The American yogurt market has remained pretty steady over the past few years, yet the yogurt areas in all my go-to grocery stores keep expanding, meaning it’s an increasingly competitive industry, and this fosters the sort of tense environment that sometimes can lead to suspicions of corporate espionage.
The American yogurt market has remained pretty steady over the past few years, yet the yogurt areas in all my go-to grocery stores keep expanding, meaning it’s an increasingly competitive industry, and this fosters the sort of tense environment that sometimes can lead to suspicions of corporate espionage.
It seems that other people know an awful lot about the entirety of their parents’ sexual history—way more than I do about mine (and way, way more than I’d ever want to know). Why is that? Did they ask? Did their parents tell? Did they keep a chart on the kitchen wall? Did their little black book double as a coffee…
It’s Black History Month, and while The Rumpus celebrates writing by black artists year-round, we thought it was especially important to share a list of work written exclusively by black writers this month. We asked our editors for their favorite writing that speaks to black history, past and present. Black artists have been creating art for centuries across a broad spectrum of mediums and styles—the below list highlights just a fraction of that work.
This Will Be My Undoing by Morgan Jerkins
Doubly disenfranchised by race and gender, often deprived of a place within the mostly white mainstream feminist movement, black women are objectified, silenced, and marginalized with devastating consequences, in ways both obvious and subtle, that are rarely acknowledged in our country’s larger discussion about inequality. In This Will Be My Undoing, Jerkins becomes both narrator and subject to expose the social, cultural, and historical story of black female oppression that influences the black community as well as the white, male-dominated world at large.
So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo
In So You Want to Talk About Race, Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.
the black maria by Aracelis Girmay
Taking its name from the moon’s dark plains, misidentified as seas by early astronomers, thee black maria investigates African diasporic histories, the consequences of racism within American culture, and the question of human identity. Central to this project is a desire to recognize the lives of Eritrean refugees who have been made invisible by years of immigration crisis, refugee status, exile, and resulting statelessness. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, Girmay’s collection elegizes and celebrates life, while wrestling with the humanistic notion of seeing beyond: seeing violence, seeing grace, and seeing each other better
Bone Black: Memories of Girlhood by bell hooks
Stitching together girlhood memories with the finest threads of innocence, feminist intellectual bell hooks presents a powerfully intimate account of growing up in the South. A memoir of ideas and perceptions, Bone Black shows the unfolding of female creativity and one strong-spirited child’s journey toward becoming a writer. She learns early on the roles women and men play in society, as well as the emotional vulnerability of children. She sheds new light on a society that beholds the joys of marriage for men and condemns anything more than silence for women. In this world, too, black is a woman’s color―worn when earned―daughters and daddies are strangers under the same roof, and crying children are often given something to cry about. hooks finds good company in solitude, good company in books. She also discovers, in the motionless body of misunderstanding, that writing is her most vital breath.
Blessing the Boats by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton, one of America’s most important and distinguished poets, employs brilliantly honed language, stunning images, and sharp rhythms to address the whole of human experience. Hers is a poetry that is passionate and wise, not afraid to confront our most salient issues.
Native Son by Richard Wright
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Erasure by Percival Everett
Thelonious “Monk” Ellison’s writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers, which stings all the more because his previous novels have been “critically acclaimed.” He seethes on the sidelines of the literary establishment as he watches the meteoric success of We’s Lives in Da Ghetto, a first novel by a woman who once visited “some relatives in Harlem for a couple of days.” Meanwhile, Monk struggles with real family tragedies―his aged mother is fast succumbing to Alzheimer’s, and he still grapples with the reverberations of his father’s suicide seven years before. In his rage and despair, Monk dashes off a novel meant to be an indictment of Juanita Mae Jenkins’s bestseller. He doesn’t intend for My Pafology to be published, let alone taken seriously, but it is―under the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh―and soon it becomes the Next Big Thing. How Monk deals with the personal and professional fallout galvanizes this audacious, hysterical, and quietly devastating novel.
Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey
The ranging scope of inquiry undertaken in Ordinary Beast—at times philosophical, emotional, and experiential—is evident in each thrilling twist of image by the poet. In brilliant, often ironic lines that move from meditation to matter of fact in a single beat, Sealey’s voice is always awake to the natural world, to the pain and punishment of existence, to the origins and demises of humanity. Exploring notions of race, sexuality, gender, myth, history, and embodiment with profound understanding, Sealey’s is a poetry that refuses to turn a blind eye or deny. It is a poetry of daunting knowledge.
