Shared posts

26 Feb 17:00

Fancy Lady Phrases I Want To Be Able To Seriously Say Before I Die

by Jazmine Hughes
by Jazmine Hughes

queenb_suazmo

"My home… well, one of my homes…"

"Draw up the papers!"

"Well, my accountant says…"

"Sorry, I was in a committee meeting…"

"Well, my lawyer says…"

"This was one of the toughest decisions we had to make in this competition…"

"I took the company car."

"Well, my psychic says…"

"My husband…well, one of my husbands…"

"You'll never work in this town again!"

"Well, my personalized GOOP newsletter says…"

"My gigayacht… well, one of my gigayachts…"

"And can I have guacamole on my burrito? It's ok if it's extra."

2 Comments
26 Feb 22:30

Learn How to Perfectly Smoke Any Kind of Meat with This Chart

by Patrick Allan

As the weather starts to warm up, grilling and other outdoor cooking sounds better and better. If you're interested in doing some slow cooking with your electric smoker, this chart tells you how to do it right with 17 different kinds of meat.

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26 Feb 17:30

The Jobs with the Biggest Pay Gaps for Women

by Kristin Wong
Alisongrinter

Odd! Not what I would have guessed, and the percentages are CRAZY

The gender pay gap has been getting a lot attention. It's an issue needs to be addressed proactively, but it can be useful to know the industries where this gap is widest. Here are the worst paying jobs for women, based on median earnings.

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26 Feb 21:45

‘Christian Mingle: The Movie’ Is An Unintentional Parody Of Whiteness

by Vince Mancini
Alisongrinter

Can we see this?

ChristianMingleMovie

Home Theater Films


According to director Corbin Bernsen (yes, the former LA Law actor known, according to his IMDB bio, for his “blond and brash, rugged, hirsutely handsome good looks, impish grin and aggressive courting style”) the idea for Christian Mingle: The Movie (which hit DVD last month and aired on UP TV February 8th) didn’t come from Christian Mingle, it came from Bernsen. To hear Bernsen tell it, he just thought that a Christian Mingle movie was something that should exist, so he approached the Christian Mingle people, and they were kind enough to let him use the name. Pro tip: if you don’t want people to think your movie is a paid advertisement for Christian Mingle, maybe don’t call it Christian Mingle: The Movie.

Though you might not know him beyond his aggressive courting, Bernsen has actually directed four previous faith-based films™. He has been described as a born-again Christian in various bios, but when asked the question directly, he tends to reject the label. He speaks earnestly and fairly unobnoxiously about his faith, and in general, sounds like a more accessible alternative to Kirk Cameron, the kind of guy who’d tell you you can believe in God without hating queers or thinking bananas refute evolution. Basically, he doesn’t seem like a heartless profiteer looking to pimp the same horseshit cultural divide, and I tend to think that’s reason enough not to just sh*t on him out of hand. A decent film with a Christian message? Let’s at least admit the possibility.

A kinder, better, gentler kind of Christian, the kind you could bring home to your agnostic mom. I like that. Was his film still a chore to sit through? Oh sweet mother of God yes.

Bernsen described his idea for Christian Mingle: The Movie thusly:

I was talking with my business partner, thinking, “Why can’t there be Christian movies that are faith based, but are just genre films? Instead of the educational, hit-people-over-the-head-with-Jesus movies every time, why not a romantic comedy?”

A fine idea (I guess?), but it seems that in combining the home-spun Christian indie with the soft rock of film genres, Bernsen has created a supernova of caucasity, a movie so white it’d make a Lands End catalog look like Jet Magazine. It stars Party of Five‘s Lacey Chabert as Gwyneth Hayden (a name so white it makes Rooney Mara sound like Quvenzhane Wallis), a single gal with a great job, some gabby girlfriends, and a sassy black secretary. But NO MAN, wouldn’t you know it. Her dishy GFs tell her she’s going to die alone if she doesn’t settle, in typical high-larious rom-com fashion. She works (“works”) as a marketing professional (of course) at the “Maritime Advertising Agency,” under head honcho Stephen Tobolowsky (of Ned Ryerson fame), who shows up to work in a captain’s hat, wears ties with tiny anchors on them, and summons his employees to work with pronouncements like “Clear the decks!” It’s a theme, get it? That’s just good clean comedy writin’ right there.

After being disappointed with the usual dating options, represented solely by a set-up date with a guy who keeps looking past her at the other girls at the bar and makes conversation like “I love stinky cheese. Clogs the pipes, but…”, Gwyneth sees a Christian Mingle commercial on TV one night and decides to take the plunge. Her friends are skeptical, but she assures them “It’s a very popular and legit dating site.” Smash cut to her meet cute with a lost Manning brother played by Jonathan Patrick Moore, the suitably boring named “Paul Wood.” And we’re off!

Now, a note on styling. Some months back, I attended a Halloween party where one of the guys there had dressed as a “basic bitch” – big, done-up wig, dangly earrings, Lululemon pants tucked into Ugg boots, robe top with sash cinch, big sunglasses, and a Starbucks latte cup as a prop. It was uncanny how much he predicted Lacey Chabert’s character in Christian Mingle, the unsatirical basic bitch come to life. If it seems unfair to focus so much on styling, well, facade is really all there is. This entire movie feels like it was filmed inside an IKEA show room. The characters aren’t people, they’re catalog representations of middle class whiteness.

ChristianMingle-Chabert

Home Theater Films


ChristianMingle-dude

Home Theater Films


It’s like bland wholesomeness and aspirational styling had a mutant baby that begged you to shoot it in the head. Do they make flannel bullets? Can you hang yourself with a braided belt? Suddenly I want to join the Black Panthers.

But whereas, say, Heaven Is For Real would unabashedly sell you these people as avatars for the “real America,” Christian Mingle is at least self-aware enough to inject some honest introspection. The trailer has an actual record scratch when Wood brings up his “love for the Lord,” and his character is at least self-conscious about how ridiculous he sounds when he refers to his father as “Papa.” Make no mistake, the fact that he’s the love interest for a lost and confused latte-loving city girl (the “city” here being represented by Turlock, California, which is hilarious) is absolutely representative of a deep desire to return to a lost (and mostly imaginary) halcyon era of side-part fifties whiteness, to avoid the hard work of living in a complex modern world. They earnestly sell this fantasy, but are at least aware enough to be embarrassed about it.

