By all means try this at home! National Geographic put together a much more detailed step by step (and bit more scientific background) over on their education blog.
Yes. This is a thing. A thing we must do. For great justice. And FOR SCIENCE!
By all means try this at home! National Geographic put together a much more detailed step by step (and bit more scientific background) over on their education blog.
Yes. This is a thing. A thing we must do. For great justice. And FOR SCIENCE!
Kyle Schwartz asked third-graders in her Denver classroom to write her notes about things they wish she understood about their lives. Schwartz told ABC News she knew her students came from underprivileged homes but wanted to truly understand how that affected their lives and education. The movement has now spread across the country.
I mean, aside from child and pets and house and my own bed: Three weeks worth of books sent, which I will catch up with and post during the week. As Athena said: “It’s like Christmas, but for work.” Yes, well.
In other news, I am home. And I get to be home for, like, four whole days. And then I leave again. I am determined to enjoy these next four days fully.
I saw Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young and found this Molly Lambert piece on the film really good. Like her, I feel myself in this sort of time warp where everyone I know has children and their lives, naturally enough, revolve around them, whereas I don’t and have absolutely no desire to ever do so. So it makes social relationships slightly odd sometimes, even if most of my friends are not like characters in the film and talk about their children constantly. I basically live the life I always have ever since college, with really relatively only slight changes. Lambert is a few years younger than I am so she feels herself somewhere between Gen X and a millennial. I graduated from high school in 1992 so I am prototype Gen X but I hated that whole culture at the time (even if I have later embraced some of it; after all not listening to Pavement is a bad decision). There’s a lot more about millennial culture I find appealing than I did my own at the time. So I’m kind of stuck in the middle as an old man still trying to follow new young rock bands. For example, I’m a technophobe who has become relatively well known by embracing the kids’ technology. However, I will not go down the road of creating value for crap pop culture when it doesn’t exist as they often do. There is about as much good about Meat Loaf or Journey as there is about ketchup.
The movie is pretty good outside of making the aging childless viewers think about their own positionality within the world. I know some people don’t like Ben Stiller, but his schtick works pretty well with Baumbach’s directing. Naomi Watts is always great. Adam Driver is very good at playing annoying hipsters that you want to punch in the face. Charles Grodin is always welcome. There’s lots of good scenes of a couple in a stale relationship, the absurdity of hipster culture, and the excuses people find to never finish anything they start. And while the film doesn’t really end on a high note, by and large it’s a pretty funny satire of both hipsters and somewhat older people like myself who like a lot of the same things as these younger people but who are surely, aggressively even, not one of them. Pretending one is one of them is ripe material for satire and humor. And if Noah Baumbach films are always about immature people dealing with growing up, well, lots of good directors mine the same type of material over a whole career.
I really object to this analysis that calls Sullivan’s Travels “reactionary” toward the poor and poverty. Evidently the writer actually wanted to see “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” or that film Sullivan shows at the movie’s beginning about capital and labor fighting and dying on the train. What Preston Sturges did was make the depiction of poverty and its horrors palatable enough for the public that people would actually watch it. Laughing through poverty for the actual people suffering through the Depression meant Sturges was touching their lives. As the studio executives point in the film, the people who watch hard political intellectual films are politicized intellectuals. And that’s fine–I love Salt of the Earth and I Am Cuba and The Battle of Algiers as much as anyone (in fact, the latter is one of my top 5 all-time favorite films), but there’s no doubt that Sturges represented a truer version of poverty to popular audiences than any of those films. And not just through Sullivan’s Travels either, but in Christmas in July and in Easy Living, which he wrote but did not direct. These are all really sad stories that resonated with people. If they didn’t have the explicit goal of turning people into socialists, that doesn’t mean no viewers thought about their lives in new ways after seeing them. There were several such films in the 1930s. You could say much the same about Gold Diggers of 1933, which might be an absurd fluffy film but which also legitimately portrays poverty and has an entire final scene about the Bonus Army. I guess by these standards because it wasn’t calling for explicit class battle, it’s a reactionary film, but I don’t see it. The author clearly wants a certain kind of political film (he’s writing a book on anarchism and film) but that doesn’t mean a film that doesn’t have an objectively leftist agenda is a reactionary film.
always remember: all these systems of dominance rest on very fragile illusions. tap the glass.