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib
In essays that have been published by the New York Times, MTV, and Pitchfork, among others—along with original, previously unreleased essays—Abdurraqib uses music and culture as a lens through which to view our world, so that we might better understand ourselves, and in so doing proves himself a bellwether for our times.
Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis
Robin Coste Lewis’s electrifying collection is a triptych that begins and ends with lyric poems meditating on the roles desire and race play in the construction of the self. In the center of the collection is the title poem, “Voyage of the Sable Venus,” an amazing narrative made up entirely of titles of artworks from ancient times to the present—titles that feature or in some way comment on the black female figure in Western art. Bracketed by Lewis’s own autobiographical poems, “Voyage” is a tender and shocking meditation on the fragmentary mysteries of stereotype, juxtaposing our names for things with what we actually see and know. A new understanding of biography and the self, this collection questions just where, historically, do ideas about the black female figure truly begin—five hundred years ago, five thousand, or even longer? And what role did art play in this ancient, often heinous story?
We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge
This isn’t technically a dystopia, but the social experiment at the heart of Greenidge’s novel calls the horrifying Tuskegee Institute to mind—and this smart book asks us to look honestly at how sneaky and pervasive racism in our country can be.
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis-Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman―fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves―must confront long-hidden scars.
Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
Ward’s memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young men dear to her, including her beloved brother—lost to drugs, accidents, murder, and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected, by identity and place, and as Ward dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: These young men died because of who they were and the place they were from, because certain disadvantages breed a certain kind of bad luck. Because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle. Men We Reaped opens up a parallel universe, yet it points to problems whose roots are woven into the soil under all our feet.
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a sustained meditation on that which goes away—loved ones, the seasons, the earth as we know it—that tries to find solace in the processes of the garden and the orchard. That is, this is a book that studies the wisdom of the garden and orchard, those places where all—death, sorrow, loss—is converted into what might, with patience, nourish us.
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
The Book of Night Women is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they—and she—will come to both revere and fear. The Night Women, as they call themselves, have long been plotting a slave revolt, and as Lilith comes of age they see her as the key to their plans. But when she begins to understand her own feelings, desires, and identity, Lilith starts to push at the edges of what is imaginable for the life of a slave woman, and risks becoming the conspiracy’s weak link.
Forest Primeval by Vievee Francis
“Another Anti-Pastoral,” the opening poem of Forest Primeval, confesses that sometimes “words fail.” With a “bleat in [her] throat,” the poet identifies with the voiceless and wild things in the composed, imposed peace of the Romantic poets with whom she is in dialogue. Vievee Francis’s poems engage many of the same concerns as her poetic predecessors—faith in a secular age, the city and nature, aging, and beauty. Words certainly do not fail as Francis sets off into the wild world promised in the title.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future. Through February 28, purchase a yearly Letters in the Mail subscription or a 6-month Rumpus Book Club subscription and we’ll send you your own signed, hardcover copy of An American Marriage!
Black Peculiar by Khadijah Queen
Black Peculiar sketches out power dynamics and faulty assumptions in terms of race and history, media and culture, and sex and gender in highly original lines of verse. An extraordinary mixture of wit and profundity, the three long works in the collection weave the personal and the political in both ruthless and tender ways. A fiction, a chorus, a leap into chaos, an unflinching love letter and a fierce indictment—Black Peculiar collages observation and lived experience through a many-voiced “I” as flawed and complex and unusual as the mind of the artist in the world.
Big Machine by Victor LaValle
Ricky Rice is a middling hustler with a lingering junk habit, a bum knee, and a haunted mind. A survivor of a suicide cult, he scrapes by as a porter at a bus depot in Utica, New York, until one day a mysterious letter arrives, summoning him to enlist in a band of paranormal investigators comprised of former addicts and petty criminals, all of whom had at some point in their wasted lives heard what may have been the voice of God. Infused with the wonder of a disquieting dream and laced with Victor LaValle’s fiendish comic sensibility, Big Machine is a mind-rattling mystery about doubt, faith, and the monsters we carry within us.
Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing
Electric Arches is an imaginative exploration of black girlhood and womanhood through poetry, visual art, and narrative prose. Blending stark realism with the fantastical, Ewing takes us from the streets of Chicago to an alien arrival in an unspecified future, deftly navigating boundaries of space, time, and reality with delight and flexibility.
