Shared posts

01 May 04:46

Nextdoor, the social network for neighbors, is becoming a home for racial profiling


Nextdoor is * the worst *

Nextdoor, the social network for neighbors, is becoming a home for racial profiling:
While Nextdoor’s ability to assist in crime-spotting has been celebrated as its “killer feature” by tech pundits, the app is also facilitating some of the same racial profiling we see playing out in cities across the country. Rather than bridging gaps between neighbors, Nextdoor can become a forum for paranoid racialism—the equivalent of the nosy Neighborhood Watch appointee in a gated community.

Ahlberg is an East Coast native who moved to Oakland three years ago; Ivy Hill, where she lives, is what real estate agents call a “transitioning” neighborhood. She appreciates the information-sharing benefits of Nextdoor, but is concerned about the racial profiling that happens there. Since signing up for the app in 2012, Ahlberg has repeatedly seen black people in the neighborhood described as “suspicious” characters. “The most agitated alert messages are, by far, in reference to young black men who are seen as dangerous or a possible threat,” she said.
03 May 04:42

What is Clara remembering so whistfully– when was that...

What is Clara remembering so whistfully– when was that perfect bellyrub? What happened to that Pyranese puppy she liked at the dog park? Or is it that time she pulled a pork roast off the counter and I didn’t notice until it was too late?
#adoptdontshop #dogsofinstagram

02 May 22:04

What Does "She" in Science Fiction Tell Us About Language on Earth?


Nice linguistics article on Ancillary Justice, which is awesome and you should read it.

What Does "She" in Science Fiction Tell Us About Language on Earth?:

On the default “she” in Ancillary Justice…

Ancillary Justice, by American author Ann Leckie, took home the prestigious Nebula Award for best science fiction or fantasy novel, beating out an impressive field that included previous winners Nicola Griffith and Neil Gaiman. One of the book’s most notable conceits, for a linguist anyway, is its approach to gender and pronouns. The story’s first-person narrator, Breq, speaks a language that doesn’t make gender distinctions, and, consequently, refers to all characters by the same default pronoun, rendered she in English. The only exceptions are in dialogue, when Breq is communicating with a person whose language does make gender distinctions, in which case she awkwardly guesses at he or she. But is Breq’s experience as an alien speaking a second language anything like the experience of actual human language learners?

The first effect of feminine-as-default in Ancillary Justice is that the gender of the male characters is paradoxically less important and more visible. All of the characters, for example, start out with feminine pronouns in Breq’s narration. Some are later revealed in the dialogue to be female, which seems perfectly natural. Some, on the other hand, are later revealed to be male, a jarring incongruity that forces the reader to confront gender. And since Breq continues referring to everyone as she in the narrative, and doesn’t specify gender very often, the overall feel is of a universe populated by women.
We see a similar effect in our own more earthbound languages, especially those that make a gender distinction in the plural and in which masculine is the default, such as Spanish. Padres can mean either “fathers” or “parents,” but madres can only mean “mothers.” It’s easy enough to say in Spanish that Maria has two mothers, for parents, say, that are lesbians. But it’s difficult to say that Jorge has two fathers, because padresoften gets interpreted as the mixed-gender or gender-nonspecific “parents.”
The same goes for other plurals in Spanish. Niños is the plural of niño, or “boy,” but is also used to mean “children,” so if you want to unambiguously talk about only male children, you need to use the biological term varones, or “males.” A few sets of Spanish words come in neuter-masculine-feminine triplets—such as gente/personas(“people”), hombres (“men”), and mujeres (“women”)—in which case the masculine form is unambiguous.
Given our history in English of using masculine pronouns as the default, not to mention the political thorniness of questioning such usage, you can see how Leckie was making a point about culture and language. Here’s Leckie in her own words in ablog post for Orbit Books:
The thing about defaults is, they’re automatic. Most of the time you don’t even think about them. They just seem quite obvious and natural. Using an unusual default, particularly one that’s close to but not exactly like the usual one, really highlights the fact that there’s a default there to begin with. And suddenly neither my solution nor my initial problem seemed simple at all.
Interestingly, if using the feminine as a default pronoun occasionally creates confusion for the reader, the complete lack of gender in Breq’s native language creates even more confusion for her when she communicates in other languages. She even voices frustration over it:
The society she lived in professed at the same time to believe gender was insignificant. Males and females dressed, spoke, acted indistinguishably. And yet no one I’d met had ever hesitated, or guessed wrong. And they had invariably been offended when I did hesitate or guess wrong.
Among the 257 languages surveyed by the World Atlas of Language Structures, 145 (57 percent) don’t have what we would call “grammatical gender"—simply put, different "classes” of nouns—and a quarter have distinctions like animate/inanimate instead of masculine/feminine. Only 33 percent have a sex-related gender system.

