Thursday, 29 May 2014

A Video Concerning Male Abuse by Females

A facebook friend recently shared this video.  For me, it threw up some difficult and complicated issues which I thought were worth exploring.

It's true that men are set up to be the victims in these particular scenarios.  I am also very certain that male abuse by females is more common and varied in its nature and manifestations than public awareness might suggest.  This is not good, and not acceptable, and not something for women to be proud of, anymore than men should be proud of abusing women.  It also means that heavy targeting of abuse awareness programs towards women may leave some men vulnerable and without the knowledge of available support.  I suspect the lack of coverage except in cases where the female is seen to be fighting back, is a reaction against the relative power men have had historically, both to determine the structure of society, and to set rules and have their way with women in domestic and other settings.  That and their (on average) taller, leaner figures being perceived as the only defences they need, and a testament to their ability to abuse women far more severely than women could ever abuse them.  Outwith specific abuse cases, perhaps male abuse by females is also perceived by some outsiders as a sort of nonindividualised, inherited comeuppance for men, for past and present treatment, blocks and inequalities.  Perhaps it is in this perception, outsiders find an excuse for the misconducts in question, and a justification for not having to get involved.  But this is the wrong approach to levelling the playing field. 

Results of these experiments could be used in many ways, either to uphold or undermine women's rights campaigns.  It might be used to 'debunk' the need for proactive feminism, on the grounds that the apparent inequalities and injusticies faced by women have now been debunked.  This is concerning; the problems that feminism seeks to address are statistically and journalistically backed-up across more than one culture, Western or otherwise, developed or otherwise.  For me, rather than debunking male privilege, this experiment highlights another kind of subtle sexism in the perception of women in relation to men; one that permeates even a misplaced rooting for these females as symbols of a toppling patriarchy; and illustrates why its consequences are to the detriment of ALL genders.

1. Men who get abused by women may themselves be chastised for being effeminate, and incompetent at defending himself.  Aside from all the other issues this throws up (such as homophobia or transphobia), and the danger it puts men in because of the stigma attached to such accusations and reputations, what is so awful about femininity that it should be regarded as something to be shamed or punished as a sign of weakness, instead of accepted, cultivated and protected as a valid way of being for all?  Especially if non-violence is implicit in its concept. 

2. Men abused by women may be told to be mature, to ignore it or to just walk away.  If a women was told to ignore a male abuser or just walk away, it would be decried on the grounds that the problem was being grossly oversimplified, that if she could walk away or defend herself she would, and that the male abuser would simply pursue her until he'd got his way.  So is a female abuser automatically considered a mere shadow of her male counterparts?  This, too, is sexist, and that sexism comes back to damage and make vulnerable the men in question: isn't the female abuser capable of hitting as hard and hurting as deeply, strategising as cunningly and pursuing as mono-maniacally?  Yes, on average, some physiological characteristics may differ between men and women, affording some average differences in strenghts and weaknesses of some types.  But then, devised methods of attack will work within that, and the results will be just as damaging.  Given this, there is no reason why women should be less competent at fighting and subduing than men.  A competent woman could completely overpower an incompetent man, even if he was bigger and bulkier, which brings us back to point 1, whilst debunking the sexist assumptions and perceptions uncovered by point 2.

Until females are taken as seriously as males, given as much social power and privilege, and perceived as just as physically and intellectually capable as men; and until abuse of them stops being seen as a (c)overtly accepted cultural norm or unpreventable phenomenon; perceptions of inter-gender abuse will not be regarded or followed up equally either.

Friday, 23 May 2014

On Scottish Independence

Here are my thoughts so far:

1. The most dangerous vote is a vote with the pocket and without the conscience.  The 'No' campaign
      has yet to produce a clear, solid, sensible reason for statying in the union that is not money related, does not attempt to bypass reason and pull on the heartstrings, and does not try to bully, intimidate or 

2.  Humming and hah-ing about the contentious nature of the debate, and refusing to home in and comment decisively on individual points during focussed discussions, is an intellectually lazy evasion, and is not grounded in sense or logical reason.  Looking at something with your eyes stubbornly crossed does not make it objectively blurry, no matter how many times you assert that it is.  It just makes you look like an eejit pulling a silly face.

