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14 Nov 18:14

Homem com leucemia entra em remissão após ser tratado com vírus da Aids

Adam Victor Brandizzi

Menção obrigatória a xkcd http://xkcd.com/938/

RIO - Um homem que sofre com uma leucemia agressiva está agora em remissão após médicos usarem o vírus HIV para alvejar e matar células cancerígenas.

Marshall Jensen foi diagnosticado com leucemia linfoblástica aguda, um câncer das células brancas do sangue, logo depois de se casar em 2012.

Jensen, 30, e sua família deixaram sua casa em Utah e passaram os dois anos seguintes viajando pelos Estados Unidos em busca de um tratamento que poderia lutar contra o câncer, a emissora KSL relata.

Na Filadélfia, Jensen ficou sabendo de um tratamento raro, experimental, aproveitando da capacidade HIV vírus para inserir novos genes nas células T do paciente, a fim de matar o câncer de outra forma incurável.

O tratamento é o resultado de duas décadas de pesquisas por Carl June e sua equipe da Penn Medicine, que produziu um estudo sobre os “assassinos específicos de leucemia”, publicado no “New England Journal of Medicine”.

- É um vírus desativado - explicou June. - Mas ele retém a característica essencial de um HIV, que é a capacidade de inserir novos genes nas células.

A terapia trabalha levando milhares de milhões de células T de um paciente com câncer. O DNA nas células é então alterado com uma forma inofensiva do vírus HIV.

As células são programadas para reconhecer e matar o câncer e são colocadas de volta no corpo da pessoa.

June disse que as células agem como “serial killers” e continuam a permanecer latentes no corpo, a menos que o câncer retorne. Sua equipe descobriu que uma das células T modificadas pode matar cerca de mil células tumorais.

O tratamento tem sido bem sucedido até agora e Jensen voltou para casa na quinta-feira depois de ter sido dito que ele está em remissão.

Um total de 30 crianças e adultos receberam o tratamento no estudo de June. Vinte e três dos pacientes estão vivos e 19 já alcançaram a remissão completa.

June vai começar os testes em pacientes com câncer de pâncreas no verão de 2015.

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18 Nov 09:08

Chegada da Amazon aquece debate no mercado sobre o preço fixo do livro - 17/11/2014 - Ilustrada - Folha de S.Paulo

A gigante americana Amazon ainda está mais para nanica no Brasil, onde vende livros impressos há três meses, mas editores e livreiros temem esperar para ver a varejista crescer ao ponto de monopolizar o mercado, como acontece nos EUA e a Inglaterra.

Após anos de discussões sobre uma legislação que estipule o preço fixo para o livro, e apesar de o tema ainda dividir o mercado, um projeto de lei deve ser apresentado em Brasília em 2015. A iniciativa será da senadora eleita Fátima Bezerra (PT-RN), com apoio da Associação Nacional de Livrarias (ANL).

As leis de preço fixo, em vigor em países como a França e a Espanha, impedem as lojas de darem descontos acima de 5% em lançamentos. Os grandes descontos, comuns às redes —que, ao comprar mais livros dos editores, conseguem adquiri-los e repassá-los ao consumidor por preços mais baixos— são considerados prejudiciais às livrarias independentes.

Antes de a discussão chegar ao Senado, nesta segunda (17) e nesta terça (18), no Rio e em São Paulo, dois seminários debaterão o tema —o segundo será capitaneado pela ANL, antiga defensora da lei do preço fixo, mas a surpresa fica por conta do primeiro encontro, coordenado pelo Sindicato Nacional dos Editores de Livros (Snel), que por anos foi contrário à proposta.

"O Snel sempre acreditou que o preço é uma ferramenta de marketing e, como tal, pode ser utilizado como impulsionador de vendas. Está aí a Black Friday, em que promoções trazem resultados incríveis. Mas temos recebido queixas dos pequenos livreiros, que sofrem com a pressão da concorrência. Daí um seminário para entender como funciona o modelo em mercados mais maduros que o nosso", diz Sônia Jardim, presidente do Snel.

'A HORA É AGORA'

O seminário carioca reúne nesta segunda palestrantes de países que adotam a prática, como França e Alemanha, ou já adotaram, como a Inglaterra.

Entre os participantes, o britânico Sam Edenborough, presidente da Associação de Autores e Agentes do Reino Unido, país em que um acordo comercial para o preço fixo vigorou de 1890 a 1997, afirma que, se o Brasil quiser implantar uma lei, deve fazê-lo já.

"Há uma janela estreia de oportunidade no Brasil —e a hora é agora— para introduzir uma lei do preço fixo. Isso poderia estabilizar a indústria e impedir a Amazon de construir uma posição extremamente dominante. Nos EUA e no Reino Unido ela [a Amazon] fez isso; na Alemanha, na França e em outros países que têm regulamentação, ela não conseguiu", diz o especialista.

Para ele, uma lei protegeria autores, editores, livreiros e consumidores —que teriam mais títulos a escolher. "O importante é que os consumidores entendam por que a lei pode ser necessária e como poderia beneficiá-los."

Ednilson Xavier, presidente da ANL, diz que a regulamentação pode até baratear o livro. "Havendo mais livrarias para o escoamento do livro, este pode ser barateado pela escala." Para ele, um dos perigo dos grandes descontos é que eles reduzem a bibliodiversidade.

ERA DOS DESCONTOS

Um exemplo desse cenário pôde ser percebido no Reino Unido nas últimas décadas, desde que, em meados dos anos 1990, alguns editores abandonaram o acordo comercial que estabelecia o preço fixo.

"Com o fim do acordo, começou uma era de grandes descontos, especialmente nos best-sellers. Os editores passaram a focar em títulos mais comerciais —ficção de massa, biografias de celebridades, livros de filmes. O alcance e a diversidade dos livros sofreu, e essa situação permitiu que um único varejista passasse a dar as regras", diz Sam Edenborough, que não vê mais possibilidade de um novo acordo no Reino Unido.

O seminário do Snel reúne ainda nomes da França, onde uma lei permite descontos de apenas 5% até dois anos depois do lançamento, e da Alemanha, onde o controle é exercido pela indústria, mas não trouxe nenhum especialista dos EUA, que nunca exerceu controle do tipo.

A presidente do Snel, Sônia Jardim, tem dúvidas sobre qual modelo seria mais efetivo no caso de adoção no Brasil —na avaliação dela, o alemão seria o mais adequado, já que pode ser mais facilmente revertido caso não funcione.

"Mas não sei, por exemplo, como ficariam eventos promocionais, como as bienais do livro ou datas específicas. O desconto ficaria limitado ao previsto pela lei?"

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18 Nov 09:26

Compras de Natal: Marcas que utilizam trabalho escravo no Brasil - ET

Adam Victor Brandizzi

Nem responder ao IBGE vai poder mais.

A Repórter Brasil acompanha as fiscalizações realizadas no setor das confecções desde 2009, quando foi lançado o Pacto Municipal Tripartite Contra a Fraude e a Precarização, e pelo Emprego e Trabalho Decentes em São Paulo, do qual a organização é signatária.

Confira os principais casos envolvendo empresas do setor, com as datas dos flagrantes:

M.Officer – novembro de 2013

Roupa da M.Officer em oficina flagrada com trabalho escravo (MPT-PRT2)

Roupa da M.Officer em oficina flagrada com trabalho escravo (MPT-PRT2)

Ação conjunta realizada pelo Ministério Público do Trabalho e pelo Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego resgatou duas pessoas produzindo peças da M.Officer em uma confecção no Bom Retiro, bairro da região central de São Paulo.  Casados, os dois trabalhadores são bolivianos e viviam com seus dois filhos no local em que costuravam. A casa  não possuía condições de higiene e não tinha local para alimentação, o que fazia que a família tivesse de comer sobre a cama. Os quatro tinham de dividir a cama de casal. No local de trabalho, onde foram encontradas instalações elétricas irregulares junto a material inflamável, não havia extintores de incêndio. Os trabalhadores tinham de pagar todas as despesas da casa, como luz, água, produtos de limpeza e de higiene, valor descontado do que recebiam por mês.  Eles costuravam exclusivamente para a M.Officer há sete meses e foram contratados por uma terceirizada pela empresa para a produção, a Spazio. Ambos ganhavam  R$ 7 por peça produzida.

Saiba mais:
Justiça determina bloqueio de R$ 1 mi de dona da M.Officer por caso de trabalho análogo ao de escravo
Justiça cassa bloqueio de bens em caso de escravidão envolvendo empresa dona da M.Officer
Os grilhões ocultos da elite brasileira

Le Lis Blanc e Bo.Bô – junho 2013

Registro de dívida por passagem em caderno encontrado na oficina da Le Lis Blanc (Anali Dupré)

Registro de dívida por passagem em caderno encontrado na oficina da Le Lis Blanc (Anali Dupré)

Fiscalização realizada em junho resultou na libertação de 28 pessoas que produziam peças para a grife Le Lis Blanc em três oficinas clandestinas diferentes, incluindo uma adolescente de 16 anos. Eles recebiam entre R$ 2,50 e R$ 7 por unidade costurada. As peças eram vendidas por até 100 vezes mais. Todos os resgatados eram bolivianos, e alguns estavam aprisionados por dívidas. Além de escravidão, a fiscalização identificou também tráfico de pessoas.

Saiba mais:
Roupas da Le Lis Blanc são fabricadas com escravidão
Fiscalização liberta trabalhadores que produziam roupas para grife Bo.Bô
Diretor da Le Lis Blanc e Bo.Bô nega explorar escravos
Após flagrante de escravidão, donos da Le Lis Blanc e Bo.Bô prometem medidas imediatas
Proprietários da marca terá que pagar R$ 1 milhão em indenizações

Cori, Emme e Luigi Bertolli – março 2013

Pagos por produção, trabalhadores continuaram costurando mesmo durante a fiscalização. Ao todo, 28 trabalhadores bolivianos foram resgatados em condições degradantes (Anali Dupré)

Pagos por produção, trabalhadores continuaram costurando mesmo durante a fiscalização. Ao todo, 28 trabalhadores bolivianos foram resgatados em condições degradantes (Anali Dupré)

Fiscalização realizada em 19 de março resultou na libertação de 28 costureiros bolivianos de condições análogas às de escravos em uma oficina clandestina na zona leste de São Paulo. Submetidos a condições degradantes, jornadas exaustivas e servidão por dívida, eles produziam peças para a empresa GEP, que é formada pelas marcas Emme, Cori e Luigi Bertolli, e que pertence ao grupo que representa a grife internacional GAP no Brasil. O resgate foi resultado de uma investigação de mais de dois meses, na qual trabalharam juntos Ministério Público do Trabalho (MPT), Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego (MTE) e Receita Federal. A fiscalização aconteceu na mesma semana que a São Paulo Fashion Week, principal evento de moda da capital paulista.

Saiba mais:
Fiscais flagram escravidão envolvendo grupo que representa a GAP no Brasil
Donos de Cori, Emme e Luigi Bertolli terão que explicar escravidão na Assembléia Legislativa de SP
Diretor do grupo GEP alega ‘traição’ de fornecedores por caso de trabalho escravo

Gangster – março 2013

Fiscal toma depoimento de trabalhador em regime de escravidão  produzindo peças da Gangster numa em uma pequena oficina no bairro São João, em Guarulhos (SP) (Guilherme Zocchio)

Fiscal toma depoimento de trabalhador em regime de escravidão produzindo peças da Gangster numa em uma pequena oficina no bairro São João, em Guarulhos (SP) (Guilherme Zocchio)

Trabalhadores em condições análogas às de escravos foram resgatados produzindo peças da Gangster Surf and Skate Wear, confecção paulistana que tem como público-alvo surfistas, skatistas e praticantes de outros esportes radicais. A libertação aconteceu em 19 de março, durante fiscalização em uma pequena oficina localizada no bairro São João, em Guarulhos (SP), onde trabalhavam dois bolivianos e um peruano. Toda a produção da oficina era destinada à Gangster, loja do bairro do Brás, região central da capital paulista.