Read more at Slate

01 May 16:50

newshour: Freddie Gray’s death has been ruled a...


full video, "unlawful arrest"


Freddie Gray’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Maryland state attorney Marilyn J. Mosby just announced that Baltimore resident Freddie Gray’s death was ruled a homicide.

Criminal charges have been pressed against the six police officers involved in his arrest.

Learn more.

01 May 17:01

micdotcom: The other man in the van with Freddie Gray has a...


The other man in the van with Freddie Gray has a different story 

The passenger inside the police van with Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died April 19 in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department, is speaking out after initial reports indicated he heard Gray “trying to injure himself” after Gray’s arrest on April 12. Now, however, in the full interview with WJZ Baltimore, Donta Allen is saying that was far from the truth.


01 May 16:30

findyourspine: the buffy generation has outgrown joss whedon. his scraps of watered down late...




the buffy generation has outgrown joss whedon. 

his scraps of watered down late nineties feminism fed us and nurtured us and provided a good foundation for more complex conversations about nuanced subjects like race and class and gender and privilege. 

while we kept moving and learning and growing, he did not. his “feminism” is still the same barely there nod it always was but we’re bigger now, and hungrier - we don’t want scraps, we don’t want to settle. we want everything. 


01 May 16:27

Freddie Gray's Death A Homicide, Criminal Charges Pending, Prosecutor Says

Freddie Gray's Death A Homicide, Criminal Charges Pending, Prosecutor Says:


Here are the officers names and the charges each are facing. I’ve also added their potential max sentences as AJ Plus is reporting that the DA’s office has passed out fliers containing that information. All of the misconduct in office, and false imprisonment charges are considered to have 8th Amendment guidelines which essentially mean any sentence can be applied as long as it wouldn’t considered cruel & unusual punishment. This is just a step, but I’m cautiously optimistic based on the way they have been charged. Of course the police union is already asking for a special prosecutor to replace Marilyn Mosby. You can guess why.

Officer Caesar R. Goodson, Jr.: Second degree depraved heart murder (30 years); involuntary manslaughter (10 years); second degree assault (10 years); manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence)(10 years) ; manslaughter by vehicle (criminal negligence) (3 years); misconduct in office

Officer William G. Porter: Involuntary manslaughter (10 years); second degree assault (10 years); misconduct in office

Lt. Brian W. Rice: Involuntary manslaughter (10 years); two counts of second degree assault (10 years); manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence) (10 years); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Officer Edward M. Nero: Two counts of second degree assault (10 years); manslaughter by vehicle (gross negligence) (10 years); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Officer Garrett E. Miller: Two counts of second degree assault (10 years); two counts of misconduct in office; false imprisonment

Sgt. Alicia D. White: Involuntary manslaughter (10 years); second degree assault (10 years); misconduct in office

30 Apr 19:06

biodiverseed: lazyevaluationranch: 8/3 Today we picked the...



8/3 Today we picked the white apples. They have skins the color of old yellowed bones, and translucent flesh so that when you slice them open you can see the seeds through the flesh. Bone-and-glass apples, parchment apples, ghost apples.

They bruise easily, a purplish brown rather too similar to a bruise on human skin. If you pick one up, there’s a good chance the shapes of your fingertips will be marked on it the next day. I want to try writing words on them by pressing on them with a pencil eraser sometime.

They smell very faintly of perfume, maybe roses. They do not smell like apples. Apple maggots never infest them (probably because their growing time is too short to support the apple maggot fly life cycle. It’ll be another month or two before the rest of our apples are ripe).

They’re lovely. They are also disgusting. Mealy and soft, with no flavor whatsoever. They’re not sweet. They’re not even sour. It’s like a mouth full of wet cotton ball. I’m pretty sure I spit it out the first time I tried one.

I hope you all understand how weird this is: even the goats are reluctant to eat them. They’ll eat an apple or two, but then they lose interest (except in keeping the sheep from eating any, of course).

I have no idea why a previous resident planted the ghost-apple tree. If they have any flavor at all, only the restless dead can taste it.