3. Voting 'no' on the grounds of economic/financial security is voting with the pocket. It is interesting that some of the least financially secure people I know are very pro-independence.  Pro-independence is being portrayed by the government, media, business, finance and banking sectors as the bigger gamble.   These are the social organisations with the most power.  Correspondingly, some of the people with the greatest personal financial security are also some of the ones most worried about Scotland's financial future. To me that is telling, but not really surprising. Anyway, a great deal of places that are far less financially secure than the most financially secure sectors of Scotland somehow manage to produce people that still do just as many, sometimes far more worthwhile practical things with the resources they have.  This gives them more experience, debunking the myth that those less well-off are more ignorant of the world and its affairs.  Enterprise is linked to creativity, innovation and problem solving on an individual and political level, more than it is to quantity of resources. Scotland is renowned for those qualities – look at its rich history of discoveries/inventions/endeavours/contributions in literature, art and the sciences, some examples being penicillin, golf, Peter Pan, James Bond, ultrasound, fridges, radar, curling, insulin, Sherlock Holmes, football, logarithms, the piano’s sustaining pedal, general anaesthetic, the pedal bicycle, the adhesive postage stamp, the telephone, the first edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica  It doesn’t matter which one of these you stigmatise and attempt to dumb down as unimportant: the innovation spans several areas, and you can’t dumb them all down without dumbing down modernisation – modernisation being the pride of many who treasure the security of their lives, and/or who wish to present the prospect of financial insecurity for Scotland as scary.  Interesting to note that the list of Scottish inventions in the weapons department is far shorter than the lists of inventions of any other kind.  Not really what you would expect of a country primarily responsible for masterminding imperialism, enforced colonisation and slavery.

4. Voting 'no' without researching and understanding the full national, international, geographical, social and historical significance means turning one's back on a history of union-founded imperialism and enforced colonisation, its manifestations at the time and its ongoing consequences; of immigrant and asylum-seeker scapegoating and exploitation; of Scotland-stereotyping and cultural lampooning (especially the Scots language); of a patriotism based not on practical merit but of simply being English (i.e. white, indigenous, able bodied, mentally sound, intellectually unimpeded, male, upper-middle-class and Christian), and hence automatically superior in physique and intellect to other nationalities; of an electoral system which perennially results, for Scotland, in repeated quiet placations and subsequent overrule, due to Scotland not making up a big enough proportion of the British electorate to have a significantly impactful voice; of politically-motivated war (Tony Blair and Iraq, for example). Whichever way one votes, knowingly shutting all that out of consideration, or refusing to research due to scepticism and/or patriotism, is voting without the conscience.
All of these points have deeper roots than David Cameron or Alex Salmond.  To narrow it down to an argument based on who is the more dangerous of the two is narrowing the argument unacceptably.  The referendum involves and impacts all future Scottish politicians, all of the Scottish electorate, and the structure of the democratic system itself with regards to Scotland's collective voice.
    And now my own view: a reason to vote 'no' which tops all of the above and is not seated in money, vague manipulation or intimidation must be a pretty damn powerful reason. You'd think the 'No' campaign would have wheeled it out sooner. It would be in their interests to do so, after all...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Thoughts About Kids' Toys and Creative Play

C. and I had a lot of toys when we were little.  Many of them were our own, mostly given as gifts, some hand-me-downs, some made for us by relatives and friends, and some on loan from the toy library in Inverness.  On the other hand, we also played with home-made play-dough; we 'fried' corks in frying pans; we made fishing rods out of sticks and bindertwine; we concocted mud pies and magic spells using garden ingredients (by the way, think carefully before writing a spell which requires you to find a free and easily-available rhyming ingredient to go with 'mud').  I remember once making a 'bed' by lining up two kitchen chairs facing each other so the seats touched.  The chair-backs acted as the head and foot of the bed.

As pre-schoolers, C. and I had a push-cart which carried multi-coloured, cube-shaped wooden bricks.  It could also have been a pram, a serving trolley or even (at a stretch and on the right surface) a go-cart.  This brings me to another point.  I typed 'kids cart' into Goodsearch just prior to writing this.  The results included many vehicles such as pedal cars, one golf cart, a bike and a miniature shopping trolley.   They were mainly plastic, no doubt conformed to carefully compiled safety standards, with no sharp edges, and built-in features allowing for easy adult intervention (such as handles extending from the back of trikes).  Most had been painted bright, cartoonish colours (presumably under the justification that bright colours are important for visual and psychogical development, and attract kids' attention).  These rather flimsy justifications not only mean that the resulting toys are less 'DIY-able', but place pressure on parents to invest in the wisdom of 'child experts', rather than make something themselves more cheaply, and risk causing suboptimal development in their children.