Saiba mais:
Fiscalização flagra escravidão na produção de roupas para skatistas e surfistas

Hippychick – janeiro 2013

Página da Hippychick com selo da Abvtex, que foi retirado após a denúncia (Reprodução)

Página da Hippychick com selo da Abvtex, que foi retirado após a denúncia (Reprodução)

A Hippychick Moda Infantil, confecção de roupas infantis que, segundo o Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego (MTE), terceirizava sua produção para uma oficina de costura flagrada explorando trabalho escravo, tinha desde outubro de 2012 o selo da Associação Brasileira do Vestuário Têxtil (ABVTEX) de responsabilidade social. Após a libertação de cinco trabalhadores bolivianos, em 22 de janeiro de 2013, o MTE e o Ministério Público do Trabalho (MPT), que também participou da operação, investigam a responsabilidade das Lojas Americanas na exploração de mão de obra escrava. Segundo o MPT, a suspeita é de que as peças produzidas pela oficina terceirizada eram revendidas exclusivamente nas Lojas Americanas com a marca “Basic+ Kids”. Por conta do flagrante no seu fornecedor, em setembro de 2013 as Lojas Americanas firmaram TAC se comprometendo a melhorar a fiscalização da cadeia produtiva.

Saiba mais:
Após flagrante em fornecedor, Lojas Americanas se comprometem a fiscalizar cadeia produtiva
Confecção de roupas infantis flagrada explorando escravos tinha certificação

Talita Kume – julho 2012

Crianças ficavam expostas a diversos riscos na oficina de costura interditada, num sobrado na Zona Norte de São Paulo (SRTE/SP)

Crianças ficavam expostas a diversos riscos na oficina de costura interditada, num sobrado na Zona Norte de São Paulo (SRTE/SP)

Um grupo de oito pessoas vindas da Bolívia, incluindo um adolescente de 17 anos, foi resgatado de condições análogas à escravidão pela fiscalização dedicada ao combate desse tipo de crime em áreas urbanas. A libertação ocorreu no último dia 19 de junho. Além dos indícios de tráfico de pessoas, as vítimas eram submetidas a jornadas exaustivas, à servidão por dívida, ao cerceamento de liberdade de ir e vir e a condições de trabalho degradantes. O grupo costurava para a marca coreana Talita Kume, cuja sede fica no bairro do Bom Retiro, na zona central da capital.

Saiba mais:
Trabalho escravo abastece produção da marca Talita Kume
Donos da Talita Kume podem ser convocados pela CPI do Trabalho Escravo

Gregory – maio 2012

Jovem cuida do filho recém nascido enquanto trabalha. O carrinho fica ao lado da máquina de costura na Zona Norte da capital paulista (SRTE-SP)

Jovem cuida do filho recém nascido enquanto trabalha. O carrinho fica ao lado da máquina de costura na Zona Norte da capital paulista (SRTE-SP)

No mesmo dia em que a grife de roupas femininas Gregory lançava a sua coleção Outono-Inverno 2012 com pompa e circunstância, uma equipe de fiscalização trabalhista flagrava situação de cerceamento de liberdade, servidão por dívida, jornada exaustiva, ambiente degradante de trabalho e indícios de tráfico de pessoas em uma oficina que produzia peças para a marca, na Zona Norte da cidade da capital paulista. O conjunto de inspeções resultou na libertação de 23 pessoas, todas elas estrangeiras de nacionalidade boliviana, que estavam sendo submetidas à condições análogas à escravidão.

Saiba mais:
Fiscalização associa Gregory à exploração de trabalho escravo

Após flagrante de escravidão, Gregory é questionada pelo Facebook

Caso Zara – agosto 2011

Fiscais flagraram servidão por dívidas, degradância e jornadas exaustivas, em oficina em Sâo Paulo (Repórter Brasil)

Fiscais flagraram servidão por dívidas, degradância e jornadas exaustivas, em oficina em Sâo Paulo (Repórter Brasil)

Confira a série especial de reportagens publicadas sobre o flagrante de trabalho escravo na cadeia produtiva da grife de moda Zara, da empresa espanhola Inditex. A Repórter Brasil acompanhou as investigações do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego e as fiscalizações in loco e trouxe o caso à tona, que ganhou repercussão internacional.

Saiba mais:
MPT destina parte de verba da Zara para libertados
Acordo entre Zara e MPT descarta dano moral coletivo 

Zara recusa acordo com Ministério Público do Trabalho

Cobranças públicas dirigidas à grife Zara são intensificadas
Após desculpas, Zara anuncia “acordos” ainda não fechados
Zara não comparece à Assembleia Legislativa; CPI é defendida
Fabricantes da Zara não foram revisitados por auditorias em 2010
Roupas da Zara são fabricadas com mão de obra escrava
Zara é denunciada por escravidão na Argentina

Collins – maio 2011

De acordo com a DPU-SP, Collins abusou ao usar "trabalho escravo para aumento de lucro" (Bianca Pyl)

De acordo com a DPU-SP, Collins abusou ao usar “trabalho escravo para aumento de lucro” (Bianca Pyl)

A Defensoria Pública da União em São Paulo (DPU/SP) ajuizou ação civil pública contra a empresa de vestuário Collins, envolvida em flagrante de trabalho análogo à escravidão em agosto de 2010. Trata-se da primeira ação coletiva apresentada pelo órgão ao Judiciário trabalhista. “Por falta de defensores, não há como atuarmos também na Justiça do Trabalho. Contudo, quando há uma relação com questões de direitos humanos, como é o caso do tráfico internacional e do trabalho escravo, nós atuamos”, observa Marcus Vinícius Rodrigues Lima, do Oficio de Direitos Humanos e Tutela Coletiva da DPU/SP, que moveu a ação.

Saiba mais:
DPU ajuíza ação contra a Collins por trabalho escravo 

Pernambucanas – abril 2011

Mulheres também foram encontradas em condições análogas à escravidão na oficina em rua tranquila da Zona Norte da capital paulista (Bianca Pyl)

Mulheres também foram encontradas em condições análogas à escravidão na oficina em rua tranquila da Zona Norte da capital paulista (Bianca Pyl)

A casa branca, localizada em uma rua tranquila da Zona Norte da capital paulista, não levantava suspeita. Dentro dela, no entanto, 16 pessoas vindas da Bolívia viviam e eram explorados em condições de escravidão contemporânea na fabricação de roupas. O grupo costurava blusas da coleção Outono-Inverno da Argonaut, marca jovem da tradicional Pernambucanas, no momento em que auditores fiscais da Superintendência Regional do Trabalho e Emprego de São Paulo (SRTE/SP) chegaram ao local. A marca este envolvida em dois flagrantes: um em março de 2011 e outro em setembro de 2010.

Saiba mais:
Trabalho escravo é flagrado na cadeia da Pernambucanas
Rede Pernambucanas esteve envolvida em flagrante anterior 

775 – novembro 2010

Meio ambiente de trabalho na oficina que atendia a marca 775 era irregular e prejudicial aos trabalhadores (SRTE-SP)

Meio ambiente de trabalho na oficina que atendia a marca 775 era irregular e prejudicial aos trabalhadores (SRTE-SP)

Fiscalização encontrou duas bolivianas em condição de trabalho escravo no meio urbano e providenciou abrigo às vítimas. Submetidas a uma rotina de violências físicas e morais, elas costuraram exclusivamente para a marca 775.

Saiba mais:
Costureiras são resgatadas de escravidão em ação inédita

IBGE- outubro 2010

Quando chegou ao complexo de oficinas, fiscalização flagrou boliviano vestindo colete do IBGE, confeccionado em regime análogo ao escravo (Bianca Pyl)

Quando chegou ao complexo de oficinas, fiscalização flagrou boliviano vestindo colete do IBGE, confeccionado em regime análogo ao escravo (Bianca Pyl)

Vencedora da licitação dos 230 mil coletes deixou quase toda a produção (99,12%) para terceiros. Um deles, que não tinha nem registro básico, repassou parte da demanda para oficina que mantinha trabalho escravo.

Confira:
Escravizados produziram coletes de recenseadores do IBGE

Marisa – março 2010

Oficina de costura fiscalizada produzia peças femininas para a Marisa, uma das maiores redes varejistas do país (Maurício Hashizume)

Oficina de costura fiscalizada produzia peças femininas para a Marisa, uma das maiores redes varejistas do país (Maurício Hashizume)

Etapas do processo desde o aliciamento até as lojas do magazine foram apuradas pela Superintendência Regional do Trabalho e Emprego de São Paulo (SRTE-SP), que aplicou 43 autos de infração, com passivo total de R$ 633,6 mil.

Saiba mais:
Escravidão é flagrada em oficina de costura ligada à Marisa
Marisa assina Pacto contra escravidão e anuncia mudanças
Marisa é suspensa de pacto contra escravidão
Para AGU, Marisa deve ser incluída na “lista suja” do trabalho escravo
Justiça absolve Lojas Marisa em caso de trabalho escravo

Especial atualizado regularmente com inclusão de novos casos.

Esta matéria foi originalmente publicada pelo Repórter Brasil

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18 Nov 20:29

Cartoonist Josh Hara Draws on His Coffee Cup(s) Every Morning...





















Cartoonist Josh Hara Draws on His Coffee Cup(s) Every Morning [more]

Previously: How to Get 10% Off Your Order at Not a Burger Stand

18 Nov 05:23

The Double Dust Disks of HD 95086

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2014 November 17
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

The Double Dust Disks of HD 95086
Illustration Credit: Spitzer Space Telescope, JPL, NASA

Explanation: What do other star systems look like? To help find out, astronomers are carrying out detailed observations of nearby stars in infrared light to see which have dust disks that might be forming planets. Observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and ESA's Herschel Space Observatory have found that planetary system HD 95086 has two dust disks: a hot one near the parent star and a cooler one farther out. An artist's illustration of how the system might appear is featured here, including hypothetical planets with large rings that orbit between the disks. The planets may have created the large gap between the disks by absorbing and deflecting dust with their gravity. HD 95086 is a blue star about 60 percent more massive than our Sun that lies about 300 light years from Earth and is visible with binoculars toward the constellation of Carina. Studying the HD 95086 system may help astronomers better understand the formation and evolution of our own Solar System as well as the Earth.

New Mirror Site: APOD is now available from Serbia in Serbian.
Tomorrow's picture: stars and pillars < | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Expanded from APOD by Feed Readabilitifier.
17 Nov 21:00

Zeugma mosaics





















Zeugma mosaics

20 Nov 01:39

Me: *Watching video tutorial*

Me: *Watching video tutorial*
Person in the video: Heyyyyyyy... Everybodyy... Todayyyy I will show you how to...
Me: HURRY THE FUCK UP
16 Nov 23:00

WHEN I TRY TO WORK FROM HOME

credit: Alison

20 Nov 15:58

Cats Welcoming Soldiers Home [via]Previously: Cats Giving High...













Cats Welcoming Soldiers Home [via]

Previously: Cats Giving High Fives

20 Nov 05:30

[jimbenton]

21 Nov 06:00

Comic for November 21, 2014

21 Nov 11:13

Of The Internet

by DOGHOUSE DIARIES

Of The Internet

UPDATED: Now includes the 4chan one from the mouseover. Wikipedia: the library where they give you scissors, whiteout, and a pen when you walk in, of the internet. Comments on Facebook!

21 Nov 21:00

The Civil War Comes Alive As 3D GIFS

21 Nov 17:00

Photo



21 Nov 17:47

The Vest Epiphany

Adam Victor Brandizzi

¡¡¡EU PRECISAVA SABER DISTO HÁ DOIS ANOS!!!

Using this image without linking to here isn't sharing it's just theft.  

You've heard the old adage 'you learn something new everyday' or even 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks'? Well this old dog recently learned a very new trick.

Ten years I've been a Mum, ten years.  Not once in these ten years did I question why baby vests have envelope shoulders.  I just blithely accepted that this is how the world is.  Sure, it makes them a bit easier to get them over baby's head but that's about it.  Then somebody on a FaceBook parenting group enlightened me with the news that the shoulder design serves a purpose.  We've all been there, your baby has created a poonami.  Shit (or vomit) has quite literally hit the fan (and everywhere else).  You need to strip baby and hose them down. You fear things couldn't possibly get any worse until you try to get the vest over their head (something many babies object to even when the vest isn't dripping with shit) cue poo being moved up over their chest, shoulders and in their hair.

