An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Q&A: Get to Know Your Local Twitch Streamer (yes, me!)

Filed under: General,Twitch — feyMorgaina @ 08:28

Q: When did you start streaming and why?

A: My first stream was on December 11, 2019, the same day I signed up on Twitch. It was a short test stream from my PlayStation 4.

The PlayStation 4 always had this “Broadcast” feature. At the time I first got the PlayStation 4, I had other in real life pursuits (if you’ve been on my blog since those days, you’ll know that was taekwondo. I’d still like to get back to taekwondo, but we’ll see). By December 2019, however, I had moved to a different country (big life change, I know, but one I very much looked forward to) and after spending just over two years mostly at home studying Dutch (yes, I moved to the Netherlands), I felt ready to try something different. I’ve been on the internet for years (pre-Facebook and pre-MySpace) and have always been interested in and willing to try new forms of social media. Broadcasting (a.k.a. “streaming”) was different and I felt it was time to try something a bit more interactive (albeit, more public too) than just blogging, Tweeting, using mobile apps, and whatever else I used in the past (I had stopped using Facebook by this time, though I’ve started using it again mostly to help promote my Twitch channel).

There I was one day just taking a break from studying so much. From about a year before moving and for two years after moving, I barely touched the PS4. I needed a break and there were games I had on the backlog (I still have a backlog 🙂 ) and there was that “Broadcast” feature still staring at me. I set up my Twitch account that day and once I figured out how to link the PlayStation to my Twitch channel, I did a short test stream. It was for about half an hour. The stream was never saved though (I didn’t know I needed to turn that option on) and which game I first streamed will for now remain a mystery for my Twitch viewers (although you can find the stats online for that stream, it streamed to the wrong category accidentally – it’s a PlayStation 4 thing).

Q: Why did you continue to stream?

A: It’s like what it says on the About… part of my Twitch channel. “Watch me do the things I love and more”, but also “Streaming is sharing; ‘sharing is caring'”. This is just who I am, I like to share the things I like and love. It’s like that when I go out to eat dinner with people. I want to order them the food I like and love ’cause I want to share it. Although, there’s also this perspective: if the person doesn’t like the same food, that’s fine with me too. That just means there’s more of the stuff I love just for me. 😉

I also figured Twitch’s interactive chatting could be a great way for me to practice Dutch (and other languages). Again, if you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while now, you’d know I’ve been learning Dutch for a while since before I moved to the Netherlands. After about a month or so on Twitch, I checked and found out there was a Duolingo category. I’ve been wanting to make language learning videos for a while now, but I didn’t want to just make YouTube videos. Recording myself practicing speaking Dutch is a good way for me to judge how I’m doing and I could just do that by recording videos and uploading to YouTube, however, the big appeal for me about doing a Twitch stream is the interactive chatting for the languages. My chat is a multilingual chat even if some days my brain goes on cooldown and I can’t even Engl-ish. 😀

Of course, I like to meet people on Twitch. Twitch is social media, and that’s what I like about social media. I’ve met some good people on there already. If I really feel a rapport with some people, it’d be nice to meet them in real life. Maybe even have a gaming night where we can sit, chill, be ourselves (not our Twitch selves, I mean), and have fun (maybe even practice talking in different languages too).

Q: Twitch is a monetization platform. Aren’t you also trying to make money on there?

A: I think everyone would love to make money just doing the things they like and love. So, sure. Of course, I’m trying to make some money on Twitch as well, but it’s not my biggest motivating factor for streaming on Twitch. I just like getting on Twitch and feeling like maybe I’m making a small difference somehow. Maybe someone sees me on there when they’re having a bad day and it makes them feel better. Or maybe just knowing that there’s always something to watch will make someone feel better about life. Who knows? All I know is the not knowing who I’ll meet on Twitch is what keeps me going.

I guess that’s easy for me to say. I’m at a point in my life where not everything is great but things feel relatively stable although my residence situation isn’t permanent and I no longer have fuzzy-headed “meownsters” (a.k.a. cats) running around (they both died after we moved here; and yes, I brought my cats with me when I moved – I’d never leave them behind). As I mentioned earlier, I would love to get back to taekwondo again and I did do some taekwondo training streams on Twitch. Sadly, I need a bigger living space than I currently have or I need to rent space or buy some other space I could use. Nate, my boyfriend and common-law partner, has been very supportive of my die-hard “work to live” not “live to work” personality. In the past, I worked to make ends meet and tried to “live to work”. It wasn’t a great life, although I was trying my best. I even had a job as a law clerk which I loved but circumstances out of my control and my boss’ control changed that. I felt like life was really trying to tell me something. I was doing things wrong. Not that it’s wrong for people to work. It was wrong for me – that whole “rat race”. This was about the time I met Nate. After that, he supported my decision (in fact, he encouraged it) to just focus on my taekwondo training. Without his help, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to continue with the training because of the training fees. Now I’m on Twitch and it feels natural to me (the sharing part, I mean, I don’t think I’m the most entertaining or interactive person on Twitch – I’m more of a “get things done” person than “super chatty all the time” person) like I should’ve been doing something like this all along. It would eventually be nice to make some money on there so I could contribute to the living expenses Nate and I have. Although with Nate, I know this isn’t necessary, it’s just how I feel about it.

Q: You mentioned games (it’s Twitch, so obviously), languages, and taekwondo. What else do you stream on Twitch? And do you have plans for other content?

