shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
I'm up early waiting for an a/c delivery due to arrive in fifteen or twenty minutes. So, passing time posting.

1. Found THIS interesting piece about a mysterious group that is slowly hacking its way through Brietbart's advertising base one tweet at a time. Thanks to conuly for the link.

I found it interesting in regards to the comments about free speech.

Read more... )

Another example of censorship... The banned 1910 Magazine that started a feminist movement in Japan.


She led the men through the large house and down the long corridor to the rooms that served as the magazine’s headquarters. The men looked around and spotted just a single copy of the magazine’s latest issue. They seized the publication and, as they were leaving, finally told the surprised young woman why they had come. This issue of Seitō had been banned, they told her, on the grounds that it was “disruptive of the public peace and order.”

The young women who had created the magazine less than a year before had known it would be controversial. It was created by women, to feature women’s writing to a female audience. In Japan in 1911, it was daring for a woman to put her name in print on anything besides a very pretty poem. The magazine’s name, Seitō, translated to “Bluestockings,” a nod to an unorthodox group of 18th-century English women who gathered to discuss politics and art, which was an extraordinary activity for their time.


Continuing on the thread of the First Amendment and Censorship...

Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment.

Sort of surprised me. We had more rights in college regarding expression in the 1980s. And a lot of discussion about it. The Author is John Villasenor - Nonresident Senior Fellow - Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation. Apparently college kids can now post research thesis on the internet.



The survey results establish with data what has been clear anecdotally to anyone who has been observing campus dynamics in recent years: Freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses. In fact, despite protestations to the contrary (often with statements like “we fully support the First Amendment, but…), freedom of expression is clearly not, in practice, available on many campuses, including many public campuses that have First Amendment obligations.

Before getting to the specifics of the results, it is helpful to include some brief reminders regarding the scope of the First Amendment in light of some key Supreme Court precedents. The First Amendment is very broad. There are, however, some exceptions. Under the 1969 Brandenburg v. Ohio
decision, speech that “is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action” is outside First Amendment protection. “True threats” are also unprotected (see the 1969 Watts v. United States
decision; see also the 2003
ruling in Virginia v. Black). There are other exceptions as well; for example, obscenity can fall outside the scope of First Amendment protection.[True, see the Most Dangerous Book.]


He goes into greater detail in the article.

And this is another example of infraction of Free Speech, where the news media is forced to support a governmental objective or regime...

Sinclair Broadcasting is forcing all 174 stations that they own across the country to air daily pro-Trump propaganda segments..

See this is why I ignore broadcast news, and only watch NY1 (Time Warner) or NY Times and check sources.

Good news? The a/c came. Bad news? Have to get super to install. Good news? Current A/C appears to be sort of working at the moment. Which made me question decision to get new one. Have decided to treat it as a gift. It's working until I install new one. And it's not really working -- only the fan, and it won't go below 75 degrees effectively.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:21 am
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Didn't know some of this...but proof of a gender bias in our culture that is slowly changing and may save lives:

Research is now being conducted for women and men, using female animals not just male animals, as it had been done previously -- yes, I know the fact it is being done on animals..is well, but that's another discussion.


A 2014 National Institutes of Health policy that requires scientists to begin using female lab animals takes full effect in January. All basic animal research must include females — or researchers must justify the exclusion. Bottom line: Use females or lose funding.

This is great news and long overdue.

"I'm really thrilled," says Teresa Woodruff, director of Northwestern University's Women's Health Research Institute, who lobbied for this policy change for years. "I think this is going to be a complete game-changer for science and medicine. If we can get a better understanding of how drugs work at the basic science level, on men and women, that's going to improve the medical pipeline for all of us."

You might think including female animals in research is common sense. But remember, until 1993, many researchers thought nothing of using male subjects almost exclusively in human clinical trials to test a broad array of treatments and drugs. No Girlzz Alowed. As if the physiology of men and of women were so similar as to be nearly indistinguishable.

"The truth of the matter is men and women are very different at the cellular level, at the molecular level, at the systemic level," Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute told The Washington Post.

Something you probably didn't know: "Every cell has a sex," Dr. Janine Clayton, director of the NIH's Office of Research on Women's Health, told The New York Times. "Each cell is either male or female, and that genetic difference results in different biochemical processes within those cells. ... If you don't know that and put all of the cells together, you're missing out, and you may also be misinterpreting your data."


