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22 Apr 19:07

Transgender Teen Wins Case To Wear Makeup In DMV Photo

by Kate Parkinson-Morgan

Transgender Teen Wins Case To Wear Makeup In DMV Photo

Kate Parkinson-Morgan
Chase Culpepper, 17, was told by DMV officials that she was not allowed to wear makeup in her license photo. The transgender teen sued the federal government for sex discrimination and violating her free speech rights.

Chase Culpepper, 17, was told by DMV officials that she was not allowed to wear makeup in her license photo. The transgender teen sued the federal government for sex discrimination and violating her free speech rights.

Courtesy of Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund

Transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in South Carolina will now be allowed to take license photos that reflect their everyday appearance, following a settlement announced this morning in a lawsuit filed by a transgender teen.

Chase Culpepper, 17, filed the federal lawsuit last September, accusing the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles of sex discrimination and violating her free speech. In the spring of 2014, she arrived at the DMV office in Anderson, S.C. wearing mascara and eye shadow, ready to take her driver's license photo. She says department officials promptly told her she had to remove the cosmetics before taking the photo because they were a "disguise."

Culpepper, who now identifies as a transgender young woman but used male pronouns at the time, says she often wore makeup and women's clothing.

According to Reuters:

"They let her wear pearl earrings but demanded she remove the mascara and eye shadow she regularly wore before they would take her photo."

The department later cited a 2009 rule that prohibited applicants from "purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity." In response, Culpepper filed a lawsuit, calling the policy "unconstitutionally vague and overbroad," because it allowed DMV officials to make "arbitrary and capricious" decisions based on their personal biases about gender presentation.

Under the terms of the settlement, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles agreed to change its policy to allow people seeking drivers' licenses to be photographed as they regularly present themselves, even if their appearance does not match the officials' expectations of how the applicant should look. The department also promised to send Culpepper a written apology and train its employees in how to treat transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in professional settings.

"I am thrilled with the outcome of my lawsuit," Culpepper said in a statement. "My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From day one, all I wanted was to get a driver's license that looks like me."

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York-based group representing Culpepper, received similar requests for legal support after news spread about her case, The Los Angeles Times reports:

"Michael Silverman, executive director of the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represented Chase, said he hoped the settlement would lead other agencies with similar policies to change them.

"Shortly after the details of Chase's case became public last year, Silverman said his agency received similar complaints from transgender men and women in other states.

"The advocacy group is negotiating with the West Virginia DMV after three transgender women there were ordered to remove wigs and fake eyelashes when having their driver's license photos taken."

"Departments of motor vehicles and other government agencies cannot restrict the freedom of transgender people to look like their true selves," Silverman told The Times.

Once the changes go into effect in May, Culpepper says she plans to take a new driver's license photo with makeup.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit
22 Apr 19:35

Acclaimed Australian Wellness Blogger Says She Made Up Cancer Claims

by Krishnadev Calamur

Acclaimed Australian Wellness Blogger Says She Made Up Cancer Claims

Belle Gibson is an Australian blogger who said she cured her terminal brain cancer solely through diet and lifestyle, spawning a wellness empire, an award-winning app, a recipe book and a large online following. Trouble is, Gibson now says she made it all up.

"None of it's true," she told the Australian Women's Weekly in an interview that is to be published Thursday.

Exclusive: Belle Gibson speaks to @WomensWeeklyMag about her battle with the truth.

— Aparna Balakumar. (@onceaparnatime) April 22, 2015

Questions about Gibson were raised last month when Fairfax Media, an Australian media group, reported that while she said she raised money for five charities, they had no record of receiving the donations. Following that revelation, she acknowledged in an interview with The Australian newspaper that some of her cancer claims were as a result of a misdiagnosis.

Still, at the time she insisted her claim of curing her malignant brain tumor without conventional treatment was true. But the newspaper found that the blogger had made several contradictory claims about her health.

Those revelations led her friends — some of whom had been thanked in her recipe book — to raise doubts over her health claims. Her Australian publisher withdrew her cookbook from shelves and her popular app is no longer available for sale, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Gibson, in the Australian Women's Weekly, did not say why she made up her illness.

"I think my life has just got so many complexities around it and within it, that it's just easier to assume [I'm lying]," she said. "If I don't have an answer, then I will sort of theorize it myself and come up with one. I think that's an easy thing to often revert to if you don't know what the answer is."