Anthropomorphism + Wordplay = Awesome
We’ve already got a soft spot for anthropomorphic food so we love these playful minimal ink and acrylic illustrations created by Cape Town, South Africa-based illustrator and designer Jaco Haasbroek. From a bellicose birthday cake to what may be the world’s official all-purpose seal of approval, the series depicts adorably personified Food, Objects and Animals either speaking or captioned by painfully cute puns and other sorts of wordplay.
[via Free York]
Thank you for asking! I have a pretty fundamental understanding of economics.
But the short answer is: NO. Basic universal income is not the same as “printing money” so to speak, and inflation is not guaranteed. It simply redistributes money that is already in circulation more evenly. In fact, we have REAL WORLD EXAMPLES of places that have Basic Income systems or partial basic income systems that have seen very little, or NO increases in inflation as a result!
In that link I provided, for example, it cites two examples: “In 1982, Alaska began providing a partial basic income annually to all its residents. Until the first dividend, Alaska had a higher rate of inflation than the rest of the United States. But ever since the dividend was introduced, Alaska has had a lower rate of inflation than the rest of the United States. A partial basic income was also provided in Kuwait in 2011, when every citizen was given $4,000. Fears of increasing inflation were rampant, as Kuwait already had high inflation. Instead of bad inflation getting worse, it actually got better, decreasing from record highs to under 4 percent.”
Celebration time for babies!!
Malta has just become the world’s leader in intersex rights, and perhaps in trans rights as well. From Feminist Newswire:
Malta’s parliament just passed new legislation that allows self-determination of gender (with a simple process to legally change gender), and outlaws unnecessary surgery on intersex babies. This bill makes Malta the first country to ban unnecessary surgery on intersex infants. […]
“To say that this Act is a groundbreaking human rights milestone is almost an understatement,” said Paulo Corte-Real, co-chair of the European branch of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. “It provides an inspirational benchmark for other European countries that need to improve their own LGBTI equality standards.”[…]
Maltese officials and medical professionals are now working to come up with guidelines to make sure all surgeries done on infants are medically necessary and not “driven by social factors without the consent of the minor.”
The law also legally mandates a vastly simplified process for legally changing one’s gender:
The new law also allows people to change their gender identity on documents by simply filing an affidavit with a notary, which ends the requirement for surgery in order to legally identify as a gender other than the one assigned at birth. The process of changing one’s gender in the system, under the new bill, won’t take more than 30 days.
The devil is in the details – for instance, would non-government entities, like banks, be legally required to acknowledge this change? – but this sounds like a big step forward.
I’ve read the policy several times, and honestly the only shortcoming with the legislation itself that the OII-USA has is that the terminology still puts the impetus on the intersex child to refuse these surgeries. It’s worded that they must be postponed until the child is old enough to consent.
I tell people: Imagine if we wrote about reparative therapies for homosexuals in that way. The similar phrase would be: Reparative electroshock therapies for homosexual youth must be postponed until those individuals are old enough to give consent. It’s easier to notice, when you think about it with a different population group that’s less stigmatized today, that the statement implies that these procedures will happen. In that way, it doesn’t entirely refute prejudiced perspectives against intersex traits and intersex people needing to be fixed in some way.
That is the one general limit of the Malta legislation. […] It says, until the child is old enough to give consent. You could have cases where the parents are pressuring the child. I would prefer something that says, unless the child requests such procedures. However, even that, how easy would it be to lie in court that, yes, the child requested this, but changed their mind later, for example.
So legislation can only do so much. But [Malta] is a fantastic victory for the community.
The entire interview is interesting, and includes Viloria discussing how Intersex politics can advance in the USA (she says the US Intersex community needs to form a closer alliance with LGBT communities).
UPDATE: Grace just pointed out this (sadly very relevant) news from Colorado this week: Transgender birth certificate bill crashes against anti-gay lobby | The Colorado Independent.
This year, the ALA Think Tank Pre-Party will be a fundraiser for the Center for Sex and Culture Archival Library and sponsored by Makingithappen.us and EveryLibrary. All proceeds will go to support this rare archive and important social educational center.