A: I’ve also done a few cooking streams. I’ve been a bit busy looking for a new home to move to, but when I get a chance to I’ll try to do another cooking stream sometime. Before the coronavirus lockdowns happened, I intended to do streams outside in the city. I moved to Amsterdam and it really is a great city. It’s one of my cities now. 😀 I’m originally from Toronto, Canada and I’ve been to New York City before which just felt like a bigger version of Toronto so I felt at home there in a way. Amsterdam is a bit different than both, but in a way I like and need – needed. I love this city so far. So it’s one of my cities – those cities being Toronto, Amsterdam, and New York City. Don’t mess with any of my cities. I’ll send my NinjaBots after you. (Just jokes from my Twitch channel.) Anyway, yes. I plan to do streams out in the city. I’m not sure how that’s going to work. We’ll see. I’m just not confident we’re not heading into The Corona Years – Year 3.

Q: What’s your streaming philosophy? How do you view Twitch as a social media platform?

A: This is what I said on my Twitter: “A Twitch stream is the equivalent of an open house party in real life where the channel is the streamer’s Twitch home. As streamers, we need to remember that like an open house party, the streams are public and we should conduct ourselves accordingly. (1/2)” ( “(2/2) Viewers should also remember that when visiting someone’s Twitch channel (home), you should obey the rules of that channel and always keep in mind that you may be removed from the premises (timed out) and deemed persona non grata (banned)!” ( That basically sums up how I view Twitch. I also keep that in mind when I visit other Twitch channels.

As for my streaming philosophy, it’s always been simple. I’m awake, I’m dressed, I’m doing something interesting (well, interesting to me) that I want to share, let’s turn on the mic and camera. Though at first for the games, I didn’t really want to use a camera (Nate convinced me to try it) and sometimes I still don’t use a camera. I have days when I’m tired and feeling lazy, but I still want to hammer through more of a game. It’s just much easier for me to concentrate on the game if I’m relaxed and not worried about how I look on camera. In keeping with that philosophy of being “awake and dressed, let’s turn on the mic and camera”, it also means that I like to be able to stream from wherever whenever. I stream from a variety of devices/machines including my mobile phone, Chromebook, the PS4, and the PS5. I feel that if I rely only on my one laptop or that one PC tower to stream, then I’m going to have days where I’m not going to stream ’cause I have to go set up on that laptop or PC tower.

Q: Is that why your streams look… simple?

A: If you mean that I don’t have tons of overlays and sound alerts and such… yes, that is why. I like the simple layout and simple setup. For my language streams, it was starting to take a half hour to get set up. It really cuts into the productive time and not necessarily worth it (in my opinion). My streams are about me and the content. Anything else is just distraction, and I want my viewers to watch the content I’m putting out. The content I’m sharing is stuff I like and want to share and it’s part of who I am. For those paying attention and those who are perceptive, they’ll see that that’s me on there (with or without the camera and mic on – I mostly have the mic on, but late at night I might not) and hopefully they can appreciate that. Plus, I think there’s room on Twitch for just being yourself. No gimmicks. Just me and whatever I happen to be doing. When I’m streaming, I’m sharing part of my life. It’s real not made up. I am who I am.

This is also why I don’t use any special filters on my mic. I have a pop filter attached to the mic, that’s it. I like my streams sounding full of life, even if it means those loud European sirens (they are seriously loud, tons louder than in Toronto) and motorists with loud engines are heard on stream (though I have on occasion just muted the mic temporarily). Also, if I stream from my phone while outside I can’t do much about filtering the sound. It’s going to sound much different than if I was at home with special filters on. For some kind of consistency, I figure let’s just leave it alone. Like I said, I’m sharing my life, loud sirens and loud engines included. 😀

Q: Do you have issues with privacy? How are you handling that?

A: feyMorgaina is my internet personality and has been for years. Sure, I have my private moments. Things I feel don’t need to be shared onstream or even online, but I’m generally a fairly open person even in real life. Though in some real life situations, I may be more reserved. It depends – usually on the people I’m meeting. It’s always felt much easier to be more outgoing on the internet. If you’re wondering about my real identity, well… luckily, no one’s tried to dox me yet. I mostly have to be careful not to dox myself. 😀 But yes, privacy was something I thought about carefully before deciding to stream. I think if you’re real smart, you can probably find me in real life, but I think the average person isn’t going to go to that much trouble. I’m certainly not popular enough. Plus, I did mention taekwondo training, right? 😉

Q: What do you do when you’re not streaming?

A: Lately, it’s been trying to find a new home. Otherwise, I spend time with Nate or just chill and do things I don’t stream like read this book I’ve had on the backburner for ages, watch a movie or TV show, listen to some music. I recently cut my stream schedule back by one day. I’ve pretty much kept a five days a week stream schedule from the beginning, but now I need a bit of a break. I’ve been thinking of getting back into blogging again or maybe sitting down and actually working on a short story. When it comes to writing fiction, I get ideas for big stories, like a whole universe/world, but I think I should try something smaller just to see if I can focus enough to do it. I’ve had an idea for a long time of writing a bunch of short stories for a compilation. Perhaps I just need to sit down and do it already.


