Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

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Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Flickr Quinn Dombrowski Indigenous Peoples Day

Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Columbus Day is increasingly celebrated as the Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the U.S.; for me that’s going to be the case from now on. Furthermore, I’m going to be following, listening and reading more indigenous creatives throughout the year and not just on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

As a Finn, I don’t have any skin in the North-American (or, indeed, Anglo-American) colonization-based racism blame game. (We have our very own problems, thankyouverymuch, and need to do better.)

However, as a citizen of a small nation surrounded by larger ones whose cultures and languages have seemed poised to swallow ours for centuries, I feel enormous compassion towards any groups who have to struggle to retain their identity and who are underrepresented in public discussion or government.

Differences rock, y’all. Our differences are why humanity has come this far as a species. Differences are essential to a vital future.

So, again: Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Flu Shot Blues

This Is Important

Because herd immunity is important, Husband and I took flu shots last weekend. Unfortunately, they always make me react – nothing major, just an inconvenient whole-body ache, sore throat and sniffles.

Sick in Munchkin Terms

This year, however, the vaccine seems to have been more potent than previously. Whoa. On the other hand, if that’s what a weakened virus does, I’d hate to be hit by a full force one. Yay for modern medicine!

New to Me: The Tempestry Project Knits Climate Data into Textiles

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Geek out!, Stunt Double, This Is Important

Justin and Marissa Connelly co-founded the Tempestry Project with Emily McNeil to save temperature data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their twist: depicting the data not numerically but as colorful knits.

Etsy Tempestry Project Yarn Medford MA

Tempestry Project on Etsy.

Emily McNeil describes the project:

“One of the ongoing problems inherent in discussions about climate change is the vast scale of the conversation. The Tempestry Project’s goal is to scale this down into something tangible, relatable, accurate, and beautiful.

“The Tempestry Project blends fiber art with temperature data to create a bridge between global climate and our own personal experiences through knitted or crocheted temperature tapestries, or ‘Tempestries.’ Each Tempestry represents the daily high temperature for a given year and location, all using the same yarn colors and temperature ranges.”

 

Etsy Tempestry Project Deception Pass WA

25 years of daily temperature for Deception Pass, WA, ranging from 1948 (top left) to 2016 (bottom right). Tempestry Project on Etsy.

What a great idea – I love the color ranges as pure visuals for one, but it’s also a fascinating way to turn numbers into a tangible item. Not to mention that I love knits!

Now I’m starting to wonder whether we night have similar data for Finland – I might want to make one for the city of my birth then and now.

Visit the Tempestry Project on their website, on Ravelry and on Etsy.

Found via Mary Anne Mohanraj on Twitter.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Reading N.K. Jemisin in honor of Martin Luther King Day

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Today the U.S. celebrates the Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

In honor of the day, in support of people of color and in protest of the appalling inequality POC continue to experience in the U.S., I’m reading my favorite (living) author, Nora Jemisin.

Current Reading How Long Til Black Future Month

How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? is a collection of short fiction from 2004 onwards and her latest book-length publication. I’m not sure whether she’d describe herself as an #ownvoices author. Whatever the case, her fiction continues to entertain, fascinate, and awe on so many levels.

I’m normally not a great friend of short stories (I prefer novels), but this collection is incredible. Not just her writing is beautiful and technically superb; she continues to open my eyes about the world, give me new ideas and hold me in thrall in equal measure.

Jemisin is also the first writer ever to have won the Hugo Award three years in a row, for all the individual installments of her recent Broken Earth trilogy. (The mere thought of it still gives me chills!) No wonder S.E. Fleenor in an article at SyfyWire listed Jemisin as one the most influential women in genre for 2018.

How are you spending your MLK Day?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Why I Will Not Return to Arisia

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important, Thumbs Down

Content note: references to rape, trauma, sexism, gaslighting, harassment, intimidation, and stalking. Also note: an f-bomb or two.

TL;DR – I’ve been to Arisia before, and enjoyed it. In fact, it was my first U.S. con. I was looking forward going back after a break. However, due to failures in following and enforcing their own Code of Conduct, which had the practical effect of protecting a stalker, I will not return to Arisia in the future.

