Signal Boosting Some Friends

Lots of folks doing cool/interesting/nifty stuff lately. I figured I’d put some of them together into a convenient blog post.

1. Stephanie Burgis and Tiffany Trent have been coediting an anthology called THE UNDERWATER BALLROOM SOCIETY. If you sign up for the newsletter, you can be entered to win one of fifty advance review e-copies. Authors include Laura Anne Gilman, Jenny Moss, Cassandra Khaw, Patrick Samphire, Y. S. Lee, and more.

2. Kristen Britain is doing a Kickstarter for the Green Rider Book Soundtrack. This is part of the 20th anniversary celebration for the book, and it looks like she’s close to hitting her goal. The music is composed by Kristina A. Bishoff.

3. Robert V. S. Redick wrote a blog post about the creation of his new epic fantasy, Master Assassins, which just came out. He talks in part about how feminism influenced the writing, including this line: “Being a feminist means always asking myself what those demons are up to. We all like to be ‘woke,’ but a white man can get away with nodding off any time.”

4. Juliet McKenna does a cover reveal and talks about the inspiration for her forthcoming book The Green Man’s Heir.

Feel free to boost your own friends and their awesome projects in the comments! No self-boosting, though. At the very least, make a friend come over and do that for you 😉

Diabetes Upgrade: New Pump and CGM

 

After several months of back-and-forth with the insurance company, medical supply company, and my doctor’s office, last week I went in to get set up on a new Minimed 670G insulin pump. The thing I’ve been really excited about is that this pump links to a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

For the past 20 years, I’ve checked my blood sugar by pricking my finger about six times/day and putting a drop of blood onto a test strip. The CGM checks every five minutes, and gives me something close to a real-time graph showing my blood sugar levels and how those levels are changing.

I still need to do the finger-pricks, since the CGM isn’t quite as accurate, and needs to be calibrated. But this means I get much quicker warnings if my sugar starts to go high or low. It also gives me a lot more data to better refine how I take insulin to keep things under control.

Ironically, this came up as I was working on this blog post. I think there was an issue with the site where I plugged the pump into my body, which was causing me to not absorb insulin as well as I should. As a result, my sugar was high. It’s currently 255, to be exact.

670G Insulin Pump

Thanks to the CGM, I’d been alerted that it was going high, and had been able to monitor the rise and decide to change the set. Without it, I’d have waited until my next finger-prick.

You can see I’ve already come down a little bit from the peak when I changed my site. Theoretically, that line should keep coming down until it gets into the green-shaded area between the two horizontal red lines.

The only problem so far is that I tend to overreact. It takes time for the body to process insulin or digest and process food. If I take insulin now, I won’t see an immediate effect. Likewise if I eat, say, a chocolate bar, it could be 15 minutes or more before my sugar starts to rise. So if I’m high, I might take a correction dose of insulin. Ten minutes later, I’m still high! What the heck? So the temptation is to take another dose. Unfortunately, “stacking” insulin like this can result in an overcorrection, and suddenly my sugar is too low.

But I’m getting used to it, and I haven’t had any severe problems.

The other inconvenience is I now have not one but two things plugged into my abdomen: the insulin pump site, and the CGM sensor.

Warning: pale belly pics behind the cut.

More

Mass Shootings and Mental Health

This is a repost and slight expansion of a Twitter thread from a few days ago.

::Taps microphone::

For the record, I have a mental illness, and have never committed a mass shooting.

Research shows that “the overall contribution of people with serious mental illness to violent crimes is only about 3%. When these crimes are examined in detail, an even smaller percentage of them are found to involve firearms.

If you’re looking for a more telling correlation, consider this finding from an FBI study of 160 active shooter events between 2000 and 2013: “Only 6 (3.8%) of the 160 cases involved a female perpetrator.” (p. 85)

I mean, please, PLEASE, do improve mental health care in this country! But don’t expect it to have any impact on mass shootings.

One argument points to a Mother Jones article claiming mental illness is frequently a factor in these shootings. So I downloaded their data set.

Factors they listed in the mental illness column include:

  • History of domestic conflict
  • Violent criminal history
  • Family said he was mentally ill (no illness/diagnosis specified)
  • Cousin said he was depressed and “going through a lot of things”
  • Experimented with pot and hallucinogens

They also listed some actual mental illness diagnoses. But counting those diagnoses right alongside things like “stalked and harassed a colleague” completely undermines their research and conclusions.

One individual was upset I argued against blaming mass shootings on the mentally ill, then turned around and pointed out that almost all mass shooters are male. I mean, I guess I’m sorry he felt upset or attacked or whatever, but the facts are pretty straightforward:

  • Most mass shooters are not mentally ill.
  • Mass shooters are almost always male.

Yeah, we know most men aren’t mass murderers. But since mass shootings are committed almost exclusively by men, don’t you think maybe it’s worth asking why? (Don’t #NotAllMen me, bro!)

We could also look into the significant correlation between mass shootings and domestic violence.

I’m not the first to point any of this out. There’s plenty of research out there, and people have been challenging the “mass shootings are a mental health problem” refrain for years.

At this point, if you’re still beating the “mental illness” drum as a response to mass shootings in the USA, I have to assume it’s because you’re uninterested in addressing the real problems.

TL;DR – I’m mentally ill. Please stop blaming this epidemic on us. Thanks.

Audio Goblins!

Goblin Tales: CoverGraphic Audio has just released the audio book of my short collection Goblin Tales, which includes five goblin-related short stories as well as “Mightier than the Sword,” the short story (with Smudge!) that eventually became the Magic ex Libris series.

If you order today (2/26), you’ll be automatically entered to win a Prize Pack featuring a GraphicAudio beanie, keychain and a Smudge plush!

To celebrate, they’re also offering 30% off the Goblin Trilogy set if you use code GOBLIN30

Happy goblin day, everybody!

Black Panther Discussion Links

We saw Black Panther on Monday. The final panther fight was a little too CGI for me, but that’s a minor flaw in an overall amazing movie.

Rather than talk about it myself, I wanted to link to some reaction pieces.

There’s so much more great discussion out there. Feel free to share links in the comments.

And then, of course, there’s this…

If I fits…

Jim C. Hines