an atheist, my mother is Christian. Religious belief doesn't seem to be a factor.

I feel exactly the same way myself.  If I reach a stage where I am incontinent, immobile and with no chance of ever being fit and healthy again, then I will want the right to ask for an end to my life.

Some countries/states are gradually introducing legislation for assisted dying, I hope that the UK will eventually join them.

Yes, we need protection for those who don't want to end their life, but we also need protection for those dying in pain, embarrassment and boredom.

I can still hear Molly saying to me "I'm bored." She was blind, she could do none of the things that had given her life pleasure for 80+ years.  She was confined to bed, incontinent and in pain. Yet she had to spend two weeks in that condition against her expressed wishes.  She was an intelligent woman in full possession of her faculties, as is my mother.

When will we get the right to choose when to die?

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How does telepathy work?

How does telepathy work?

Now given that telepathy doesn't actually exist, it's a bit difficult to come up with good physics...

However, this is Stargate, and thus any reasonably convincing pseudoscience will do. :)

I have a character with a limited degree of telepathy/empathy.  Usually comes across as being lucky at playing cards, guessing what people will do next, that kind of thing.  Rarely extends to actual mind-reading (except when under the influence of things caused by aliens/alien technology/etc.).

It has no distance limitation (we're talking interstellar here), but definitely words best in physical proximity.

It also works best with people the telepath has an emotional connection with.

I have a couple of canonical alien devices that can heal/tweak human physiology.  (Hey, this is Stargate SG-1, they have stacks of alien artefacts that have to be shipped to Area 51, so they can't be used to solve a problem in the next episode....   I'm shipping some of them out again <grin>)

What can I do in terms of pseudoscientific explanation (because I like my pseudoscience to be as close to real science as possible) to describe/manipulate this ability?

I'd love to come up with something that included electromagnetic radiation, but as far as I can see, the lack of a distance limitation means that speed of light screws up that theory.

Anyone care to suggest mechanisms by which telepathy might work?

Let your imagination run riot!

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Overcoming writers block

 About 15 years ago I wrote a Stargate SG-1 novel and a sequel.

Then, I got Jossed and never got started on the third volume of the Trilogy. (the first two novels do complete some plot arcs, so you're not left dangling too badly on all fronts)

However, I did make a lot of notes for it, and I recently did the Stargate Alphabet Soup challenge in the hope that it would get me writing again, and it seems to be working, as I'm near the end of a brand new chapter.

What I need is encouragement as I have a whole novel to get through.  And it's an old fandom, so I know I won't pick up many new readers.

Here's how you can help...

If anyone has the patience to read the first two volumes (they're relatively short by novel standards) and leaves a comment at the end, then I undertake to write a minimum of 200 words (and 500 if it's a really interesting comment) on the third volume for each comment.  People who have read it before, still get to claim their words if they haven't previously left a comment.

It's Stargate SG-1, set around the end of season 5, at the time when the team consisted of Jack, Daniel, Sam and Teal'c.  It's gen fic, though it does contain some relationships.  My aim was to give all the team a strong role to play and to make good use of many minor characters from the series.  It's also AU and will resolve many plot lines in a different way (and to my mind more aesthetically pleasing) than the route taken in the series.

The first volume is here - https://archiveofourown.org/works/392002/chapters/643582

Jack O'Neill and Harry Maybourne have very different approaches to ethics. Jack believes in honour and honesty. Harry believes the ends justify the means.

When Jack's daughter from a parallel reality comes through the stargate, both Jack and Harry find that their past (canonical) decisions have unforeseen consequences. What price are they willing to pay to put things right again? Can they work together? How far can Maybourne be trusted?

Jack and Sam have many difficult decisions to face. Can they maintain the careful balance of their working relationship while juggling with their feelings for one another?

How will Cassandra cope with tragedy, guilt, and the strangest friendship of her life?

This novel starts 3/4 of the way through the fifth season, shortly before Meridian and takes its own course through history after the events of 'Last Stand'.

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Towel cookery

 My daughter phoned last night. She was greatly amused and knew that we would love to hear what our granddaughter was doing.

Oswin has a little toy kitchen and she was playing at cookery.  She'd made her meal, put it into a pan to cook, and then put a towel on top of the pan.

She got that from us.  We actually do use towels when cooking some meals.  They're a simplified version of hay box cookery.  

When making something like a casserole, get it all in, simmer it for several mins, then turn off the heat and wrap a thick fluffy towel over the top. Wrap it like a turban (or any shape that uses all the towel and makes sure that no heat escapes).  If it's an electric cooker, be very careful that the towel does not touch the element (you don't want to set it on fire and electric hobs can stay hot for some time - be sure the casserole dish/pan is covering the hot part completely)

You can keep something cooking merrily for half an hour or more this way.  If you need a longer cook, just remove the towel, bring back to simmer for a minute or two and then turn off the heat and put the towel back on.

There are several great advantages to this trick.

Firstly, you cannot burn the food.  If you're not exactly sure when your meal needs to be ready, you can keep it lovely and hot without needing to stir it.  (the heat is coming from within, rather than from below, so the food will not stick to the bottom and burn)

Secondly, you use less electricity and cooking uses a lot of energy.

It's dead easy to do.  Even a three year old can remember!