So what if I told you that you can roll the vests down and take them off that way?  Crisis averted.

If you already knew this, why didn't you tell me?! If this is news to you, like it was to me, welcome to enlightenment!

Ever the cynic I decided to try this strange witchery out.  It works.  Better still, it works one handed! How do I know this? why, I filmed it of course!  Actually I filmed it twice.  The first time was a genuine poonami situation yet I feared the site of explosive breastfed poo splattered baby may traumatise you so I did it again with a clean Moomin then tossed a coin as to which one I blogged.  Excuse the crap video, I'm not a V-Blogger, it was midnight with shit lighting and it's filmed one handed with my phone. Oh and yes, Moomin did infact poo mid video.  She's her Father's child.





***Disclaimer: this entry is a bit of fun. Obviously I don't know if this is officially the reason they were designed this way but it's certainly made my life a whole lot easier!



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17 Nov 11:37

Brazil leads creation of Internet governance initiative | ZDNet

Six months after hosting governance conference NETMundial, Brazil is leading the creation of a permanent platform to discuss improvements in the way the Internet is managed.

The country's Internet steering committee CGI, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) are the organizations behind the initiative, which is presented as a collaborative group that will be coordinated by stakeholders across the globe.

According to the organizers, the idea is to turn the NETmundial initiative into an "essential mechanism to advance the creation of policies and governance for the global Internet."

"Dialog is essential, but the global community is now ready to take action. The NETmundial initiative channels this energy to offer practical solutions in Internet governance to solve immediate needs," says ICANN president Fadi Chehadé.

The platform has been described as a "meeting point", where stakeholders will be able to put ideas forward, discuss them and attract the support to make them reality if necessary. In that sense, the WEF support icomes in handy, given its reach within the business community. 

But the initiative's "caretakers" CGI and ICANN, as well as supporter WEF, will not be responsible for any activities regarding the selection of financing of the projects and are keen to stress the collaborative nature of the initiative. To that end, the organizations have started a process of putting together the group's coordinating council and this will be done through a nomination process, open until December 6.

Some 20 individuals from all continents - from governments and academia/technology experts to private sector and the civil society - will take part in the Council. In addition, the CGI and ICANN will take two seats each, while the WEF and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take up individual seats in the coordinating group for the initiative.

Demi Getschko, board member at the CGI and chief executive at the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), highlighted that the individuals that, as well as the organizations that kickstarted the initiative, the Council will have no decision-making function other than ensuring that the platform functions properly.

"All Council members will also have to support and agree with the principles that came out of the NETmundial meeting in São Paulo earlier this year," he told ZDNet.

According to Getschko, the collaborative work within the Internet governance initiative will be carried out mostly online and there is no set agenda for meetings, online or in person.

For now, the only goals in terms of timescales are that the Council should be in place by year end and that some form of inaugural meeting will take place in January 2015 so the initiative can start its activities.

Brazil's role in global Internet governance

The NETmundial initiative follows a conference with the same name, organized by the Brazilian government and held in São Paulo in April, in the aftermath of the National Security Agency spying scandal that included Brazil as one of the non-adversarial countries being monitored by the United States.

Back then, the Brazilian government said that the US government's plan to end its contractual oversight of ICANN over certain key aspects of Internet addressing and naming also made NETmundial "even more timely."

But Dilma Rousseff's government stressed that it wasn't intending to seize control of the Internet - rather, it was advocating for a more globalized mechanism that would allow discussions around Internet governance to take place in a multistakeholder environment.

Local Internet steering group CGI was responsible for a manifesto document that described principles for Web use and governance and was ultimately used as a foundation for Brazil's Marco Civil da Internet (also known as the country's "Internet Constitution"), passed a day before the April event and guided many of the debates at the conference.

Senior government representatives, academics, Internet heavyweights and supporters of Brazil's campaign to secure a more democratic and decentralized web all attended the São Paulo event, where two documents were produced collaboratively to set the initial agenda of the group and future governance goals.

According to CGI's Getschko, while the documents are not a mandatory set of rules for supporting organizations and countries, they "paint a picture of aspirations and commitments from the overwhelming majority of the international community to guide Internet governance from that point on."

The Internet pioneer adds that the fact these discussions started in Brazil and the steps the country has taken towards a multistakeholder model for Internet governance meant the country was an obvious leader for the NETmundial initiative, despite the fact that other nations were also involved in the original debate.

"Through CGI, Brazil is a good paradigm in that area and ended up serving as an inspiration for the process of horizontally integrating all sectors and also with regards to the meeting results, which generated a letter with fundamental principles that should guide future steps in Internet governance," Getschko says.

"So when it came to following up on all those discussions that NETmundial started, CGI was naturally approached to be part of this continuation and also make it happen," he adds.

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17 Nov 12:46

The Red Baron flies again! Hobbyist flies £50,000 Fokker replica

  • Paul Ford, 52, spent five years on his DIY replica inside an old factory in his in-laws' garden in Cambridgeshire
  • All 320 Fokker Dr1 Dreideckers have been destroyed or lost, so he had to base it on 1970s U.S. technical drawings
  • Mr Ford is no ordinary enthusiast - he spent 26 years at Cambridge University and entered BBC hit show Robot Wars
  • He narrowly avoided death when he crashed it last year, but rebuilt plane and made sure it passed safety checks
  • 'It was very scary the first time I flew it,' the hobbyist admitted. 'But after the first time they're just so much fun to fly'

A plane-mad engineer has spent five years and £50,000 building a perfect replica of the Red Baron's Fokker triplane - and is still flying it despite coming close to death in a crash.

Paul Ford used his wife's patience, his in-laws' garden and his three children's help to recreate the Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker, a First World War fighter made famous by German pilot Manfred Von Richthofen.

Nicknamed 'The Red Baron' for his penchant for painting his aircraft scarlet, Von Richthofen downed at least 70 allied pilots until his death in aerial combat aged 25 a few months before the war ended in 1918.

Scroll down for video 

Now that's a model plane: Paul Ford, 52, spent five years and £50,000 creating his working replica of the Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker. The German First World War fighter was made famous by Manfred Von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, who shot down 70 allied pilots

Now that's a model plane: Paul Ford, 52, spent five years and £50,000 creating his working replica of the Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker. The German First World War fighter was made famous by Manfred Von Richthofen, aka the Red Baron, who shot down 70 allied pilots

Those magnificent men: Instead of converting an existing craft, Mr Ford created his Fokker triplane from scratch - and it is back in the skies after one of the wing struts was broken in a crash last year. Each part was hand-crafted by the Cambridge engineer's friends

Those magnificent men: Instead of converting an existing craft, Mr Ford created his Fokker triplane from scratch - and it is back in the skies after one of the wing struts was broken in a crash last year. Each part was hand-crafted by the Cambridge engineer's friends

Impressive: With the help of friends and his three children - Ashley, 25, Kirsty, 20, and Michael, 17- Mr Ford's Fokker had its first test flight six years ago and built up a reputation at British air shows, where it flies replica dogfights with an original Tiger Moth

Impressive: With the help of friends and his three children - Ashley, 25, Kirsty, 20, and Michael, 17- Mr Ford's Fokker had its first test flight six years ago and built up a reputation at British air shows, where it flies replica dogfights with an original Tiger Moth

Jaunt: The assistant at Derby Aero Club in his fully-functional replica. His madcap project took 3,500 hours and began 15 years ago, when he built a radio-controlled quarter-size model of the Red Baron's scarlet craft - but he said: 'I had to have the real thing'

Jaunt: The assistant at Derby Aero Club in his fully-functional replica. His madcap project took 3,500 hours and began 15 years ago, when he built a radio-controlled quarter-size model of the Red Baron's scarlet craft - but he said: 'I had to have the real thing'

The 52-year-old co-owner of Derby Aero Club has been obsessed with vintage planes since he became an 11-year-old volunteer at Duxford Airfield in Cambridgeshire, now home to the Imperial War Museum.

The triplane is his crowning achievement and his full-time career - delighting air show crowds across Britain in mock dogfights with a vintage Tiger Moth.

'It is the ultimate plane from the First World War,' he said. 'My wife, Sarah didn't believe I'd do it until one day when the metal and the wood arrived at the front door.'

His madcap project took 3,500 hours and began 15 years ago, when he built a radio-controlled quarter-size model of the Red Baron's scarlet craft.

'I wasn't satisfied', he said. 'I had to have the real thing'.

So to the bemusement of his 50-year-old wife, he bought a book called How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married! and began work on the Fokker in his in-laws' garden in the village of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire.

'Ironically my wife had time to read it but I didn't,' he said. 'I was too busy working on the plane'.

Challenge: To the bemusement of his 50-year-old wife, Mr Ford bought a book called How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married! and began work on the Fokker in his in-laws' garden in the village of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire. It had its first test flight six years ago

Challenge: To the bemusement of his 50-year-old wife, Mr Ford bought a book called How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married! and began work on the Fokker in his in-laws' garden in the village of Cottenham, Cambridgeshire. It had its first test flight six years ago

Unfamiliar sight: The Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker, of which only 320 were built and none survive, was a favourite of the feared Red Baron

Unfamiliar sight: The Fokker Dr1 Dreidecker, of which only 320 were built and none survive, was a favourite of the feared Red Baron

Meticulous: The plane had to be based on 1970s technical drawings by a U.S. enthusiast in order to pass strict safety tests by authorities

Meticulous: The plane had to be based on 1970s technical drawings by a U.S. enthusiast in order to pass strict safety tests by authorities

Mr Ford added: 'I was very lucky. Sarah's parents lived in a very old Victorian house and in the garden there was an old basket-waving factory from the 1800s so we used that. Most of it was built in there'.

The challenge was not easy. All 320 Fokker Dr1 Dreideckers have been destroyed or lost, and many surviving photos were grainy at best.

If there had been a fire I wouldn't be here. One of the wing struts was broken and it took a year to rebuild

Paul Ford on crashing the Fokker

So Mr Ford, from Egginton, South Derbyshire, used technical drawings created in the 1970s by aviation fanatic Ron Sands, a U.S. engineer who drew up detailed plans for many wartime planes.

It meant converting many imperial measurements into metric ones and hand-making the parts, but without the drawings the plane would never have been cleared to fly by the Light Aircraft Association.

With the help of friends and Mr Ford's three children - Ashley, 25, Kirsty, 20, and Michael, 17- the Fokker had its first test flight six years ago and built up a reputation at air shows, where it flies replica dogfights with an original Tiger Moth.

But a year ago, Mr Ford crashed the plane on the grass runway of Podington Airfield in Northamptonshire - narrowly avoiding death.

'I had a little accident', he admitted.

'The trouble with First World War planes is they have to be landed into the wind. Unfortunately a gust of wind caught me sideways, the wing clipped a gate and I landed on my back.

'If there had been a fire I wouldn't be here. One of the wing struts was broken and it took a year to rebuild. We've only just got it flying again.'

View from the cockpit: Mr Ford spent 26 years developing gas turbines in Cambridge University's engineering department - despite not having a degree - before making Mortis, one of the most celebrated entrants to the BBC's hit geeks' battleground show Robot Wars

View from the cockpit: Mr Ford spent 26 years developing gas turbines in Cambridge University's engineering department - despite not having a degree - before making Mortis, one of the most celebrated entrants to the BBC's hit geeks' battleground show Robot Wars

Detailed: Everything on the plane is as it would be except for the engine. These three 'cylinders' are actually old fire extinguishers
Detailed: Everything on the plane is as it would be except for the engine. These three 'cylinders' are actually old fire extinguishers

Detailed: Everything on the plane is as it would be except for the engine. These three 'cylinders' are actually old fire extinguishers

Transported in time: Mr Ford wears a vintage-style flying helmet to complete the look. 'It was very scary the first time I flew it,' he admitted. 'Having built it myself I was a little bit nervous - you always are. But after the first time they're just so much fun to fly'

Transported in time: Mr Ford wears a vintage-style flying helmet to complete the look. 'It was very scary the first time I flew it,' he admitted. 'Having built it myself I was a little bit nervous - you always are. But after the first time they're just so much fun to fly'

Defiant: Mr Ford continues flying despite a crash last year. 'If there had been a fire I wouldn't be here,' he said. 'It took a year to rebuild'

Defiant: Mr Ford continues flying despite a crash last year. 'If there had been a fire I wouldn't be here,' he said. 'It took a year to rebuild'

To this day, the only part of the plane which wouldn't have been the same in 1918 is the engine. Instead of a rotary engine it is a U.S.-made Lycoming which allows him to fly for up to four hours.