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
Striking in their emotional immediacy, the stories in Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self are based in a world where inequality is reality but where the insecurities of adolescence and young adulthood, and the tensions within family and the community, are sometimes the biggest complicating forces in one’s sense of identity and the choices one makes.
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker
Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and déjà vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power.
Ayiti by Roxane Gay
Roxane Gay’s debut collection is a unique blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, all interwoven to represent the Haitian diaspora experience. Originally published in 2011 by Artistically Declined Press, Ayiti will be re-released in June 2018 by Grove Atlantic, making it widely available for the first time. The new edition will also contain several never-before-published stories.
Incognegro by Mat Johnson, illustrated by Warren Pleece
Zane Pinchback, a reporter for the New York-based New Holland Herald, is sent to investigate the arrest of his own brother, charged with the brutal murder of a white woman in Mississippi. With a lynch mob already swarming, Zane must stay “incognegro” long enough to uncover the truth behind the murder in order to save his brother—and himself. Suspenseful, unsettling and relevant, Incognegro is a tense graphic novel of shifting identities, forbidden passions, and secrets that run far deeper than skin color.
Starshine & Clay by Kamilah Aisha Moon
Starshine & Clay, which derives its title from Lucille Clifton’s collection Book of Light, weaves together iconic images of the US with the lives of those too often left unnoticed. Yet amid the tragic events on which Moon’s poems look, these lines offer, if not solace, then a reason for hope.
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion. Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time when childhood gives way to adulthood—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible, and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.
Incendiary Art by Patricia Smith
One of the most magnetic and esteemed poets in today’s literary landscape, Patricia Smith fearlessly confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of mothers in Incendiary Art. She writes an exhaustive lament for mothers of the “dark magicians,” and revisits the devastating murder of Emmett Till. These dynamic sequences serve as a backdrop for present-day racial calamities and calls for resistance. Smith envisions, re-envisions, and ultimately reinvents the role of witness with an incendiary fusion of forms. With poems impossible to turn away from, Smith reveals what is frightening, and what is revelatory, about history.
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.
The Mothers by Britt Bennett
It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.
Simulacra by Airea D. Matthews
Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America, where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication. This is poetry that breaks new literary ground, inspiring readers to think differently about what poems can and should do in a new media society where imaginations are laid bare and there is no thought too provocative to send out into the world.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd, swept up by the tides of the Great Migration, flees Georgia and heads north. Full of hope, she settles in Philadelphia to build a better life. Instead she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment, and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit, mettle, and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them to meet a world that will not be kind. Their lives, captured here in twelve luminous threads, tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage—and a nation’s tumultuous journey.
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Rankine recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person’s ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society.
Phillis Wheatley, Complete Works by Phillis Wheatley
In 1761, a young girl arrived in Boston on a slave ship, sold to the Wheatley family, and given the name Phillis Wheatley. Struck by Phillis’s extraordinary precociousness, the Wheatleys provided her with an education that was unusual for a woman of the time and astonishing for a slave. After studying English and classical literature, geography, the Bible, and Latin, Phillis published her first poem in 1767 at the age of fourteen. This volume collects both Wheatley’s letters and her poetry: hymns, elegies, translations, philosophical poems, tales, and epyllions—including a poignant plea to the Earl of Dartmouth urging freedom for America and comparing the country’s condition to her own. With her contemplative elegies and her use of the poetic imagination to escape an unsatisfactory world, Wheatley anticipated the Romantic Movement of the following century.
After heroin addiction, Nicole Walmsley turned her life around and now helps others do the same.
In the beginning, legendary internet fact-finding site Snopes.com answered interesting yet mundane questions such as how microwaved water affects houseplants and whether Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen after his death. (He wasn’t.) After 9/11 changed America forever, Snopes became a go-to resource for truth on everything from Obama birther conspiracy theories to keeping the facts straight on Donald Trump. For Wired, Michelle Dean profiles Snopes co-founder David Mikkelson and uncovers how a messy divorce, as well as ownership and control squabbles, have threatened the site’s existence.
Then, on September 11, 2001, out of the clear blue sky, everything changed. The planes flew into the Twin Towers and crashed at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, and America turned, panicked, to the internet to try to explain those events to itself. “I posted the first of the September 11 articles just after midnight on September 12,” Barbara wrote to me. It was a post debunking the rumor that the 16th century astrologer Nostradamus had predicted the attacks. “I researched and wrote that first article only because I needed to do something other than just cry and feel helpless.” The tenor of their site was about to change.