I have to say, I’ve seen, researched, and planted a lot of apples in my time, but I have never seen anything like this.

My best guess is that your tree is a chance seedling with a genetic mutation, given that it is both leucistic/albinoid and early-ripening. I’d hazard a guess it’s also polyploid.

lazyevaluationranch: If you’re able to save some scion wood next Autumn, I’d be very interested in grafting a branch or two of this to one of my trees: not for the utility of it, so much as for the novelty and breeding possibilities.

30 Apr 16:33

micdotcom: Watch: This is exactly how white people should...

30 Apr 16:32

thundercatssghost: theplushfrog: commanderflowers: kinkshamer69: i wonder if my pets have like a...





i wonder if my pets have like a proper language and when i try to speak back to them im just speaking jargon

like for example my cat always speaks to me when I come home and i meow back to her and she’ll meow again & even though i don’t think twice about it to her it’s probably a situation where it’s like

her, meowing: “im glad you’re home”

me, meowing back: “tax benefits”

her, meowing: “why do u always do this”


cats actually have a human-specific language. cats don’t often meow at each other and seem to use subvocal communications that humans can’t hear to chat cat-to-cat. however, cats seem to use what humans would call “shout-until-you’re-understood” to speak to humans. so basically, it’s more like:


“tax benefits”


“waffle iron”


i’m in class send help

30 Apr 01:21

"The bees you should be concerned about are the 3,999 other bee species living in North America, most..."

“The bees you should be concerned about are the 3,999 other bee species living in North America, most of which are solitary, stingless, ground-nesting bees you’ve never heard of. Incredible losses in native bee diversity are already happening. 50 percent of Midwestern native bee species disappeared from their historic ranges in the last 100 years. Four of our bumblebee species declined 96 percent in the last 20 years, and three species are believed to already be extinct. A little part of me despairs when I read in a scientific paper: “This species probably should be listed under the Endangered Species Act if it still exists.””

- You’re Worrying About the Wrong Bees | WIRED
(via dendroica)
29 Apr 22:07

Can we talk about Daredevil's women problem?


Here be spoilers

Can we talk about Daredevil's women problem?:

Can we talk about Daredevil’s women problem? Yeah, yeah, there aren’t enough women, but the problem I find most egregious is how the narrative itself downplays not only the women in the story, but their actions and agency. Take Karen. Her storyline reaches a weird peak this episode after she tries to deal with the fact that she shot Wesley. (I’m going to miss him dearly; Toby Leonard Moore’s American accent always sounded like he was very slowly savoring a piece of chocolate.) She drinks herself to sleep and sobs in the shower, but she doesn’t tell anyone. Even when Foggy asks her about her night, she murmurs something, and when Matt asks, she simply says, “The world fell apart.” When Foggy says, “You can’t just run around killing people and call yourself a human being!” she gets the same look someone might get if their friend were ranting about how much they hate how their roommate pees in the shower while realizing that she totally did just that last night, except instead of peeing in the shower she shot a man eight times and hid the murder weapon. And while we can understand why she’d want to keep her murder under wraps, the way this is eventually swept under the rug this episode is telling in terms of how disinterested this show really is in the lives of its female characters. She shot someone before, right? So why don’t we get a flashback?
But Karen’s character is also incredibly annoying because another aspect of the patronizing writing is that she doesn’t even suffer the consequences of her actions, the way Fisk or Ben or Matt or even Wesley and the Russian brothers did. She’s the one who dragged Ben to meet Fisk’s mom without informing him of what was going on, and he dies for it while protecting her. And can we talk about how Ben is yet another character who’s given the short end of the stick? The Ben Urich of the comics is very much alive, but we apparently need yet another person of color to die on this show – Elena Cardenas being the first – for us to hate Wilson Fisk more. Ben also dies doing what he hates: attempting to write about Fisk’s story on the Internet after being fired for his job, like his wife told him. (Oh look, yet another woman who should’ve been featured sooner because she talks so much sense). Apparently Karen couldn’t have done this herself because no one would believe her because of her past. 
29 Apr 15:02

sombreboite: Edward Gorey - “A Dull Afternoon”


hi firehose hi


Edward Gorey - “A Dull Afternoon”

29 Apr 14:45

The History of 'Thug'

by Megan Garber
Image Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Monday night, as Baltimore erupted with riots and violence and anger, the city's mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the events sweeping the city. The mayor talked about "the evil we see tonight." She promised that "we will do whatever it takes" to stop the destruction and restore "the will of good." Because "too many people," she said, "have invested in building up this city to allow thugs to tear it down."