This pretend interview was written by Your Local Twitch Streamer, feyMorgaina. Check out her entity-, human-, and LGBT/QIA+ friendly Twitch channel at (Yes, it’s “she/her” ’cause they are the pronouns she’s used to and even if she’s felt “boyish” in the past and did “boy things” as a kid when she should’ve been doing “girl things” and didn’t feel “girlish” at times, she’s never considered herself to be “he/him”. “They/them” is acceptable if you don’t know feyMorgaina uses “she/her”, for example, when she pops into one of your language learning streams and says “Hi” in the language you’re learning. Also, she grew up with LGBT+; hence, the LGBT/QIA+. If there’s any real difference, she doesn’t really know ’cause she thought the + included others with similar experiences and of similar open-mindedness; however the meaning of the + doesn’t seem to be generally agreed on anyway, but it doesn’t matter as she’s always been entity-friendly and let’s just go from there. Okay, entity? 🙂 )


A Small Tribute to “Ai Gu” (Daddy’s Elder Sister)

Filed under: General,Paganism and Spirituality — feyMorgaina @ 23:38

I was just about to get comfortable to study some languages again. Then, I find out my 90-something-year-old aunt died last night. Now, my brain is busy trying to remember something more concrete about her. Most of my memories of her are from my childhood. Those memories are pretty vague. 🙁

This is the aunt who in her 80s would go to the casino by herself. (She doesn’t speak much English from what I recall.) A cousin of mine (my aunt is her grandmother) had told me this. My reaction at the time was “That’s just awesome”. 🙂

Funny enough, the most concrete memory I have of my aunt (who is my dad’s elder sister) is from my dad’s funeral almost 18 years ago. His funeral hadn’t started yet. People were lingering around, then this lady comes in and starts wailing. It was my aunt. I’m pretty sure she startled both my brother and I. Later, my sister told me my other cousin had to tell my aunt to stop because she was scaring “the children” (lol). My sister then told me that the wailing is a Chinese tradition. Someone had to wail at the funeral so that the Chinese spirits could hear. It usually has to be someone really close to the deceased. Because this was my aunt’s younger brother’s funeral, she fit the role for that well.

Now, I’m wondering who will wail for my aunt.

Another Chinese funeral custom is the burning of “hell money”. This money supposedly pays off any spirits that block the passage of the deceased to the underworld/otherworld. I think it is similar to the Greek tradition of paying the ferryman so that the deceased can cross the river.

I wasn’t especially close to my aunt, but I recall her visiting my mom off and on during my childhood. I wish I knew more about my aunt, my mom, my dad, and my other relatives.  I wish I knew what it was like for them to leave their home country to immigrate to a new country. Language barrier and time seem to be the biggest obstacles in that regard.

It’s funny that when a relative dies, no matter how close you are or not (or how much you liked or disliked that person), you feel like a part of you dies with them. I think it’s the connection to the past and to a history that you never knew about that you end up missing. Next time I’m at my mom’s, I’ll have to get her to dig out her old photo albums. Pictures tell so much and yet so little, but they are better than nothing.


Temporarily Boycotting Twitter due to Censorship Issue

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 03:55

As a minor form of protest against Twitter suspending Guy Adams’ account (in effect censoring him), I won’t be signing into Twitter until I hear that they’ve reinstated his account. If they don’t reinstate his account, I will be considering deactivating my Twitter account. For now, my blog posts (from Pneumatised!), Tumblr posts, and Plurks will still auto-Tweet via those respective sites. People can also follow me on Google+, where I frequently post publicly.

What Guy Adams had to say about Twitter suspending his account (click the title link after to see his full article)



London 2012 Summer Olympics: Waiting for Taekwondo to Start

It’s Olympic time again. Like the last three Summer Olympics, I’m looking forward to the taekwondo sparring competition at the Olympics, which starts on August 8th (see the taekwondo schedule via the London 2012 site). While I wait to watch taekwondo, I decided to check out a few other Olympic sports that I never got to see much of in the past. Canada’s broadcasting on the Olympics in the past tended to focus on swimming, gymnastics, and athletics (not that I mind those sports; I like watching gymnastics, but I’d rather go swimming and running plus it gets boring watching those two events after a while; I just think they should air some of the other sports as well). However, since Canada won a bronze in women’s taekwondo back in 2000 (Dominique Bosshart was Canada’s only competitor for taekwondo at that Olympics), the Canadian media has in the past given some glimpses of taekwondo. Since Karine Sergerie‘s silver win in 2008, the Canadian media has gotten a bit more excited about taekwondo (though I’m not sure how well they will cover the competition this year).

Olympic broadcasting online in Canada this year will be done by CTV (RDS is the French name). I don’t watch TV anymore so using Sportsnet or TSN isn’t an option. (See London 2012 Broadcasters for how to watch the Olympics in your country.) Besides, maybe I can watch other sports using the online media. Of course, the CTV Olympic website (for the French site, it’s RDS Olympiques; the English and French sites are linked on each others) has proven to be a bit of a pain to use. You can avoid the CTV broadcast completely and use the “World Feed” instead, but you’ll have to go to the specific sport section and look for their “World Feed” video links. There’s always commercials before the video even starts (of course *eye roll*), and you’ll get more commercials if you jump around too much in the video stream. I’m not sure exactly how they determine when to pop up the commercials, but be warned they’re there. You can’t skip them. Just hit your computer’s mute button if they annoy you like they do me. The most annoying thing about the commercials is that after they run and your video resumes, the video defaults to mid-volume level again. You’ll have to adjust the video volume controls again. (I use the video volume so I don’t have to amp up the hardware volume on my computer – it sounds crappy if you do that.) If you miss the event live, CTV has full replay videos for some events. I’ve been taking advantage of this. The best way to find these videos is to go to the “schedule and results” section, click on the sport you want which should then pull up a listed schedule. There might be links to the full replay videos there. Having found my way around CTV site. I managed to get video streams for a few sports that CTV wasn’t airing during its “Watch Now” video broadcast.