Updated Privacy Policies

Ahem Ahem!, This Is Important

GDPR, EU’s new data protection regulation, took effect today. Accordingly, I have updated the privacy policy for both this website and Playfully Grownup Home on Etsy. They explain how I collect, use and share your data.

GDPR and PGH

(Note that the services I use to conduct business, like Etsy, have their own privacy policies; please refer to those for how they collect, use and share your data. If you wish to access, correct or delete personal information held by them, contact them directly.)

If you have questions, please contact me via an Etsy conversation or the contact form here at playfullygrownuphome.com.

My Finland

My Spaces, This Is Important

Today, my native country Finland turns 100 years. I speak of Finland on this blog now and then because it’s a huge part of my identity.

My Finland Summer Flags Naantali

Sadas itsenaisyyspaiva joulukuun 6 2017

Here, to celebrate our first centennial, are a few aspects of my Finland. All photos by me unless otherwise mentioned.

 

My Finland is woods and access to nature

Finland is among the most forested countries in the world, and people inhabiting the area have lived off of its forests for millenia. I really love woods. I would feel exposed without woods around me.

My Finland Central Finland Woods

My Finland Nuuksio Natl Park

In Finland, nature is incorporated into even the largest cities, and not only as manicured lawns or shrubberies. In addition to national parks, we have relatively untouched areas of nature almost within a stone’s throw from anywhere. And lakes – thousands of lakes.

 

My Finland invests in infrastructure and future-conscious planning

Multiple modes of transportation are an inseparable part of modern community planning. I’ve been biking to get myself from A to B as long as I can remember, and LOVE the bicycle paths. There’s even wintertime maintenance on them! I also love Finland’s clean, safe, up-to-date public transit. To wit: the metro system in the greater Helsinki region was just extended.

My Finland Bike Path

Flickr JElliott Moving in Helsinki

J.Elliott on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is multilingual and international

For centuries, Finland was stuck in between and fought over by two larger powers. We were first a part of the Swedish realm, then Russia took over. There’s no denying that Finland is a small country, population-wise, and a small market. That doesn’t stop us from connecting; on the contrary.

Finland is officially bilingual (Finnish and Swedish), and the Sami languages, Karelian, Romani and Finnish sign language have been legally recognized as minority languages. Apart from the newer minority languages, there are also older communities speaking Russian and Tatar, for example. Today, pupils learn the basics of a minimum of three languages besides their native one before they leave elementary school.

My Finland Turku Railway Sta Newspapers

I also happen to LOVE the Finnish language. It’s an agglutinative one, which means we can build massive words like mustaviinimarjamehutiivistepullonkorkissanikin (‘also in the cap of my bottle of black currant juice concentrate’), typically spelled as one despite the length. Finnish also employs vowel harmony, which means that for instance the back vowel a cannot appear in the same word as the front vowel ä – but because of agglutination, we can build a compound where both do appear. For example, there’s a (theoretical) word with only one consonant and seven vowels: hääyöaie (‘intention on wedding night’ – can’t really see anyone ever using that in everyday life).

 

My Finland Reads

Finns love reading, whether it’s newsprint, websites or physical books. Or Donald Duck!

My Finland Kirjasto in Helsinki

Finnish Reading March 2017

Several Finnish authors have achieved international fame.

Moomin Butt from Complete Comic Strip #1

 

My Finland designs beautiful things

Modern Finnish design has made a name for itself. Brands like Marimekko or Iittala and names like Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen are known internationally. I’m partial to jugend (art nouveau / national romanticism) and wood.

My Finland Natl Romantic Architecture

 

My Finland is playful

Finns don’t do just high design, we also allow our humor to blossom – check out, for instance, the huge Posankka statue in Turku that is a hybrid between a marzipan pig and a rubber duck.

My Finland Posankka

We also love games and playing. Recent Finnish game franchise hits include Max Payne and Angry Birds. I sometimes wonder if the speculative genre Finnish weird might have arisen from our tendency to play around with ideas and color outside the lines. Not to mention to innovate!