To dismiss someone as a "thug" is also to dismiss his or her claims to outrage.

"Thugs." "Thug." The derision here—dismissive, indignant, willfully unsympathetic—is implied in the sound of the word itself. Spoken aloud, "thug" requires its utterer first to sneer (the lisp of the "th") and then to gape (the deep-throated "uhhhh") and then to choke the air (that final, glottal "g"). Even if you hadn't heard the word before, even if you had no idea what it meant, you would probably guess that it is an epithet. "Thug" may have undergone the classic cycle of de- and re- and re-re-appropriation—the lyric-annotation site Genius currently lists 12,590 uses of "thug" in its database, among them 19 different artists (Young Thug, Slim Thug, Millennium Thug) and 10 different albums—but the word remains fraught. In a series of interviews before last year's Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman—who had been described by the media as a "thug," and who is African American—referred to "thug" as an effective synonym for the n-word. And in Baltimore over the past few days, the term has been flung about by commenters both professional and non-, mostly as a way of delegitimizing the people who are doing the protesting and rioting. To dismiss someone as a "thug" is also to dismiss his or her claims to outrage.

In all that, the history of "thug" goes back not just to the hip-hop scene of the 1990s, to Tupac Shakur and the "Thug Life" tattoo that stretched, arc-like, across his abdomen; it goes back to India—to the India, specifically, of the 1350s. "Thug" comes from the Hindi thuggee or tuggee (pronounced "toog-gee" or "toog"); it is derived from the word ठग, or ṭhag, which means "deceiver" or "thief" or "swindler." The Thugs, in India, were a gang of professional thieves and assassins who operated from the 14th century and into the 19th. They worked, in general, by joining travelers, gaining their trust ... and then murdering them—strangulation was their preferred method—and stealing their valuables.

The group, per one estimate, was ultimately responsible for the deaths of 2 million travelers. Mark Twain, reporting on the Thugs in his book Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, called the collective a "bloody terror" and a "desolating scourge":

In 1830 the English found this cancerous organization embedded in the vitals of the empire, doing its devastating work in secrecy, and assisted, protected, sheltered, and hidden by innumerable confederates—big and little native chiefs, customs officers, village officials, and native police, all ready to lie for it, and the mass of the people, through fear, persistently pretending to know nothing about its doings; and this condition of things had existed for generations, and was formidable with the sanctions of age and old custom.

The Thugs, indeed, ran rampant in India until the British colonial period, when the governor-general, Lord William Bentinck, heard of them and made a concerted effort to prevent them from operating along India's roadways. According to this fantastic overview of Thuggee history from NPR's Code Switch blog, "nearly 4,000 thugs were discovered and, of those, about 2,000 were convicted; the remaining were either sentenced to death or transported within the next six years." The British overlords had successfully eradicated the network; as William Sleeman, Bentinck's deputy in charge of the effort, proudly declared:  "The system is destroyed, never again to be associated into a great corporate body. The craft and mystery of Thuggee will not be handed down from father to son."

The Western fascination with the criminal collective, however, was only beginning. Through Twain's writings about them, and through 1837's vaguely anthropological Illustrations of the History and Practices of the Thug, and through Philip Meadows Taylor's 1839 novel Confessions of a Thug, "thug" entered the English language and the British and American consciousness. It came, through the authors' portrayals of systematized violence, to take on the connotation of "gangster"—a sense of the word that would get another moment of life in the popular culture through 1984's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which finds its hero rescuing a group of children who have been abducted by the Thugs.

Mark Twain noted that all of human history has found "Thugs fretting under the restraints of a not very thick skin of civilization."

More recently, as NPR notes, there have been attempts to reclaim (or re-reclaim, or re-re-reclaim) "thug" through heavy irony. There's the blog Thug Kitchen, which is dedicated to the sharing of healthy recipes and cooking tips. There's "thug lit" in publishing, which refers to fictional genres that have yet to break into the mainstream. There's the web series Thug Notes, which features a character named Sparky Sweet explaining classic works of English literature." (Sparky's summary of Heart of Darkness: "When it comes to swinging ivory for clean dollars, this fool Kurtz got the Congo sewn up.") There are all those "thug life" memes.