I found out about this indirectly through someone attempting to sell me a hormone plan, based on a quick internet test. So I was skeptical and did research, and found the article above.

And the differences in how men and women's bodies handle nutrition, also how the economic, social and educational cultural bias to gender have a detrimental effect on overall health in various communities and areas:


Gender differences in social determinants of health and illness

Social factors, such as the degree to which women are excluded from schooling, or from participation in public life, affect their knowledge about health problems and how to prevent and treat them. The subordination of women by men, a phenomenon found in most countries, results in a distinction between roles of men and women and their separate assignment to domestic and public spheres. The degree of this subordination varies by country and geographical or cultural patterns within countries, however, in developing areas, it is most pronounced. In this section, the example of nutrition will demonstrate how gender has an important influence on the social determinants of food-consumption patterns and hence on health outcomes.

Several studies have shown the positive relationship among education of mothers, household autonomy, and the nutritional status of their children (6, 7). During the first 10 years of life, the energy and nutrient needs of girls and boys are the same. Yet, in some countries, especially in South Asia, men and boys often receive greater quantities of higher quality, nutritious food such as dairy products, because they will become the breadwinners (7–15). Das Gupta argued that depriving female children of food was an explicit strategy used by parents to achieve a small family size and desired composition (13). Studies from Latin America also found evidence of gender bias in food allocation in childhood (16–18) and, correspondingly, in healthcare allocation (19).

In developing countries, most studies show preferential food allocation to males over females. Nonetheless, some studies have found no sex differences in the nutritional status of girls and boys (20–22), and others have described differences only at certain times of the life-cycle. For example, research in rural Mexico found no nutritional differences between girls and boys in infancy or preschool, but school-going girls consumed less energy than boys. This was explained by the fact that girls are engaged in less physical activity as a result of culturally-prescribed sex roles rather than by sex bias in food allocation (23).

Studies from developing countries of gender differences in nutrition in adulthood argue that household power relations are closely linked to nutritional outcomes. In Zimbabwe, for example, when husbands had complete control over all decisions, women had significantly lower nutritional status than men (24). Similarly, female household heads had significantly better nutritional status, suggesting that decision-making power is strongly associated with access to and control over food resources. Access of women to cash-income was a positive determinant of their nutritional status. In rural Haiti, the differences in nutritional status for male and female caregivers were examined for children whose mothers were absent from home during the day. Those who were looked after by males, such as fathers, uncles, or older brothers, had poorer nutritional status than children who were cared for by females, such as grandmothers or sisters (25). Ethnographic research conducted by the authors revealed, however, that, while mothers told the interviewers that the father stayed home with the children, it is probable that the father was, in fact, absent most of the day working and that the children were cared for by the oldest child, sometimes as young as five years of age.

The involvement of both men and women in nutritional information and interventions is key to their successful implementation. Unfortunately, in most developing countries, women are selected for nutritional education because they are responsible for the preparation of meals. However, they often lack access to nutritional food because men generally make decisions about its production and purchase. Similarly, men may not provide nutritional food for their families because they have not received information about nutrition. The participation of both men and women is, therefore, fundamental to changing how decisions about food are made and food-consumption patterns and nutrition families (26). The study in rural Haiti referred to above also found positive outcomes through the formation of men's groups which received information on nutrition, health, and childcare. These men, in turn, were resources for education of the whole community (25).


Go HERE for The Study in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition

The good news is that biologists, nutritionists and scientists are slowly moving past gender bias and looking into both genders health issues. As opposed to looking at only one gender, or generalizing and thinking there is no difference between the two genders.

How we think about gender, how we view it, and how we deal with it -- these articles and others demonstrate has to change.

Also I need to change doctors. My current doctor doesn't see these differences and specializes in men's health. He's hurt me without knowing it. I had to figure stuff out for myself. From his perspective -- if I exercise and eat like a man, I'll be fine. Doesn't factor in perimenuopause, hormonal changes, etc. Nor does he appear to care. Time for a new doctor. Just have to find one.
It's harder to find doctors who take my health insurance in an urban area...then you'd think.
I'd actually be better off if I lived out in Long Island like my co-workers.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But honestly, I'm not sure I want to. It's harder to cut felt than I realized!

(Is "logo" the right word? Should I say "sigil" or "symbol" or "shield"?)