The Mission of the Center for Sex & Culture is to provide judgment-free education, cultural events, a library/media archive, and other resources to audiences across the sexual and gender spectrum; and to research and disseminate factual information, framing and informing issues of public policy and public health. The Center for Sex & Culture aims to provide a community center for education, advocacy, research, and support to the widest range of people. Founded 1997, established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) 2001, the Center for Sex Culture serves a nationally (in fact, globally) significant function, adding to the few accessible resources for sex education available to the public, not just academics or specialists. We have acquired various collections of books, papers, art, erotic material, personal collections from notable people in the sex-positive community, and other media.
The CSC is dedicated to collecting and preserving information about sex. We have our donors to thank for the vibrancy of our collection. Our donors, including Dr. Carol Queen, Dr. Robert Lawrence, Good Vibrations, Vern and Bonnie Bullough, Annie Sprinkle, Jonie Blank, Larry Townsend, Jello Biafra, and more were dedicated to collecting materials that have long been shunned by traditional booksellers, libraries and museums. They have collected these materials at great personal risk and expense because they believe they had intrinsic value to society. At the Center’s library, these materials have finally found a home where they are cataloged, stored and preserved for future generations of researchers and the public.
A sample of our remarkable holdings include:
This fun event will take place at ALA in San Francisco on June 25th at 8pm until midnight. Throughout the night, you will have the opportunity to meet and network with quite a few librarians and find new friends before the conference starts. Your $35 ticket will get you complimentary beer and wine, appetizers, live music as well as tours of the center and highlight many of its important collections. You aren’t going to want to miss this opportunity to see one of the most hidden libraries in San Francisco and your money will go to a good cause so come out and join us.
(Being ‘on-call’ means that you get paid a little extra to answer your phone when at home and come in when needed over the weekend. My boss decides to take this from me due to ‘budget cuts.’)
Boss: “I tried to call you this weekend.”
Me: “Oh, did you? I didn’t have my phone with me.”
Boss: “We had a major issue; I needed you to come in.”
Me: “Oh, okay. Well, I was out with the family, so even if I took my phone I wouldn’t have had reception.”
Boss: “Not good enough! You need to have your phone with you at all times!”
Me: “Yeah… I’m not going to do that. When you paid me call out, I took it everywhere, on holiday, to the gym; I would have my phone by me all day and night, and always answer it no matter the time. Now that you’re not paying me, there is no chance I’m doing it for free.”
Boss: *suddenly silent* “Oh, I… uh… forgot about that. Do you want to go back on call?”
Me: “No, I don’t think I do.”
(Despite the drop in pay, it was the best decision I made, I had my weekends back and finally got a break from work.)
As many bike riders will know, sustained cycling can end up being a pain in the neck – literally. Tilting your head down toward the ground can provide temporary relief from that pain, but then you're not able to see where you're going ... unless you're using a Pedi-Scope, that is. .. Continue Reading Pedi-Scope is a heads-down display for cyclists
When I was younger, I wish someone had told me straight-up that not all adults experience “a calling”. That many of them never find particular purpose in a career. That sometimes, their job is just what pays the bills and they have to seek satisfaction and fulfillment elsewhere.
Because as an adult, this pervasive notion that there exists a perfect path for everyone, that people should love what they do, and that work is meant to function as a vehicle for fulfilling a person’s grand life destiny is not only inaccurate for many of us, it can be toxic.
The ideal is so ingrained that I have to remind myself constantly I’m not a failure because I don’t adore my job, and because I’m not rocking the world with my work. That is okay.
Sometimes, work is just work. There isn’t always a perfect career path, magically waiting to be discovered. There might not be this THING you were born to do. Sometimes, you discover that what you really want to be when you grow up is “paid”.
It’s true. Capitalism only functions bc it needs the majority of people to struggle and not have access to fruitful, materially compensated (passion) work and livelihoods.
This is something i think about a lot w my first generation class and education privilege.
I live in a body that doesn’t count.
My body is exempt from conversations about standards of beauty. It’s not expected to conform to the ideal and not berated for falling short because my body doesn’t matter.
Disabled bodies like mine are tools used primarily to tell stories of either heroics and strength or tragedy and sorrow. As a disabled person, I have few examples in the media that show people like me as complete, flawed, and boringly average. As a woman, I am used to the fact that what I look like is considered to be either my greatest asset or saddest failure. And as a physically disabled woman, I am a sad afterthought in a society where women’s bodies make up a large portion of their value.