Given all that: Who is a thug? Who is not a thug? "The thug," the Brown University professor Tricia Rose writes in her book The Hip Hop Wars, "both represents a product of discriminatory conditions, and embodies behaviors that injure the very communities from which it comes." Thugs, in this conception, are both victims and agents of injustice. They are both the products and the producers of violence, and mayhem, and outrage. So it is fitting that, as the word's history suggests, there is—contrary to Mayor Rawlings-Blake's claims last night—a kind of universality to thuggery. Thugs are not necessarily "evil"; thugs are not necessarily opposed to "the will of good"; thugs are not necessarily unsympathetic. Which is another way of saying that thugs are human. And, being such, they evolve. Mark Twain, in Following the Equator, noted that all of human history, on some level, has found "Thugs fretting under the restraints of a not very thick skin of civilization."

He continued:

We have no tourists of either sex or any religion who are able to resist the delights of the bull-ring when opportunity offers; and we are gentle Thugs in the hunting-season, and love to chase a tame rabbit and kill it. Still, we have made some progress—microscopic, and in truth scarcely worth mentioning, and certainly nothing to be proud of—still it is progress: we no longer take pleasure in slaughtering or burning helpless men. We have reached a little altitude where we may look down upon the Indian Thugs with a complacent shudder; and we may even hope for a day, many centuries hence, when our posterity will look down upon us in the same way.

This piece originally appeared on The Atlantic.

27 Apr 14:30

Chili Glazed Tofu with Miso Ramen

by Heather Hands

oooh i have like, all the things for this.

When I was asked to participate in Erin's Virtual Baby Shower, I immediately thought to myself, hecks yes. I think Erin is such a super fantastic person, thoughtful, and caring. Her blog, Naturally Ella, has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember. Her recipes are vegetarian, healthy, and very approachable, and I often turn to her site for inspiration. Her simple and honest approach to cooking is something to be admired. A few fellow bloggers and myself, came up with a list of extra quick vegetarian meals to celebrate the soon-to-be arrival of Erin's baby. It's such an appropriate theme for Erin's party, and even better, she will have a list of vegetarian meals that she'll be able to easily recreate once the baby is here.

When I was trying to come up with a recipe, I thought to myself, what is something that is quick and easy to make, vegetarian, healthy, nutritious, and comforting. I immediately thought of soup. When I'm looking for something quick to make for dinner, when I've been a little sleep deprived or maybe not feeling my best, I always turn to ramen noodles. Not the fancy dish that I've made today, but ramen noodles, straight from the package. I thought, wouldn't it be kinda hilarious if I posted a recipe for instant ramen - boil the water, add the noodles and the seasoning package. Luckily the ambitious side of me won, and I decided to make a miso ramen noodle soup from scratch.

Yesterday, I took a trip to the Asian grocery store, which is always a two hour event - deciding on which fresh tofu to buy, choosing the best noodle stand to grab lunch, gawking at all the exotic fruit. I left the store with some fresh ramen, fresh tofu, and tub of miso, green onions, and some baby bok choy. I was pretty excited at the prospect of miso ramen with tofu. With all of my ingredients, including some oil, sweet chili sauce, and vegetable broth, I pulled together a pretty delicious soup in 20 minutes, which probably could have taken 10 or 15 minutes, if I hadn't of spent so much time trying to strategically place the items in the bowl for the perfect photo. This ramen soup is a lot better than your run of the mill deep fried Sapporo Ichiban. I highly recommend taking the extra time to make it from scratch, even though those instant ramen packs seem so appealing.

If you'd like to take a look at what some of the other bloggers made for the virtual baby shower, I have shared the recipes and links below.

Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes

The Fauxmartha | A Pasta Dish for Busy Hands
A Couple Cooks | Breakfast Parfait with Roasted Strawberries
Edible Perspective | Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Eat This Poem | Penne with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula
Cookie and Kate | Brussels Sprouts Pizza
FoodieCrush | Beet, Avocado and Fried Goat Cheese Salad
The Bojon Gourmet | Tempeh BLTs with Avocado + Chipotle Mayonnaise
Girl Versus Dough | Spiced Lentils with Poached Eggs
Dolly and Oatmeal | Chickpea Bean Bowl with Toasted Bread Crumbs and Dill Tahini
Food Loves Writing | Erin’s Veggie Burgers
With Food + Love | Creamy Polenta with Crispy Beets
London Bakes | Ricotta Gnocchi with Wild Garlic and Pistachio Pesto
This Homemade Life | Chickpea Greek Salad
My Name is Yeh | Creamed Spinach
Brooklyn Supper | One-Pot Pasta Primavera

serves 2

7 cups water
2 eggs
2 small bok choy
2 servings ramen noodles
4 cups vegetable broth
2 - 4 tbsp miso paste
7 - 8 oz firm tofu, sliced
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 green onions, sliced

In a large pot, bring 7 cups of water to boil. Once boiling, add the eggs, cook for 3 minutes, then remove the eggs from the water and let sit for 10 minutes to hard cook. Cover the water and reduce the heat.