Here’s what I watched so far at the 2012 Summer Olympics:

Day 1: Saturday, July 28

Archery – men’s team (bronze and gold matches)
Fencing – women’s foil (bronze and gold matches)
Judo – men’s -60kg and women’s -48kg (a couple of the quarterfinal matches; I couldn’t find the full video replay of the gold matches)
Shooting – men’s 10m air pistol and women’s 10m air rifle (finals)

Day 2: Sunday, July 29

Archery – women’s team (bronze and gold matches)
Fencing – men’s sabre (gold match)
Judo – men’s -66kg and women’s -52kg (gold matches)
Shooting – women’s 10m air pistol and skeet (finals)

Day 3: Monday, July 30

Fencing – women’s épée (bronze and gold matches)
Judo – men’s -73kg and women’s -57kg (gold matches)
Shooting – men’s 10 air rifle (finals)
Gymnastics – men’s team (finals)

You can see the results of Olympic events at the London 2012 site. They have also created some mobile apps. The results app is the most useful. (See the London 2012’s mobile apps page.)

For team sports, I’m mostly interested in basketball and soccer since I played those in high school. Canada has a women’s team for basketball this time (they did not have a men’s or a women’s team at the Olympics in 2008). For soccer, Canada’s women’s team is at the Olympics again. Canada’s men’s teams for both soccer and basketball didn’t qualify for the 2012 Olympics. If I have the time, I’ll watch some basketball and soccer. I also got to see a bit of handball and waterpolo. I’ve never really seen those sports in action before.

As for taekwondo, it’ll be interesting to watch Karine Sergerie again. At the 2008 olympics, Karine Sergerie won a silver medal in taekwondo for Canada. She’s back this time. Will she get the gold? (Sergerie’s silver is Canada’s second olympic medal in taekwondo. Dominique Bosshart won a bronze in 2000.) To find out more about taekwondo at the Olympics, visit’s taekwondo section. There are videos of past competitors at the Olympics. Sergerie’s weight division is -67kg. She won the World Taekwondo Championships in 2007 in the -63kg division. The Olympics have only four weight divisions instead of the eight in standard taekwondo competitions.

As with past Olympics, there have been some controversies in competitions. See the following articles:

Controversy, Disappointment for Japanese Judokas (My comments can be found on my Tumblr blog.)

South Korean fencer in protest after controversial Olympic defeat (My comments can be found on my Tumblr blog.)

There’s thirteen more days of the Olympics left. Taekwondo starts in eight days. I think I’ll take a break from the Olympics for now – read a book (I’m reading Sherlock Holmes again; yes, all the novels and stories again) or maybe play a game (I haven’t played much Mass Effect 3 multiplayer in the past few weeks). I also need to get back to my own taekwondo and fitness training. 🙂


Olympic News via the London 2012 site (In case you’re tired of the news stream from your country’s Olympics broadcaster, check out the news page from the London 2012 site.)
Olympic Schedule and Results (London 2012 site)
Taekwondo at the 2012 Summer Olympics
CTV’s video snapshot of Karine Sergerie


Yi Siling wins first gold medal of Games (China won a gold and a bronze. Nice shooting. ;-))

Republic of Korea claim another gold (Korea not only excels in taekwondo, but in archery as well! :-D)

Canada Olympic Women’s Basketball: Team Loses 58-53 To Russia(Russia makes a comeback against Canada, who failed to hold a 10 point lead. Canada, this is why it’s hard to root for you in team sports (aside from ice hockey, and oh yeah, curling). (Sidenote: “Russia is missing star centre Maria Stepanova. The six-foot-eight star, who has played in the last four Olympics, tore her anterior cruciate ligament at the Euroleague final eight in late March.” The ACL tear is a common injury among female athletes. It can be career-ending if it’s not fixed.))

Canada Makes the Team Final… (About damned time!)

Peng Peng Lee’s Olympic Journey (At least she’s doing the right thing – surgery, recover, and get stronger first.)

Peng Peng Lee – One on One (A short interview with Canadian gymnast, Peng Peng Lee)


Sleep Bot (Android App) – A Short Review

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 19:49

Review of Sleep Bot Tracker Log (also see Sleep Bot app on Android Market):

I’ve been using this app for the past few days. I like that it lets me know how much sleep I’m missing (“sleep debt”) because then I’ll try to catch up (I guess it’s almost a game to try to get rid of your sleep debt). It also charts and graphs your sleep data to help you understand your sleeping patterns. The past few days, I’ve been waking up after about 6 hours. I do better with at least 8 hours a day. Some days, 9 hours are good. I configured the app for 8 hours optimal sleep. You can make notes on your sleep entries. Back up to SD card as text file is available as are share options to share summarized data. It also offers sleeping tips including stuff like get better mattress to stuff about what you should or shouldn’t eat before bedtime. Some tips you may have heard before, but maybe forgot about. I forgot tryptophan helps with sleep because it’s connected to melatonin somehow. Tryptophan is in dairy products, but also in shrimp (yummy! explains why I get sleepy after eating shrimps) and other foods.