It's a rapid fall from grace for a figure who as recently as last November was being hailed in the Australian media as inspirational. News Ltd., which published excerpts of the interview, said the controversy has hurt the blogger financially. It says:

"Penguin Australia has stopped supplying her book and Apple have dropped her app. She has returned her rental car and will soon move out of her beachside home. Accountants have been instructed to give any leftover funds to the charities Gibson pledged money to."

But Gibson says in the interview that she doesn't want forgiveness.

"I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do," she said. "Above anything, I would like people to say, 'Okay, she's human. She's obviously had a big life. She's respectfully come to the table and said what she's needed to say, and now it's time for her to grow and heal.'"

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit
21 Apr 03:23

cinephiliabeyond: David Lynch watching Vertigo.The most studied...

21 Apr 01:42

retroreverbs: Food For Thought by Sonia Allison (1967). OMG...


Food For Thought by Sonia Allison (1967).

OMG want

22 Apr 17:23


Russian Sledges

I kind of want to know what this is from

22 Apr 06:51


22 Apr 07:38


21 Apr 00:59

spiralcris: Ikunimals CHUKYUGAUChuChu of UtenaPenguin Nº2 of...


  • Ikunimals CHUKYUGAU

ChuChu of Utena
Penguin Nº2 of Mawaru PenguinDrum
Ginko of YuriKuma Arashi

23 Apr 02:50

And if I only could,I’d make a deal with God,And I’d get him to...

And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places

23 Apr 16:21


23 Apr 16:42


23 Apr 16:44


15 Apr 10:01

“What do you actually see?”“A world on fire”

Russian Sledges

yo is it buddhist

“What do you actually see?”

“A world on fire”

09 Apr 06:00

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbott

by Carrie S
Russian Sledges

"When Emma was a child, a tinker gave her a book in which the heroine dressed as a man and had adventures. When Emma’s father threatened to marry her to a neighbor, she dressed as a man and ran away from home, and eventually joined the war as “Frank Thompson”.

In a staggeringly meta moment, she was recruited from the ranks to be a spy for the Union army, and disguised herself as a woman – but not as herself, because that might have been to close to her disguise as Frank. So she was a woman disguised as a man disguised as a woman. After the war she wrote an autobiography and successfully appealed for a pension from the army."

paging Wendy Doniger

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy


Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

by Karen Abbott
September 2, 2014 · Harper

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is a riveting non-fiction book about four women who conducted espionage (and, in one case, fought undercover as a soldier) in the Civil War. Two women worked for the North and two for the South. The book is interesting and exciting and paints incredible pictures of very different women who, love them or hate them, lived unusual lives of great political and personal passion and daring. Here’s a look at the four women profiled in the book:

Rose O’Neal Greenhow (Confederacy): Rose was a society woman from the South with a knack for flirting with Northern men in power. She made no secret of her secessionist views and she was hideously, virulently, very vocally racist, even by the standards of the time and place. Rose was arrested for espionage and she was outraged, OUTRAGED, that anyone would search the home and possessions of a defenseless woman and lock her up (Rose, honey, YOU’RE A SPY).

Rose was eventually freed and sent by the Confederacy to France where she worked as a diplomat. Rose was an exasperating, infuriating figure but her ability to ferret out information and smuggle it into the right hands is undeniable.

Belle Boyd (Confederacy): It’s interesting that both Belle and Rose were able to get all kinds of secrets from men despite being completely open about their animosity towards the North. Belle was a headstrong teenager who longed for freedom, drama, attention, and adventure. She combined flirting with Union officers to get information with daredevil rides through woods and, in one occasion, across a battlefield, to deliver information. Her persona was so popular that later she went on the lecture tour circuit, and she faced competition by multiple imposters.

Elizabeth Van Lew (Union): Elizabeth was a Union supporter in a Confederate town, and as such her neighbors always held her in suspicion. Unlike Belle and Rose, Elizabeth was neither a beauty nor a flirt, but she was good at using flattery, subterfuge, a network of spies, and a hidden room to smuggle secrets and Confederate prisoners to safety. Elizabeth was an ardent abolitionist. She was shunned by her Southern neighbors after the war (they called her “Crazy Bet”) but considered a hero by the North.

Emma Edmondson (Union): When Emma was a child, a tinker gave her a book in which the heroine dressed as a man and had adventures. When Emma’s father threatened to marry her to a neighbor, she dressed as a man and ran away from home, and eventually joined the war as “Frank Thompson”.