Heat the vegetable broth in a medium saucepan on low.

In a frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the slices of tofu and fry on each side until brown. Brush the tofu with sweet chili sauce on both sides.

Bring the large pot of water back to a boil. Add the ramen and bok choy, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain.

Remove the broth from the stove and stir in the miso paste, 2 - 4 tbsp, as per taste. Pour the broth into the bowls. Add the ramen noodles and the bok choy. Arrange the tofu, boiled egg sliced in half, and the sliced onions on top. Serve warm.

29 Apr 04:32

salon: All Baltimore City public schools were closed on Tuesday...


Are you fucking kidding me


All Baltimore City public schools were closed on Tuesday in response to violent protests breaking out across the city in response to Freddie Gray’s death. About 84 percent of students in city’s public schools receive free or reduced-price lunches, according to the school district’s website. The closings mean that these students were unable to access these lunches, and churches and community centers have been scrambling to fill the gap.

But Whole Foods and Five Guys provided free food for National Guard soldiers rather than thousands of high-need children.

28 Apr 20:45

gentlemanbones: samurott: *blows kiss down to the ground (for the skeletons)*


for firehose



*blows kiss down to the ground (for the skeletons)*

02 Mar 23:42


28 Apr 17:43

"I’ve never heard the term ‘strong male character.’ That doesn’t mean anything. So what does ‘strong..."



“I’ve never heard the term ‘strong male character.’ That doesn’t mean anything. So what does ‘strong female character’ mean? We’re so ready to put a label on something instead of leaving room for every different kind of expression, every vulnerable, weak, funny, vulgar, stupid thing. It’s just people, right? There are layers and levels, and you can’t put somebody in a box, you know?”

- Tatiana Maslany for Rolling Stone (x)
28 Apr 17:36

When The Sharing Economy Brings Unexpected Experiences

When The Sharing Economy Brings Unexpected Experiences:
The number of people using these services is growing fast. Find out what happens when a writer rents out his Mini Cooper and an Airbnb tenant learns something terrible has happened to his host.

Dear npr​ - 
Can we please stop pretending that the “Sharing Economy” is about anything else but working class poverty?

Stein lost money when it came to running his own restaurant but found driving others and charging $35 a day to rent out his car profitable.

But he no longer owns a business, he provides a service that creates wealth for startups like AirBnB and RelayRides.

People aren’t using the sharing economy to create good vibes and build communities, though there may be beneficial side effect. People can’t afford their homes or their cars, and consumers can’t afford hotels or car rentals. They are doing this out of necessity. It’s “burdensome” to own property because we can no longer afford it.

“The sharing economy’s success is inextricably tied to the economic recession, making new American poverty palatable,” Cagle writes. Sure, she says, it’s “largely heralded as a ‘return to the village,’ an ahistoric utopia where we were friends with all of our trusted neighbors, lived in harmony with nature, and wanted not to consume, but to share.” But, she reminds us, “sharing and homesteading are things poor people have been doing forever out of necessity.”

The sharing economy looks like a classically neoliberal response to neoliberalism: individualized and market-driven, it sees us all as micro-entrepreneurs fending for ourselves in a hostile world. Its publicists seek to transform the instability of the post–Great Recession economy into opportunity. Waiting for your script to sell? Drive an Uber on the weekend. Can’t afford a place to live while attending grad school? Take a two-bedroom apartment and rent one room out. You may lack health insurance, sick days and a pension plan, but you’re in control.

In a Pew survey in August 2012, 85 percent of middle-class adults reported it is more difficult for them to maintain their standard of living now than it was a decade ago.13 That is not surprising given that incomes among middle and low-income households have declined over the last decade. In that time frame, median middle-class wealth (assets minus debt) also shrunk by 28 percent, and the median wealth held by low-income families declined by 45 percent.14

Financial planners recommend that families have about 6 months of emergency savings. Three-quarters of Americans do not meet that low bar. These asset-starved families are the same ones who have lost $6.5 trillion in home equity since 2006. More than 50 percent of Americans do not have sufficient income to maintain their current living standards in retirement.