To complete the look there is a dummy engine - little more than three old fire extinguishers painted silver - and machine guns on the nose, unarmed of course.

Mr Ford is no ordinary hobbyist.

He spent 26 years developing gas turbines in Cambridge University's engineering department - despite not having a degree.

With talented colleagues there he made Mortis, one of the most famous, fearsome and expensive entrants ever to the BBC's hit show Robot Wars.

He then quit to run his own company which worked on military jet engines, where he spent ten years.

Unlike similar lookalikes which modified an existing plane, the Fokker was completely built from scratch. 

Clunky: The plane is a little unstable, but its creator said it helped improve manoeuvrability in a high-octane (imitation) dogfight

Clunky: The plane is a little unstable, but its creator said it helped improve manoeuvrability in a high-octane (imitation) dogfight

Everything thought of: The plane's labels are in German and weights in kilograms - the latter was a problem when using American plans

Everything thought of: The plane's labels are in German and weights in kilograms - the latter was a problem when using American plans

Taking aim: The plane has a vintage machine gun, though of course an unarmed one, for its travels over airshows across Britain

Taking aim: The plane has a vintage machine gun, though of course an unarmed one, for its travels over airshows across Britain

Crowning achievement: While building the plane, the engineer bought a book called How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married! 'Ironically my wife had time to read it but I didn't,' he said. 'I was too busy working on the plane' - which now flies triumphant over Britain

Crowning achievement: While building the plane, the engineer bought a book called How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married! 'Ironically my wife had time to read it but I didn't,' he said. 'I was too busy working on the plane' - which now flies triumphant over Britain

'There are a few other planes that are quite similar to this one but the Fokker just stood out to me,' Mr Ford said. 'It can be a little unstable when flying it but that's what makes it so special.

'It's actually unstable on purpose because it means when it's in the air it can get out of the way very, very quickly and back on your opponent's tail in a dog-fighting situation.

'It was very scary the first time I flew it. Having built it myself I was a little bit nervous - you always are. But after the first time they're just so much fun to fly.'

The Red Baron's is not the first plane Paul has built. He is currently working on two other projects inspired by German First World War planes which he hopes to have finished by next year. Once they are completed, he intends to begin work on a British plane.

Paul, who thanked several devoted friends and family members including his wife for their help, said: 'They cost around £50,000 to make, but they're worth a lot more. The tri-plane is worth around £180,000, but I won't sell any of them.

'They're a lot of fun, and they'll keep me busy when I retire.' 

FIGHTER ACE FEARED BY BRITS: HOW THE RED BARON FOUND INFAMY IN A NEW WAR OF AERIAL COMBAT

The achievements of fighter ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen (right) - who shot down some 70 allied pilots in the First World War - made him hated by the Brits and a propaganda tool for the Germans.

He was 22 and stationed on Germany's eastern border when the war broke out in 1914, but it was not always guaranteed he would become a pilot.

At first he was a cavalryman, but his unit became rapidly obsolete in what would be the world's first modern mechanised war.

In May 1915 he travelled to Cologne to become an Air Service observer before taking to the skies for the first time later that year.

His reputation became formidable quickly. Just a month after first sitting in a flying plane as a gunner, he took his first solo flight and soon became one of the best-known names in the German military.

His nickname - also translated as Red Devil and Red Knight - came from his disregard of combat or camouflage colours to paint his aircraft blood-red in a show of fearlessness.

But it was that love of combat that would be his undoing. 

In the summer of 1917, General Jan Smuts produced a War Office report calling for the creation of an entirely new addition to the Armed Forces.

Both the Royal Navy and the Army had developed their own airborne units - the Royal Naval Air Squadron and the Royal Flying Corps - but the war had made the argument for a separate entity to govern the sky.

The Government agreed. Within a year, the Royal Air Force was born and the 1st Viscount Rothermere was appointed the first Secretary of State for Air.

It was in aerial combat with the allies - and flying a Fokker DR1 - that the Baron would meet his fate. The pilot was 25 years old when he was shot down and killed near Amiens, France, on 21 April 1918.

Many theories exist about who killed him, and for a long time the RAF credited Canadian Captain Arthur 'Roy' Brown, who had to dive steeply at high speed to intervene in the dogfight. Later theories suggested the bullet which downed the Baron was fired from the ground.

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20 Nov 21:00

thefrogman: [video]

20 Nov 17:00

Photo



19 Nov 19:24

For the Public Good: The Shameful History of Forced Sterilization in the U.S. | Longreads Blog

The third of 10 children, Annie Buelin barely remembers when her father was taken to a home for the mentally ill in Virginia. He was already in his 60s when he married her mother and set up a household in Flat Rock, North Carolina, but Buelin isn’t sure if it was senility or something else that caused him to lose his mind. Buelin’s mother — 15 when she married, with a third-grade education — supported her children through welfare, working in tobacco fields, and doing washing and ironing for her neighbors. She hardly had time to keep up with all of her children.

As a child, Buelin dreaded going to school. She received free lunch, and everyone knew it. She didn’t have nice clothes, and she and her brothers and sisters were left out of school plays and celebrations. She sat in the back of the classroom and tried not to draw attention to herself, and she was too nervous to answer when her teachers called on her. “People laughed at us because we didn’t have money,” she remembers. “It didn’t bother my siblings as much, but that kept me tore up.”

At age 12, Beulin stopped attending school, instead working as a live-in babysitter for neighbors whose long shifts in the mills kept them away from home. She earned $15 a week doing housework, cooking, and childcare. It was hard work, but she didn’t mind it. She was able to contribute to her family’s finances, and she enjoyed caring for the children.

Soon, though, local officials noticed her truancy. One day, a social worker appeared and took her to the county welfare office to give her a test. “They didn’t tell me what the test was, or what it was for,” Buelin says. Later, her sister would tell her that the test had found she had the IQ of a 7- or 8-year old.

The social worker told Buelin she had to go back to school, or else she would have to have an operation that would prevent her from having children. “‘Well, I’m not a-going,’” she remembers telling the social worker.

When the day came for her surgery, she walked the half-mile driveway to the road alone. A nurse picked her up and took her to the hospital in nearby Elkin, where she was admitted. Buelin never had a chance to see the paperwork; the nurse filled it all out and signed it for her. She doesn’t remember much about the operation itself, but she vividly recalls returning from the hospital, five days later.

“No one was there when I got home,” she says. She was still in pain from the surgery, but she walked until she found her mother at work in a nearby tobacco field. They didn’t talk about what happened.

“She just did the best she knew how,” Buelin says. “She let people run over her. She didn’t realize she had any other choice.”

In fact, her mother likely didn’t have any other choice. Had she refused consent, the Eugenics Board would have held a hearing to review Buelin’s case in Raleigh, more than three hours away, and could have overruled her mother’s objections based on Buelin’s test scores and the conditions of her home. It’s possible they would have declared her mother incompetent, even if she could attend the hearing, and assigned a guardian ad litem to make the decision for her.

After the surgery, Buelin didn’t tell any of her friends what had happened to her. At church, some people knew, but no one mentioned it or asked how she was doing. Her surgery wasn’t discussed much among her family either, though her brother-in-law warned her that she’d better tell any man she planned to marry. Buelin saw a doctor in the hope that the procedure could be reversed, but after an exam was told that her fallopian tubes had not been tied but severed. She’d had a complete, irreversible salpingectomy.

The 1948 manual of the North Carolina Eugenics Board repeats the claim, made in the 1935 manual and derived from the California legislation, that sterilization is not a punishment but a kindness. In the eyes of the Eugenics Board, Buelin would not be stigmatized or humiliated as a result of her surgery, and her community would not shun her. Her married life would be happy — happier, since her future husband would not have to fear for the welfare of their children. The surgery would have no effect on her life, the manual insisted, other than preventing parenthood.

* * *

Eight

Pronatalism is the widely accepted cultural idea that biological parenthood and family life are not only normal, but necessary for the successful transition to adult life. Aside from a slight dip in the 1970s, America has been a distinctly pronatalist country, especially in the 20th and 21st centuries, promoting idealized visions of family life through film, television, and advertising. It was particularly strong around the time that the North Carolina sterilization program reached its peak. Surveys taken in 1945, 1955, and 1960 found that zero percent of Americans considered no children the ideal family size.

Many researchers believe that the desire to have children is not only the expression of a cultural desire to fit in and be validated, but an inherent, inborn need. Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson was the first to describe ego development as a lifelong process that lasts into adulthood. Adults’ primary challenge, according to Erikson, is generativity versus stagnation, with the core of generativity expressed through raising the next generation, especially through parenting or caring for others. Stagnation occurs when adults are unable to satisfy their need for generativity, and can result in depression and emotional stunting.

More recently, evolutionary psychologist Douglas Kendrick suggested a revision of Maslow’s classic hierarchy of needs, replacing the ultimate goal of self-actualization, the desire to fulfill one’s potential, with parenting, the desire to care for one’s offspring and other relatives. The Americans with Disabilities Act has recognized infertility — the inability to become pregnant after trying for one year — as a disability. And reproduction, according to the Supreme Court, qualifies as a “major life activity.”

My own depression started after about two years of trying without success to conceive. I avoided people I loved and felt isolated from everyone except my husband and my few childless (or childfree) friends. Although I don’t consider myself disabled and find Kendrick’s model to be too narrow, I also understand that we live in a world — a pronatalist one — where many people feel that you aren’t really an adult until you are a parent.

Buelin watched her siblings grow up and have children, as well as friends and coworkers at the textile mills where she eventually worked. She was happy for them, she insists, but she never talked about what happened to prevent her from having children of her own. “Lord have mercy, I loved children,” she says. “Whenever I saw someone who was going to have a baby, I thought they were so pretty.”

Buelin’s first marriage was troubled. Her husband drank and ran around on her, and she thinks he blamed her for what had happened, years before. People at work sometimes asked her why she didn’t have kids, but Buelin never told them. “I didn’t want to talk about it,” she says. “I think I was just ashamed, or hurt, I don’t know which.”

Her first husband died young, leaving Buelin alone and depressed. She saw a psychiatrist several times in her 30s, but they never talked about her sterilization or childlessness. “It got to the point where I didn’t even want to go to church,” says Buelin. “And I always went to church.”

Willis Lynch found relationships difficult, too. When he was young and working in maintenance for the city of Richmond, he began dating a woman who already had one child and was expecting another. The baby’s biological father was in jail for robbing phone booths and wasn’t around for the birth, which Lynch found deplorable. He married her just eight days after she gave birth, and Lynch grew close with the younger child. But after a few years, his wife left him for another man. “She took me for a meal ticket,” he figures. “But I didn’t regret it ’cause of those kids. I loved those kids.”

Lynch never remarried, and like Buelin rarely spoke about what had happened to him. It was too hard to explain, when so many people had never even heard about the sterilizations or the eugenics movement. He lost touch with his ex-wife’s children.

Despite the general acknowledgement that parenting is a crucial milestone, it is not hard to find those who think, even today, that some people should not have that option. To read the comments section of any online discussion of North Carolina’s eugenics program is to find a significant percentage of readers who are uncomfortable with dismissing the program outright.