********************


The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

When growing their penises for the season, ducks bend to social pressure

The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Growing Up Neanderthal

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

Millions of new genes in human microbiome

Present-Day Devices as Props

These jellyfish don’t have brains, but still somehow seem to sleep

The mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds (Who'da thunkit?)

Gene editing of human embryos in UK reveals new fertility clue

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

Women Are Spending Years In Prison Because Wyoming Won’t Let Them Into Its All-Male Boot Camp

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Thousands gather to protest arrests over Catalonian vote

Spain to send extra police to try to halt Catalan referendum

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Washington Just Sued a Giant Private Prison Company for Paying Immigrant Workers $1 Per Day

These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War

In Battle Over Tax Cuts, It’s Republicans vs. Economists

174 Television Stations Are Being Forced To Air Trump Propaganda Disguised As News

Some forcibly arrested in St. Louis weren't protesting

'Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself' Is in Full Effect

How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (Wow. And yet, so not surprising....)

Too late, China and America see North Korea the same way

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:50 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Hmmm...update meme:

1. Doing: Spent the day dealing with vendors, which was well trying and a touch stressful. Good news? Accomplished all three tasks.

Read more... )

Then went for a long meditative walk and grocery shopping. Because all of that, well the a/c stuff, was insanely anxiety inducing, also frustrating. And it went okay, or as well as can be expected.

2. What I am Watching?

Vietnam War Documentary on PBS by Ken Burns. And I'm bored. It is interesting in places. But too much information. Brain overload. I need to watch this when I'm not gainfully employed, and writing three books at the same time in my head. Plus trying to figure other things out.

Did learn a few things...the French do not come out as very nice. Actually it's an indictment of the French, British and Americans. Apparently the French colonized Vietnam and enslaved the inhabitants, justifying it as civilizing them. The Vietnamese could have done without the French version of civilization and didn't need them, thank you very much. Ho Chi Mingh went to the Americans to help them get out from under French rule. And the Americans sort of helped, but got caught up in well the Cold War and their fear of Communism. He tried, in various letters to various Presidents, to inform them that he wasn't a communist and he just wanted a free state for Vietnamese. (If anything he was more of a nationalist.) But alas, the CIA with its own agenda, refused to pass the letters on to the Presidents. Things escalated, the US became paranoid of Communism and hence the Vietnam War. The American fear of Communism and European urge to colonize killed over a million people.

Depressing. And hard to watch. I knew some of it already. What I didn't know was what the French did.
Okay, not completely true, the French father of a family that I stayed with in the 1980s in Brittany, did tell me a lot of it. But he told me in French, so I got about half of it. He was stationed there and had been in the trenches.

What else?

The Expanse, Mozart in the Jungle, Wynonna Earp S2, and General Hospital. Also tried to watch The 100, but I think I'm going to give up on it and delete. I just don't care about any of the characters any longer. I've no clue why. I liked the first two seasons, but the third one lost me a bit with the whole Allie arc and oh the world is going to blow up, again. My least favorite sci-fi subgenre is nuclear war. I got burned out on it in the 1980s.

3. What am I reading?

At the moment, Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist --- which is her publication of the diaries she kept while filming the first Star Wars film - A New Hope. The first 45% of the book is prologue or set-up to the diaries. She's basically setting the stage, so you can figure out what she's talking about in the diaries. Because Fisher is more like I am in her journal writing...she writes about feelings, how she feels about things, what her thoughts are, and less about what she did or what happened. She's a reflective and introspective writer, not a...oh today we had lunch, and went to the doctor, and did this, and that, and had sex with our boyfriend. She also isn't into doing graphic sex scenes...so if you were hoping for Star Wars porn...it's not there. I'm liking the diaries more than I expected, much better than the introductory material.

However...she does in the introductory material state that she'd received closure with Ford, and he was kind. Which explains why they had no problem doing the next two films together, and were able to remain friends or at the very least friendly. Ford is not the most emotionally reflective of folks, which if you read any of his interviews you probably already knew. Nor much of a conversationalist. He's fairly monosyllabic. But he does tell her...in response to her statement that she's such a hick. "No, I think you are a lot more intelligent than you think you are...so an intelligent hick." Pause.
Then after a bit. "You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samaria (sp?)." Which she realized was out of character for him to say and incredibly kind. In the interview -- the only thing Ford was willing to state about Fisher and the book, was more or less the same thing ...that she was brilliant, kind, and amazingly brave and he was glad to have known her. And to his credit, he'd thought when they entered their affair that she was a lot more experienced than she was, for she came across that way. And they smoked so much pot that Fisher can't remember much of it, and really just has her diaries and vague memories to go on. She does wonder why she didn't go for Mark, who would have been far more suitable. (Honestly? I know why. I'd have jumped Ford over Hamil when I was 19. At 12 I preferred Luke, but I was more romantic and less sexual at that point. And I'm ten years younger than she was.)

