The previous two years

Photographed by Stephen Elder

I’ve withdrawn from WordPress since the spring of 2019. Strangely enough, it wasn’t due to our beloved Covid-19 and all of its varieties. Instead issues closer to home struck.

Getting a handle on what goes on inside of me can be difficult. When long-term crises arrive, one after the other, a state of confusion takes over. Interpreting and analyzing what goes on in my immediate vicinity becomes all I can bear to do. Actions are delayed because so much energy goes into handling all of these crises.

I miss being able to blog.


While this post originally began its journey as one about humour, it soon changed my focus into one of equality. Hannah Gadsby‘s breakfast speech regarding who should have the right to define the “good …” caught my attention and I started digging around and found out that YouTube’s search engine prefers white comedians, in particular white male comedians. June Mills’ (Australian comedian) interview turned my mind completely away from comedy and humour.

Norway’s own history with regards to our minorities is terrible. I am not counting the new minorities (from 1970’s and on). Their lot is at least covered by law. Instead, I looked into the ones who have been here a long time. Our minorities consist of three groups of Sámi: the Sápmi, Sábme, and Saepmie. Along with the Sámi (40,000) we have (in no particular order) the Kven (about 10-60,000), Jews (1,000), Romani (10000), Forest Finns and Roma (5-600) people.

Since the information I found was incredibly plentiful I’ll have to write about them over, at least, the next three posts.


Privacy – possible?

This past year I have finally become more privacy conscious about my personal information. Ever since pin codes became a thing, I have tried to be good about what kind of passwords and codes I use. However, I haven’t been quite as good when it comes to other areas. Birth date and real name were two things I thought I had to be open about. Of course, there are times when sharing that information appropriate, but not on social media or with the keepers of all information.

Two corporations that annoy the hell out of me, and that I am dropping out of my life, are Google and Microsoft. It turns out nothing of what I have deleted is actually gone. Microsoft keeps all of my mails in case I want to revival them. Google is no better when it comes to privacy issues.

As a result of my experiences, and educating myself about privacy, I (and my better half) have been insistent on avoiding “smart” functions as much as possible. Amazon’s has many privacy issues and one of those is their app “Ring”. The investigative journalists on Point recently released the following video about Amazon’s Video Doorbell. Tsk, tsk Amazon!

Leslé Honoré: We don’t report (2018)

We don’t report
Because you ask us what we wore
Were we drinking
Did we say no
We don’t report
Because husbands can’t rape
Because my mama would break
She would never forgive herself
For letting him in our home
And I want to protect my mama
The best way a 7 year old can
We don’t report
Because no one ever told me
What consent was
What my value is
That I can say no
We don’t report
Because long before my abuser
Groomed me
Society groomed me
Patriarchy groomed me
That I am worthless
I can’t even get paid equally
So I am not protected equally
When a man reports his priest
For raping him decades ago
He is heroic
When I report my rapist
To try and protect my nation
I am a whore
A liar
A con
A democratic plant
Because upstanding
Educated white men
Don’t rape
They don’t grab pussies
We don’t report
Because we know
You don’t care
And every time we
find the courage
That is deep within us
Past the shadows of our screams
Past the tattoos of hands that aren’t
Our own
Past the shame and pain
We push down
To try and love
Past the tears no one heard
Past the uncles at family BBQ’s that
We are supposed to forgive
Past the R Kelly’s songs on the radio
Woody Allen films
Or sacrificing my dignity
For what Cosby did for the culture
We push out our courage
Through all of the darkness
And hold it
Like a newborn in our hands
And then you murder it
Because we didn’t birth it sooner
And with the blood of our dead hope
Covering us
You scream in our faces

~Leslé Honoré


Dyslexia takes time

I have a child who is both dyslexic and dyspraxic and she may or may not have dyscalculia. Dyslexia is a learning disorder related to reading and writing. I have a previous post about it. There are three degrees of dyslexia: mild/moderate, severe and profound. My daughter has severe dyslexia. Her vocabulary and use of it is excellent. Her writing and reading, not so much. Spelling and grammar programs have been essential for her schoolwork, and audio books and youtube videos have helped her understand topics her teachers (or I) could/can not explain well enough.

Many dyslexics also have dyspraxia. Both disorders are inherited from my side of the family. She was diagnosed in England at a time when dyspraxia was not an accepted diagnosis in Norway. All of the symptoms and experiences described below have been part of her life. As with dyslexia, dyspraxia is life-long. Certain aspects can improve with a lot of work. Essentially, one has to prioritize which aspects matter in the long run.