The difficulty for The Christian Mingle movie comes in the complication, that part of every rom-com where the love interest finds out the protagonist began the relationship under false pretenses (say, there was a bet that he could make her the coolest girl at her high school, or she’s actually her own mother after a body swap curse), and they split up for a while. The false pretense in Christian Mingle Is Gwyneth “pretending” to be a Christian. Which is revealed when Gwyneth’s too-perfect romantic rival finds a “Christianity For Dummies” book in Gwyneth’s bag on a mission trip to San Luis Potosi. She shows it to Paul’s mom, played by Morgan Fairchild, in front of the entire horrified congregation. Gwyneth read a book? What a Godless f*cking loser!

It’s one of the all-time great record scratch moments, but it also raises the question: if someone wants to be a Christian and is trying really hard to be one, doesn’t that make them a Christian? What else does she need? A baptism? A “blessed” tattoo? Is there hazing, like a holy hell week to commemorate the end of pledge period? It feels like an attempt to placate the Christian base, who might resent a Johnny Come Lately who gets to be a Christian just because she says she is one.

To address this and begin her path to marriageability, Gwyneth tells us via voiceover, “It wasn’t enough to talk about God, I had to know God personally. So we started… a conversation.”

This conversation happens on the most literal terms possible – God, represented by a celestial ray of sunshine (of course), beams through Gwyneth’s window to wake her. “Leave me alone!” she shouts at the Heavens, drawing the curtains. Which “God” blows open again with a sound effect-aided gust of wind. “Ugh, you are so obvious!” Gwyneth says.

I guess it’s supposed to represent Gwyneth wrestling with her faith, but all I could think of was what a nightmare person someone who thought everything in life, down to the smallest ray of sunshine or gust of breeze was God trying to speak directly to them. That news report about a genocide in Uganda was probably just God’s way of telling me not to eat the rest of this quesadilla!

That’s when Gwyneth receives a letter from a smiling ethnic child, still grateful to her white savior in her time of need. “Yer changin’ that girl’s life. Nope, she’s changin’ mine,” and whatnot.

ChristianMingleLetter

Home Theater Films


ChistianMingle-MexicanGirl

Home Theater Films


It’s an amazing scene, featuring a letter, read by a little girl with a hilariously bad attempt at a Mexican accent (honestly, how hard was that to find in Southern California?), that starts “Dear Señorita. My sorry por my English no so good…”

That’s it! God speaking through a kind hearted little stereotype from It’s A Small World! Gwyneth should quit her evil marketing job and go get validated by brown people! So she moves back down to Mexico to teach, and by “Mexico” I mean the most hilariously on-the-nose Mr. Belvedere set you’ve ever seen.

ChristianMingle-School2

Home Theater Films


Does that kid have a pet burro? You bet your ass that kid has a pet burro.

ChristianMingleDonkey

Home Theater Films


That’s the thing: Christian Mingle: The Movie wants to be a movie about faith, but mostly it’s a movie where ching chong background music plays when the characters go out for sushi and at least one kid has to be wearing a straw cowboy hat and walking a pet burro to make sure you know they’re in Mexico. Gwyneth takes Paul out for sushi (which he tries valiantly not to be grossed out by), Paul takes Gwyneth out to his family’s favorite restaurant, I sh*t you not, “Steak and Cake.” The film thinks it’s about this culture clash, but mostly it’s just about two people who are really f*cking white.

Christian Mingle: The Movie, aka The Unbearable Whiteness Of Believing.

Vince Mancini is a writer and comedian living in San Francisco. You can find more of his work on FilmDrunk, the Uproxx network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.

26 Feb 22:00

Gwen Stacy Is Your New Spider-Man, Oh I’m Sorry, Spider-Woman

by Beejoli Shah

Marvel just unmasked its newest superhero and the big twist isn’t just that it’s a woman — it’s that Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman.

You may remember Gwen — she was Peter Parker’s (aka Spider-Man) ex-girlfriend, most recently played by Emma Stone in “The Amazing Spider-Man” (and personally, my pick for who Spider-Man should have ended up with instead of that abysmal Mary Jane). Now, for a single issue, Marvel will be giving Gwen her own storyline as a mutant super-hero, complete with a transformation by way of one very radioactive spider. The issue is part of the Edge of Spider-Verse miniseries that imagines a world in which other people are Spider-Man/Woman instead of Peter Parker.

While Spider-Woman (and her badass costume!) may be a one-off, Marvel has been committing now more than ever to having kickass women save the world in boundary pushing ways — last October they announced female Thor, and earlier in 2014, the company announced the latest Ms. Marvel would be a Muslim teenager, Kamala Khan. Cool! [USA Today]

[Images via Comicbooks.com]

25 Feb 17:00

Is Ross Geller A Men’s Rights Activist?

by Beejoli Shah
Alisongrinter

Joey is the only one who makes it out alive. Who knew.

Because we currently live in a digital renaissance of eternal contrarianism, a widespread dislike of “Friends” is something that, I, a diehard “Friends” fan, have come to accept from the general populace with the same resigned disdain that I generally reserve for Republicans and leafy greens. I get that everyone loved “Friends” for so long that it’s now officially cool to hate on “Friends.” I hold out hope for a time a few years from now where liking “Friends” will be so subversive and hip that my enduring fandom will finally render me cool as fuck, but until then, I’ll continue to fight the good fight against idiots who dare to utter a furtively whispered, “I never really liked ‘Friends’ that much,” in my presence.

That’s not to say I don’t see its limitations. It took half a series to give up the “Monica is desperate for a man” storyline, nine seasons for a black love interest, and in today’s America, Joey would be labeled a street harasser and lambasted by a viral video. I can even explain away most of these without compromising my beliefs (Monica’s real story was her focused drive towards everything important in her life, Ross’s Season One girlfriend was Chinese, Joey displayed an immense penchant to learn and better himself back when he bought encyclopedias from Penn Jillette in Season 4 and learned about friendship from Mr. Wigglemunch and The Grumpus in Season 9). But the one thing in the show I can no longer pretend doesn’t exist? The fact that Dr. Ross Geller, PhD., is a men’s rights activist.

It’s no secret that Ross was always the weakest link in the beloved six — his hair was over-gelled, he was always creepily touchy with his sister Monica, and he could literally never, ever be wrong. But he was always Ross — the “good guy.” Poor beleaguered Ross, who loved Rachel for so long and raised a son as a single parent, couldn’t be as odious as your run of the mill men’s rights activist, who thinks feminism is the root of all evil and women should be subjugated by the stronger sex. But where else have we heard that “I’m just a nice guy” shtick before? Oh, right, Isla Vista mass murderer Elliot Rodger’s manifesto. The nice guy fallacy is exactly that — a fallacy — based on the theory that women should want to be with a guy based on his self-determined virtue, and Ross Geller, well, he’s your ultimate over-entitled “nice guy.”