Likewise, brands of food sold specially for children (even those presented as sustainable, environmentally friendly, organic and well-balanced, such as the 'Ella's Kitchen' brand), place pressure on parents by subliminially implying that ordinary people don't have the expertise to provide optimally for their kids' devlopment. This idea is imparted through subtle advertising ploys such as claims that the food types and combinations, consistency, portion sizes and ratios etc. have been calculated by 'highly skilled children's experts/specialists/dieticians/nutritionists'. 

But that is an aside.  I want to focus on toys.  The fact that most of the 'carts' which showed up on my internet search were purpose-made replicas of real life, everyday adult/older-child vehicles, is also concerning to me.  It reduces their versitility, meaning that you have to buy a separate one for each pretend game.  You can't push a load of bricks along in a plastic tractor, for example, so you must then go and buy a separate cart that can take bricks if your child wishes to have something to transport bricks in.  Perhaps a trailer to go on the tractor would do the trick.  Great for profits.  Not so great for cash-strapped parents.  And because they are factory-designed and made, using materials and techniques not readily available to most people, nothing kids make themselves will look quite right if they use such toys as a gold standard for their own attempts.

Speaking of kids making their own things: because they look exactly like their 'real' adult counterparts, purpose-made toy replicas reduce imagination, innovation and creativity.  So much for promoting psychological development.  The immediately-apparent purpose for each toy means that the child is given no motivation to cast them in pretend roles of their choice.  Thus emerges the risk of fostering a rather materialistically-centred type of literalism, along with aspirations within children to be like little adults (i.e. little consumers), instead of embracing the freedom of endless types of 'being' that creative pretend-play can offer.  I think many adults underestimate the impact of such child's-play-specific types of 'being'.  I'm sure that many big companies fear them, because they exist in the mind and depend only on the mind, and are therefore pretty-much inpenetrable.  The profitable solution, of course, is to shrink this side of childhood to negligible amounts by shearing away at opportunities to suspend disbelief, an instead offer play to parents and children on a consumerism-dependent, appealing-looking, pseudo-'caring' plate.

So what about educational toys?  Plastic money, for example.  The twin educational purposes of that would be 1) to teach the value of money, and 2) to teach about how the monetary system works.
Well, you can use real coins to teach how to use money specifically.  And you can use anything you like to teach about materialistic value if you assign value to it in a way akin to the assignment of value to money.  Money is just shaped, engraved metal, after all.

If you want to extend education about money to the idea of working for luxuries, as well as the prudence of saving, then again, you could use wood chips and the lesson could still be taught, if each wood chip was assigned a certain monetary value.  Several times over the years, C. and I and friends went to a particular beach at Dumfries.  Every year we would build a complex of islands and walls below the tide line, and attempt to defend them against the oncoming tide.  Our castles always lasted longer when we re-inforced them using black sand -- which contained clay -- and which could be dug up from just beneath the surface.  On one occasion we set up a system for buying and selling sand holes.  The quality of the holes was judged by how much surface sand had seeped in and diluted the black sand (weakening it as water weakens wine).  'Prices' were fixed accordingly.  Coins took the form of different types of sea shell, and thus took on a type of analogous monetary value in the context of the game.

Behaviour charts with, for example, a trip to the park as an incentive for earning smiley faces will also teach a lesson of reward for effort.  Some might call this type of system contentious, on the grounds that it encourages a hedonistic, 'be-well-behaved-solely-to-benefit-myself' ethos.  But that selfishness is a risk with money too, and besides, such an ethos already underpins the economy of top-down, capitalist societies, unless independent, non-materialistically quantified concepts of morality and worth are taught alongside.  Which one can do with behaviour charts as well.  But here we encounger another problem, and it is a problem which occurs for adults too (in a different guise), at least if they live in a capitalist-consumerist, developed Western society: the ideological moral value systems prevalent in such societies cannot work to their full extent within the current system.  We have to communicate this children if we are to preserve the integrity of the ideas and prevent children from becoming disillusioned when the two clash.  This may seem paradoxical -- wouldn't one become cynical being told something doesn't work?  No, I don't think so.  Children seem to have a drive and eagerness to solve problems and create solutions, often through pretend-play, and this is probably a result of having little influence and control, rather than a lot.  They also don't seem to get disillusioned by the same things as adults do, perhaps because they perceive time as going more slowly, meaning the past falls away faster, the future seems far away, and they are more able to appreciate the present. 