I’m what’s known as a “congenital amputee,” a term that mixes science with horror and describes a part of my body. In my case, I have no fingers on my right hand, just half a thumb and four nubs. Growing up in the 1980s, we all referred to my hand as a birth defect. At the time, of course, I never thought about the fact that I was calling myself “defective,” like a bad bolt coming off the assembly line. In fact, until I reached elementary school I never gave my hand much thought at all. I quickly learned, however, that I was different. People started staring, or, to be more accurate, I started noticing that people were staring. When teachers would ask my me and my classmates to hold hands and get in a circle for some kind of student bonding experience, other kids would refuse to hold that hand, choosing instead to hold it by the wrist, leaving my hand dangling like a rotting piece of fruit on a vine.
There were many afternoons after school when I would crawl into my mother’s bed to cry and ask, “Why me? Why did I have to be born like this?” My mother would answer, “God never gives us more than we can bear.” That wasn’t very helpful, mainly because my mother and I are both atheists. But now that I’m a mother, I understand why she would reach into that abyss where there are no good answers for any phrase or saying that might provide some sort of comfort to her child. There’s no good way to tell a seven-year-old why, through no fault of her own, she will forever be noticeably different in a way that many people will find uncomfortable.
Like running into a supermodel at the grocery store (though decidedly at the other end of the spectrum), people do stare when you have a disability. I can feel the stop, like a hiccup, when people notice it for the first time. I can hardly blame most of them because chances are they’ve never seen anything like me up close. But while I can empathize with what it must be like to run into a person whose body is unusual in some way, it doesn’t feel any better when that unusual sight is you. It’s cliché to compare it to being in a freak show at the circus, but every day I struggle with whether or not to leave my hand visible for public viewing or hide it and stay comfortably off stage.
Personal representation weighs heavily on the disabled because we don’t often see each other out in the world. I rarely saw physically disabled people like me on TV or in films as a child. We were either featured in the “very special episode” of Punky Brewster to teach the lead characters about diversity, or in news stories after a shark attack. When I tried to come up with recent movies featuring a physically disabled woman, for example, the only one I could come up with was Million Dollar Baby, in which the lead character, a female boxer, asks her trainer to help her die after she becomes a quadriplegic, like when her father shot an old dog of his that went lame.
Little People, Big World; The Amazing Race; Dancing With the Stars; Britain’s Missing Top Model: all of these shows have featured people with disabilities. I don’t want to discount the power of seeing someone who looks like you on television—these shows can be inspiring and meaningful in the lives of the disabled. But it’s also important that we recognize the context that the disabled are being shown in, and how disabilities are portrayed. With all of these shows, though it’s more blatant in some than others, disabilities are viewed as barriers to overcome. The disabled show that they can do everything an able-bodied person can do.
While years ago I might have found that inspiring, I now resent it. I resent the portrayal of disability as a loss one is trying to triumph over; that success can come despite one’s disability; and that if the disabled work hard enough, they can be just like everybody else.
On reality TV, in contrast, the physically disabled are regularly featured as heroes overcoming the odds. Whether focused on the disabled or merely featuring a disabled person, these moments serve to expose and educate and must be valued for that. But it’s exhausting to be seen only as a teaching tool. It seems to be easier to include the disabled this way, like the subjects of a documentary on supernovas, or a wildlife program on Animal Planet, where we get unusually close to strange creatures in their environments. (“The summer heat has been hard on this pack of Smiths. Now, they must visit the grocery store to find the Fiji water and meat that they crave.”)
Shows like Little People, Big World and Britain’s Missing Top Model familiarize people with some forms of disabilities, and also give the public a safe way to stare and make comments in the privacy of their own homes.
As the New York Times said in its review of Little People, Big World:
This documentary… [arouses] our voyeurism while also condemning it. This is a workable pact as long as it’s kept unspoken ― we get to stare at unusual bodies while pretending to do something good for us ― but it also rankles. A real freak show would be much more indulgent than this, and a good lecture on physical diversity would be much more rigorous.
Though the goal of these shows may be to educate and familiarize, this is not done without also fetishizing and reinforcing difference. The “hows” and “whens” of representation are a big deal.
As a woman with a disability, I’ve noticed that there isn’t much in popular culture that I can fully relate to. In TV and films, where a woman’s looks, youth, and sexuality are typically an assumed part of her character, disabled women rarely figure in.