He’s The Poster Child For Nice Guy Syndrome

Ross pined for Rachel for years in high school, and when she showed up at Central Perk in a rain-soaked wedding dress, he wasted no time in asking her out the same night she should have been doing the Cha Cha Slide with Barry — which, fine, not really a men’s rights patented move, but weird and creepy all the same, Geller. But she said yes! And then … Ross did nothing. Except whine for over a year about how he was basically in the friend zone (another men’s rights construct!) with Rachel, and hide phone messages she got from other men in Monica’s cookie jar. Somehow, despite his secret longings, not only should Rachel have known how brightly his love for her burned, but she should have rewarded his efforts at being such a gosh darn good dude by returning his affections (as she ultimately did, when she found out he was ready to take her to her senior prom when she thought she was being stood up).

Even when they weren’t together, Ross was still on one about how Rachel should act, despite offering her none of the same considerations. He hid her messages (again with the message hiding!) when a man called new mom-Rachel for a date and Ross, who was staying home to watch baby Emma, took the message. He even preyed on a seemingly desperate woman to make Rachel jealous, after he saw her kiss her coworker Gavin. But it was Ross who was hitting on Rena Sofer’s shop girl character in front of Rachel while she was pregnant. Hypocrisy? Nah, it’s totally cool, trust me, Ross Geller is just a nice guy.

He Loves To Objectify Women

Perhaps this will come as no surprise, given the pedestal that Ross placed Rachel on for over a decade, but if Ross was going to win the Geller cup for anything, it would be for his objectification of women. There was the time he couldn’t stop ordering pizzas just to hit on Caitlin from the pizza place. Girlfriends can’t be ordered with extra pepperoni, Ross. When he slept with Chloe, the spiky haired hipster girl he cheated on Rachel with (I know, I know, they were on a break), he almost exclusively refers to her as “the hot girl from the copy place.” And that came after half a season of talking about how hot she was. Ross Geller can put his penis inside you, but damned if he’ll respect your personhood by calling you by your real name.

Incidentally, the first time he mentions the hot girl from the copy place is in an episode where female objectification is again supremely important to Ross: The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy. He tells Rachel about his fantasy of sleeping with a gold bikini-clad Leia, which is fine as we all have our sexual fantasies (you’re the stern editorial director, I’m the wayward blogger who has to make up for the lack of page views this month — just me?), but Ross’s would be significantly less odious if it didn’t involve a woman physically chained by her neck and held as a captive prisoner of a hermaphroditic Hutt.

Honestly, it’s a shock he even got far enough to objectify Carrie Fisher and Rachel in one fell swoop, given the fact that one of the reasons Rachel didn’t want to date him after they had already kissed was because she found a list where he tallied her flaws — one of which was her allegedly chubby ankles. Totally cool and normal! Even after having a daughter, Ross still didn’t learn to respect women. It may have been Joey who called Emma’s nanny Molly “hot nanny” for an episode, but it was Ross who first referred to her as “so hot I cried myself to sleep.”

When He Isn’t Objectifying Women, He’s Mansplaining Instead

And when he isn’t ogling women because of how they look, he’s busy being as condescending as possible. For example, all Phoebe and Rachel wanted to do was tell him about their self-defense class, and he immediately took over the conversation to tell them how useless their class was and to incorrectly share how unagi is the Japanese concept of total awareness (it’s actually zanshin). And then there was the time when Phoebe presented her fairly salient theory for not believing in gravity and evolution, and Ross was incapable of maintaining his composure, instead over-explaining just how wrong Phoebe’s belief system was, despite her begging him in multiple scenes to accept that they both can just believe in different things.

Or the time when he self-tanned so incorrectly (twice!) he had to go to an entirely new tanning salon just to even out his half alabaster white, half jerky brown skin tone. The female tanning salon employee had barely begun to explain how the booth worked before he cut in with a “I’m gonna stop you right there, Linda. Does it look like this is my first time?” before speaking even more loudly and slowly, as you would to a small child, to describe exactly how he wanted to be tanned. Unsurprisingly, he still fucked it up on try three. Meanwhile, if Joey or Chandler shut him down in his times of ultimate mansplaining, he seemingly has no problem being put right in place.

He Can’t Handle Female Success

Despite the fact that he’s surrounded by hordes of women who are successful in a variety of ways, and holds his own doctorate, nothing is more intimidating to Ross than female success. Remember when Rachel had just started working at Ralph Lauren Bloomingdales and was taking her job very seriously, as one who has waited for years for their dream job is often wont to do? Was Ross supportive? Nah. He mercilessly harassed her about her platonic friendship with her male coworker Mark, and then showed up at her office when she had asked him not to, set fire to her desk, and had the nerve to demand an apology when she got home later that night.

Rachel: What do you want from me, do you want me to quit my job so that you can feel like you have a girlfriend?
Ross: No, but it’d be nice if you realized it was just a job.
Rachel: Just a job?
Ross: Yes.
Rachel: Do you realize this is the first time in my life I’m doing something I actually care about, this is the first time in my life I’m doing something I’m actually good at. I mean if you don’t get that…
Ross: I get that big time and I’m happy for you but I’m tired of having a relationship with your answering machine.

Why the “but,” Ross? There is no but. You either get Rachel’s new job big time and are happy for her, or you aren’t. When you throw in the but, it kind of feels like you’re not happy for her and that maybe you don’t get it big time, you know? Just one woman’s observation.

Things aren’t much better outside of his romantic relationships, either — as it turns out, Ross is incredibly uncomfortable when he’s forced to share the spotlight with any womsn. He makes no secret of being his parents’ favorite child, even though Monica’s inferiority complex is perhaps her only characteristic more defining than her compulsive need to clean. When their father Jack bequeaths his Porsche to Monica, after letting all of her childhood mementos be ruined to preserve Ross’s, Ross is quick to point out that not only was he the smart and accomplished one, but also a medical marvel. When against better advice he starts playing his keyboards at Central Perk, he only stops because he fears that Phoebe will stop playing music if he keeps playing, because he’s just that good. And he is truly incapable of shutting up about the fact that he is technically a doctor, to any woman he meets. Why not just whip your dick out and demand a female fetch you a ruler? It just seems easier.