In a staggeringly meta moment, she was recruited from the ranks to be a spy for the Union army, and disguised herself as a woman – but not as herself, because that might have been to close to her disguise as Frank. So she was a woman disguised as a man disguised as a woman. After the war she wrote an autobiography and successfully appealed for a pension from the army.

I’ve been meaning to read this book since it first came out in 2014, but I assumed it would take a long time to read since it’s a pretty hefty hardback and I read non-fiction more slowly than I do fiction. Let me tell you, I ate that thing up in less than three days. It was as exciting as any thriller while also being informative and thought provoking. I can’t over-state how entertaining (and sometimes heartbreaking, and horrifying, and infuriating, and inspiring) this book was.

In addition to learning about the four women, the book did a great job of clarifying just how precarious the war was, and how political divisions cut through counties, towns, and families. Whenever possible, the book puts things in concrete terms. It’s one thing to read that the war was one in which “brother fought brother.” It’s easier to understand the trauma and legacy of the Civil War when specifics are used. Reading that Mary Todd Lincoln had a brother, three half-brothers, and a brother-in-law in the Confederate army, and that one of the Confederate generals had a son in the Union Army brought the emotional ugliness of the war home in a way that abstractions can’t.

Along with some harrowing details about the war, there are espionage stories that put James Bond to shame. Rose used to send her couriers around town with tiny, coded messages hidden in their elaborate hair-dos. Women used to smuggle weapons by lacing swords and guns through the wires of their hoop skirts – then they pulled their dress over the arsenal and walked quite openly around town until they could drop off the weaponry. Elizabeth hid messages in hollow eggs and hid people in wagons under piles of manure (ewww).

Meanwhile, women fought as soldiers for all kinds of reasons – for the pay, because of their ideals, to escape a situation, to be with a lover or relative. One couple signed up together on their honeymoon (no word on the outcome). One woman was caught when she gave birth while on picket duty. Emma thought she’d be caught by a doctor when she was recruited to be a spy, because she had to pass a medical examination. Fortunately, the doctor put greater stock in phrenology than anatomy:

“He determined, finally, that “Frank Thompson indeed had the head of a man, with ‘finely developed’ organs of secretiveness and combativeness.”


You need not be a major history buff to enjoy this book and you don’t have to have much prior knowledge of the Civil War to follow it. That being said, its obvious audience is people who enjoy history and who have an interest in the history of women. Wars are ugly and wretched and horrible but as this book points out, they create opportunities (and often imperatives) for women to break out of their standard roles.

The stories of these four women are representative of many more – the unknown number of women who fought as soldiers and who worked as spies, along with women who found themselves in charge of farms and businesses and who worked as nurses. This book is still only available in hardcover (or as an eBook) and the price is comparable to similar books but steep compared to my usual romance paperback budget. It’s worth every penny (and probably available at your library).

23 Apr 15:39

Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

Russian Sledges

via bernot



The vagabond ecosystem is changing thanks to cellphones, Wi-Fi, Craigslist and Google Maps. Michael Portugal

On Reddit, he’s /u/huckstah, an administrator on /r/vagabond, a subreddit with nearly 10,000 members—many of them identify as “homeless”—who trade skills and stories.  On “the road and the rails,” he’s Huck, and even after we speak twice by cellphone, he tells me he’d prefer I don’t print his real name. “People say, ‘Well, you chose to become homeless.’ But that’s wrong,” he says. Huck says he’s been a hobo for upward of 11 years and started hopping trains and hitching rides at 18. “I did not choose to become homeless. If you want to say I chose to become homeless and sleep on the streets, really all I have to say is fuck you. You’ve never experienced it.”

Or maybe you have experienced it, thanks to the recent Great Recession that caused a spike in homelessness—especially for families—with its tidal wave of foreclosures. And if you have, there’s a good chance you were probably one of the many homeless with a mobile device, a sight that has become increasingly common. The ubiquity of cheap phones and even cheaper data has prompted even longtime homeless to join the growing ranks of people with a cell connection but no house. “The day I started on the road, I had a flip phone, an iPod, a TomTom GPS, an atlas, a laptop, and free Wi-Fi wasn't very easy to find,” says a medic who’s been a hobo for four years and asks me to identify him as “Nuke.” (“I have a pretty decent amount of training and experience in treating combat trauma.”) He now lives out of a ’91 Ford pickup and says, “I have a smartphone, a laptop, and free Wi-Fi is everywhere.”