Where once they had been conducting tests with marshmallows and houseplants, now they were debunking claims that there were 4,000 Israelis who worked in the World Trade Center who stayed home that fateful day. Traffic spiked. Suddenly the press, which had treated Snopes mostly as a curiosity, took real interest. The Mikkelsons found themselves doing newspaper interviews, appearing on television, talking about the lies Americans were telling themselves in the aftermath of the catastrophe….
David is a pretty unflappable guy, but he seemed surprised. “She certainly contributed a great deal to making it a successful business enterprise,” he said, stammering a bit. “We jointly founded Bardav.” But he told me he felt there was a distinction between the claim he alone made to the idea behind Snopes.com and the successful business partnership he was willing to allow that Barbara had participated in. I pointed out that until their divorce, Barbara’s name had often been associated with the site in the press—searches in newspaper archives reveal that until about 2010, she had given many interviews about Snopes, more than David had, and that was true even before Bardav’s founding in 2003 and the inauguration of Snopes as a business. David, evidently frustrated with this question, said, “Well, she was giving all the interviews because I was working a full-time job,” referring to his position at the HMO, “whereas she never worked at all throughout the entirety of our marriage.” But then he seemed to regret this outburst, and backtracked. “I would not in any way try to slight her or say that she was not responsible for a good deal of success of the site,” he said.
The problem is that David’s telling of the Snopes story does seem to slight his wife. However meticulous he might be in fact-checking the errors of others, there is always this slippage in his account of his own success, an insistence that he did it by himself. It’s not a slippage that has any bearing on his dispute with Proper Media, or the contractual matters at issue there. Mikkelson went through a bad divorce and emerged from it, as it seems to me people often do, with a blind spot. It’s one we all have, to one degree or another, to fail to see the obvious when it comes to ourselves. It just stands out with David because he has spent his career being so scrupulous about facts.
The Congressional GOP leadership and Trump have made several attempts to repeal and replace (or even just replace) the Affordable Care Act. They've failed to accomplish either one, but they just try and force another attempt through within a few weeks of the last one in a transparent effort to put it through until it passes.
I was under the impression that the last attempt that died in the Senate had blocked further repeal attempts, at least until 2018, but then Graham-Cassidy happened. I don't completely understand the process here.
How often can they edit and revive the proposed repeal, and is there any point where they will have to give up, at least for a while? Can a bill simply be thrown at Congress repeatedly until it passes, and if there are limits what loopholes are the GOP using to do this?
Michael Friedman (wiki / obit) is probably best known for the pop-punk Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2010), a "rowdy political carnival" that portrayed the life and times of America's seventh president in terms that now seem remarkably prescient. (See the rousing anthem "Populism, Yea Yea" which includes lyrics like, "And we're gonna take this country back for people like us, who don't just think about things." Or Jackson complaining, "Why don't you just shoot me in the head / 'cause you know I'd be better off dead / if there's really no place in America / for a celebrity of the first rank.").
He also was a founding member of The Civilians, a downtown company that coined the term "investigative theater." One such example was Pretty Filthy, a behind-the-scenes look at the porn industry based on interviews with porn producers and performers. In this New York Times clip, Friedman and star Luba Mason perform "Beautiful" from Pretty Filthy. In "Becky & Bobby & Taylor & Dick" two performers (Becky and Bobby) ponder the influence and intrustion of their pornstar personas (Taylor and Dick) on their off-camera relationship.
Last year, Friedman worked on a piece that musicalized the thoughts of primary voters from across the United States during election season. "I definitely believe in the politics of music and theatre and popular art," said Freidman. "I certainly think they are a conduit. Art is what survives from protest movements." The song "Undocumented" from that project takes its lyrics verbatim from a conversation with an undocumented immigrant in Dallas.
* * *
Many remembering Friedman point to his 2012 TEDxEast talk, The Song Makes A Space, in which he walked the audience through the process of writing a song for theatre.