He Needs His Men to be Men

The biggest irony of Ross’ miserable existence is his deep-rooted desire to make sure that the men in his life are, in fact, men. When his son Ben was playing with a Barbie, Ross went to extreme lengths to get him to play with any other seemingly masculine toy, foisting a monster truck, a dinosaur soldier, and GI Joe on Ben over the course of the episode to get him to give up his doll. (He succeeded, in yet another win for the heteronormative patriarchy.) Things didn’t change much a few years later, when Rachel tried to hire the ever-delightful Freddie Prinze Jr. to be Emma’s nanny (imagine Ross’ surprise when ‘Sandy’ turned out to be a man!), and true to form, Ross did not take it well. Ross’ first question to Sandy was a skeptical “Are you gay?” before jumping into his best deep-voiced impression of a man’s man to grill Sandy on why a man would ever want to work in childcare. He then started in on Rachel for wanting to hire Sandy:

Ross: He’s a guy!
Rachel: So? He’s smart, he’s qualified. Give me one good reason we shouldn’t try him out.
Ross: Because, it’s weird! [...] What kind of job is that for a man? A nanny? It’s like if a woman wanted to be…
Rachel: Yes?
Ross: …King?

Even Joey, arguably the only bastion of traditional masculinity on the show (insofar as men’s rights types would describe masculinity, at least), got with the program after his initial skepticism about male nannies, partaking in a variety of delightful and educational activities taught by Sandy and a panoply of rich-hued puppet friends. But Ross? Ross fires him because Sandy is “too sensitive” and it made him uncomfortable. Rachel perhaps summed up the pathetic irony best: “I hate to break it to you Ross, but it’s not like you just came in from branding cattle.”

#NotAllMen

And if this isn’t enough to convince you that Ross Geller is indubitably a men’s rights activist (he tried to start a clubhouse solely for divorced men! How much more convincing do you need?), let us not forget the time he gave men’s rights activists their rallying cry:

I rest my case. Sorry Marta and David. Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.

26 Feb 14:00

Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Make Peace With Past Trauma?

by Taisia Kitaiskaia
Alisongrinter

Pretty much perfect.

by Taisia Kitaiskaia

baba trauma
Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

How can I transform pain of severe trauma in the past into peace for the present and hope for the future?

BABA YAGA:

Each wound is living aware of itself. The living feels intensely its edges. The edges seethe to be well. ; The wellness when it comes is, then, the supreme gift ; & the wellness remembers the deep living of the wound, & so is happier than any easy health.

Previously: How Can I Stand This Lack of Humility?

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

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25 Feb 19:10

The Ideal Woman

by Mallory Ortberg

I'm usually not one to complain about modern gender roles, but I've come to realize that women are not pulling our weight as a gender in the same way that we used to. It pains me to admit it, but there it is. All of the following paintings are named "Portrait of a Woman" (or a lady, or a young woman, or some minor variation); they are regular paintings of regular ladies doing regular things, and they put each and every one of us to shame.

regular woman

Here's "Portrait of a Woman," by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. The sight of a woman bedecked in a shapeless silver gown, in turquoise slippers and a beehive crown who had mastered and tamed a noble beast of the hunt was once so commonplace it needed no additional title. Portrait of a Woman with Deer? No. People will instinctively understand that deer serve her, because she is a woman.

regular woman 16

"Mother, how will I know when I am a woman?"

"You will wear a ruby the size of a bird, and clutch a baby unicorn with sad eyes to your breast. That is how you will know."

Read more The Ideal Woman at The Toast.

25 Feb 21:00

Your Favorite Childhood Cartoon Ducktales Is Returning

by Kate Dries
Alisongrinter

Admit that you're singing it.

Scrooge McDuck is back! Deadline reports that Disney is relaunching the cartoon Ducktales to air on Disney XD. The rebooted series will obviously include Scrooge's grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, plus Donald Duck, "as they embark on high-flying adventures worldwide."

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24 Feb 19:50

A Japanese Ketchup Company Invented A Robot That Feeds You Tomatoes While You Run

by Stacey Ritzen
Alisongrinter

FINALLY!!

Meet Tomatan, the “wearable” robot from — where else — Japan, that feeds you nice, refreshing tomatoes while you run. Tomatan is worn like a backpack, weighing a breezy 18 pounds, and features mechanical arms that reach down and feed the runner tomatoes at just the press of a button. Mmm, sweaty tomatoes.

Why tomatoes instead of, say, bananas, or GU Energy Gel packets, or even cheeseburgers? International Business Times explains:

Well, according to Kagome, which claims to be Japan’s largest supplier of tomato juice and tomato ketchup, people running the Tokyo marathon really need this.

“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” Kagome employee Shigenori Suzuki told Deccan Chronicle.

What can you take to combat without looking like a total goof, running a marathon with a robot on your back feeding you tomatoes? The Japanese have yet to invent a robot for this specific problem.

(International Business Times via Dangerous Minds)

19 Feb 14:00

Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Stand This Lack of Humility?

by Taisia Kitaiskaia
by Taisia Kitaiskaia

baba spiritual arrogance
Transcript after the jump.

Dear Baba Yaga,

I move in a circle of friends who use their spiritual lives as badges of power and importance. I love them, but I am also tired of the grandstanding and lack of humility. How can I tell them this without making them mad or losing face in our group?

BABA YAGA:

Yr friends,as any other mortals, crave vain & foolish things. They are only wearing different garments than some. ;Knowing this, put on yr own strange garment, dark cloak of wisdom: dress for one day as a crow, & crow out what you see. Though crows are unwelcome messengers, mortals always in secret honor them for their knowings. After stating such prophecies, put on again yr usual human costume, & they will welcome you again, now with a respectful eye.

Previously: Why Are My Lists Oppressing Me?

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.

0 Comments
19 Feb 14:26

Fans of Inbox by Gmail will be happy to hear that the app has been optimized for iPad and Android ta

by Andy Orin

Fans of Inbox by Gmail will be happy to hear that the app has been optimized for iPad and Android tablets, and is now accessible from Safari and Firefox. Get your Inbox fix anywhere you need it. Read more on the Gmail blog.

Read more...








19 Feb 14:50

Hear Chvrches’ Fantastic Cover Of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me A River’

by Josh Kurp
Austin City Limits Music Festival 2014 - Weekend 2

Getty Image


Chvrches are hard at work on their sophomore album, but they still found time to stop by BBC Radio 1′s Live Lounge to cover Justin Timberlake’s ode to not having sex with Britney Spears anymore, “Cry Me a River.” At this point, the Scottish synthpop group could put out an entire record of nothing but cover songs, and it would probably be one of the year’s best releases.

What I’m saying is, Chvrches, do “Bye Bye Bye” next.