Here are just a few of the comments I found online in response to a local news story about compensation, an online photo essay depicting the victims on the Mother Jones Web site, and the online transcript of an NPR story about North Carolina’s eugenics program:

I do not understand the underlying premise that forced sterilization is somehow “wrong.” That seems to be taken for granted but no one has made the case for it. Can anyone explain this? How is forced sterilization not completely consistent with what is taught in our public schools to the effect that only the most fit should survive?

 Is it or is it not a good idea to encourage persons with developmental disabilities NOT to have children?

 The idea of humans having to accomplish something in their life before breeding is actually sound. We are in a world economy … Those that can not complete high school or are not able to keep a job or produce something tangible that is worthwhile should not be breeding…. I would suggest ALL men and women be temporarily sterilized at adolescence- Norplant for women, vasectomies for men.

Once they have become contributing members of society through formal education, technical school, or have remained employed and no felonious crimes for over 5 years – then they should be allowed to breed.

Online forums are a popular place for people to express ideas they might not feel comfortable sharing in person, but I have heard similar arguments expressed within the context of the public school system. Biology students learning about genetics for the first time will often wonder, why can’t we just get rid of dumb people? And a common refrain expressed by frustrated teachers, out of earshot of students and parents, is this: If you need a license to drive, you should certainly have to get a license to have kids.

* * *

Nine

Willis Lynch doesn’t remember exactly when he first heard about North Carolina’s Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, the organization tasked with contacting and verifying victims of the state’s eugenics program. A friend of his, one of the few who knew what had been done to him, saw something about the foundation on television and gave Lynch the contact information. Not wanting to wait for a response by mail, Lynch drove his Ford EXP to the Caswell Training Center in Kinston, where he once milked cows in the early morning and was only allowed recreation on Friday nights. Caswell operates today as a residential home for the mentally handicapped though it no longer serves children, and the farm was sold years ago. He requested and received the papers certifying his admission to the center, as well as a complicated chain of letters related to his sterilization.

Reading carefully through the correspondence between Caswell and the Eugenics Board of North Carolina, Lynch realized that their original target was not him but his mother. In August 1947, not long after his 14th birthday, Elsie Parker, secretary for the Eugenics Board, wrote to Dr. W.T. Parrott, superintendent at Caswell, requesting information about Lynch’s suitability for sterilization. Parker wrote, “The mother had been receiving aid to dependent children but the payment was terminated at one point because it was not considered a safe and proper home. At that time the mother requested a sterilization operation. Authorization was granted on the basis of feeble-mindedness. The operation was, however, never performed.”

Parrott wrote back to the Eugenics Board almost immediately: “We have your letter of August 13th in regard to the sterilization of the above named child. We would like to have this operation done. Willis has an I.Q. of 58. Thanks.” Still, it took until April 1948 for the Eugenics Board and Caswell to secure her consent for her son’s vasectomy.

Lynch doubts that his mother would have ever consented to her own sterilization. “Mama loved kids,” he says. But he understands that she might have felt pressure to agree to his operation in order to maintain her family’s welfare benefits. What work she could find paid too little to care for seven children, and two had already been removed from her home to live in institutions (one of his sisters had been sent to a home in Virginia). He returned home in 1951, but never talked with his mother about the operation or what it meant for his life.

Lynch drove the Caswell papers to Raleigh himself rather than trusting them to the mail. It was there that he first met Larry Womble, the first of North Carolina’s legislators to become an advocate for compensation. Lynch testified about his experience in a matter of minutes — he calls his story “short and bitter” — then sat down again among the other victims.

Railey, the reporter who first brought the eugenics program to statewide and national attention, remembers talking on the phone to Lynch after getting his number from Womble, then driving to meet him in the parking lot of the Littleton Piggly Wiggly.  They sat in the cab of Railey’s truck and talked about Lynch’s experience at Caswell, the dawning realization, months after the surgery, that he’d been given a vasectomy. They talked about his time in the service, as a rifleman, about the mechanic trade Lynch learned on his own, about his love for country music.

For three years now, Railey has talked with Lynch once a week about the progress of legislation. “He’ll call me on a Friday, usually. He’ll say ‘What do you hear? What do you know?’”

In his many articles, editorials, and columns about the program, Railey has often relied on Lynch for insight into the experience of the victims. “Willis is kind of an elder statesman of this movement,” says Railey. “He’s the oldest victim who speaks about it regularly. He’s very aware, but not in a bleak sense, of his own mortality.”

Railey, who considers Lynch a friend, is aware of it, too. “He’s close to his nephew, but he doesn’t have anyone else. When he’s gone, he’s gone.”

* * *

Ten

Few if any studies have been made about the psychological damage of sterility, but there is evidence that infertility, as a stressor, is equivalent to the experience of living with cancer, HIV, or other chronic illnesses. “It’s such an assault to your identity,” says Dr. Marni Rosner, a New York-based psychotherapist and author of a lengthy study examining infertility as traumatic loss. “Physically, mentally, socially, spiritually.”

Rosner’s study focused on women whose backgrounds are far different from victims of eugenics; they are comparatively wealthy and well-connected, with access to mental health care and other support systems. Still, they struggle in similar ways. They mention feeling isolated from their churches, especially on Mother’s Day, when many congregations have special recognition for mothers and expectant mothers. They experience shame, depression, grief, envy, and difficulty communicating with spouses, family, and friends. Marriages experiencing long-term infertility tend to suffer sexually as well as emotionally, and infertile couples often feel disconnected from friends and siblings moving into the parenting phase of their lives.

Rosner was the first in her field to fully explore the way infertility traumatically impacts almost every area of life, and was questioned about her use of the phrase “reproductive trauma” during her dissertation defense. I have experienced it myself, in five years of trying to conceive: each time a friend or relative becomes pregnant, each child-centered holiday, each reminder of childlessness, is a fresh experience of grief. “It’s not concrete,” she allows. “The losses are hidden. But with reproductive trauma, the losses happen over and over again.”

Compounding this sense of loss is the inability of many infertile people to talk about their experiences. I have experienced this also; when invited to speak at a church service for infertile women and men, I found that I was barely able to raise my voice above a whisper. As Rosner writes in her study, “There are no clear norms for grieving a dream.” Fear of having one’s loss diminished and the desire not to offend or upset those with children reinforce the silence that is a manifestation of what writer and grief counseling expert Kenneth Doka called “disenfranchised grief”: “the grief that persons experience when they incur a loss that is not or cannot be openly acknowledged, publicly mourned, or socially supported.”

It isn’t surprising that sterilization victims have experienced all of those losses — social isolation, depression, trouble in their romantic relationships — but also, perhaps to an even greater extent, disenfranchised grief. Because their inability to have children was not a consequence of biology but a decision made by another, they feel lifelong shame at being deemed “unfit.” At the hearings held by North Carolina’s task force to determine the method of compensation, several of the speakers were in tears as they told their stories. Some who suspected they were targeted and sterilized refused to go through the process of verification necessary to make them eligible for possible compensation. They didn’t want to know the truth.

“It would really be wonderful if, when one of these victims told of what had happened, there was general understanding of what exactly that meant, psychologically, and the life-long implications of the infertility itself,” says Rosner.

When I first met Lynch and Buelin, I had been attending a support group for people experiencing infertility for more than a year. Each month, my husband and I drove to Raleigh to sit in a chilly hospital basement and listen to other women and men tell their stories: the years of trying and failing to conceive, the difficult and painful medical procedures, the feelings of jealousy and longing that never seemed to go away. Most of the other couples were, like us, in stable relationships, with the means to pursue some sort of treatment and the hope that these treatments might one day work. If nothing else, we had those meetings. Once a month, for two hours, we knew we could talk to other people who understood.

Lynch and Buelin have never attended a support group; Buelin, who has transportation issues, has never been able to attend a public hearing, though she once attended a church service with Railey that recognized sterilization victims. The children they don’t have are in many ways just like the children we don’t have — they are people who don’t exist, people we’ve only dreamed about, some of us since we were children ourselves. But there is one difference, which shows up in the dismissive tone taken by opponents to compensation. Lynch and Buelin’s children would be poor.

* * *

Eleven

Among the many artifacts of the eugenics era collected in North Carolina’s state archives is a pamphlet produced in 1950 by a group called The Human Betterment League. “You Wouldn’t Expect…” was circulated to citizens to gain financial and political support for what it referred to as “North Carolina’s humanitarian Selective Sterilization Law.” Written and illustrated in the style of a children’s book, the 12-page pamphlet begins, “You wouldn’t expect… a moron to run a train, or a feebleminded woman to teach school.” Subsequent illustrations depict “mental defectives” crashing cars and fumbling with money, then asks why the “feebleminded” are allowed the most important job of all: parenthood.

“The job of parenthood is too much to expect of feebleminded men and women,” the pamphlet reads. “They should be protected from jobs for which they are not qualified.” The flat colors, large type, simple text, and stylized illustrations, call the intended audience into question. Was it meant to convince those whom the state aimed to keep from reproducing? To bring their limited capacities to mind among the “normal” adult recipients? Or was it merely intended to reference the children it meant to save from “mental affliction and unwholesome surroundings?”

Elaine Riddick is one of the most outspoken victims of North Carolina’s sterilization program. She has appeared on NBC’s Rock Center and on Al Jazeera, and has been interviewed by reporters from across the country. Like Lynch, she was 14 when she was sterilized, immediately following the birth, by Cesarean section, of a son, her only child. Although Riddick scored above the state’s IQ threshold of 75, the five-person Eugenics Board approved the recommendation for her sterilization, labeling Riddick “feebleminded” and “promiscuous” and noting that her schoolwork was poor and that she did not get along well with others.

“I am not feebleminded,” Riddick told members of the task force in June 2011. “I came from a very rural area of North Carolina. I couldn’t get along well with others because I was hungry, I was cold, I was dirty, I was unkempt, I was a victim of rape. I was a victim of child abuse and neglect.” Riddick, who was frequent witness to her father’s physical abuse of her mother, was raped at age 13 by a neighbor in his 20s. She says she didn’t know anything about sex other than that “it was ugly and it hurt.”

At 59, she is also one of the youngest victims to come forward. Riddick’s sterilization, in 1967, came at the end of North Carolina’s peak years: 1946 to 1968, when the state performed 5,368 operations on its residents under the authority of the Eugenics Board. By the time of Riddick’s procedure, most other states had abandoned or scaled back their programs, in part due to postwar revelations about Nazi forced sterilizations. States were also motivated by legal concerns raised by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942), which held that sterilization could not be used as punishment for a crime. In North Carolina, though, the focus merely shifted to an even more vulnerable demographic, targeting more black women and girls than any other group. Riddick, who is black, was a victim of this shift.

After the surgery, Riddick had experienced frequent hemorrhaging, and her period lengthened to 17 days a month, but she did not learn of her sterilization until she was 19, when she began to wonder why she and her husband could not conceive. Her illiterate grandmother, she discovered, had consented with an “X” to a complete salpingectomy.

Riddick’s husband reacted violently to the news, threatening her and calling her barren. Eventually she had to have a complete hysterectomy. She went to a clinic to talk to someone about her emotional distress and was given prescriptions for Haldol and Prozac. “I was catatonic,” she says. “Humiliated. I felt like everyone knew. And then, on top of that, I blamed myself.”

Riddick, who was raised by alcoholic parents and who left school in eighth grade, suffered two bad marriages and a period of drug dependency and homelessness, seems on the surface an example of someone ill-equipped for parenting, likely to produce offspring destined to follow in her own impoverished footsteps. Her principal told the social worker who pursued Riddick’s sterilization that she would never be able to take care of herself, much less a child.

But that isn’t Riddick’s story, not by a long shot. Though she never finished (or even entered) high school, she managed to continue her education, first with a medical aid degree, and then with a degree in social work. “I realized if I didn’t get a little education, God knows what might have happened to me,” she says.

She was among the first to bring a civil case against the state of North Carolina, a case she lost, in the 1970s, but which gave her experience speaking in public and enduring the scrutiny of strangers. Her son, Tony, is a successful entrepreneur who often accompanies his mother to public hearings and speaking events, where he rails against what he calls “North Carolina’s genocide.”

