Bean Zine, Jr.

Bean Zine #2 cover

All I use this blog for now is bean zines and I feel great about it. Please enjoy the Bean Zine Issue #2 printable PDF , containing 2 bean dreams, 3 bean recipes, and 2 bean postcards! (PDF is postcard-free.)

A bean, a dream, a zine: Bean Zine!

Bean Zine #1 cover

Talk to me if you want one of these, or print your own from this Bean Zine Issue #1 printable PDF

Issue #1 contains 2 bean dreams, 3 bean recipes, and 2 bean postcards! (No postcards in that PDF, sorry.)

On taste.

When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow and exclude people. so create.

— Why the Lucky Stiff

Queer Halloween Movies

For Halloween I collected some (mostly) old horror movies with queer characters, filmmakers, or themes. I tried to dig past all the sexploitation movies about lesbian vampires to find things I actually want to watch. I hunted hard, but this list is all white people :(

The Old Dark House (1932)

Old Dark House

A parody of haunted house movies, from 1932! Directed by James Whale, who has to be Hollywood’s first out gay director. There are multiple gay and lesbian characters, and lists it as a possible inspiration for Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Bride of Frankenstein

A classic, again directed by James Whale. This one is mostly about camp sensibilities, although people talk about the rumoured queerness of two of the actors and the perhaps pansexual attitudes of the monster.

Dracula’s Daughter (1936)

Dracula's Daughter

The screen’s first lesbian vampire. Ms. Dracula is drawn to young women and tries to get a big strong psychiatrist to cure her. That subtext is almost text. The tag line was “she gives you that weird feeling!”

The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited (1944)

A spooky haunted house story with subtle lesbian subtext. Martin Scorsese and Guillermo del Toro both said it was scary, though!

The Haunting (1963)

The Haunting

Classic haunted house movie featuring a lesbian character, based on a novel by Shirley Jackson. Appears on all kinds of “best of” lists.

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

Let's Scare Jessica to Death

A subdued cult favourite about struggling with insanity on a New England hippie farm, featuring a queer woman who might be a vampire.

Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde (1971)

Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde

What if Dr Jekyll’s alter ego was a woman? I haven’t seen this and it seems highly likely that it is a transphobic, misogynist trainwreck, but I am curious.

The Hunger (1983)

The Hunger

Ridiculous vampire movie featuring real life bisexual David Bowie, a lot of blowing curtains, and sex scenes between Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve.

Poison (1991)

Poison (1991)

Art-horror movie with three intercut plots, one of which involves gay love in prison, and another where a mad scientist causes an AIDS-like STD epidemic.

Brand Upon The Brain! (2006)

Brand Upon the Brain!

This isn’t quite a horror movie, but it is set in an isolated family-run orphanage that harvests brain nectar from children. A brother and a sister both fall for the same girl in boy drag.

And a few lesploitation options…

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Vampyros Lesbos

Girl Slaves of Morgana Le Fay (1971)


Daughters of Darkness (1971)

Corporate open schools, hiring processes, ponderings.

How Etsy Grew their Number of Female Engineers by Almost 500% in One Year.

Mark Hedlund, Etsy’s VP of Engineering, launched "Etsy Hacker Grants" to provide needs-based scholarships to talented women engineers enrolling in Hacker School (a three-month hands-on course designed to teach people how to become better engineers). A number of studies, like one from CMU, have shown that people perform better in math and sciences if fifty percent of the participants are women, so gender distribution was a key metric in future Hacker School classes.

Etsy ran this program in the Summer and Fall of 2012 and watched the number of applications skyrocket each time. And in the summer of 2012, women ended up making up over half of the Hacker School class! For Etsy, the process was objectively worth the investment. If you figure that there’s normally a $20,000 placement fee, Etsy was able to hire eight candidates. You do the math.

Between this and the world of Udacity and MOOCs, I wonder how many tech companies will end up running their own schools as a way of hiring engineers. If funding classes is cheaper and more effective than traditional candidate searches, I wonder if other industries could use this too. It doesn’t sound like this Etsy Hacker School needed to automate grading to work, either, which gets brought up as the limiting factor for what subjects can be offered by online mega-courses.

How great would it be if profitable companies found it worthwhile to subsidize anti-oppression crash courses or indigenous community skill shares as a way of hiring staff? Not a rhetorical question! Would it be great?

For Derrick: "The source of the exhilaration is the explosion of perception."

So I am reading MIT’s first year computer science textbook from the early 80s and the foreword is by Alan Perlis, the first recipient of the Turing Award. It is full of the kind of thing I am thinking about when I wonder if computer programmers have always had a quasi-poetic streak.

Every computer program is a model, hatched in the mind, of a real or mental process. These processes, arising from human experience and thought, are huge in number, intricate in detail, and at any time only partially understood. They are modeled to our permanent satisfaction rarely by our computer programs. Thus even though our programs are carefullly handcrafted discrete collections of symbols, mosaics of interlocking functions, they continually evolve: we change them as our perception of the model deepens, enlarges, generalizes until the model ultimately attains a metastable place within still another model with which we struggle. The source of the exhilaration associated with computer programming is the continual unfolding within the mind and on the computer of mechanisms expressed as programs and the explosion of perception they generate. If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs


Wheelbarrow love.

Plasma cut steel wheelbarrow by Cal Lane.


Relationships all the way down

I really like Bharat’s thoughtful post about talking to his morning bus driver about climate change.

So, as someone who thinks climate change is a serious issue, is it not my responsibility to jump into this debate? Here’s an otherwise stand-up guy who appears to be very misinformed and misled on basic climate change facts, good opportunity to change minds, right?

I am not so sure.

He points to research showing that “more science” doesn’t cure climate skepticism, and proposes that the hard work of building trust is more effective than sharing the best facts. B, I’m so curious to hear how that goes on your bus rides.

This relates to a theme I have been pondering in many areas, which is that change doesn’t happen when we have the best arguments; change happens when we build positive relationships. Simple idea, endlessly challenging.

Here is someone talking about the pointlessness of having logical debates about queer rights in faith communities and other religious issues.

Every poll and every wise observer points out that gay-affirming folks have not been winning on account of superior arguments, whether arguments from the Bible or theology or science. They aren’t winning on account of their superior debating skills. They’re winning by being present and visible in faith communities: by coming out in ways that clergy and congregations can’t ignore. Gay people are winning because straight people who love and respect them are coming out right along with them.

The classic instance is the faithful older church woman—a devoted and beloved member of the community—who, at just the right moment in a congregational meeting, stands up and says, “Well, friends, I guess we can argue about all of this until the cows come home. All I know is that ________, my ________, is as dear a child of God as I will ever hope to be.” She then goes on to tell the story of she found out about ________, how they stayed close, and how her heart was changed. Bingo. Are we ready for the vote?

And if you squint, I think this example is related too. Here is someone observing that designers are dismissive about the time they put into building relationships with their clients.

While they see client meetings are important, many designers don’t see them as integral to the craft and discipline of interaction design. For them, the “real work” of interaction design is the work of creation… So, despite the unavoidable necessity of communicating with clients, designers don’t seem to talk much about hand waving as a part of interaction design as a profession.

However, with more than 100 hours of project work analyzed through video and audio, I’d say that successful hand waving looks more and more like an important and hard-won accomplishment.

I think relationship work gets dismissed in a lot of areas, while ideas and intellectual work get called “real”. When people talk about unpaid work, it is often focussed on the massive unpaid caregiving labour that women and girls do. I wonder what it would mean to also account for the dismissed relationship-building work that supports other work?


There’s more.