If you have sleeping problems, you might want to check out this app. (If you have a sleeping disorder, you probably need to see a sleep specialist. I think I have Non-24 from trying to fix DSPS, and I haven’t seen a sleep specialist, but that’s just me. I have no problems trying to diagnose myself, but I am not qualified to diagnose others. So go see a sleep specialist if you’re concerned about maybe having a sleep disorder.)



Canadian and American Humour: A Comparison

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 19:03


Great White North: Beer Nog (featuring “Bob and Doug McKenzie” as seen on SCTV)

“You hoser! Take off to the Great White North, eh? Get some smokes and beer while you’re there, eh?”


America Fuck Yeah! (a fan-made video featuring theme song and clips from the movie, Team America: World Police)

“Team America, fuck yeah! Coming again to save the mother fuckin’ day, yeah!”



Some Personal Thoughts on Human Rights and Space Travel

I’ve been reading astronomy all weekend. I’ve kind of missed it since I first took astronomy in university (and with all the changes in spaceflight going on – space tourism, woohoo! – I think I’d better brush up). Somehow I got an A in astronomy (no, not just staring at stars all year long) and nearly flunked accounting (even though I aced accounting in high school – university level accounting and high school accounting are NOT the same). Okay, well, I was under “extenuating circumstances” the year I was studying accounting. Still had to re-do accounting though because less than a C grade was not acceptable for the program. 🙁 (The business school was actually wondering why I didn’t just do a math degree. Lol. I did get accepted into the math program, I just opted for business for some insane reason.)

I’ve been wanting to go back to school (for the third time now), but have been torn between law school overseas (because all the law programs in North America now seem to be business focused, but some law schools in Europe have programs on international human rights law) or maybe astrophysics (if I can hack the science now that I’m older and not lazy like I was in high school). Then again, I’m not keen on going into debt again to pay some institution for subjects I can learn on my own, so I might not go back for anything at all.

Lately though, I’ve been leaning towards studying astronomy and astrophysics because law (particularly human rights law), for the most part, seems too easy in a way. Not to sound conceited or arrogant, but a lot of the issues in human rights seem to have straight-forward, logical, sane solutions. The problem though is that people en masse aren’t sane or logical or straight-forward necessarily. Work in human rights dwindles down to plain and outright politics (which I understand, but don’t love; frankly, I think politics is b/s, and I never even played office politics when I was working). Funny enough, as a teenager my family told me I should probably go into politics because I’m passionate about some issues and I have strong opinions on most things. My response was “Hell no”. 😉 It seems like with human rights, being involved in politics is unavoidable. At some point, you get dragged into it. Human rights work is also terribly emotionally draining and exhausting. Even just reading and writing about it can zap you for a few days. I can only imagine what it’s like if I was dealing directly with a human rights case. As rational as a person can be, some cases will just get to you because you will feel helpless at times and you will feel frustrated because you feel that you just can’t help so-and-so or some group of people.

Why astronomy and astrophysics? For me, it’s clear. It’s time for humans to be able to get off this planet. It’s time to colonize (moon, Mars, Jupiter’s moons, etc.), and I really plan on being one of the first to go. (Leave me to my dreams people!). Sure there’s some politics involved with convincing governments to fund space programs, but those politics are arguably less stressful than the politics in most (probably all) human rights cases.

I’m not saying I’m going to ignore human rights issues. Even if humans do begin to colonize other worlds, inevitably these issues will come along for the ride (get too many people in one small boat and inevitably some will start fighting). It’s important to understand these issues, so we do not make the same mistakes over and over. In some distant future, if we manage to be able to travel “to the stars”, I also think that space travel should be a human right (so long as it is feasible, as under our current economic system, it may not be feasible for a long time). This idea stems from the opinion that travelling today should also be considered a human right. Human rights law as it exists now allows nations/countries to have border controls. I think this is an obsolete idea today. Border controls are tools of nationalism. Nationalism has no place in the today’s world – certainly not in a world where we can communicate all over the world in an instant making friends who live on the other side of the world; and also travel to anywhere in the world in less than a day. People should be able to freely travel with no fear or chance of being unreasonably held in a foreign country; and to properly ensure that, border controls need to be eliminated. World travel should be a human right and, in the distant future, space travel should be a human right.

In my opinion, if humans want to survive and if we want to see our civilization last, it’s important that we look beyond Earth as a place to live. Not saying that everyone has to race to get off the planet. Certainly, there are some people who might want to stay here; and definitely, there should be a population remaining on Earth, but I do think the option to live elsewhere is important for our civilization. As our world population continues to grow, we are more pressed for space to live than when humans first landed on the moon 42 years ago. (You’d think humans would have landed on Mars by now! But well… it was really politics that got us to the moon… another rant, another time.)

Throughout history, humans have proven to be adventurous and there have always been explorers. What happened to this sense of adventure? Where are the explorers now? Are some people (*cough* politicians *cough*) just self-satisfied with life as it is that they don’t want to know more about the universe? Have some people just given up on the idea of space travel? Why don’t we put more pressure on our governments world-wide to emphasize space programs? (Note: has anyone else besides me noticed that there are no political parties devoted to promoting space travel and continued studies and research in the relevant fields? I may not like our political systems, but sadly you have to work within the framework that’s already in place to make the changes you want. I dislike politics and I don’t want to start my own political party, so someone please start a “Space Party” or something like that. “New Millennium Party”, maybe? Something!)

That being said, space programs like NASA’s should be open to everyone, not just U.S. citizens. More accurately, it should be turned into an international program. Failing that, we need to start an international space program. The European Space Agency (ESA) is a good start. Maybe they could merge NASA and ESA and start including other countries. (Note: It looks like they may have started this process. See “International consensus on joint space exploration”.)