28 Apr 16:57

proletarianrevenge: Melanie from Baltimore laying down the...


Melanie from Baltimore laying down the truth to Vice reporters during a livestream.

28 Apr 16:51

acceber74: roguesenigma: littlemisssiren: ammit420: flywithmesomeday: officialcrow: ammit420: ...








yoo its almost as if nonviolent protests dont work


Soo basically Ghandi, Woman’s March of 1913, MLK’s Washington March, and all the other examples of peaceful protest accomplished nothing?

fuck ghandi and they literally shot mlk in the head eat a dick


^^^^I wonder why they keep leaving that out? And they keep talking about MLK being nonviolent as if his nonviolent ass didn’t get fucking murdered for NONVIOLENTLY STANDING UP FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF BLACK PEOPLE. You people are fucking pathological. 

Picture time for  flywithmesomeday. For real, how are you on the Internet, but apparently too willfully ignorant to use Google?????????????

Nonviolent Civil Rights Protests met with violence from white police officers, regular citizens, and firemen…


Oh look…. Peaceful suffragettes assaulted by police officers and regular citizens….

27 Apr 14:40

Visiting Jim Lawson, the Paul Bunyan of Bench Grafting

by elizapples

apple apple apple
grafting is hard

I have an apple bucket [bushel box?] list consisting of people and varieties to find before they disappear. Towards the top of my list of people to find has been Mr. Jim Lawson, an 89 year-old nurseryman from Ball Ground, Georgia. He has been credited for finding a slew of old southern apple varieties and his work has been mentioned in books, propagated by nurserymen/women across the South and planted in many, many yards. He has worked as a professional nurseryman and fruit explorer for much of his life and I just had to meet him.

Last month, I tried to go and visit a *very* old man in Illinois to talk about the nut trees on his property and an hour before we were about to leave, I received a text from his daughter telling me that he had taken a turn for the worst and was going to die. Our trip was cancelled and we never had the chance to talk with him, collect his stories, and tell him how much we appreciated him. Still feeling the sting of that last experience, I decided to embark on an impulsive trip to North Georgia to find Jim Lawson because time is running out. I didn’t have his address and my one attempt at calling him produced no answer, so I reached out to my old college roommate (Cam), who lives a town over, and we tracked him down through the local connection. If I had tried, there’s a good chance we could have tracked him down on a basis of apple tree regularity. The closer we got to his place, the more apple trees we saw in the landscape. Pulling up to the front of his nursery building, there was someone looking at us through the window. It was Jim Lawson. We had found him!

Every now and then, I spontaneously show up at someone’s house and the person I’ve set out to talk with is rather skeptical. I’ve never been turned away, but sometimes I’ve had to really work to stay. This did not happen in the slightest with Jim. He was delighted and excited to meet us.

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About once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.

When I meet such a person it brightens my whole day. But I confess I often have a sadder thought: It occurs to me that I’ve achieved a decent level of career success, but I have not achieved that. I have not achieved that generosity of spirit, or that depth of character. -David Brooks, The Moral Bucket List

I feel blessed beyond words (so much so that I had to take David Brook’s words) to run across people like this in my life. They are continual examples and guiding lights for the type of person I want to be. After only spending a few minutes with Jim Lawson, I knew I had added another mentor to my registry of “people I want to be like.” The thought also hit me that if he didn’t live in Georgia, there would be a real chance that sparks would fly with another life mentor of mine, Anna, who lives on an island in Maine. They would be so cute, just the thought makes my heart want to burst!

Throughout the day, people circulated through his nursery building and with each new addition, we would be introduced as his “apple friends.” Most would come in, sit, and listen to Jim tell us stories. Some would offer up a few words but many just sat, content, until the time came when they had to go. Jim was sad when these people got up to leave and made sure to send them along with a genuine expression of how much their visit meant to him and how he hoped to see them again soon.

Jim Lawson, in the overalls, holding Adele's Choice Hard Cider from Mercier's Orchard in GA

Jim Lawson, in the overalls, holding Adele’s Choice Hard Cider from Mercier’s Orchard in GA

We talked about many topics and I’ve decided to write out the highlights rather than type up the stories word for word (they are recorded).

1.) In his hay day, Jim could bench graft (whip and tongue) 1000 trees in a day. For those of you who aren’t versed in the grafting world, this is nothing short of a legendary feat. These days, he only grafts a few trees every now and then because his hands don’t allow him to do much more. I didn’t press him for a number because I fear it’s probably in the hundreds at a time (what I do).