Together, this fiercely intelligent mother-and-son pair stand in defiance of the “science” of eugenics, which, relying on faulty or missing information to make its claims of heritability of traits, was long ago discredited. No gene was ever isolated for bad character or poverty, and it was impossible to separate the circumstances of individuals — Riddick, for her part, remembers going to school hungry each day — from their performance in school or on IQ tests. The tests themselves, the primary method used to determine “feeblemindedness,” have long been seen as flawed, disproportionately penalizing minorities and low-income people.

“It was so close … the timing was so significant, that perhaps that if it were just the next pregnancy, I wouldn’t be able to stand here and speak before you,” Tony Riddick told the task force, right after his mother spoke. “I’d like to give God all the honor and praise for this delicate moment.”

* * *

Twelve

How could the state account, then, for all those who were not born? For Willis Lynch and Annie Buelin and Elaine Riddick’s missing children, and the missing children of the thousands of others who were sterilized? And how to account for the physical and emotional pain the victims experienced: the years of “female trouble,” the broken marriages fraught with physical and emotional abuse, the isolation?

In early 2012, the task force that spent 2 years reviewing documents and listening to victims’ stories acknowledged that “no amount of money can adequately pay for the harm done to these citizens.” It then recommended a package of compensation and recognition: lump sum payments of $50,000 to verified living victims, mental health services, funding for a memorial, and more funding to help the foundation locate and verify others who had been sterilized and were still alive. Though some still felt that the suggested payments were not enough —  Riddick called it “an insult” — others were relieved to see an amount more than double the $20,000 proposed in 2011. At one hearing, Lynch urged the Legislature to hurry up and approve compensation before he died.

Despite the obvious pain of the victims, their relative lack of access to mental health care, consensus that the program was a disgrace, and bipartisan support from the House of Representatives (the bill was advanced by Thom Tillis, a Republican, and longtime victims’ advocate Larry Womble, a Democrat), some felt that the proposed compensation was too generous. Others worried that the financial burden was too much for the state to bear — the task force estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 victims were still alive — or that offering compensation would create a slippery slope of liability, inviting all sorts of wronged parties to seek money from the state.

“You just can’t rewrite history. It was a sorry time in this country,” said state Sen. Don East, a Republican, who opposed compensation. (East died last fall.) “I’m so sorry it happened, but throwing money don’t change it, don’t make it go away. It still happened.” Though the House approved the compensation, which amounted to $11 million in the state’s more than $20 billion budget, the Senate refused to consider it. In June 2012, the Legislature passed a budget that offered zero funding to the victims, effectively shuttering the North Carolina Justice for Victims of Sterilization Foundation.

Victims, many of whom had traveled hundreds of miles to speak multiple times at public hearings, expressed a mix of disbelief, disappointment, and frustration.

“Everybody I know agrees with [compensation],” Lynch said.

“They can find money for everything else,” Buelin said.

Riddick, who has sought compensation for almost 30 years, was confounded by the arguments that sterilizations were perpetrated a long time ago, and that the people in power now have no connection to that past. “No one in the Senate is over 59?” she asked, referring to her age. “Their tax dollars went towards what happened, and they benefitted from the [welfare] savings that came out of that program.”

East was steadfast. “I just don’t think money fixes it.”

On that matter, at least, there is some agreement. “You cannot put a price tag on motherhood,” Riddick said.

I asked her what she would have given to have more children. “That is so easy. I would have given up my life. My whole life.”

* * *

Thirteen

If monetary compensation will not address the wrongs done to the 7,600 people sterilized by the state of North Carolina, then what is the point of adding millions of dollars to the budget of a state with a struggling economy? The answer may lie with the legal theory of transitional justice, a method of confronting legacies of human rights abuses through criminal prosecution, truth commissions, reparations, and institutional reform. Transitional justice addresses the primary objections of those resistant to expensive, government-funded programs, namely that financial compensation will not make victims whole again, and taxpayers should not have to pay for something they did not do. The practice can be traced back to the Nuremberg Trials, and more recent examples include the truth commissions in South Africa, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

(Though the genocide and war crimes investigated by those trials and commissions may seem far removed from the experiences of those targeted by North Carolina’s Eugenics Board, forced sterilization is in fact a violation of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, particularly Article XVI, which states: “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. [...] The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” According to the United Nations, measures disrupting the reproductive acts of a group can also be considered genocide.)

David Gray, a University of Maryland law professor, has written that transitional justice is not a matter of “ordinary justice.” It is not about making victims whole again, as in tort law (often, for instance in the case of genocide, nothing will do that), or about the assignment of blame for past wrongs. Gray says transitional justice is “Janus-faced,” ideally addressing both “an abusive past and a future committed to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.” Monetary compensation does not seek to restore the victims to their earlier conditions but to help correct the status injustice they experienced, and also to establish a “pre-commitment” from the state that the wrong they experienced will never happen again. According to Gray, the cost is best borne by the state, even if those in power were not involved or even alive during the time of the abuses, as an expression of that commitment. “‘I didn’t do it’ is a non sequitur when the fundamental question is ‘How do we make it right?’”

I asked Gray how the victims of North Carolina could both recognize the state’s abusive past and ensure that it never happens again.

His first suggestion was a public, accessible archive of documents related to the program (one already exists online, but is not comprehensive). “That way,” he said, “there can never be a dispute about what happened.” In addition to the archive, he suggested a public display or monument that would not only provide recognition to those who were sterilized, but would challenge the public to ask themselves, as the Holocaust Museum in Washington challenges its visitors, what would I have done? This lines up with the recommendations of the task force to create both permanent and traveling exhibits, as well as an ongoing oral history project to “tell the full story of eugenics in North Carolina.”

Gray differed with the task force, however, in how to approach compensation. Instead of awarding each victim the same amount, he suggested a fund administrator be retained to listen to each victim’s story and determine an amount based on individual experience, including physical and emotional suffering. This approach would likely result in payments roughly equivalent to the $50,000 proposed, but individualized approaches are often more palatable to detractors, said Gray. “There’s a difference between equality and uniformity. You’re recognizing the wrong, while compensating the harm.”

Though there is a danger that victims would feel divided by such an approach, one potential benefit to Gray’s suggestion would be the opportunity for all victims to have their stories heard, if not publicly, then privately. This could have a therapeutic effect on many, says psychotherapist Marni Rosner.

“Many shamed and traumatized people rarely tell their story for fear of being shamed and traumatized again, or receiving yet another unhelpful response. It’s possible that some have never had the opportunity to tell their story, from beginning to end, without interruption, to someone that is truly interested and listening attentively. This can be extremely cathartic,” she says. When an empathic witness hears the story of traumas, according to Rosner, something shifts. The brain is rewired to make room for a new, non-shaming response.

Riddick, who has told her story again and again to audiences large and small, local and international, puts it more simply: “Through talking, I starting shedding off pieces of my shame. I had to get rid of all that shame if I wanted to live.”

* * *

Fourteen

Willis Lynch and other victims of sterilization have an intuitive sense of the way transitional justice should work, and they see examples everywhere that support the rightness of their quest. Look at the compensation awarded to Japanese internment victims, they say. Or the wall of names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. They speak, at hearings, of genocide and Nazis, and they want the state to pay for what it did. They want something lasting and significant to mark what they have been through. They want a public legacy.

For the objection raised most often by North Carolina’s resistant legislators — the state cannot afford to compensate all of the potential victims — Willis Lynch has an easy answer: It’s the state’s responsibility to pay for its mistake, a mistake it should have understood was wrong in the first place. “Look at what they do for people put in jail, people who were innocent,” he says, referring to the compensation offered by many states, on the order of $50,000 per year of incarceration, to the wrongfully convicted. “They lost their freedom, but they weren’t cut open like hogs.”

On a warm spring Friday, I drive to Norlina to watch Lynch perform at one of the “Norlina Jamborees” held at his VFW hall. It is the day of George Jones’s death, and many of the performers have chosen songs to honor the country crooner: “Jones on the Jukebox,” “A Picture of Me (Without You),” “White Lightning.” Lynch sits in the corner of the stage, his usual spot, and strums along.

I think about why his easy answer has not worked so far, why people are still uncomfortable with the idea of connecting monetary compensation to the loss of reproductive ability. The compensation in his example, afforded to wrongfully convicted inmates, is structured to replace lost wages. Japanese internment victims, likewise, received payments meant to compensate for the harm done to their businesses and earning ability. It is much more difficult to establish the value of children who never existed.

Or is it? Sitting in the audience of the darkened VFW hall, I shift uncomfortably in my newly tight jeans. I am 10 weeks pregnant, my condition invisible to everyone but me. Also invisible is the $25,000 I have paid doctors to achieve and sustain my pregnancy, the 3 years of trying and despairing and saving up money, the 2 years of difficult and invasive treatments. My experience with infertility, an unlucky circumstance rather than a state-sponsored violence, is nothing compared to what Lynch and others like him have endured. Yet I understand something of the isolation, the sadness, and even the shame that comes with not being able to have the child you always dreamed of, especially when others seem to be able to have children so easily. I also know, better than many, what people with the resources and will to pursue fertility treatment will pay in order to conceive. All of our money — all of it.

There is another cost of sterility to be considered, which is the cost of spending your later years alone, without the support network of traditional family life. The 75 or 100 men and women who have come to dance and perform at the VFW hall have a lot in common with Lynch: They are mostly country people, retired, but in evident good health as they shuffle and spin around the varnished wood floor. Still, more of them than not are couples, and it isn’t hard to imagine that they have children and grandchildren nearby to help them with things that get harder with age: home repair, trips to the doctor, legal matters. If there are repairs to be done at Lynch’s home, he does them himself. If he has a doctor’s appointment, he drives himself two hours north to the VA hospital in Richmond. His car, with its modified headlights and more than 700,000-mile history, has only one seat, for the driver.

At the VFW hall, Lynch is alone and yet not alone. He sits on a folding chair at the front of the room among about a dozen other performers. One by one, they go to the microphone and sing a number of their choosing, backed by the rest of the group. Finally it is his turn, and he gets up to play the song he’s promised me, Marty Robbins’s “Devil Woman,” a song about wrongs and forgiveness, and which shows off his falsetto:

I told Mary about us, told her about our great sin

Mary just cried and forgave me, Mary took me back again

The crowd’s best dancers take the floor, and afterward I watch Lynch accept praise and nods of appreciation from friends and acquaintances. He doesn’t linger to talk with anyone, though, and soon makes for the kitchen at the back of the room. How many of his peers know about his situation, I wonder? How many of them know how much he loves kids, how much he wishes for children and grandchildren?

It is a paradox that Lynch and others like him experienced the most intimate loss of privacy, the invasion of the state into their reproductive lives, but because we consider reproduction “private,” we have little way of talking about or evaluating their loss. At the final victims’ hearing, even then-Gov. Perdue seemed to be uncomfortable. She came in late and spoke hurriedly, saying that she was not attending in an official capacity.

“It’s hard for me to accept or to understand or to even try to figure out why these kinds of atrocious acts could have been committed in this country and I’m being told more than 30 states. I find it reprehensible,” she said. “But, I just came here as a woman, as a mama and as a grandma and as Governor of this state, quite frankly to tell you it’s wrong.” She spoke briefly of her support for compensation and thanked the victims in attendance for their courage, then left without talking to them individually.

Lynch, who’d sat next to John Railey during the meeting, called his journalist friend on the way back to Littleton. “I didn’t think much of her,” he told Railey. “I’m not too hopeful.”

* * *

Fifteen

The word “sterile” has two meanings: free from germs or contaminants; and fruitless, or unable to produce offspring. Using outdated, scientifically dubious ideas, the eugenics program in North Carolina conflated these two definitions. It sought to cleanse the state of the contamination of poverty, disability, and mental illness by surgically preventing thousands of men, women, and children from ever having biological children. It happened in every one of the state’s 100 counties: to men and women; to blacks, whites, and Native Americans; to those who already had offspring and to those who had not yet entered puberty. For some, it took years to accept that their sterilizations were permanent. Others bore the bitter understanding immediately, and thought of it daily.