There is also commercial spaceflight and space tourism. As pessimistic as I can be about putting the future of human civilization in the hands of a few corporations, I think that commercial ventures in spaceflight will get us into space sooner than government ventures alone. Governments no longer have to contend with other governments, but also with other corporations – corporations that have more money than governments to spend on building spacecrafts. My hope is that the corporations and the governments will be able to co-operate on space ventures in order to bring the reality of space travel to humans sooner. (If you read various articles on, it does look like this process is starting.)

In the meantime, I’m going to refresh my knowledge of basic astronomy and physics. My personal home study curriculum now includes anatomy, physiology, astronomy, physics, some languages (Korean and Spanish; for Chinese, I’ve decided to concentrate on the reading and writing instead of the oral language) and a few other subjects of personal interest. All this on top of taekwondo training right now and my other personal goal of writing at least one novel in the science fiction and fantasy genres (oh yeah, another reason why I should refresh my knowledge of astronomy). Eek! Loads to do.

Your local knowledge junkie


Call Itself What It Wants, It’s Still Just Another Aggregator

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 00:17

Link: A Review of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

While the reviewer in the above link seems to be fair in listing the pros and cons, I think the cons far outweigh the pros (I think the reviewer was thinking of the number of pros versus cons while I’m thinking about the value of each pro and con). It’s not just “buggy” if something is attributed to the wrong person, it’s an issue of “moral rights” of the author/creator. (Side note: Do people not remember the ban on plagiarism in school? It’s closely related to moral rights.)

“Promotes the paper as something you created”

I have a problem with this. The “newspaper” created by is done using your Twitter account (people can also sign up using their  Facebook account, which I think is cause for great concern considering that most people do not post publicly on Facebook), but the paper itself isn’t your creation as you didn’t write the content (if you’re lucky, maybe some of your tweets will be in it) nor have you personally selected each “article” in the paper. calls its users “publishers” and “editors”, though the job of a newspaper editor is more involved than just selecting a feed. An editor has to actually read the content first before publishing (also editing the article for typos, grammar, spelling, and appropriate content).

To be fair, I did set up a account. I don’t like their Privacy Policy, but seeing as I don’t have a lot of information about myself on my Twitter profile, I don’t have much to worry about really. Since the review (see link above), did put in the ability to remove content off of a paper as well as add some additional content filters in the initial setup for a new paper. An example of a “newspaper” is one set up by HBO for the series Game of Thrones (which I have seen before, but didn’t bother reading since I was more interested in following @GameOfThrones on Twitter directly) – see Game of Thrones. As you can see, most of the “articles” are related to Game of Throne or A Song of Ice and Fire.

Despite the added controls, I still don’t see a good reason to use can dress itself up and call its aggregated feeds “newspapers”, but they really are still just aggregated feeds, albeit published feeds versus private feeds like in Google Reader. I guess that’s where my problem really lies with It’s just a glorified content aggregator, especially now since they’ve added the ability to include RSS feeds into your “newspaper”; however, unlike something like Google Reader, people aren’t reading these feeds before they are published in aggregate as a “newspaper”.  I have to question why I would want to read someone’s “newspaper” if chances are they haven’t read everything that’s being put into their “newspaper”. Removing content from the “newspaper” after it’s been published still doesn’t help because I could have read the content before it was removed by the “publisher”.

At least when I see stuff on someone’s Tumblr, I know that that person has monitored what he/she posted. Even if some people get a little carried away with reblogging pictures and animated gifs, at least I get a sense of what that person likes.

It just seems that the content on any “newspaper” created on can be found elsewhere. would like us to think that it’s a great way to share stuff that you’re interested in, but how is it actively sharing when technically its users are passively sharing stuff they haven’t necessarily even read yet? just feels very impersonal and hardly social. As commented on my Google+ post about, “yet another service trying to make money on the back of an existing service without bringing anything particularly new to the table.” does indeed put ads on every “newspaper” that’s created.

The other thing about that is unsettling is this feeling that I could be spending huge amounts of time on that one site setting up different “newspapers” hoping that people will actually read them, but the truth is that the users on there are busy setting up “newspapers”, not reading them. makes no distinction between a user who’s a “publisher” versus a user who’s a reader. Like I said, feels very impersonal, but on top of it, I feel like there’s no real audience. (And I feel like I wasted some time today, but then again I ended up writing a blog and me writing something is always a good thing).

I’d much rather blog and micro-blog. 😀 Yay for blogging, where bloggers can be publishers, editors, writers, and promoters of their own content; and for micro-blogging where you can actively share stuff with others.


See also an older review of Create your own Twitter newspaper.


The Shared Items Archive and Sharing on the New Google Reader – A Solution

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 09:02

As mentioned in my previous post, I failed to find a decent replacement for Google Reader. Honestly, I didn’t think there would be a feed reader that would do what I wanted it to do (but I still wanted to look around). Thus, I had to keep in mind alternative solutions for maintaining an archive of interesting items I’ve found in Google Reader.

One option that some people seem happy with is a web browser extension called Reader Sharer. There are two versions of this extension. The second version is Reader Sharer (Original Style), which retains the styling of the new Google Reader. Other than the styling differences, Reader Sharer (Original Style) does exactly the same as Reader Sharer. You can install either version of Reader Sharer depending on which style you prefer.