19 Feb 15:00

These Maps Show You the Cost of Living in Other Countries

by Heather Yamada-Hosley

When you plan to go to another country, there are a lot of factors to consider —including cost. MoveHub has put together a map guide of the cost of living standard on a global level so you can easily judge whether a country is too expensive for your budget.

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18 Feb 21:30

Make Your Own Homemade Frozen Pizzas for Cheap and Easy Meals

by Patrick Allan

Pizza is a favorite food for a lot of people, but it can get pricey ordering delivery or buying frozen brands. By making some pizzas ahead of time at home, you can freeze them and pop them in the oven whenever your craving strikes.

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18 Feb 16:23

Pussy Riot Release First English-Language Song, “I Can’t Breathe,” in Response to the Killing of Eric Garner

Alisongrinter

I wonder if our kid can get an internship with Pussy Riot

Not even two years ago, Pussy Riot were imprisoned in their… Read More

13 Feb 19:50

Madonna Hated ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Because ‘No One Eats P*ssy As Much As’ Christian Grey

by Stacey Ritzen
57th GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

Getty Image


Fifty Shades Of Grey fever is at an all-time frenzied high, as the theatrical version finally hits theaters tomorrow for Valentine’s Day. So in an interview with Madonna published online this morning, naturally Billboard had to ask the noted erotica enthusiast if she’s read the source material and what she thinks of it.

In a nutshell… Madonna is not a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Yes, I have. It’s pulp fiction. It’s not very sexy, maybe for someone who has never had sex before. I kept waiting for something exciting and crazy to happen in that red room thing, and I was like, “Hmm, a lot of spanking.” I also thought, “This is so unrealistic because no guy goes down on a girl that much.” I’m sorry, but no one eats p—- as much as the guy in that book.

I love that one of Madonna’s primary criticisms with the book is that it’s unrealistic because no guy “goes down on a girl that much.” Not that like, it’s poorly written or includes the gratuitous use of the phrase “oh jeez.” This also tears apart my preconceived notions of what the sexual relationship is like for any guy dating Madonna. I always just assumed that all sexual contact would be limited to: A) the guy going down on Madonna and B) the guy getting pegged in the butt by Madonna. I don’t even know which side is up anymore.

13 Feb 18:21

Salem, Oregon and Rachel Maddow Unite Against Local Hat-Stealing Crime Owl - Put a bird on it in jail.

by Carolyn Cox
Alisongrinter

Owl Capone

5927758528_a2060423e7_z

Local papers are calling the bird “Owlcapone.” I’m done here.

In a move inspired by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s recent segment on “Oregon wackiness,” Salem has begun posting signs to warn local residents of a hat-pilfering owl known to pester joggers in Bush’s Pasture Park.

twinpeaks

Artist’s rendition of Tony Sopranowl.

Yahoo news reports that

One jogger, a surgeon, said the owl hit him twice in Bush’s Pasture Park in Salem, and so hard he thought he was having a stroke or an aneurysm. Another said the bird swiped his longtime running cap and nicked his scalp [typical Pigwidgeon].

Parks and transportation services manager Mark Becktel said the city is erecting twenty signs to make “people aware that there’s an owl there that for whatever reason swoops down and goes after people’s hats.” (But HAS MARK SEEN AVATAR? I NEVER SAW AVATAR.)

owl

Local newspaper the Statesman Journal held a vote to name the notorious B.I.R.D.: ” Owlcapone” received 238 votes. “Rachel Maddowl” came in at 188.

(images via Mark A. Coleman on Flickr and KGW.com)

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13 Feb 19:30

So, Did You Hear This Guy Rescued 500 Girls From Boko Haram Two Months Ago?

by Robyn Pennacchia
Alisongrinter

How is this even possibly true

In April of last year, Boko Haram abducted nearly 279 girls from their school in Chibok. Two months ago, they attempted to do the same to 470 girls who were boarding at the Federal Government College in Bajoga town.

They were not successful.

Why? Because teachers immediately contacted a civil rights worker named Ibrahim Garuba Wala (known as I G Wala), who led a group of civilians into where even the Nigerian army was too afraid to go.

Via Channel 4:

As the Boko Haram fighters entered the school compound, I G Wala was on the phone to a member of staff at the school.

“I could hear the teachers screaming at the girls just to drop everything and run. All I could think of was the girls from Chibok and I knew that we could not let this happen again,” he said. I G Wala has been an active member of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

He claims he begged a Nigerian military commander to send in his troops to rescue the school girls but was told that the situation there was out of control. When I G Wala insisted on leading a group of civilians to rescue the girls, the commander, he says, agreed to supply two military escort vehicles.

The girls ran a total of 15km through the bush. They had been unable to take any water and many were severely dehydrated, I G Wala said. One had been injured by treading on a spike with bare feet.

“We carried some of them on our backs for the final kilometre back to the nearest village, which was as far as our vans had been able go. We had brought with us a vehicle loaded with bottles of water for the girls.”

His efforts have yet to be acknowledged or thanked by the Nigerian government, the military, or really anyone other than the girls and their school principals. The heroic rescue was not only not reported in the media around the world, but was largely ignored in Nigeria as well.

Wala and his organization, National Concensus Movement, believes that the government is being dangerously insensitive towards those who have suffered “unimaginable atrocities and calamities,” and that it is not doing enough to protect young girls from Boko Haram and to rescue girls who already have been kidnapped. Which, I think it’s pretty clear, is definitely the case here.

Perhaps Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan could take a few minutes out of his “worrying about the gays” time and actually work towards getting the remaining girls to safety.

[Channel 4]

06 Feb 16:10

DC Comics Announces New Diverse Lineup to “Make Room for More Types of Storytelling, More Fans.” - New solo series for Black Canary, Starfire, new creative talent, and more!

by Jill Pantozzi

DiverseDCstarfireCropDC Comics made some pretty big announcements today – new titles, new creative teams – in what they’re calling “even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.”

Have you been keeping up with DC’s Convergence business? Well, never mind all that, they’ve done something you’re going to want to know about. DC Comics is saying they’re going “back-to-basics” on June 3 with “24 brand-new series that will begin at issue number one, as well as 25 on-going, bestselling fan favorite series that will continue without a break in the issue numbering. The total number of periodicals in the DCU will be 49, with additional new titles debuting throughout the year.”

“This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us,” DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said in a statement. “Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June.”

It’s important to note, DC isn’t throwing away continuity, they aren’t getting rid of the books they know sell, but they are making room for new things and that’s huge. There’s been plenty of doubts over the new direction of Batgirl, and while it may not be the book for the tried-and-true DC collectors, it is the book for a whole other segment of society previously ignored by the publisher. A segment that is without a doubt very much needed. New readers are a good thing for the industry as a whole and publishers like DC and Marvel weren’t doing much to make their comics alluring or accessible to them. This is that move and it’s a bold one.