When it comes to dyscalculia we might have our suspicions. I’m not sure how well she would have done at school without my tutoring. Probably much worse. Interestingly enough these disorders do not indicate intelligence. Generally people who struggle with one or all of them range from average to highly intelligent. If you need understand the world through IQ test lenses, you will have problem with dys-cal/lex/praxic people.

In spite of her disabilities she is currently (2018/2019) taking a business masters at a university in England. At the beginning of the school year she had to take another test to determine the severity of her adult dyslexia and dyspraxia. As the person testing her concluded the report said: “…. is to be congratulated on her achievements to date.”

Open access journals

There are 1978 research articles that have been published by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) available, free of cost, at PubMed Central (PMC). Titles include everything from the 2018 article “Seasonal energy exchange in sea ice retreat regions contributes to differences in projected Arctic warming” to the 1965 article “Nature of Particles Involved in Lipid Synthesis in Yeast“. For English-reading scientifically inclined minds this should be a treasure trove. 

NASA is not alone in making such a contribution to Open Access. The European Union, by way of its ministers of Science, Innovation, Trade, and Industry, realized that the only way to aid future discoveries was by making previous research accessible to researchers of all kinds. Hiding data behind paywalls* can become expensive and difficult for cross-field researchers who need to go outside their specialized fields. Their solution was to create Horizon 2020, an open access site for scientific articles. 

Scientific Research, Open Access Journals, The Royal Society and the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (SPEP) are some of the other available open access sites. While Elsevier have plenty of paywall journals they also list a number of open access journals. Some of them are non-English ones. Unlike Google Scholar, Google Dataset Search-engine (GDS) links solely to open access articles. I sampled it, and it seemed to do what it promised, but it is difficult for me to say whether GDS did its intended job.

I am a fan of education, good education, that leaves us more knowledgeable about a topic rather than mired in  old prejudices and attitudes. Before the need for more accessible articles became loud enough to be heard, the general public had a difficult time finding anything solid to base their opinions on. Now we no longer have that excuse.

*While I no longer pay to read the article, the authors (or institution behind them) pay to have them made open access. 


It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we cannot be manipulated. That people who are taken in by cults are gullible or stupid. However, all of us are manipulated each and every day of our lives. Conditioning begins the moment we are born into a certain culture, a certain family, a certain language. Businesses thrive on how simple it is to get us to buy things. Usually things we do not need. Even if we are starving, we might choose to pay for “not food”. This video by Theramin Trees is an excellent introduction to the idea that EVEN YOU might be manipulated. 

Who were The Computers?

Socializing over lunch. From left to right, Barbara Paulson, Vickie Wang and Helen Ling. (Credit: JPL)
I have found truth to be malleable in the hands of historians. Writing people out of history or rewriting history so important people are deleted or even replaced with preferred characters seems not uncommon. While some people might have heard of the first programmer ever (Lady Ada Lovelace), the names of the six females who started modern US programming were conveniently hidden from the public. So were their images. In fact, the idea that they were models posing in front of the ENIAC was encouraged. Not until Kathleen Kleiman went searching for female role-models in computer programming did the world get to hear about these six “Computers”: Kay McNulty, Jean Jennings, Betty Snyder, Marlyn Meltzer, Fran Bilas, and Ruth Lichterman.
Any person who differed from the idea of a white male persona were hidden from public mention and public viewing. Many “Computers” who were part of launching NASA’s manned rockets flights, were denied recognition.
The US were far from alone in this regards. British, names like Kathleen Booth or Stephanie Shirley, have probably not been heard of.
It is important that we realize that information will be kept from the public if it suits the purposes of the majority within any field or in any country.

Being human

How do you people stay sane?

When you walk down a street in your hometown or city, or along a corridor on whatever station you visit, how do you stay sane when you see a fellow sentient being who is homeless and hungry, and in need of sanitation and fresh clothes, food and a warm bed, things that you get to enjoy? How do you stay sane when you hear about your neighbor having lost their job, and they’re mired in debt, unable to pay their bills, when you have plenty to spare? How do you stay sane whenever you see an injured stray dog who needs a trip to the nearest vet, with no owner in sight and no one else but you aware of his pain and his plight?

How, meioa, do you and your viewers stay sane when there are so many things you can do to make this universe a better place, day by day, step by step, kindness by kindness, instead of just sitting there complaining about its awful state? How can you and your viewers stay sane whenever you stay silent on matters of social injustice, oppression, and bigotry?

Johnson, J. (2014). Damnation. Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (p. 318-319).