ReaderSharer Restores Sharing Options For New Google Reader [Chrome] reviews Reader Sharer, which includes styling changes to the new Google Reader. There has been a recent update to Reader Sharer since that review, so I’ll note what you can expect to see if you install Reader Sharer.

Quickly, I’ll review what you see in Google Reader’s new interface. On the left-hand side, there are links to ‘Home’, ‘All Items’, ‘Explore’, and ‘Subscriptions’. Using the drop-down arrow on ‘All Items’, there’s links to ‘Starred Items’, ‘Trends’, and ‘Browse for Stuff’. Click the drop-down on ‘Explore’ to see recommendations. Clicking the drop-down on ‘Subscriptions’ will let you see your subscriptions. On a new item, you’ll see a star, the +1 button, the Google+ share button (this is new as of writing this blog article – see Send Stories from Google Reader to Google+ with the New Share Button), ‘Email’, the ‘Mark as Read’ checkbox, ‘Send To’, and ‘Add Tags’.

Installing Reader Sharer will add these links back to the left-hand side of Google Reader – ‘Your Shared Items’, ‘Notes’, ‘Your Liked Items’, and ‘People You Follow’. The first three are found between ‘Your Starred Items’, and ‘Trends’. ‘People You Follow’ appears before ‘Explore’. Click the drop-down to see the people you were following. A link to the ‘Sharing Settings’ is located there as well. On each item, Reader Sharer adds back the ‘Like’ button, the ‘Share’ button, and the ‘Share with Note’ button. Using ‘Share’ or ‘Share with Note’ will put the item onto your ‘Shared Items’ page. Thus, you have your archive of interesting items back.

While some people are happy with Reader Sharer installed, I see this as a temporary fix. Reader Sharer is a good extension as it does what it says it will do. However, I do think that this ‘fix’ will work only as long as Google maintains the archive of ‘Shared Items’, ‘Followers’, ‘Liked Items’, etc. As for the public pages, there’s no guarantee that Google will maintain those.

Regarding the new Google+ share button: There is one glitch I’ve noticed. After marking an item as ‘read’, I can’t go back to that item and uncheck the box. The ‘Mark as Read’checkbox is there for unread items only. Basically, I can’t mark the item as unread. Problematic if the automatically marking as read option is on for expanded view or if you just marked the item as read by accident.

Although Reader Sharer adds back the old ‘Share’ button to Google Reader and I can continue to add items to my ‘Shared Items’ public page for now, I’ve decided to find another way to publicly archive interesting items. I realize that since the +1s show up on my Google+ profile page, this is actually a public archive of things I’ve found interesting all over the ‘net. However, I want something that just publicly archives the interesting items from my Google Reader. Basically, I’m trying to find a way to replace my ‘Shared Items’ public page in case Google does eventually take down those pages. I decided that my best options for a replacement were blogging sites.

I currently use a WordPress blog, so naturally I thought I could make another WordPress blog. I also thought of Blogger since Google owns Blogger. I wasn’t interested in Blogger before because I’ve been pretty happy with WordPress. I should point out that my WordPress is not hosted on, but it’s the downloaded WordPress on a server that I use. I use a Linode server to which I have admin access. Basically, I have pretty good control over my WordPress blog. I decided to check out Blogger in comparison to WordPress. Blogger does allow you to export your blog as well, but it’s still not as good as WordPress in many ways. For one thing, WordPress has plugins you can install to do a variety of things. While Blogger has a layout and design interface you can use to help you skin your blog, actually writing CSS to skin your blog gives you more flexibility than any layout and design interface. However, the layout and design interface has the benefits of being fairly quick in comparison to writing code for a web page. I note that Blogger allows followers, which makes it a social blog, while WordPress is more of traditional blog. Since Blogger is owned by Google, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s integrated into Google+ at some point. Maybe it won’t be, but I just wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

Lastly, I could set up another Tumblr blog. I’ve been using Tumblr for a while now as something in between traditional blogging like I do on here versus micro-blogging like I do on Plurk and Twitter. Tumblr offers features that WordPress does not have and that’s followers and reblogs. Tumblr is a social blogging site like Blogger, but the reblogs like the retweets on Twitter adds a more social environment. Thus, I’ve found it useful to have both a WordPress blog and a Tumblr blog. Via a plugin to WordPress, my blog posts to Tumblr when I publish an article on here. Tumblr does have a way to export your blog posts, but it’s via a Mac app they’ve created. I do happen to have an old MacBook, so I do have a way to export my Tumblr posts.

I decided to set up another Tumblr blog to use as my public archive of interesting items from Google Reader. I decided to use Tumblr because like WordPress, I can skin the site with my own CSS. I still need to get around to skinning my WordPress blog and my main Tumblr with CSS. For now, I’m using Tumblr themes, which are frankly nicer than the themes on Blogger. My main Tumblr is Pneumatic Blogging and my new Tumblr for feed items is Pneumatise Your Brain. I posted a few items onto ‘Pneumatise Your Brain’ that I had already shared on my Google Reader.

A lot of people have been upset about the ‘Shared Items’ archive and not having access to it. With Reader Sharer, they do again for now. All of the data on a Google Reader account is available to the account holder to download. Unfortunately, aside from the subscriptions, everything else is saved in json files. I spent some time looking for a way to output the json files as html, but the best I could find was json to html. The output wasn’t pretty. The information is there, but then again the information is in the json file readable along with the code in a text editor. Plus, I didn’t see how to copy the html into a file I could save (it really wasn’t pretty). I ended up just going to my ‘Shared Items’ public pages and manually saving each page as html files onto my computer. It actually took me a shorter amount of time than trying to find a way to output the json files in a way that was nicely readable. Tedious as hell manually saving each page, but at least I have the information in a format that is easier to read.