“More than ever before, DC Comics fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources, including an unprecedented number of highly successful TV shows, video games and upcoming major motion pictures,” said Co-Publisher Jim Lee. “We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone. For example, fans of the Arrow television show may want more stories about Black Canary. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series both in stores and digitally.”

Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at what was announced. The gallery below features brand-new art along with creative teams, and underneath that you’ll find titles/teams that were announced without art.

Click to view gallery

[View All on One Page]

New Titles:

Batman Beyond
W: Dan Jurgens
A: Bernard Chang

Constantine: The Hellblazer
W: Ming Doyle
A: Riley Rossmo

Dark Universe
W: James Tynion IV
A: Ming Doyle

Green Lantern: Lost Army
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina

Earth 2: Society
W: Daniel Wilson
A: Jorge Jimenez

Dr. Fate
W: Paul Levitz
A: Sonny Liew

Harley Quinn/Power Girl (6-issue limited)
W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
A: Stephane Roux

Justice League 3001
W: Keith Giffen
A: Howard Porter

Martian Manhunter
W: Rob Williams
A: Ben Oliver

Mystic U
W: Alisa Kwitney
A: Stay tuned for artist info!

Red Hood/Arsenal
W: Scott Lobdell
A: Denis Medri

Section Eight (6-issue limited)
W: Garth Ennis
A: John McCrea

Ongoing Titles:

Action Comics
W: Greg Pak
A: Aaron Kuder

Aquaman
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Trevor McCarthy

Batgirl
W: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
A: Babs Tarr

Batman
W: Scott Snyder
A: Greg Capullo

Detective Comics
W; Brian Buccelato & Francis Manapul
A: Francis Manapul

Batman/Superman
W: Greg Pak
A: Ardian Syaf

Catwoman
W: Genevieve Valentine
A: David Messina

Deathstroke
W: Tony S. Daniel
A: Tony S. Daniel

The Flash
W: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen
A: Brett Booth

Gotham Academy
W: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher
A: Karl Kerschl

Gotham By Midnight
W: Ray Fawkes
A: Juan Ferreyra

Grayson
W: Tom King & Tim Seeley
A: Mikel Janin

Green Arrow
W: Ben Percy
A: Zircher

Green Lantern
W: Robert Venditti
A: Billy Tan

Harley Quinn
W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
A: Chad Hardin

Justice League
W: Geoff Johns
A: Jason Fabok

Justice League United
W:Stay tuned for creative team info!
A:

Lobo
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Cliff Richards

Secret Six
W: Gail Simone
A: Dale Eaglesham

Sinestro
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Bradley Walker

New Suicide Squad
W: Sean Ryan
A: Carlos D’Anda

Superman
W: Gene Luen Yang
A: John Romita, Jr.

Superman/Wonder Woman
W: Peter J. Tomasi
A: Doug Mahnke

Teen Titans
W: Will Pfeifer
A: Kenneth Rocafort

Wonder Woman
W: Meredith Finch
A: David Finch

It’s not a New 52 level shakeup, but wow. Take a good look at the gallery and list of writers and artists and let us know what you think of the big changes and what you think is missing!

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01 Feb 21:45

Old White Dudes Get Naked To Protest SF's Nudity Ban 

by Collier Meyerson
Alisongrinter

#ReclaimYourPower

Happening now in the Castro: A protest of San Francisco's nudity ban. Follow @ctuan and @jachristian for updates #SF pic.twitter.com/qNHN9FpxuV

— SFGate (@SFGate) February 1, 2015

Read more...








02 Feb 04:30

Map of Literally Every Goat in America Is Most Important Map Ever

by Rebecca Rose
Alisongrinter

Big Bend National Park is the Goat Capital of the USA

Map of Literally Every Goat in America Is Most Important Map Ever

Here is a map that is the only map you will ever need ever again in your entire map. Delete all your Google Map links, burn all your Rand McNally maps and take that stupid globe and chuck it in the dumpsters. Because none of those maps include goats and are therefor entirely irrelevant.

Read more...








30 Jan 14:50

Adobe Is Suing Forever 21 For Stealing Photoshop

by Kate Dries

Adobe Is Suing Forever 21 For Stealing Photoshop

In a suit filed this week in California District Court, the software company Adobe, in addition to the slightly less well-known companies Autodesk and Corel, claim that Forever 21 has "willfully, intentionally and maliciously" been using unauthorized versions of their programs.

Read more...








30 Jan 11:54

List: Words That Could Conceivably Be Used to Describe Both the Super Bowl and a Superb Owl by Michael Ward

Alisongrinter

Overhyped, Cold-blooded, At times Unnecessarily elevated, Helping to maintain a mouse-free field

[Originally published February 3, 2011.]

- - -

Unpredictable
Head-turning
Majestic
Fast-paced
Expensive
Bone-crunching
Spirited
A hoot

29 Jan 14:30

St. Louis Police Spokesman Assaults a Black Woman at Public Meeting

by Anna Merlan
Alisongrinter

What? No this actually IS their PR.

St. Louis Police Spokesman Assaults a Black Woman at Public Meeting

Jeff Roorda, a spokesman for the St. Louis Police Officer's Association, grabbed and then shoved a woman named Cachet Currie during a meeting at St. Louis City Hall last night, an incident which was captured on video. Roorda, who attended the meeting wearing a bracelet reading "I am Darren Wilson," is also accused by bystanders of scratching Currie's face.

Read more...








29 Jan 14:30

Kenny G Claims Responsibility For Frappuccinos

by Claire Hannum
Alisongrinter

Making everything worse.

Kenny G

Smooth jazz aficionado would like you to send him a silent thanks the next time you take a sip of an oh-so-delicious Frappuccino. Many moons ago, when Kenny was at his peak and Starbucks was still in its infancy, his uncle introduced him to the coffee shop’s founder, Howard Schultz. When Kenny laid his eyes on Starbucks, he saw wonder and promise that one day in the near future, Americans would in fact shell out $4.00 for a cup of coffee. He invested in the company and, from the way he tells it, he became pretty chummy with Schultz.

He told Bloomberg Business:

“At the beginning, Starbucks didn’t have anything but coffee. And there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called ‘blended’ that was a sweet drink, and people were lined up around the block. And I would always call Howard and say, ‘Howard, there’s this thing that they do there that’s like a milkshake or whatever.’ And so I think that part of the reason that they did Frappuccino was people like me giving them that kind of feedback. So I’d like to think that I was partially responsible for that.”