 

My Finland invests in technology

Almost as long as there’s been an administrative unit called Finland, it’s been poor. Only after the World Wars did we really start trying to improve our lot, and by and large have succeeded. From Fiskars (which started as a forge in 1649) to Nokia and Linux, to mention but a few examples, for a tiny country we’re doing darn well.

Legendary Pinking Shears

Flickr Museovirasto JOKALS4Vaa01-3 Leipomo vuonna 1998

The ruisleipä line in a bakery in Kotka from 1998. Photo by Lauri Sorvoja / JOKA via Museovirasto (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

 

My Finland is unabashedly geeky and nerdy

Since reading is a big pasttime in Finland and since we love our technology, it’s probably no surprise that we have an active SF/F / larp / anime community. Thanks to the efforts of the Finnish fan community plus supporters all around the world, we hosted Worldcon 75 in Helsinki this past August.

Eppu at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki Aug 2017

 

My Finland Loves Music

From traditional to tango, from classical to heavy metal – even the combination of the two! – music is everywhere in Finland. I’m not a terribly big fan of classical music, but Jean Sibelius is special. Here’s a version of his Finlandia Hymn by Cantus Vocal Emsemble, with lyrics (I believe) from a Unitarian Universalist hymn book:

The Finlandia Hymn by cantussings

The Eurovision Song Contest is popular, and various folk styles are making a comeback.

Pernilla Karlsson – “När Jag Blundar” (Finland) via escDjpo2012

Ulla Pirttijärvi is one of my favorite Sami vocalists. I’ve also grown to like the combination of traditional yoiks and contemporary music quite a lot.

Ulla Pirttijärvi ~ Lullaby via FamilyOfLightMember

 

My Finland sauna bathes

Sauna is the only truly wide-spread Finnish word. We have sauna often, sometimes multiple times a week, and many people still make their own sauna whisks.

Sauna Whisks for Sale

 

My Finland cares

Finland is not perfect, but by and large we take care of each other. Finland’s women gained the right to vote first in Europe, in 1906. In the first elections where women were allowed to vote they were also allowed ro run for office; we elected 19 female members of parliament that year. We’ve already had one female President. (High time for another!)

My Finland Bunnies

This year we legalized same-sex marriage and are experimenting with universal basic income. There’s still plenty to do, for instance abolishing the mandatory sterilization of trans people, reversing the trend of cutting from the care of the disabled and the old, trying to reduce domestic abuse and making sure the social security nets already in place hold.

My Finland in the Sky

In my Finland, there’s space to be who you are.

“Stop saying Yes to shit you hate”

Inspiration, This Is Important, Thumbs Up

A little bit like Fanny Price in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, part of my adulthood has definitely involved un-learning the supposed “need” to accept unacceptable things and to learn to say No when needed. Jessica at Femme Fraîche puts it more succinctly:

Jessica Femme Fraiche Instagram Stop Saying Yes

Jessica at Femme Fraîche.

“Stop saying Yes to shit you hate.”

Hear, hear! While taking on projects that are a stretch can help you grow, shit you hate should be on a permanent No list. Don’t you agree?

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

 

 

“History Is a Whitewash”

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It’s a fact that the European / Greater Mediterranean history isn’t as white as western history textbooks and media make it. If you won’t listen to me, listen to Doctor Who played by Peter Capaldi:

Doctor Who Thin Ice Gif 1of3Doctor Who Thin Ice Gif 2of3Doctor Who Thin Ice Gif 3of3

Bill: “Regency England, a bit more black than they show in the movies.”

Doctor Who: “So is Jesus. History is a whitewash.”

Doctor Who‘s tenth season seems to be working hard to rescue the series from the preceding slump of mediocrity. This bit of deliciousness comes from the episode “Thin Ice” (s. 10, ep. 3), written by Sarah Dollard. Image via Ninon / amanitacaplan on Tumblr.

I may have to pick up Doctor Who again.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.