Back to Google Reader. With my new Tumblr set up as my public archive, I can now send items in my Google Reader to my Tumblr. This won’t be as easy as using the old ‘Share’ button. It really was convenient. Just one click and presto, the item in my Google Reader was on my public ‘Shared Items’ page.

Normally, I share items in my social media sites by copying and pasting the url of whatever it is I’m wanting to share. Thus, I’ve never really used the ‘Send To’ button, but I probably should now as it is more convenient than copying and pasting the urls of dozens of web pages (depends on how many items I read in my Google Reader each time). The ‘Send To’ feature isn’t new on Google Reader, it’s been there for a few years now. It’s also customizable. Google has some sites set up on there already such as Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. The other sites I don’t use. MySpace I haven’t signed into in ages. You can check mark the ones listed already to have them appear in the ‘Send To’ drop-down menu. Other sites you have to add manually.

Since I was considering using a WordPress blog as an archive, I checked to see how to add a WordPress blog to the ‘Send To’ in order to show my blog as an option in the drop-down menu. Follow the instructions on Using Google Reader Sent To with WordPress. It works. 😀 Since Tumblr and Blogger were already listed, I didn’t have to add them manually.

If you have other sites you want to send to, you can use ‘Add to Any’ as mentioned in this article, Google Reader’s Send To Feature.

I tried adding Plurk to the ‘Send To’ as well, but I’m not sure what the post url would be. If anyone knows, please comment!

With the ‘Send To’ feature set up, I’m ready to share stuff from my Google Reader again. (Hopefully they’ll fix the missing ‘Mark as Read’ checkbox or I might have to use Feedly instead.)

Here’s a quick review of my sharing options now:

1. +1 the item (the item will show up on my Google+ profile +1 tab; all +1s are public)
2. +1 the item and share on Google+ (can select Public, Extended Circles, Circles; or can list names of Circles; or can list names of people)
3. share the item on Google+ (like #2 above)
4. send the item to my WordPress blog (I can save the post as a draft)
5. send the item to my Blogger blog (if I ever decide to use it; I set one up while checking out Blogger’s features; can also ‘save as draft’)
6. send the item to my Tumblr blog (if you have more than one Tumblr blog, the pop-up window has an option to select which blog; you can also ‘save as draft’)
7. send the item to my Twitter account
8. send the item in email to a person or persons (note that you can email the item to yourself at another account if you want to privately archive it; why is it people seem to forget about email?)

I didn’t bother checking the box to add Facebook to the ‘Send To’ drop-down menu since I’m not planning on sharing on Facebook.

With Reader Sharer installed, I have the option again to ‘Share’ or ‘Share with Note’ for now, but I think I rather like sharing on Tumblr.

(There is an alternative to using Reader Sharer and setting up a blog as an archive. Lipsumarium has written a script, called Google Reader Share, that will add a ‘Share’ button to Google Reader as well as allowing people to follow their friends again by typing in their email addresses. I haven’t tried this script and I’m not entirely sure I would trust just anyone on the ‘net. I mention this only in case others are willing to try it. I don’t necessarily recommend it.

I was never a big user of ‘Following’ others on Google Reader, but I know some people were. In the old version of Google Reader, your ‘Shared Items’ did not have to go onto the public pages. Some people opted to share their items with specific groups of people as set up in their Gmail contacts. With the new Google Reader interface, they couldn’t do this anymore (not unless they install Reader Sharer). How to Share Privately With the New Google Reader briefly discusses this issue.

Here are the ways you can share privately from Google Reader:

1. Email. I’m guessing this is a not-so-attractive option for some people because they might know people they want to share with, but they don’t have the email addresses for those people. People are still generally private about their email addresses which is one reason why social media sites are popular.

2. Share on Google+ to a specific Circle, Circles, friend, or friends. (You can create a Circle of just your Reader friends and share only to them.) To be clear, +1s are always public. So, if you want to share privately with someone, don’t use the +1 button. Unfortunately for people who weren’t already signed up with Google+ when Google Reader’s interface was changed, people were actually missing a way to share the item aside from the +1 button and the ‘Send To’ feature. The ‘Share’ box in the top black bar was missing since they weren’t Google+ users. That likely explains the trouble for most people. Google has made it more obvious how to share on Google Reader now with the new Google+ share button shown next to the +1 button. Some people might still be miffed at having to use Google+ if they weren’t intending on using it. They will have to privately share using email or the ‘Send To’ feature.

3. Use the ‘Send To’ feature to share to a social media site that your followers are using.

Another way you can share items privately with others is through IM. Like email, it seems like people have forgotten about IM. If people are using Google Reader, they all can use Google’s chat feature in Gmail. Copy and paste the url into your chat window to share privately with someone.

Next, I’m going to look at Feedly again in comparison to Google Reader – just in case they don’t fix the missing ‘Mark as Read’ checkbox on already read items. Maybe I’ll also play around with the layout of it. I do admit it looks prettier than Google Reader. Makes reading fun. 🙂

I’ll also go through some more ‘Shared Items’ on my Google Reader and post some of them to my new Tumblr blog. Note to self to find time to do some CSS for my Tumblr blogs.


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