Well, I can’t necessarily argue with that logic. But I mean, what he’s really saying here is that Coffee Bean is responsible for the Frapp and that Starbucks is just a pro at creatively ripping off and one-upping other companies. Nonetheless, I will send appreciative vibes in Kenny’s direction the next time I order a green tea Frapp, if not for blended beverages, than for kindly supplying humanity with so many babymaking saxophone jams. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it!

[Death + Taxes]

[Stereogum]

[Image via Getty]

26 Jan 18:58

Gleeful Mobs Of Women Murdering Men In Western Art History

by Mallory Ortberg
Alisongrinter

Sparagamos

One of the greatest aspects of ancient Greek civilization was the persistent belief that there was nothing women liked better to do than assemble a gang, air their tits out, and roam the countryside beating men to death. This was, sadly, a myth, but it did not stop generations of European painters from imagining what savage bands of female murderesses might have looked like.

misandry8

The Venn diagram of "female devotees of Dionysus who savagely tear apart Orpheus" and "parties I would love to attend" has an overlap of roughly 100%.

misandry

This is a fitting end for a man known for strolling about the ancient world playing unasked-for lyre solos at everyone. Look at how fun these stabbing bitches seem. Long, lush hair and sturdy biceps and leopard skins abound.

misandrylast

They've already ripped off the entire lower half of Pentheus' body and they are not calling it a day. Gotta rip up the top half too. The official word for "Dionysus-crazed women ripping men and animals limb from limb," by the way, is sparagmos. The ancient Greeks had a NAME for what happened when women tore men to pieces! Truly it was called the Golden Age of Civilization for a reason.

Read more Gleeful Mobs Of Women Murdering Men In Western Art History at The Toast.

15 Jan 17:34

Lege-commissioned report suggests indigent defense caseload guidelines

by Gritsforbreakfast
Alisongrinter

I take about 4 times this many cases.

Pursuant to HB 1318 passed last session, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission commissioned a study (pdf) of indigent defense caseloads by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M. Analyzing data from several sources, they concluded:
for the delivery of reasonably competent and effective representation attorneys should carry an annual full-time equivalent caseload of no more than the following:
  • 236 Class B Misdemeanors
  • 216 Class A Misdemeanors
  • 175 State Jail Felonies
  • 144 Third Degree Felonies
  • 105 Second Degree Felonies
  • 77 First Degree Felonies
As I read this, attorneys whose caseload includes a variety of case types could weight them to see whether their annual total exceeds the guidelines. E.g., for somebody handling 140 Class B DWIs, 25 third degree felonies, ten second degree felonies, and five first degree felony cases in a calendar year, the calculation would run:
140/236 + 25/144 +10/105 +5/77 =  .927
Using this method, an attorney would fall under the guideline maximum if this combined ratio is less than one. So, with 180 cases, that person would come in under the max caseload recommendation, even though they handled more than the 150 cases recommended by the American Bar Association in its longstanding guidelines.

By contrast, another attorney may take fewer DWIs but focus more on drug possession. Say this person has 28 DWI and pot cases combined (Class Bs), 30 clients accused of possessing less than a gram of a controlled substance (state jail felony), 30 clients with third degree felonies, 20 facing second degree felony charges and 30 charged with first degree felonies. In their case, the calculation would be:
28/236 + 30/177 + 30/144 + 20/105 + 30/77 = 1.076
So that lawyer's caseload would exceed the recommended guidelines, even though at 138 cases it would fall under the old ABA standard of 150. More serious cases typically require more time so it makes sense to weight different types of cases in this fashion. (That said, I have no way to judge whether these are the correct weights; they don't seem too far off, but there a numerous assumptions embedded within those figures.)

Regardless, counties should initiate reviews internally to see how many attorneys in their system are exceeding these guidelines - I bet there are some in most every jurisdiction - and consider means to distribute cases more broadly and/or support a public defender office to stabilize the load.

It would also be interesting to see someone - maybe the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, which has access to the data - take indigent case pay rates for different counties and apply them to these caseload guidelines to see what a wheel attorney limited to such a caseload might make. The report declared that statewide Texas attorneys receive "current average compensation of $608 per non-capital felony and $198 per misdemeanor" for indigent representation. But you'd need data broken out in more detail to figure out pay scales under the suggested guidelines.

There's lots of detail in this 114-page report (pdf) and Grits may come back to it later, but I wanted to at least get the link out there for folks who're interested.

MORE: From the Texas Fair Defense Project, which noted that "According to data collected by TIDC for 2014, appointed attorneys or public defenders in all five of Texas’s most populous counties (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis counties) had caseloads at least two times higher than the caseload limits published by the Commission today."

AND MORE: From the Houston Chronicle's Brian Rogers (Jan. 15), who included this passage on the report's legislative implications:
"Texas has a problem with attorneys handling so many criminal cases that they cannot provide effective representation to their indigent clients," said Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston). "Taking over 1,000 appointed cases in a year, for example, makes effective representation nearly impossible."

Ellis has introduced a bill this session that would force the judges who appoint lawyers to indigent cases to abide by guidelines limiting how many cases the attorney is handling.

"I applaud the work of the commission," Ellis said. "It's time for us to get down to the serious work of implementing these guidelines."
Rogers concluded the story with the ominous caveat that, "Critics of lower caseloads note that increased time and investigation means the county pays more per case." Maybe. Or maybe they should have been doing that investigation anyway and should now begin doing the job they're paid for - zealous representation and all that entails. (See more on performance guidelines for non-capital defense representation.) Perhaps those failures explain why clients with appointed counsel tend to get worse outcomes, especially at sentencing, compared to clients represented by public defenders or retained counsel.

Once we see some of the data this post asked for, we'll be able to better judge whether these caseloads imply rates for indigent representation need to be raised. Maybe so. Or, perhaps lawyers who rely solely on indigent cases for their income simply should make less money than, for example, lawyers in Houston who bill the county for 600-800 cases per year. This study doesn't tell us anything about appropriate pay rates, per se. It describes the maximum caseload for which a lawyer can perform basic due diligence on the cases without being dubbed ineffective, which is a low bar, indeed. The economics of indigent criminal defense - with privatized supply but a socialized single payer system and low information about attorney quality on the part of both the client and the payer - are a separate matter from what qualifies as a lawyer's due diligence in a criminal case.