The rise of the mobile Internet has made a hobo’s life easier, Nuke says. But when I ask Huck about how he and fellow travelers use their smartphones, I get the sense that even for the digitally connected homeless, life is far from easy. “I keep my phone off a lot, or in airplane mode,” he says, “because we can only charge up for a short time—maybe once a day, or sometimes it will be two to three days between charges, maybe an hour of charge.” For Huck and his fellow itinerants, smartphone usage is measured in instants. “We check Google Maps and then we turn it off, or we make a quick phone call and then we turn it off.”

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That’s a pity because a smartphone can be even more useful for a homeless person than it is for those with a regular roof over their heads. Case in point: Smartphones provide on-the-go weather forecasts, convenient for an everyday life but essential for a homeless one. “You have to keep an eye on the weather when you're living outside,” says Mike Quain, a 22-year-old busker and percussionist. “If it's too cold somewhere, we'll get south any way we can. And no one likes to be surprised by rain. Rain isn't nearly as fun when you don't have a dry place to go.”

Piecemeal job-hunting sites like Craigslist are also required browsing if you’re trying to make a living with no permanent place to call home. “For the past 100 years of this lifestyle in America, we found our jobs by following seasonal schedules and asking around for jobs at farmers' markets and farming supply stores, looking at job ads in newspapers, asking door-to-door,” says Huck, adding that things are done very differently today. “I know thousands of hobos, and I don't know a single one that doesn't use Craigslist. It has completely changed how we find work.”

The uses don’t end there. Quain lists Google Maps, and HitchWiki as “indispensable for vagabonds,” while Nuke is still in awe of his smartphone’s power. “I can fit an entire Radioshack from the ’90s and then some in my pocket now.”

Do a Google search for hobo culture and you’ll find a lot about decline: the death of the working-class itinerant, the fall of the Depression-era drifter who never stopped drifting and the end of the heroic hobo celebrated by the likes of the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. Vice released a documentary in 2012 called Death of the American Hobo. Those “graybeards,” Nuke will tell you, are on the way out, but there isn’t a dearth of culture left in their wake. Itinerants under the age of 35, he says, are forming their own kind of hobo society, one that overwhelmingly keeps up with technology and the times.

Where there used to be “jungles” and “hobohemias,” now the Internet is the place present-day hobos—many of them millennials—go to connect and build a community. Sites little-known among the safely homed— (a map of dumpsters ripe for diving), (a list of free Wi-Fi hot spots), (railroad digital scanner frequencies)—are common resources, says Huck, for the vast majority of the digitally connected homeless community. “Prior to 2005 or so, all of this was simply done word-of-mouth, which is how it was done for over 100 years.”

Huck is developing a new hobo code. In terms of the mythology surrounding the homeless, this is a big deal. Read about the romance of hobo culture and you’ll find tons of talk about hobo symbols: a face on the side of a barn means the building’s safe to sleep in; a caduceus on a doctor’s door means the doctor will treat homeless. But for hobos nowadays, that’s all outdated. Huck is part of a project to revamp the code completely and make it more useful for the digitally connected hobo by creating a new set of symbols for things such as “Wi-Fi networks and free outlets.” When I ask if I can publish any of the symbols, though, Huck balks: When hobo codes become commonly known by regulars, it’s a problem. “The codes are for us,” he says, “and if other people see it, they could have clues to our secrets, and the next thing you know, that outlet that was accessible to hobos is now locked up or completely gone.”

Conventional wisdom says the Internet and mobile technology keep us in our own little bubbles, isolated and insular. And while perhaps that’s true for those with homes, Quain says it’s the opposite for hobos. For the itinerant homeless, traveling in groups makes sense for a bevy of reasons: safety, company and economies of scale, especially when it comes to digital devices. “Lots of us travel in groups and share the expense of one phone,” Quain says.

Luckily for Quain and his ilk, the ubiquity of the Internet is making finding fellow “travelers” easier than ever. The curious can head to and to find vagabonds forming groups, swapping stories and arranging meetings.