On the other hand, any child who goes out into the world having been taught a value system that they do not know does not reflect the structure of society, is going to be in for a very rude shock.  In then having to play in to materialistic 'adult' 'values' to survive, they may come to view the deeper ideological values of childhood as 'urealistic', 'naive', 'optimistic' and 'simplistic'.  I'm sure some parents who consider it their role to prepare children for adult life probably ingrain this dismissal too, whether intentionally or not, perhaps in some cases as an attempt to protect children from disappointment and frustration when their hopes are repeatedly tempered or dashed.  This does not sit at all well for me.  Where will our resilient, determined, unyielding visionaries and motivators for change come from with such an attitude?  And without them full stop, how will we achieve change?  In the absence of collective cooperation, it's always been such individuals who have made the most impact in the past; Martin Luther King, Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc...Of course, these people had their flaws (probably a few very big, inexcusable ones), as do most people (especially those who attain some kind of position of power), and I don't condone or deny that at all -- but in this context, that is not the point.  The point is how much they achieved, how this shifted history, and the mental strength and attitude that went with it.  No shielding from disappointment and frustration in any of their cases, but equally, no loss of hope in the face of them.

So going back to the issue of behaviour charts and what they teach children: if we have a blanket problem with the basic concept of using proportional rewards to cultivate good behaviour, then we should tackle that in the adult world, or else accept our position as (confusing and unreliable) hypocrites if we preach a different message to children. 

Counting-beads?  Pebbles will do the trick.  Learning computers?  I had one of them, and it tested me on what I knew, rather than taught me things.  Which was fine, but it didn't take the place of being taught prior to being tested, and it couldn't tailor its interactions to my own idiosynchrasies and intellectual needs in order to maximise my understanding and address areas of weakness.  And it didn't compliment intellect with wisdom.

I'm not saying I'm totally against shop-bought, custom-made toys.   As already stated, C. and I grew up with a mixture of both.  Many of them are still mysterious and versatile enough in terms of function that they can be used creatively.  Even a sensible amount of purpose-made toys is ok, I think, as long as havnig them doesn't close the windows of creativity.  As a matter of fact, C. and I actually had a little plastic pedal-tractor at one point.  I remember one of our school friends once riding it through a cowpat with great enthusiasm.  No trailer though.  Neither am I saying that adults do not play a vital part in creative play.  It was an adult who had the idea of pushing the chairs together to form a bed, and it is adults that help children learn how to use what they have.  Like in creative writing, by setting constraints, adults open up opportunities for children to engage in lateral thinking and fantasy.  And of course, many children actively want to imitate adults.  For a child whose innocence is shielded, and who is privileged enough not to have to work as an adult does, certain aspects of adult life remain tantalisingly mysterious.  Imitation is part of the learning and investigative process.  Lastly, I'm not saying that our value system is totally flawed either.  Lateral thinking and using what we have are both things which are valued in our society, and most people abhor those who ingratiate themselves and profess deep moral values, and then screw people over who put trust in them, simply for selfish gain. 

When the drive to make a profit means that every new game requires the buying-in of whole new sets of purpose-made 'props' because kids think DIY looks shoddy in comparison, and they cannot suspend disbelief or be creatively flexible enough to fill the gaps with what they have to hand, that's the point at which I'll be deeply concerned and sad.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Strangest Work Avoidance/DIY Project Idea Yet: How to Turn an Old Bra Into a Duck Nappy Harness

The last two days, I've gone through a miniature obsession with house ducks.  The hamster has been benefitting from this greatly, because out of guilt for pining after another pet, I have been giving her lots of cuddles and even bought her a load of new guilt-toys.  Happy hamster.  Anyway, being allergic to cats and not really being a 'dog-person' (though quite happy to be around our two when at home), a house duck would make a perfect pet.  Perhaps now is not the right time, but I can always dream and monitor circumstances!  I'd have a saxony duck; they're so large and friendly and golden and fluffy-looking.  And you can get hatching eggs for them from ebay.