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Historic quilts

I don't know if any of you are into quilting. I don't do it myself, but my sister, Carolyn,  is an expert quilter.

Even as I collect old dances as well as writing new ones, she collects old quilts as well as making new ones.

She has several interesting ones in her collection, showing a wide range of techniques, and they demonstrate traditional patterns and techniques from different regions.

I've been reading her website the last couple of days, and I've found the descriptions and photos of these historical quilts to be really interesting.

Here's one example. This is a Welsh wholecloth quilt, probably made in the 1930s.

Fascinating design, and worked with a lot of skill. This entry was originally posted on Dreamwidth where it has comment count unavailable comments.


Longsword locks

If the longsword photos didn't work for you, try now - https://watervole.dreamwidth.org/639401.html?view=3965353&posted=1#cmt3965353

I've redone all the images from Flickr instead of Google photos. I'd forgotten that you can't even cut and past images from Google photos, let along link to them. (They look fine when I'm putting the entry together, but I don't think anyone else can see them)

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Q is for Quantum

"Events are discrete in nature. Either I go on holiday to Peru or I don't."
Carter's voice was kinda soothing when she was in monologue mode.
"Fascinating mummies in Peru," Daniel chipped in.
"If you're into dead children," Jack said, leaning back in his chair.
Daniel stared at him with amazement. "You read my paper!"
Jack blinked rapidly. "Saw it on the Discovery channel."
"If I go to Peru," Carter continued firmly, "then that is a discrete event."
"What necessity makes you require secrecy?"
"Why do you need to be discreet?"
"Discrete, Teal'c." Jack drawled. "Means 'separate'. Carter's saying that something like a photon either is or isn't. You can't have half a photon. Quantum theory really pisses off people who think in terms of light waves."
"You read my article?"
"It's amazing what you can learn from the back of cereal packets."
And Carter was off again, explaing how the Quantum Mirror could only show an Aleph-naught number of infinite universes, because each universe was created by a decision made by an individual and the number of decisions was an integer not a real number.
Maybe, somewhere, there was an alternate universe where Jack O'Neill didn't find this stuff fascinating.
He yawned. "Time to call it a night, kids. Think I might do a little star-gazing before I go to bed." Half an hour's observation, then he might complete that article for 'Astronomy Monthy.' Under a pseudonym, of course.

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Tradiational Cotswold at its best.

This is Nonesuch Morris, whom I've only just come across. They're a mixed team from Bristol and do traditional Cotswold morris that is truly excellent.

Just look at the precision of the teamwork and the leaps and the crisp hanky work.

Poor hanky work can look terrible, which is why Border morris sides shy away from hanky dances, but when they're done to this standard, they can look fantastic.

I'm just about to email them and ask if they'd like to come to Wimborne Minster Folk Festival next year.  I'm dance director of the festival and I'd love it if they could come.

One of the reasons I'm posting so little here is that festival work is taking up a lot of my time at the moment.  The festival isn't until next June, but this is the time when lot of dance teams make their decisions about where they are performing next summer.  Thus, a heavy correspondence load.

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Birthday swords

On my birthday, my family and I started playing around with my longswords.  I set my husband and daughter a challenge to see how many locks they could find using six swords.  In the process, they invented one new one and created an improved version of one that I've seen in a book.  Here's some of what we came up with. 

This is the Mohr lock - I learnt it from an American Rapper dancer

Mohr lock.jop

Black Joker lock (or you can call it a farm gate if you prefer.) This is a more rigid version of a known lock.

I found a good way of making it quickly, too.
Black Joker Richard.jp

Lindsey's lock. She found this one that I hadn't seen before.

Lindsey lock

Richard's Yacht lock.  This may actually be one that nobody else had before.

Yacht lock

If you want to play yourselves, just cut out some strips of cardboard from a cereal packet or similar, and interweave them.

You'll probably manage to fins the six pointed start before long, but there are others, as well, that I've not shown here...

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Fanfic recommendation

 I don't read a lot of fanfic, mainly because there is so much poor stuff and I'm too lazy to sift through it all to find the good ones, but I do tend to follow up recs by friends here and to try stuff written by friends.

I've just been reading Elisi's novel 'Dating the Cleverest Boy in the World'  

An excellent read, a Dr Who novel, but relying almost entirely on well written original characters, who interact occasionally with the Master, Lucy Saxon, tenth Doctor and Jack Harkness.

It's a novel that looks at relationships between mortals and immortals, between human and non-human and asks what it's ethical to reveal/conceal.

The basic premise is an AU where the Master and Lucy Saxon had a son.  The boy grows up with both the Doctor and the Master as major influences in his life, trying to balance their conflicting ethics and their expectations of him. 

When he finally enters a romantic relationship with a human woman, he gets caught in the trap of how much to tell her about himself.

It's a novel that avoids quick, easy answers, and one that allows the characters to grow and develop in a believable manner. 

This is a gen novel.  Characters have sex (both gay and straight), but there are no explicit scenes. 

When it comes to sex, this is the way I prefer it.

(In days gone by, I sometimes skipped plot to get to the sex. Now, I skip sex to get to the plot.  There are more original plots than there are original sex scenes. )

The breakdown between chapters is well-balanced. Each is a distinct scene, but contributes to the overall storyline.  Made it very easy to read one or two chapters a day.

Definitely recommended.

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Judith Proctor


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