Friedman's colleague and musical theatre historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper wrote this reflection of Friedman on Facebook (public post):
There is no way I can write anything on social media that can communicate with justice the horrible loss of Michael Friedman. Also Michael Friedman hated social media and would have made fun of me for trying. ... During act one of the show I saw tonight I suddenly started crying when I remembered a conversation I had with Michael this year. He was upset that there were still situations where people would avoid saying that an artist specifically died of HIV/AIDS. We were walking up 8th Avenue and he roared "No one should erase that! People have to know!"And one for the road: How To Come Back, a cut song from Bloody Bloody... ("They say there are no second acts in American lives, just second mortgages and second wives. They thought that they could return one day, trailing clouds of glory, but they couldn't remember the way.")
Michael Friedman died of HIV/AIDS. He was 41. It was 2017. [more]
Ingrown pubic hair is one of those things you never want to see together in a sentence, but it’s also common, even if no one talks about it. This video by Stuff Mom Never Told You explains how it happens, and what to do about it.
The directions, which came via cell phone, were a little garbled, but as you understood them: "Turn left at the 3rd light and go straight; the restaurant will be on your right side." Ten minutes ago you made the turn. Still no restaurant in sight. How far will you be willing to drive in the same direction? Research suggests that it depends on your initial level of confidence after getting the directions. Did you hear them right? Did you turn at the 3rd light? Could you have driven past the restaurant? Is it possible the directions are incorrect? Human brains are constantly processing data to make statistical assessments that translate into the feeling we call confidence, according to a study published today in Neuron. This feeling of confidence is central to decision making, and, despite ample evidence of human fallibility, the subjective feeling relies on objective calculations. "The feeling ultimately relies on the same statistical computations a computer would make," says Professor Adam Kepecs, a neuroscientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and lead author of the new study. "People often focus on the situations where confidence is divorced from reality," he says. "But if confidence were always error-prone, what would be its function? If we didn't have the ability to optimally assess confidence, we'd routinely find ourselves driving around for hours in this scenario." Calculating confidence for a statistician involves looking at a set of data—perhaps a sampling of marbles pulled from a bag—and making a conclusion about the entire bag based on that sample. "The feeling of confidence and the objective calculation are related intuitively," says Kepecs. "But how much so?"
In experiments with human subjects, Kepecs and colleagues therefore tried to control for different factors that can vary from person to person. The aim was to establish what evidence contributed to each decision. In this way they could compare people's reports of confidence with the optimal statistical answer. "If we can quantify the evidence that informs a person's decision, then we can ask how well a statistical algorithm performs on the same evidence," says Kepecs. He and graduate student Joshua Sanders created video games to compare human and computer performance. They had human volunteers listen to streams of clicking sounds and determine which clicks were faster. Participants rated confidence in each choice on a scale of one (a random guess) to five (high confidence). What Kepecs and his colleagues found was that human responses were similar to statistical calculations. The brain produces feelings of confidence that inform decisions the same way statistics pulls patterns out of noisy data.
When an emotion can be more powerful in curbing impulsiveness than thoughts.
Part I identifies the health risks of sugar consumption. Part II examines the reasons why sugar is added to so much of our food supply. Part III provides an overview of tobacco regulation, including educational initiatives, warning labels, advertising restrictions, age limitations, and taxes. Finally, Part IV provides a framework for sugar regulation, suggesting that most of the foregoing laws designed to discourage tobacco use should, with the exception of age restrictions and with appropriate modifications, be applied to products with large quantities of added sugar.21 Part IV also suggests regulatory changes within the FDA to remove sugar's classification as a substance that is "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)."22
In addition to looking solely at sugar, Part IV also takes a broader look at how food policy can shift to improve the overall food supply in ways that enhance consumer choice,and proposes the appointment of an Independent National Director of Food, who would have sufficient authority to help neutralize the impact that the food lobby has on food supply.
My main photographic interests are landscapes and night skies. I've had reasonable success using the 18mm zoom lens for both subjects but I'm interested in what results I could achieve with a new lens.
Astrophotography samples (1, 2)
Landscape samples (1, 2, 3)
On paper the 16mm lens should be a winner for both landscapes (wide angle) and astrophotography (wide angle and fast). For landscape its well reviewed across a number of sites however with astrophotography it seems to suffer from coma when shooting full open.
Alternatively, does it make more sense to spend some extra money and get dedicated lenses? The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm/f4 for landscape photos and the Rokinon 12mm/f2 for astro photos?
This is why the Drudge Report poll matters: In a bad year for polls, this online vote keeps demonstrating Trump fervor
Healthy foods can paradoxically lead to weight gain.