I kept ducks throughout primary school - actually before the hen-hatching stage, and know that I am not allergic to them (as I am to cats and dogs).  They're big and cuddly.  Raised with humans they are extremely friendly and affectionate.  They're not afraid to show a medium-sized dog or cat who's boss.  They can live up to twenty years (the world record is a mallard that lived to twenty-seven).  And if raised solely with humans from the minute they hatch, they instinctively imprint.  Assuming no siblings are present, and the primary caregiver is the first thing it sees, the duck will a) consider itself to be human, and b) form a lifelong bond specifically with the primary caregiver.  When I say it will consider itself human, I mean that not only will it think it is a human itself, but it will know it - with the same conviction that you know you are.  This is not the case with cats and dogs: they are happy to live with humans, and bond with whoever cares for them, but as far as an animal knows anything about itself (a whole area of animal behaviour/psychology study in itself), they know that they are separate from humans. There's a lot of information about the imprint on this page.  The same website contains information about caring for a house duck.  But the upshot is, if you hatch a duck in an incubator, and raise it in a house with humans, it will be happiest living the rest of its life in a house with humans, rather than on a pond with ducks.

One of the things about ducks is that they don't possess sphincter muscles.  This means that they cannot be housetrained as they cannot hold in what must come out.  Even if they understood understood what was wanted of them, they would not be able to do so.  At least, not reliably.  They can tell when it's coming and get out of the nest so as not to soil it (may do this, may not), but they can't stop it once it gets to the exit.  Therefore a house duck must be a duck that wears a nappy.  She and her duck explain it better than I ever could:

As she says in the video, the people who make Bright Eyes's nappies are the people who run the website in my previous link, so you can get all the relevant information from that.  Here's a video of putting a nappy on the duck:

All very good, but wouldn't it be better if house duck owners could make their own nappy harnesses? Especially UK-based owners.  Being US-based, import/postage costs to the UK would be high, and it being a specialist product adds more cost.  Well, I've come up with a theoretical way of making just such a harness...using an old bra.

You Will Need:
1: An old bra.  I didn't have one here, so I cut one out of paper to show you.  Preferrably the type with removable straps - if it's not that kind, you will have to cut the strap where it joins the band that does up round your back.  And if it's underwired you'll have to cut a tiny hole and remove the wiring before you begin. 

2. Sewing equipment - needle and thread.

3. Small snap buckle of this kind:
4. Strip of elastic

1. Lay the pre-prepared bra out on your work surface:
2. Cut the bra in half at the breastbone:
3. From one cup, cut off the section which has the clasp and the shoulder strap on it.  Save the cup:
4. Cut the shoulder-strap/clasp section to fit onto the other side of the cup to which the original clasp/strap section is still attached:
5. Sew into place:
6. cross over the two shoulder straps near the top, and secure in place using a couple of stitches:
7. Take the discarded cup from before, and cut a thin, curved section out of it:
8. Sew this onto each end of the crossed-over shoulder straps, to form a comfortable neck strap for the duck.
9. Turn the harness over, and tuck at each side of the cup to shape it like a tail, instead of like a breast-cup.  Secure with a stitch or two either side (x marks the stitch):
10. Do the same with the back (the small dot near the point marks the stitch).  If you have a duck to try it on when it's finished, you might want to consider making subsequent customisations for optimum fit (important if everything's to be contained securely within).
11. Now you need your extra piece of elastic (if you wanted it to be really luxurious you could sew soft fabric around it, such as cotton or fleece).
Cut this in half:
13. Secure one end of one half to the centre of the neck strap, and one end of the other half to the centre of the tail piece, using a couple of stitches in each case (marked by X'es).  Leave the other two ends stretching over the back area, so that they can meet in the middle:
14. Secure each half of the snap buckle (each half represented by a white paper rectangle) to each loose end of the two elastic halves.
 15. You are finished! 
16. Oh, and that extra bra cup?  It can be used as a washable insert:

It really is as simple as male-to-female sexual reassignment surgery.  Nothing goes to waste, and the end product, whilst containing everything in the original, is as different in appearence and function as it could possibly be.

The harness is fully ajustable because the shoulder straps and their size-ajusters remain in tact, and the clasps around the sides have multiple loops for the hooks, at graded distances apart.  Of course, the larger the bird, the larger the bra will need to be.