Also read a lot of romance novels. Read more... )

I'm eclectic and insanely diverse reader. There is not a genre that I have not binge read or read at one time in my lifetime. I just can't remember half of the books that I read in it...the downside of binge reading, I suspect. I do have my favorite -- go to genre, which is sci-fantasy, mainly because unlike romance and mystery, it tends to combine the other genres within it, and I like world-building apparently. Or crave something a bit more complex and thematic, with lots of metaphors. I jump into sci-fantasy in between other books.

4. What I'm writing...

Besides multiple things for work, and blog posts...still plodding away on my sci-fi novel, the one about the resistance leader negotiating a peace settlement with the aliens she's been fighting for a decade. Doing a lot of world-building in the midst of the action. At the moment sort of stuck on a plot bunny. Read more... )

As always, my reach exceeds my grasp

Sep. 26th, 2017 01:18 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I spent an inordinate amount of time arduously sewing together a Batman logo - only to find at the end that I'd miscentered it!

Welp, it's for a pre-k student, I'm not redoing it. He'll neither notice nor care.

****************


Leather, Grown in a Lab Without Cows

These hermit crabs shack up inside living coral instead of mere shells

The Split Pants That Are China’s Alternative to Diapers

Children of today are better at delaying gratification than previous generations

A Brainless Slime That Shares Memories by Fusing

Hot chicken was the Prince family legacy — then Nashville transformed it into an icon, and now everybody wants a piece

Ultra-light aluminum: Chemists report breakthrough in material design

'Family Matters' House Will Be Demolished, Replaced With Condos

How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Why Did India Have Ten Million Fewer Childhood Deaths Than Predicted?

By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

Conversions From Islam in Europe and Beyond

Black, Jewish And Avoiding The Synagogue On The High Holy Days

Earthquakes are even harder to predict than we thought

Mexico City’s People Power

Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease

Why Wages Aren’t Growing

Governments turn tables by suing public records requesters

4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking

Trump's 'election integrity' group is waging war on the right to vote

Puerto Rico Puts Its Prisons Near Flood Zones. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of families await news. (Seriously, look at that map!)

Failing dam creates new crisis on Puerto Rico amid flooding from Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's power system is "basically destroyed", the US Virgin Islands are under a 24 hour curfew

Why Do Border Deaths Persist When the Number of Border Crossings Is Falling?

Border Patrol Arrests Parents While Infant Awaits Serious Operation

The Economic Costs of Domestic Violence

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte 'dictatorship'

For Decades, Nazis Have Been Germany's Shame. But Is That About To Change?

Southeast Asia's Rohingya Refugee Crisis Reaches a Terrible Peak (Photos)

I Have Discovered Fashion

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:28 pm
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.

Happy Birthday

Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:21 pm
debris4spike: (World Travel)
[personal profile] debris4spike
gryffindoridiot



More scraps? http://www.greetingsfromheart.com

I hope that you are having a lovely day ... and that it will be the beginning of a great year ahead xx

Pursuant to the last entry

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:20 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hope Not Hate have an excellent blog post explaining who they are and why they're going international.

We are coming to the United States because we have to. In our increasingly interconnected world, what happens here impacts on Europe. What happens in Europe has an impact on what happens in the United States.

Last year Britain voted to leave the European Union (commonly known as Brexit). This would not have been possible without the intervention of Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica. Likewise, Brexit gave Donald Trump a huge boast and convinced him and his supporters that anything was possible.

One of the main protagonists behind the Hillary Clinton conspiracy stories was Paul Joseph Watson, a 32-year-old man who lives in a flat in London. More recently, the ship charted by far right activists from across Europe in the Mediterranean was funded primarily by Americans.


From last year -- here's a Guardian piece on a Hope Not Hate workshop:

The Guardian: What does Hope not Hate actually do?