Grits thinks of these caseload guidelines, like the state bar's performance guidelines, as analagous to the advice to say the ABCs in your head while you wash your hands. Doing so makes you wash them more thoroughly, keeping your hands under the water for just a few seconds longer than most folks might do instinctively. That's what these guidelines are about. Yes, you could plea the case without any investigation and make more money. And people like making money so there's an incentive to do that. But you're an attorney, not a vending machine. Your job is to zealously represent your client, not methodically shove them over the edge of a precipice whenever the state puts a quarter in your slot.
08 Jan 20:02

Are Texas youth prisons now small enough to drown in a bath tub?

by Gritsforbreakfast
Grover Norquist famously suggested he wanted government downsized to the point where it could be drowned in the bath tub. Remarkably, that may end up being exactly what happens at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.

At the Houston Chronicle, Mike Ward reported (Jan. 7) from the Texas Public Policy Foundation legislative conference this week that, "After years of reforms in Texas' juvenile justice system, officials now appear headed toward the next big step: further downsizing the system of state-run lockups or even junking it altogether." The suggestion is to double down on the trend since 2007 of punishing and/or rehabilitating more juvenile felons at the local level. Notably, juvenile crime dropped precipitously during this period while the juvenile incarceration rate plummeted, calling into question any direct link between incarcerating juveniles and reducing the crime rate:
Even as Texas was reforming its juvenile justice system in recent years, the number of youths targeted for probation programs and incarceration has declined by 31 percent in six years, officials said. Fabelo said that is part of a national trend: Florida's juvenile offender numbers have declined by 35 percent, California by 48 percent.

While the state-run youth corrections system held more than 4,200 offenders seven years ago, the number is now down to about 1,000 in five lockups.
That California and Florida saw even bigger juvenile crime drops tells you this is a result of larger crime reduction trends, not necessarily any specific Texas policies. But it does present an opportunity to shutter more and perhaps even all the state's youth prisons.
"That's where it's heading, yes, to counties keeping more youths in local programs, even some of the ones who are in state custody now, and to more outcome-based programs," said Tony Fabelo, a national criminal justice expert overseeing the national study by the Council of State Governments.
Citing statistics from the soon-to-be-released report that tracked more than 220,000 juvenile offenders for up to five years, Fabelo said Texas spent nearly $134,000 a year per youth held in a state juvenile lockup in 2012.
"In 2014, the 800 youth who were committed to (state lockups) cost $162 million, enough to educate almost 20,000 students for a year," he said, noting that statistics show 85 percent of the incarcerated youths are arrested again within five years - and 54 percent of those are sent to adult prisons.
"Fifty-seven percent of the population (in state youth lockups) are adults" aged 17 or 18, most of them locked up for serious felony crimes, he said. "That says a lot about why changes are needed."
Grits cautiously supports further downsizing, especially if the money follows the kids downstream. Long-time readers will recall that a "blue-ribbon panel" created by the Legislature after the 2007 sex scandals recommended (pdf) "using a regionalized system of care that supports the use of small facilities, that admits youth to TYC using research-based risk assessment and classification, and that provides specialized treatment for youth and families." If that's where this ends up, then better late than never.

One caution: I for one don't have a good sense of what exactly is happening with kids diverted from state facilities in recent years and there don't seem to be good benchmarks to let us know whether the locals are generating better outcomes than the state on education, recidivism, protecting kids from predators (whether staff or other inmates), etc.. For example, there's no independent entity comparable to the TJJD Ombudsman to whom kids in county detention can bring problems or from whom they can seek redress. There's a chance that the big-picture juvenile crime decline - which again, I don't think was caused by Texas-specific policies - could be masking poor outcomes. State institutions have been studied nigh unto death - and perhaps Fabelo's new study will be the fatal blow - but it's not clear to me we can say that the county-run lockups are superior, just that they're a) cheaper and b) out of sight, out of mind.
12 Jan 16:24

[UPDATED] DC Comics’ Vixen is Getting Her Own Animated Series on The CW Seed - And Arrow and The Flash have been renewed!

by Jill Pantozzi

VixenCWSeed

The Television Critics Association press tour has been chugging along talking to some of our favorite creators and actors, but perhaps the most exciting news to come out of it so far is that DC Comics superhero/model Vixen is getting her own animated digital series.

Mari Jiwe McCabe, known as Vixen, is an African character who first appeared in the comics back in 1981. She inherited a special totem from her parents (passed through the generations) which allows her to tap into the powers of animals. She began a career as a model in New York before going back to Africa to discover her destiny and deciding to become a hero (while still keeping her day job). She’s been a member of the Suicide Squad and the Justice League in the comics and featured in the animated television series Justice League Unlimited, but many have been waiting for DC/Warner Bros. to give her the spotlight. And now they have.

According to reports, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim will be leading the charge with an animated series set to debut in the fall. There’s not much else known at this point except that it will air as a digital series on The CW’s Seed and will somehow tie in to the network’s Arrow and The Flash live-action series.

VixenCWSeed2

You may recall a few months back Warner announced new digital production unit called Blue Ribbon Content, which would be producing a Static Shock live-action digital series. No word if they are also producing the Vixen series, but if it’s successful, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was cast to make appearances in live-action.

Meanwhile, surprising no one, The CW renewed Arrow for a fourth season and The Flash for a second. Here’s what their stars had to say about it.

#Arrow Season 4. Thwick.

— Stephen Amell (@amellywood) January 11, 2015

Season 2 baby!!! Thanks for watching!! We’ve got PLENTY more to come.

— Grant Gustin (@grantgust) January 11, 2015

[UPDATE] On the Vixen news, Comic Book Resources spoke with Guggenheim about what we can expect. He says it’s definitely set in the Arrow/Flash world and that we’ll even be getting a few plot points explored there.

“Vixen’s such a great character. First of all, she represents magic, which is an area that we haven’t explored on either of the two shows just yet,” Guggenheim told CBR. “The other thing is, it’s a strong African-American hero who’s, like I said, a former Justice Leaguer. It’s set in Detroit, as a nod towards those Justice League [Detroit] stories. It’s done with the same love of the source material that we bring to everything.”

Guggenheim also said Keto Shimizu and Brian Ford Sullivan are two of the writers involved and that the animated medium will give them a higher production value to work with. However as for whether or not we’ll see Vixen in live-action:

We always say “never say never,” and if the character resonates with people, that would be wonderful. I would love to be in a position where CW said to us, “Hey, we want a ‘Vixen’ live-action show.” That’d be wonderful. We’ll have to sort of see how things play out.

Read the rest of the interview at Comic Book Resources.

(via SuperheroHype)

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