So just to re-cap, this is basically how it fits on a duck (slightly different model, but same fastening system):


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Sustainable Eating

Eating (mostly) from trees and wild fungi/bushes - as opposed to farming grains and vegetables in huge quantities - would create a diverse forest environment, in which natural ecosystems and currently endangered species could thrive.  It would also increase the demand for trees, instead of for felling of trees to make way for intensive farming.  Trees help regulate the planet’s temperature and atmosphere by producing oxygen and using up carbon dioxide.  If we eat food that comes from trees, we can harvest annually/seasonally, and thus have a more stable, sustainable ecosystem that can provide food more reliably, for more people, as the population increases.  The soil will be better off, as the natural chemical balance in the ground will not be fluctuating wildly with unprotected exposure to rain, and the seasonal ploughing up, weed-killing and fertilising required for farming.  Rivers will also be better off: when fertilisers are used the run-off can drain into rivers, creating algal blooms which use up light and oxygen, killing riverbed plants and fish.

Supplementing with Spirulina (an algae) and nutritional yeast (a bacteria) would fill nutritional gaps that such a diet would create, in a space-efficient way that could sustain a lot of people with few problems.  They are tough, versatile, extremely nutritionally dense, and are a good source of complete protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  Their waste products are natural and would be biodegraded naturally when discarded, leading to low or absent pollution.  They require simple, easily obtainable nutrients, multiply fast, don’t take up much space and actively benefit from being intensively farmed and harvested.  This makes them ideal nutrient sources for a large global population.

With responsible, air and sustainable sourcing, planning, variation, and balanced consumption; a diet of fruit, nuts, microbial supplements and wild foragings could provide everything humans need to survive and thrive, in an environmentally efficient and friendly way.

Forage Foods
Dandelion greens = vitamin A
Blueberries = vitamin K
Blackberries = vitamin K
Raspberries = B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals
Mushrooms = vitamin D
Strawberries = minerals, vitamin C

Tree Foods Grouped by Vitamin Sources
Cantaloupe melon = vitamin A
Apricots = vitamin A
Banana = B vitamins
Orange = vitamin C
Acerola berry = vitamin C
Lemon = vitamin C
Lime = vitamin C
Grapefruit = vitamin C
Pear = vitamin C
Cherries = vitamin C
Honey melon = vitamin C
Water melon = vitamin C
Quince = vitamin C
Brazil nuts = vitamin E
Cashew nuts = vitamin E
Pistachio nuts = vitamin E
Peanuts = vitamin E
Avocado = vitamin E
Tomato = vitamin E
Plums = vitamin K
Grapes = vitamin K

Quick Preparation Meal Ingredients
Papaya = vitamin A and vitamin E
Mango = vitamin A and vitamin E
Kiwi fruit = vitamin E and vitamin K
Almonds = calcium, vitamin E, omega 6
Pomegranate = vitamin B5, vitamin C
Pineapple = manganese, vitamin C

Every Day Staples
Figs = minerals, vitamin K
Dates = minerals
Agave nectar = prebiotics
Olive oil = omega 6, omega 9
Coconut butter = healthy saturated fats
Plantains = carbohydrates
Spirulina = minerals, omega 3
Nutritional yeast = B vitamins

N.B. Not to say that  I am now opposed to eating animal products and cultivated vegetables/seeds/pulses/legumes/grains; but it seems this approach would ease the burden on such systems, as well as benefitting other systems that sorely need a boost.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Clay Models

I just lost a batch of five or six clay models, having put them in the oven to fire (the clay type I use needs this), and forgotten about them.  They were a mulch of still-recognisable blackened shapes when Mark took them out, and the room was full of smoke.  In the space of five or ten minutes I went through something akin to a millionth of the grieving process:

1.       Panic at remembering they’d been in the oven, and realisation of how long.
2.       Maybe if I don’t believe it, it’s so soon after being told, perhaps it will make it not true?
3.       Anger at myself for forgetting, and at some invisible governor for letting me forget
4.       Sadness at the loss of my little people, of the wasted work that went into them.  And irony and bitterness at the fact that I wanted to fire them so that they would be less likely to get damaged sitting on my bookshelf.
5.       Acceptance, knowing there’s no going back, and then vowing to do the second best thing: duplicate them.  Acceptance cancelled out none of the above though, rather, mingled with them all.  The anger is fading now. 
6.       A tinge of happiness that at least they were preserved in photographs, and at the hopefulness of making duplicates, and the fact that I am less likely to forget again next time.