In November, I went to a Hope not Hate event at a mosque in Cardiff – a three-hour workshop on how to challenge and discuss anti-migrant and prejudiced sentiments. It drew a crowd of around 20, one or two of them local muslims and a few with migrant backgrounds, but the majority were white Welsh, many of whom had not previously been in a mosque. The organiser, Jonathan, began the session by asking what had prompted people to attend. Many described feeling worried, frustrated and in need of a toolkit for discussing race and immigration with family, friends and colleagues.

Their undercover reporter [twitter.com profile] patrik_h -- looks like a cinnamon roll, will secretly infiltrate your international white supremacist network:

https://twitter.com/patrik_h/status/910245564780081152

Dagens Nyheter: The Swede who infiltrated American Nazis

”He offered me to speak at the opening about my thesis topic: how the left has infiltrated the right. I spoke in front of 75 armed white supremacists.”

The Local.se: Meet the Swede who went undercover for a whole year with the alt-right in the US and UK

Of course, then I was scared. I mean, there was this combination of a group of young men with guns and a violent ideology. That's not a great combination.
[personal profile] wingedbeast
Since Trump was elected, we've heard a number of explanations for the confounding question of how he got elected. Most of these explanations, at least the ones I've seen, have operated on an unstated assumption.

Conservatives elected Donald Trump because liberals called them racist!... for voting for Donald Trump. Or because liberals didn't respect them. Or because liberals wouldn't date them... Yeah, that's one of the reasons.

In short, we liberals weren't nice enough to conservatives or Republicans, thus forcing a portion of them to elect Donald Trump their nominee and the rest to hold their nose and vote for Trump. If only we were nicer.

I want to explore a few options that make a contradictory assumption. Let's look at the history of what got us here with the assumption that conservatives are responsible for their own choices. (If you need to take a moment to wrap your mind around that, I understand. Apparently, it just never occurs to some people.)

So, let's go through a bit of history and find out some of the reasons.
Read more... )
redsixwing: Red-winged angel staring at a distant star. (Default)
[personal profile] redsixwing
Cut for pic. )

Bonus Muffin shows off her harness from the cat stand:

Pale cat in red harness

Thread

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:01 pm
elisi: (OMG!!!)
[personal profile] elisi
Originally posted by [profile] xkcd_rss at Thread
maia: (Default)
[personal profile] maia
Happy Bilbo's and Frodo's Birthday, and Happy Equinox!!!

Keats' "To Autumn"

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:39 pm
maia: (Bumblebee and Asters)
[personal profile] maia
A collage I made in 2015, with 9 photos of bees that I took in August, September, and October between 2008 and 2015, and a quote from Keats’ “To Autumn”.




Full size )

Flowers, from left to right and top to bottom: tomato, sunflower, goldenrod, bachelor's button, buckwheat, jewelweed, goldenrod, radish, aster.

*
selenak: (Schreiben by Poisoninjest)
[personal profile] selenak
Back when I marathon-read Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, I saw he's also authored a lot of novels for children, and had a new one coming out this month, a standalone called Frederick the Great Detective, which, however, mysteriously seems to be available in German before it is in English. (Mysterious because Kerr's Scottish and writes in English, and the novel, which got released today, is indeed translated from the English original, I checked the imprint.) Anyway, the novel has a very similar premise to a movie I saw at last year's Munich Film Festival, Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday - the review I wrote about the film is here: boy falls in love with Emil and the Detectives, befriends its author, Erich Kästner, in the twilight of the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich ensues, boy tries to maintain ideals of novel versus increasingly awful reality. Having read the novel now, I can add a further parallel: both Friedrich in Frederick the Great Detective and Hans in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday have an older sibling who is enthusastically joining the Nazi cause. My original suspicion as to why Kerr picked a fictional main character instead of Hans, who actually existed and did befriend Erich Kästner, was because Hans' fate was sealed by history, and that Kerr wanted a better fate for his young hero. Spoilers ensue. )However, by that point, I had already guessed various other reasons why Kerr chose a fictional over a fictionalized "real" main character, and the differences to Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday are instructive here.