All of the victims who testified before the Task Force to Determine the Method of Compensation for Victims of North Carolina’s Eugenics Board confronted painful, often shameful memories to speak before strangers, on the good-faith assumption that their words would have an impact. They would finally receive official recognition and the assurance that nothing like this would ever happen again in their state. Though they could never be made whole, they would receive financial support that would make some kind of difference in their lives.

To date, two things have happened, officially. The state included brief language about the eugenics program in the revised American History and Grade 8 Social Studies curriculum. And in 2009, it erected a new historical marker near the site in Raleigh where the Eugenics Board once met. The marker looks similar to the hundreds of other silver-and-black signs commemorating presidential visits, significant birthplaces, and Revolutionary War battles across the state. It reads:

EUGENICS BOARD

State action led to the sterilization by choice or coercion of over 7,600 people, 1933-1973. Met after 1939 one block E.

The marker does not come close to the permanent and traveling memorials envisioned by the victims, who wanted something to teach people about injustice, someplace the public could visit to pay their respects, to grieve, and to make amends. They have also yet to receive a dollar from the state.

Still, the most outspoken victims have experienced, on their own, what psychologists call “post-traumatic growth”: positive psychological change experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances. Post-traumatic growth can be expressed in a number of ways: through new and satisfying relationships, through greater personal strength and vulnerability, or through creative outlets or other forms of self-expression.

Annie Buelin experienced growth and generativity through her faith. After suffering a long period of depression and spiritual isolation, she says, “I thought, I’m going to go somewhere to church.” A friend from the chicken plant where she worked invited Annie to hers. She went and even felt comfortable enough to ask the congregants to pray for an end to her depression.

That church was also where she met Woodrow. They sat near each other in the choir at an Easter Sunday evening service; Annie, an alto, noticed Woodrow’s strong bass singing voice, and was impressed when he sang a song he’d written himself. After church, Woodrow asked Annie if she’d like to have a poem. He borrowed a pen and paper and wrote one out for her, then added his phone number at the end.

Annie remembers talking with Woodrow for more than two hours the first time she called him, and his delight at hearing her voice: “He said he was walking the floor, waiting for me to call.” They dated for over a year before they married, going to church functions and getting together with Woodrow’s large family for potlucks and holidays. “I told Woodrow right off when we talked about getting married,” she says. “He said, that’s all right if you can’t have children. My children and grandchildren will make up for the ones you couldn’t have.

“At Christmas, the house would be full of 12 or 15 children,” Annie says. “I cooked for everyone. We all just had a good time.” At church, Woodrow’s kids made Annie stand for the traditional Mother’s Day honoring.

Annie and Woodrow were married for 27 years; he died in 2012 at 89. She still lives in the converted tobacco curing house he restored for her in Ararat, North Carolina, not far from where she grew up, and one of Woodrow’s sons and his wife live next door. The walls and tabletops of Annie’s home are filled with framed photographs of her late husband and his children and grandchildren, along with typed poems he wrote for Annie and her mother. He told her every day that he loved her.

Post-traumatic growth does not erase the experience of trauma, but allows people to integrate painful experiences into their life stories. Even after all the love she experienced with her husband and his family, Buelin still thinks about the children she didn’t have. “I know I would be a good mother,” she says. “I would work hard to raise them in church, to teach them right from wrong. I imagine myself sending them to school and [them] getting a good education. I would love them with everything in my power.”

Though Buelin follows the news and feels strongly that she should be compensated, her faith has helped her cope with the possibility that she might be disappointed. “To be a Christian, you can’t hate anybody,” she explains. “I forgive everybody that’s ever done me wrong. The Lord will take care of me. He loves me just as much as he loves you.”

Elaine Riddick’s growth has come through advocacy for her fellow sterilization victims and also, as with Buelin, through her faith. But it took her a while to get there.

“When I first started going to Raleigh, I was a mess,” she says, referring to the public hearings that began in 2010. “The more I went, the better I felt.”

Riddick speaks eloquently about her experience as a victim of North Carolina’s eugenics program, but can also cite statistics for programs in other states: California, Washington, Oregon. She’s developed a particular interest in international reproductive rights abuses, including recent reports that the Israeli government had been giving Depo-Provera shots, without consent, to immigrant Ethiopian Jews. She has traveled to Lynchburg, Virginia, to visit the institution where Carrie Buck lived and help a new organization begin the process of identifying victims in that state. Riddick, who is passionately pro-life, has also told her story at anti-abortion events around the country.

Her personal life, too, has improved. She is in a loving relationship, spends lots of time caring for nieces and nephews, and no longer feels jealous of pregnant women.

“I’m the type of person, if something bothers me, I have to fix it,” she says. She can now put her face next to a pregnant woman’s stomach to talk to the baby. “That was hard, but I did it.”

Riddick follows the Legislature’s debates over compensation from her home in Atlanta, but is also pursuing another civil case, this time a class action. She’s convinced several of her fellow victims to join her — Willis Lynch is a co-plaintiff — and talks to them regularly. With the goal of becoming a more effective and better informed public speaker, she reads everything she can, from international news reports to the mystical writings of St. Teresa of Avila.

Her primary goal in life, she says, is making sure that involuntary sterilization doesn’t happen to anybody else.

“I’m comfortable. I feel free,” she says firmly. “I’m so proud that God gave me a voice. I demand to be heard.”

Lynch’s post-traumatic growth is more difficult for outsiders to gauge. After his first marriage ended, he stayed away from women, fearing that he would again be used. After coming forward with his story he has granted interviews, but he doesn’t seek them out, and he is circumspect about the impact telling it has made. He’d rather talk about where Hank Williams ranks in the hierarchy of country musicians (No.1), and about which songs he’ll try out at the VFW on Friday night.

“Willis came to all this pretty tough and extroverted,” says Railey. “Even though there’s a certain point he won’t let you get past, more and more, he’s wanted to tell the story. He’s seen that he’s part of a bigger story … part of a movement towards justice.”

* * *

Sixteen

After legislators failed to include compensation in the 2012 budget, advocates and victims  vowed to fight on. Railey and his colleagues at the Journal continued to publish editorials urging action, victims continued to give interviews, and several House members, especially Womble and Tillis, continued to work behind the scenes to secure votes. In that year’s gubernatorial race, both major-party candidates expressed support for compensation, and following his election, Republican Pat McCrory included $10 million for it in his proposed spending plan for 2013-14.

But with both houses of the legislature and the executive branch under G.O.P. control for the first time since Reconstruction, progressive causes came under attack. The legislature repealed the Racial Justice Act, which allowed inmates who believed they were victims of discrimination to challenge death sentences, and passed a bill severely restricting access to the polls. They voted to reduce unemployment benefits, to cut funding for preschool programs and teachers’ aides, and to close agencies serving young children with developmental disabilities. They cut Medicaid and teacher pay, removed class size limits, and passed a bill that would close most of the state’s abortion clinics.

The state’s chapter of the NAACP organized a series of  protests at the Capitol to draw attention to the cuts, which resulted in more than 900 arrests. No one talked much about the eugenics issue, and victims and their supporters waited anxiously to see if they would be left out again. Given the contentious tone of the budget process, and the hostility so many lawmakers seemed to feel for the poor and disenfranchised, and to poor children in particular, it was hard to imagine a positive outcome. Buelin says she prayed every night for Phil Berger, leader of the Senate, who blocked compensation in his chamber’s first version of the budget.

Then, after a late night vote on Thursday, July 18, Railey heard from one of his sources that compensation would be included in the final bill reconciling the House and Senate budgets. He didn’t want to call any of the victims until he was “damn sure,” he says, and he waited nervously all weekend for word from Raleigh. On Saturday, he talked to Womble, who was optimistic. Sunday night, while watching a movie at home and working on the next week’s editorial page lineup, he checked his email and saw a joint press release from Tillis’s and Berger’s offices. He opened the document and scanned until paragraph four, where he read:

The plan [...] provides one-time compensation to living victims of a state-sponsored Eugenics program that ended in the 1970s [...]

Immediately, he began calling the victims and their advocates. He congratulated them on their hard work and perseverance. After more than a decade of seeking redress from the state, their voices conveyed “a real sense of vindication,” he says. One he couldn’t reach was Willis Lynch. When Railey finally got through the next morning, Lynch had already read the news. “I keep my eye on the paper, too,” he teased.

Statisticians estimate that more than half of North Carolina’s 7,600 sterilization victims have died, erased from history, just as the eugenicists imagined. Eighteen known victims have died since the verification process began in 2010. That leaves fewer than 200 who have been confirmed, only a fraction of those who might be eligible. Though the $10 million proposed would  cover the administration of $50,000 for each of the currently verified victims, it’s unclear how many more will come forward. The individual funds, scheduled for administration in 2015, could be more — or significantly less. It’s also unclear how aggressively the foundation will search for additional victims or where money will come from for the mental health services and memorials the task force recommended.

Still, in a political season that has attracted shaming attention to the state on a national scale, it helps to remember that any compensation is historic. North Carolina will likely serve as an example and motivation to other states considering how to address eugenics-based sterilization. Two legislators in Virginia’s House of Delegates, a Democrat and a Republican, recently co-sponsored a bill that also recommends individual payments of $50,000 each for victims of that state’s eugenics program, and advocates have been attempting to interest politicians in California and West Virginia in compensation, too.

But it is the deeply personal, painful stories of North Carolina’s victims — black and white, rural and urban, male and female — have now been heard by people around the world. They overcame their shame and their grief to talk about something that no one wanted to talk about for decades. In the absence of a traveling exhibit or permanent archive, their actions stand as both a memorial to their resilience and a challenge to the rest of us: How will we make it right?

Most victims weren’t waiting, after all, for the money. Riddick has said that she wants to use her award to help pregnant teenagers and disabled children. Buelin wants a more reliable car for getting around, but also plans to give back to the stepson and daughter-in-law who have taken care of her.

And Lynch has started planning a trip with his nephew — a token of gratitude, he says, for how good he was to Lynch’s mother. They’ll go to Nashville, to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and then on to Montgomery for Hank Williams Day, held each year on January 1, the day he died. Lynch, who turned 80 in June, says he intends to live a long time yet.

* * *

Originally published by The New New South, August 2013. 

* * *

BELLE BOGGS is the author of Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories that take place along Virginia’s Mattaponi River. Mattaponi Queen won the Bakeless Prize, the Emyl Jenkins Sexton Literary Award from the Library of Virginia, was a finalist for the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, was a 2010 Kirkus Reviews top fiction debut, and was a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for fiction. Boggs has received fellowships to the Bread Loaf and Sewanee writers’ conferences and is a recipient of a 2011 Artist Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council and a 2012 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Boggs was named “Best New Southern Author” by Southern Living magazine, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, the Oxford American, Orion, the Sun, and other publications. 

OLYMPIA STONE is an award-winning independent producer, director and editor of documentary films.  Her intimate portrait of the artist James Grashow, The Cardboard Bernini, details his exhilarating quest to create an intricately detailed cardboard version of the Trevi fountain, which he intends to abandon to the elements. Broadcast nationwide on PBS in 2013-14, the film also won Best Documentary at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2013, and was an official selection at Sebastopol, Santa Fe and 18 other festivals. Her first independent film, The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art (2007) chronicles the obsessive collecting of her father, a New York art world gallerist whose habits and prescient scouting shaped his life and the lives of many in his artfully cluttered orbit.

Editor: Andrew Park

Special thanks to: Richard Allen, Rosecrans Baldwin, Gray Beltran, Crystal Fawn, Andrew Foster, Haven Kimmel, Dan Kois, Philip Motley, Duncan Murrell, Dan Oshinsky, John Railey, Evan Ratliff, Cristina Smith, Ron Stodghill, Olympia Stone, Barry Yeoman, Atavist, and the Duke University School of Law Startup Ventures Clinic

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19 Nov 21:00

sachinteng: 'Athletic Genius' for NAUTILUS Magazine Exploring...











sachinteng:

'Athletic Genius' for NAUTILUS Magazine

Exploring cerebral prowess and which areas of the brain make great athletes!