» Continue reading: Lose Weight By Recognising This Mental Bias
- Here’s The Real Psychological Secret to Weight Loss (And It’s Not Counting Calories)
- 90 Percent Ignore This Psychological Key to Weight Loss
- This Simple Little Message Can Help People Lose Weight
- The Belief That Inspires Healthy Eating and Weight Loss
- Weight Loss: 2 Things to Focus on BEFORE Diet and Exercise
Early in graduate school, I still believed literature could save us, so I clung to a narrative device that seemed to promise deliverance: focalization. It’s not an especially sexy term; it means that an author writes from the perspective of one character, rather than from narrative omniscience—narrowing the reader’s focus to one person’s purportedly more subjective worldview.
Today, while jailbreaking my dad's phone, I found out the hard way that it's jam-packed full of my mom's nudes. FML
This has been going on for a couple of weeks. Prior to that, I happily only had one browser open during the day. What am I doing wrong?
This remains true even though firefox was just reloaded to my computer by an IT professional.
Aside from my Netflix marathons, there are only a handful of network television shows that I make time to actually watch. And the new Fox prime time show Empire is one of them. Like so many great shows, it includes moments of fantasy, joy, and struggle that oftentimes mirror very real social issues that are on the forefront of their viewers’ minds.
For instance, the season two premiere opened with a #FreeLucious concert that paid homage to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and highlighted the overrepresented numbers of African-American men in our prison systems and their mistreatment by police. The imagery (particularly that of Cookie Lyon in a Gorilla suit and caged) and discourse used within that opening scene speaks to broader national issues. As highlighted by Gene Demby at NPR, however, these narratives are not common within prime time television.In his write-up on the season premiere, Demby discusses the ways that Empire inverts the trope of the police and U.S. justice systems as mostly heroes. Demby argues that Empire is able to divert from the aforementioned narrative due to the writers who are creating these new types of stories and its overwhelming African-American viewership. He raises the question as to how Empire’s opening scene would have been different if it was marketed to a more white, middle-aged, and male audience.
This divide in the types of stories that people prefer to watch is reflected in our own national understandings of American culture, history, government, and judicial systems, for instance.
A recent article from NPR highlights the ways that White and Black-Americans differ on issues of race relations in the U.S. The article draws on data collected for the PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll that corresponds with PBS NewsHour’s town hall meeting “After Charleston” special, moderated by Gwen Ifill. The poll showed that within the U.S., African Americans and Whites view race relations as worsening over the past year. Given the recent police shootings and hate crimes against African Americans, we may be in agreement with this assessment. At the same time, however, the poll also shows that Blacks and Whites disagree – both locally and nationally – on issues of economic equality and social justice.
Some of these findings include:
- 48% of Whites think race-relations have not changed locally and believe this to be a good thing, while 74% of African-Americans also believe that race relations have not changed locally and believe this is a bad thing.
- 52% of Whites agree that African-Americans and Whites have equal access to jobs; 72% of African-Americans disagree.
- 52% of Whites agree that both groups have equal access to achieve a middle-class lifestyle; 60% of Blacks disagree.
- 50% of White respondents agree that there is currently equal justice under the Law while 87% of African-Americans disagree.
- The #BlackLivesMatter movement focuses on “real issues of racial discrimination”: 59% of Whites think it distracts from those issues, and 65% of African-Americans agree that it highlights those issues.
These numbers are similar to a 2013 study conducted by the Pew Research Center on racial equality.
How is it that residents of the same country can have such disparate views on national issues? We know that much of this stems from the varied social realities that communities of color experience as compared to their white peers.
Does this mean that poor white individuals and families don’t struggle? Or that police officers don’t discriminate (based on class) against poor white men? Or that poor white men and women don’t have ready access to quality education or healthcare? Of course not.
We do, however, live in a system that privileges white bodies and whiteness. This does not negate the very real personal struggles that individuals encounter. But it does mean that non-white peoples experience systems of oppression that operate beyond an individual level.
For instance, drawing from U.S. 2010 Census data, we know that people of color are overrepresented in prisons and are more likely to have experiences with the criminal justice system than white individuals.
One might take a “culture of poverty” or a “ghetto culture” stance and argue that Black and Latin@ culture are the driving forces behind the destruction of both communities and peoples of color. These types of arguments ignore the ways that communities of color (particularly Black, Latin@, and Native-American) are actively excluded from housing, credit, jobs, education, healthcare, voting, and other important resources.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Black, Latin@, and Native-American children are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white children. They also receive less advanced academic training and courses, and are more likely to attend schools with first-year teachers.