For starters, there's the difference in focus: Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday is, as far as Hans is concerned, a coming of age story - he goes from child to teenager and young man in the course of the story - and has Erich Kästner as the other lead, whose perspective through the movie is even the slightly favored one. Frederick the Great Detective, by contrast, has Kästner only as a supporting character, aside from a prologue and an epilogue ends in late 1933/early 1934, and is above all a homage to Kästner's novel in structure, focusing on Friedrich and his same-age friends, who play detectives until it gets lethally dangerous. (The adults, whether benevolent or malignant or in between, are seen from the outside, the point of view is Friedrich's throughout.) For, befitting the author of the Gunther mysteries, there are actually cases to solve. (Though as opposed to Bernie, young Friedrich - who wants to become a detective through much of the novel - gets the point that you can't be a detective in a system where the criminals have taken over when Kästner desperately tells him just this.)

Indeed, while reading I wondered whether the basic idea for the novel might not have been a wish to write a sequel to Emil which tackles how Emil & Co. would act when the Third Reich starts, because Friedrich's gang with its twins has some similarities. Then again, Friedrich has a distinctly different background to Emil (or Hans Löhr) - no working class single parent mother, instead, middle class parents with his father a journalist and friend of Kästner's, which is the original connection, which allows Kerr to depict the way the press lost its freedom within a year. It also allows Kerr to let Friedrich and his parents vacation on Rügen where Friedrich meets Christopher Isherwood and Isherwood's boyfriend Heinz on the beach. (Leading to a charming scene where Friedrich manages to solve his very first case by finding Isherwood's lost watch.) Kerr provides quite a lot of real life characters making cameos throughout the novel - Billy Wilder (during the premiere of the "Emil and the Detectives" movie version which he scripted), Max Liebermann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Walter Trier etc. - but the Isherwood cameo was for me the most vivid of these. (And I'm not surprised, having come across an interview where Kerr says bascially Berlin for him as a reader, before he got there, was invented by two British writers, Christopher Isherwood and John Le Carré.)

Kästner himself lis of course the real life character with the most page time, but he feels more like a generic version of Kästner's author persona than an actual attempt at depiction of the man. (As opposed to the Kästner in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday.) Meaning: he's a benevolent adult the way, say, Justus the Teacher in "Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer" is, with no hint of any inner conflicts, and Kerr slims down the biographical and authorial data about him to "wrote Emil and the Detective, also works as a journalist"; in this book, there are no mentions of either Kästner's other books for children or his adult novel, Fabian (the one who got burned by the Nazis at the 1933 book burning), nor of his sharp political poetry (which in Germany he was and is almost as well known for as for his prose). (Hence ahistorically Emil ends up as the burned book, when in rl Emil and the Detectives was so popular that it got published, as the only one of Kästner's works, within Germany until 1936. Then it was for the axe as well.) The one biographical background fact about Kästner mentioned in conversation by Friedrich's father is in fact a wrong one, or rather, a wrong assumption, that Kästner's mother, like Emil's, raised her son alone. In rl, not only was Kästner's father around and in contact with his son, but he outlived Kästner's mother. There is, however, a reason why I didn't mind this particular wrong statement, which is: Kästner kept his father and his relationship with him very low key as long as his mother was still alive, while his relationship with his mother was intense and very public, so a colleague from work like Friedrich's father could be forgiven for assuming the guy was either dead or had left the family. ( If you've read Kästner's autobiographical writings, one of the most memorable childhood scenes which makes you cringe in sympathy is his parents' christmas competition about him, when his father, a craftsman, proudly presented presents he made with his own hand while his mother spent all her money on presents, and both parents would regard whichever present their son showed any favour to as proof whom he loved more or a rejection respectively. And thus it went on for as long as Kästner's mother lived.)

What the novel does really well, though, is presenting a group of children responding to their world changing radically, and Friedrich as a likeable child hero who ends up rejecting the demagogery, scapegoating and promise of glory that lures his older brother in because he sees how both people he knows and strangers are abused in its name. Again, in an homage to Kästner's novel which has a memorable dream sequence, Friedrich's ongoing crisis of conscience and wonder how to avoid becoming a Nazi himself climaxes in a surreal dream where the various things he has experienced come together. The lesson he draws from this is simple and profound at the same time, very Kästnerian and indeed great advice in current day circumstances as well, to the question as ow to act: Be kind. Being kind and you can't become what you fear and hate. Be kind.

Mind you, the 1945 prologue and epilogue does spoilery things ) But all in all, Frederick the Great Detective is still a very readable children's novel set in a dark time which also manages to pay homage to a classic while being its own thing.

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