Thanks to AD Len Small for giving me the chance to work on this. Check out the article at Nautilus here

20 Nov 12:36

The only Susan Greenfield article you'll ever need

Adam Victor Brandizzi

This article might change your brain!

Steve Gentleman prepares to dissect a human brain.

The human brain, about to be irreparably damaged by technology (a scalpel is technology, so it counts). Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Guardian

Following her recent article about the potential neurological dangers of the newly announced "Facebook phone", it's becoming increasingly likely that any new technological development will eventually have an article about it in which Susan Greenfield predicts the serious damage it could do to people's brains.

Overlooking the fact that the recent article reads as though it was written by someone whose understanding of Facebook and smartphones is based exclusively on an overheard conversation between two drunken advertising executives in a pub, Greenfield tends to stick to a reliable and predictable formula.

Technological advances usually focus on making things faster, slicker and more efficient. So, should you need a Greenfield-esque article about the latest technological announcement to make your needless paranoia-inducing agenda seem more scientific/credible, there's no need to wait until the Baroness herself can fit you into her schedule. Now you can write your own by following this simple step-by-step guide.

INTRODUCE THE TECHNOLOGY

Begin with a simple description of the technology that is to be the focus of the article. It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as it's something new that people can experience in a way that involves the brain. Previous examples include video games, online porn, social networking, anything with a screen, the internet in general, television, books, typewriters, the printing press, the internal combustion engine, carrier pigeons, and that hot orange stuff you get when you rub sticks together that makes raw food dangerously edible.

Not newspapers, though. Never ever newspapers!

EXPLAIN THE BRAIN

The article is concerned about the effects this new technology will have on the brain, so you will need to include a general explanation of the brain's workings, particularly a feature of it that is somehow relevant to this new thing people should be scared of.

It's impossible to summarise the brain in a paragraph, nobody would expect that. Generally pointing out that the brain is very adaptive thanks to its inherent plasticity is a safe bet. The brain changes in response to things you experience; this is the basis of learning and memory. Ergo, anything you experience, like a new technology, has the ability to change your brain. So it's not "wrong" to make that claim.

You can be more specific if you have more details. For example, if the new technology offers new types of visual stimulation, briefly describe the brain's complex visual system. If it's more language based, the language processing features of the brain can be discussed. It's a big, complex organ, the brain; there's probably some feature of it that seemingly supports your "concerns", so don't feel restricted.

EMPHASISE THE DANGER

After explaining the brain a bit, explicitly state how the new technology could damage it or lead to harmful changes. This can be as tenuous as you like. For example, "people's sense of smell has been linked to powerful emotional responses. This has caused many to worry that 'smellovision', which allows people to experience any smell at any time, will turn us into emotionally stunted robots". Or maybe "the human brain has evolved to recognise faces, so there is a very real possibility that automated Rhytidectomy kits will cause our brains to get confused, leaving us unable to recognise our own mothers". It's a prediction; you're not saying a thing does happen, just that it might, so it doesn't matter how unlikely it really is.

If possible, present the danger as a matter of a stark binary choice, as in the following example:

"If I had to choose between unfettered internet access, and having children potentially harmed psychologically or worse by porn sites, then for me the decision is an easy one."

That's top-level Greenfielding there. There's no middle ground; it's access to porn or undamaged children. If you can, come up with your own, e.g. holographic phone interfaces or the survival of the human race.

FOCUS ON THE CHILDREN

Ensure that you enhance the impact of your claims by emphasising the harm that could be done to children. Children's brains are, undeniably, still developing, so any harm inflicted by the new technology will be doubly dangerous for their vulnerable young minds. The focus on children will increase the impact among parents, allow you to present your claims as motivated by concern and moral obligation and make any critics look like cruel monsters who actively want to use technology to warp fragile youthful brains.

You can also get extra Greenfield irony points if you contextualise your claims amid wider concerns about technology making children too insular and disengaged from the outside world then publishing your piece in a publication that regularly portrays the outside world as a lawless maelstrom of perverts, workshy criminals and powerful carcinogens.

EVIDENCE

You don't really need evidence. Evidence is for bitter people who hate children. It's fine to just make your claims with confidence. If you need to back up your claims, it's fine to say you've spoken to some relevant people about this. There may even be a survey or two that will back you up. Don't limit yourself to the scientific literature, that's needlessly complicated. If you really need to cite some research, it's probably sufficient to link to a study that didn't really look at what you're talking about but has some relevant words in the title.

If anyone criticises you over this, just ignore them.

AT THE END

Most Susan Greenfield articles end with a summary of who she is, her position and possibly her website. If you do this with your article, it would imply that she's written it, so don't do that because she hasn't and this is almost certainly illegal.

Dean Burnett has spent so long mocking Greenfield's claims that it's probably altered his brain in some way, which is ironic. He's on Twitter, @garwboy


There's a lot in the world to get stressed about lately. This last week alone we've seen bombings and city-wide gunfights in Boston, massive explosions in Texas, on-going violence in the Middle East, emotions raised over Thatcher's funeral, increasing measles cases in Swansea, continuing savage benefit cuts and maybe an alien invasion or two that got lost among the onslaught of bad news.

It seems to many that the world in general is becoming an increasingly awful and depressing place. Is this the case? Or is there as much bad stuff happening as there's ever been, but 24-hour rolling news and an increasingly interconnected, always-online society have contributed to ensuring that no bad news ever goes unreported? Either way, it doesn't really matter; the negative effects on people's wellbeing are the same.

But the things covered in the news, as terrible as they can be, are more "mainstream" worries; things that everyone can worry about to some extent. The more typical concerns people have tend to be more specific, as they're things that affect them personally and directly and maybe affect them alone.

When stressful events keep occurring, you will often hear people claim they are heading for a "nervous breakdown". You may be someone who says this, or you may be someone who has experienced (or is experiencing) such a thing. It's a well-known concept. Even celebrities are vulnerable to nervous breakdowns. Stephen Fry has spoken candidly about his breakdown, Spike Milligan had several, and the Rolling Stones claim to have had at least 19 (although that may be an exaggeration).

But "nervous breakdown" seems to be one of those terms that is often used but not well understood. As a neuroscientist, I always find myself reflexively thinking it means nervous tissue is breaking down, so means someone is suffering from a neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. This may seem a bit ridiculous, but then what does "nervous breakdown" actually mean? Is it one of those terms that people use freely without understanding the actual meaning, like "irony" or "offside"? Interestingly, despite its widespread use, "nervous breakdown" isn't a term that is used by the medical profession.

[As an aside, my first draft of this used the phrase "medically speaking, there's no such thing as a nervous breakdown", but that's not that accurate a statement, and I also worried that someone from ATOS would read it and immediately declare thousands of sick people fit for work.]

The term nervous breakdown is actually surprisingly old, and stems from a time when both "nervous" and "breakdown" arguably had different meanings to their modern ones. It seems the "breakdown" element refers to a breakdown in the same way that cars or other machines can break down. And nervous just refers to the nervous tissue. So originally it meant a fault or error in the nervous tissue that controls the body. And suddenly my interpretation doesn't seem so literal.

But this doesn't mean it's an invalid term, it's just more of a rule-of-thumb or generalisation used to refer to what happens when someone becomes psychologically unable to function as normal. In the simplest sense it could be said that, mentally speaking, a nervous breakdown occurs when an individual finds that the number of things that they are able to cope with is lower than the number of things that they have to cope with.

In a psychiatric/psychological sense, these things you have to cope with are known as stressors. Stressors don't necessarily have to be negative, anyone who's ever gone on holiday will know this; for something that's meant to be fun and relaxing, they involve quite a lot of stress, especially if they involve Ryanair in some way. But stressors generally have certain qualities in common, such as:

• They reduce personal control (as in they remove the amount of authority you have on your own life)
• They reduce options for action (as in, they restrict your options regarding what to do about them)
• They cause fatigue (as in, dealing with them leaves you physically or mentally knackered)

And so on. Most people in our society probably experience stress in the workplace. Unfortunately, stressors can lead to more stressors and greater stress, part of the stress cycle. Say you get a new boss who assigns you a lot more work than is reasonable. This would cause stress, and you react to this stress by working longer hours to deal with the workload, and eating and drinking more to unwind. This has negative consequences on your health, which stresses you out further and makes you vulnerable to further stressors.

Alternatively, you could break into your boss's house and smother him with a pillow as he sleeps. This may remove the cause of the original stress, but the guilt coupled with the danger and hazards of life on the run from the law would cause ample stress. And on it goes.

These are all external factors, of course. They are easier to identify, and even have their own scale to measure how bad they can be. But there are also internal factors, like pre-existing illnesses (physical or mental), a general predisposition to reacting badly to stressors for whatever reason (e.g. harsh life events, genetic factors), even something like having a big ego can make things worse (if your self-image is very important to you, then finding you can't deal with something will potentially stress you even more). And stress has numerous health consequences.

This delicate balance between stress and vulnerability is well documented, particularly in the case of psychosis, by the stress-vulnerability model, which basically shows that the more vulnerable you are to stressors, the less stress it takes to tip you over the edge.

Sufferers of psychosis may call this an "episode", but a breakdown can take many forms. A psychotic episode, a depressive funk, panic attacks, anything that means you can't function normally any more. Like I said, it's a general term, not a specific one.

The point of this article, if there is one, is to demonstrate that stress affects everyone, and some people, largely through no fault of their own, are more vulnerable to it, and this can lead to a nervous breakdown, however you choose to define such a thing. But as unpleasant as they may be, they're not permanent, and even those with pre-existing conditions can return to "normal" (which is another term that isn't that specific). So if you're experiencing a breakdown of any description, know that you're not alone, and that countless other people have gone through something similar.

Of course, now that I've explained it, I may have made things worse. Another cause of stress in humans is uncertainty. This is why a troubled economy and job market can cause a lot of consternation even when they don't directly impact your present situation or daily routine. So by explaining how a nervous breakdown can occur, I've introduced an awareness of the possibility of one occurring in people who would otherwise have remained blissfully ignorant, thus adding to their overall stress levels.

Stupid science and its chaotic consequences!

Dean Burnett tries to maintain a stress-free life by saying nothing controversial on Twitter, @garwboy

His new science/humour podcast "Dean and Dave's science webnoise" with close friend and fellow science blogger David Steele, is available here and via iTunes.

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20 Nov 05:00

November 20, 2014


Whee!
20 Nov 16:23

Britain's first 'poo bus' hits the streets

by Matt Brian
Thanks to a range of new technologies, Britain's buses are steadily swapping traditional fuel for greener alternatives. Over in Bristol, however, Wessex Water believes more can be done with the brown stuff. That's why it's today put the UK's first...
20 Nov 12:04

RT @raphael__prado: Foda ser velho, fiz piada na firm com a musica da poupança bamerindus...

by Osias Jota
Adam Victor Brandizzi

#dramasreais
(passei pelo mesmo ao mencionar os anões do orçamento...)

Author: Osias Jota
Source: Twitter Web Client
RT @raphael__prado: Foda ser velho, fiz piada na firm com a musica da poupança bamerindus e o cara que nasceu em 92 não entendeu
12 Nov 14:15

Avogadro Loves the Ladies

28 Apr 18:13

What You Love

by Reza

what_you_love

14 Jul 19:29

The Process

by Reza

process

19 Nov 13:19

Las fotos panorámicas también pueden ser divertidas

by Troy

La funcionalidad de hacer fotos panorámicas, presente en los smartphones modernos, es interesante. Especialmente cuando nos ponemos en "modo experto" y queremos capturar paisajes en todo su esplendor.

Pero lo mejor viene cuando añadimos al escenario elementos en movimiento, especialmente personas o animales. Con un poco de suerte podemos generar imágenes especialmente grotescas y divertidas, como vemos en estos ejemplos.


Sobre esta imagen, aclarar que no voy a hacer ningún comentario relativo a esa gran obra del cine contemporáneo llamada "The human centipede" y además no voy a poner ningún enlace. El que quiera, que lo busque en Google por su cuenta y riesgo.


Visto en LikeCool

Ver más: fotografia, fotos, fotos panorámicas, panorámicas
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19 Nov 00:00

11.19.2014