It’s relatively easy to come up with titles featuring disabled men: My Left Foot, Born on the Fourth of July, Rain Man, I Am Sam, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Elephant Man, Forrest Gump. But physically disabled women? There aren’t many out there. And there are even fewer disabled female characters who are played by disabled women (Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God is the only one that comes to mind.) There are exceptions: It’s fantastic to see female actors with Down Syndrome playing lead roles on Glee and American Horror Story, but both of these shows were created by the same person, writer and producer Ryan Murphy. It’s not like this kind of inclusion is sweeping Hollywood.
Fictional stories are meant to be used as an escape: a way to get out of the real world and into fantasy land. In the film Frida, it’s easier for us to see Selma Hayek in a wheelchair when we know that she is going to bound out of it at the end of the day with her gorgeous face, her fantastic body, and her two eyebrows to roll around in her swimming pool filled with money. There isn’t much interest in looking at real women with disabilities. Part of the fantasy of film is the physical perfection of the people on screen, and this is all the more important when it comes to women. When a woman has a disability, she instantly loses much of her worth. All women start with a smaller voice in our culture—take away their beauty, and you render them mute.
I spent much of my early twenties trying to prove to myself that I was attractive. No matter what I looked like, I believed that my hand disqualified me from normal flirting and dating. People don’t joke about whether or not they “would” be with someone like me, but whether or not they “could” be with someone like me. So I slept with everyone who showed the slightest amount of interest, thinking that this meant that my disability didn’t matter. And perhaps for some of those men, it didn’t. But the truth is that many men are willing to look past a whole lot if it means they’ll get laid.
The disabled are often portrayed as sexless because people aren’t comfortable imagining the disabled as sexual beings. We are “other,” and people aren’t supposed to be into sexual relations with anything that is “other.” I thought that because I was the only slutty disabled woman I had ever heard of meant that I was somehow normal—that I was just as attractive as any other girl. It was important for me to think this way because imagining that my disability did matter to men would mean seeing every man I dated as either a saint or a pervert. It took me right back to being either an object of pity or an object of awe. It meant that any man I ended up with would have to be either proud of how open-minded he was, or excited to be filling out a square in some kind of fraternity bingo card. I believed that until I met my husband, for whom my hand is both completely unimportant but also part of who I am and why he loves me.
Today, I’m the mother of an able-bodied daughter who will at some point have to deal with her own insecurities about her body. And while I am very careful never to use the word “fat” or to make any other comments (positive or negative) about my appearance around her, I know that she has started to notice that the other kids in her first-grade class stare at my hand. I don’t know what it will be like for her to have a disabled mother, but I will do everything in my power to let her know that I am comfortable with not just the shape of my body, but also its differences. Though she may not see other people like me on her TV shows or in her books, she will see me. And she will know that her mother will love her no matter what she looks like, because her disabled mother loves herself.
So no, I don’t wish I’d been put down like a dog because of my disability. I don’t hate my body. No, I will never play Beethoven on the piano, go on a speaking tour about my struggles with the left-handed can opener, or dance a foxtrot with Derek Hough on national television. I will reside happily in the middle with everybody else, reconciling myself to a life of stares and explanations while I play with my children and peck away on my laptop. And I’ll hope that the young girls and women out there with disabilities will be able to come to peace with their bodies, beyond the size of their thighs or the texture of their hair. That they will believe in their right to love and be loved without qualification and without heroics. And maybe they’ll get to see someone like themselves on the big screen to fall in love with Idris Elba, too. (If they have trouble filling the role, I will happily volunteer.)
Photo credits: Featured photo. Photos 1 and 2 provided by author.
Jack Dawson… Penniless artist who wins a ticket onto Titanic in 1912, attends a first class dinner, develops a taste for the finer things in life, pockets the Heart of the Ocean, survives the sinking, pawns the diamond, spends the following ten years building his wealth and in 1922 moves to West Egg as Jay Gatsby… Millionaire with a shady past and fear of swimming pools.
wake up america
the american dream is now being the best in the world at something in order to pay medical bills
Only an asshole could turn something as nice as this into a bad thing
this isnt a nice thing this shouldnt be seen as some sort of spirit lifting feel good news blurb it should be seen as a damning indictment of the usa’s healthcare system
“win this race and we’ll let your son live”; a heartwarming tale
The only place in Leipzig open at 9am is the torture museum LET’S GO
An analogy for life. (pages from We Are in a Book! by Mo Williams)