Sociologist Devah Pager shows that the presence of a criminal record is much more restrictive for Blacks than Whites. In her study, Pager hired a group of young college men to apply for entry-level jobs. She made sure to find men who had similar physical characteristics and interpersonal styles. Although these were college students, the men posed as solely being high-school educated with little work experience.
For the study, Pager sent the men in pairs (two white and two black) to apply for entry-level positions. Their resumes and job applications were identical, yet in each pair one of the men would indicate that he had a drug felony conviction and spent time in prison. Among her major findings, she found that Black men with no criminal records were less likely to be hired than a White man with a criminal conviction.
In addition, a study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that austerity policies and governmental shutdowns in the United States have disproportionately affected women and African Americans. This is largely because governmental agencies are more likely to hire women and African Americans than the private sector.
Culture plays a major role in framing our values, beliefs, and traditions. As the above studies show, however, culture alone does not account for the vast inequities within the U.S.
Given these numbers, how is it that White Americans differ in their opinion on racial equality from Black Americans and Latin@s?
This partly flows from white racial segregation. The Atlantic article, “Self-Segregation: Why It’s So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson,” notes that for the most part, White Americans live and play in spaces that have few social problems, and mostly interact with other White people. As the article mentions, 75% of Whites navigate spaces that a fully (100%) white.
Conversely, African-Americans and Latin@s navigate social spaces that exhibit higher levels of social problems and tend to interact with a more heterogeneous group of individuals: 65% of Blacks interact only with other Blacks, and 45% of Latin@s only interact with other Latin@s. This social, cultural, and physical segregation along with dominant stereotypes of communities and individuals of color, can negatively influence how White Americans both view and understand racial issues within the U.S.
As a nation, we have built systems that overwhelmingly disenfranchise communities of color, women, and the poor. These policies, structures, and history continue to frame national issues such as racial equity. The way we understand and perpetuate these histories, policies, and structures is framed by where we live, who we interact with, and the images that we see.
Why do you think these perceptions vary so widely? Do shows like the enormously popular Empire have the ability transform perceptions or highlight national issues?
As the furor over Martin Shkreli's 5000x price-hike of Daraprim continues (previously), people are doing something about it.
Imprimis, a compounding pharmacy, has stepped in to fill the gap by offering the AIDS drug for $99/100 pills and has spun off a division to start doing the same for other sole-source FDA-approved generics.
"This is not the first time a sole supply generic drug – especially one that has been approved for use as long as Daraprim – has had its price increased suddenly and to a level that may make it unaffordable."-- Mark Baum, Imprimis CEO
For example, I got him to paint our living room recently. He did an amazing job on two walls, but couldn't bring himself to finish the last 5% of the third wall because of minor flaws in the border, just shut down and refused to talk about the project, didn't care about getting paid if it meant not having to fix the flaws.
I would have him do data entry for my work, but it becomes emotionally complicated because he would be working directly for me and when we've done that before, it turned toxic when I corrected mistakes, vs when he was working for someone else (school, other relatives) and I corrected mistakes because then I was an ally, not someone judging him.
He has been in and out of therapy to deal with this, and we have a supportive school system that helps him, but when it comes to work/chores, he gets overwhelmed easily and needs projects with lots of structure and encouragement and non-personal feedback. He will not and cannot currently cope with applying for parttime/casual work outside home.
He can talk to people by text and email, but not on the phone for more than 1-2 sentences. He's polite and follows instructions. He likes cooking, drawing, crafts, computer games, reading, and animals. He is responsible and neat.
We refuse to pay for babysitting his siblings or regular chores around the house, and he's maxed out on the regular stuff already. I'm willing to subsidize/supplement and help him in a job/project, but both of us want him to be doing something meaningful.
A big art project would be fine - great actually. It doesn't have to be work that's commercially paid. It has to be something productive. Ideas?
“How we act around teachers.” (vine by Thomas Sanders)
antorbitalfenestrae:me in 2013: debating the nuances of whether or not a certain piece of media is...
me in 2013: debating the nuances of whether or not a certain piece of media is Problematic, compiling a list of ideologically pure and liberal things to consume
me now: sitting naked in a bog and holding a silver chalice full of mud