2.) At 89 year old, he wants to learn how to graft walnuts. So much so, that he’s going to join the Northern Nut Growers Association this year to be a part of their network and hopefully learn more.

3.) He has the “Big O” crabapple, which he will let me come and take cuttings from this summer. He knows everyone in the southern apple world and whenever someone would find or breed an interesting variety, they would give him a call. This is how he got the “Big O.” It’s a great keeper (stores for quite a long time).

4.) In addition to the “Big O,” he thought I’d really like to try the Craven crabapple. The Craven was being grown by a man somewhere in the South (again, the exact story with details is voice recorded) and Jim Lawson received some scions of this tree in the mail. He then started to propagate this tree and spread it far and wide though his nursery. Years later, he received a disgruntled letter from the old man who said that he had plans to patent the craven variety and was upset that Lawson had propagated the tree without his permission. Lawson sent him two Craven trees along with an apology and he never heard anything from the man again. Rumor has it, the man’s original tree had died and if it wasn’t for Lawson propagating the tree, it would not currently exist.

Jim Lawson then got up and walked to a back room in his shop. When he emerged, he was holding two shrunken apples: craven. He gave them to me with exclamations of how well they keep and told me to plant out the seed. My old college roommate must have been rather confused to see me get so excited about receiving two in-edible apples. I can’t wait to plant out those seeds!

craven apple

5.) In order to find old varieties, he’d just ask people. If he was driving somewhere, he’d pull over when he saw an old apple tree and knock on the door. It didn’t matter if they had names or not, if the apple was something he had never seen and looked good, he’d take a cutting and name it after the household name or address. Many of these varieties today still don’t have a true name. Sometimes, people would contact him looking for a specific apple variety and he would help to track them down given his local connections. To this day, two varieties elude him (I’ll update later on the names of these). He’s optimistic that they’re still around.

6.) One time, a man bought two of every single tree he had and planted them on a hillside in North GA. These trees have grown seedlings and are now a thriving habitat for deer. He hears from many hunters about how wonderful and appreciative they are for that planting of apple trees.

7.) He prefers to pour apple brandy over his pound cake.

When we were leaving, we gave him a bottle of hard cider from Mercier Orchards. The type of cider was called “Adele’s Choice” and when he received it, he exclaimed “I knew Adele! She would be so happy to know that they put her on a bottle of hard cider. Oh, this just makes me so happy.”

There’s really something to staying put. However does someone with insatiable wanderlust do such a thing?! I guess the answer will one day be (when/if I settle down to a single area): those people with wanderlust will just have to come and find me!

27 Apr 04:08

(via Terrific Rill decorating ideas)


maker bros (GN, Jordan) -
I am working on a diy garden rill. any idea on the metal/material used in the top photo? i'm guessing it's folded galvanized aluminum sheeting? i can't find any c-channel that is similar in size (4-6 inches wide, 1-2 inches deep).

27 Apr 16:47

nativeamericannews: Read a Page From the Adam Sandler Script...




Read a Page From the Adam Sandler Script That Caused Native Actors to Quit

Native actors who walked off the set of Adam Sandler’s movie The Ridiculous Six managed to snap a quick photograph of one of the pages of the script that shows offensive language and insults to native women. In the scene, characters “Beaver Breath,” “Smoking Fox” and “Never Wears Bra” discuss the novelty of toilet paper, and it is revealed that their own approach to hygiene involves keeping their private parts clean with dead animals.

26 Apr 17:49

zebablah: i can’t believe this happened


Via firehose. I've watched this three times today.


i can’t believe this happened

26 Apr 17:25

Eat your flowers


Via firehose

Eat your flowers

26 Apr 20:37

Boudin, patron saint of perpetual worriers who have done...

Boudin, patron saint of perpetual worriers who have done something bad and fear getting caught, and animals that like to lick things that are not food.
#OHSpets #adoptdontshop #dogsofinstagram #uptonogood

26 Apr 21:20

Even Stephen Hawking Has an Opinion on Zayn Leaving One Direction

by Lindsay Kimble, @lekimble

God Bless Stephen Hawking

"My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes," he said. "It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe. And in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction."

The famed theoretical physicist responded perfectly to an audience question
26 Apr 11:37

doctorgastro:Cheers everyone.


Interesting though "grain" seems overly generic.


Cheers everyone.