Squatters have also enthusiastically embraced the mobile Internet as a means of sharing knowledge—often as a way to fight for their place amid urban real estate development. Frank Morales is a former priest, former squatter and current activist with C-Squat, a squatter advocacy organization in New York. The group works with New York’s homeless men and women who park themselves in unused, often crumbling buildings and fix up the structures in an attempt to turn them into permanent homes.

To do this successfully, squatters need to learn how to bring amenities like electricity and running water into long-neglected buildings—and that, says Morales, is where the Internet becomes indispensable. Where before these skills needed to be shared in person (often at day-long squatter “skillshares”), now they can be digitally transmitted to anyone with a smartphone.

“Technology has really bridged the gap for a lot people around the world who are struggling for housing,” says Morales. Nowadays, activist movements use mass-texting platforms to coordinate occupations of neglected buildings for squatters to use. They also keep email lists that track what squats are in danger and distribute information about new laws that affect squatting. Activist homeless have used digital connections to form a movement that believes, in Morales’s words, “we have a moral obligation as individuals and as a society to support the occupation of spaces that are deteriorating and would otherwise just be rotting away to create housing.”

While no comprehensive survey of homelessness and mobile ownership has been done in the United States, small surveys provide a glimpse of how the trends have grown. A study by the University of Sydney found that 95 percent of Australia’s homeless own a mobile device, while Keith McInnes of the Boston School of Public Health’s study of homeless veterans in Massachusetts found that 89 percent own at least one device. (In Australia, mobile penetration in the general population is 92 percent; in the U.S., it’s 90.) However, “it’s hard to do truly representative studies of homeless persons,” says McInnes. For example, mentally ill homeless living under bridges, or in the woods, are probably less likely to have a cellphone and “less likely to be included in survey, because they are hard to find.”

But as McInnes points out, those who do possess a cellphone have a tool both for survival—and for restoring their sense of humanity.  While settled people are usually able to meet the wider world head-on and feel no shame, homelessness carries with it a pervasive, ugly stigma. “Having a mobile phone provides homeless persons with an outward-facing identity that can mask their homelessness,” explains McInnes. “With a cellphone, people you call or who call you don’t know you’re homeless.”

Some, like Huck, have taken this one step further, using their connectivity to promote their lives without a roof and walls as a source of pride. Near the end of our interview, Huck lets me know that he and several others on /r/vagabond have just been featured on an episode of Upvoted, Reddit’s weekly podcast, where they’re celebrated, not stigmatized.

“I’ve found a way to be homeless without starving or begging or sleeping in ditches,” he says. “I’ve become a professional vagabond, and this is the lifestyle that I love.”

22 Apr 21:27

Iowa Bill Proposes Faculty Play “Survivor” | Daily Nous

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges


The names of the five professors who rank lowest on their institution’s evaluation for the semester, but who scored above the minimum threshold of performance, shall be published on the institution’s internet site and the student body shall be offered an opportunity to vote on the question of whether any of the five professors will be retained as employees of the institution. The employment of the professor receiving the fewest votes approving retention shall be terminated by the institution regardless of tenure status or contract.
22 Apr 16:36

Fourteen document boxes

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

attn home archivists

These metal-edge Hollinger boxes were only lightly used. Each has its original lid. Twelve had labels applied to one end and consequently either have labels or have lost some of their original finish where labels had been. Two were never labelled. They go for a couple of dollars apiece wholesale, so I'd like to get twenty dollars for the lot. But no reasonable offer will be refused! Please note, they don't pack flat. The boxes are dark grey with black metal edges and measure 3.25 inches high, 11.25 inches wide, 13.25 inches deep.
22 Apr 22:03

North Carolina education bill: It would require public university professors to teach eight courses per year.

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

one less place to consider ever living

In higher-ed parlance the herculean act of teaching eight courses per year is what’s known as “a 4-4 load” or, alternatively, a “metric ass-ton” of classroom time. And yet a new bill currently under consideration in the North Carolina General Assembly would require every professor in the state’s public university system to do just that. The results would be catastrophic for North Carolina’s major research universities. The region known as the Research Triangle—Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, so named because of the three “Research-I”–level universities that anchor it—would quickly lose two of its prongs—the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University—were this bill to pass. And it just might.
22 Apr 21:47

LSU drafting 'academic bankruptcy' plan in response to state budget crisis |

by overbey
Russian Sledges

via overbey ("Note to self: never apply to public higher ed jobs in Tea Party states.")

Louisiana's higher education community is facing an 82 percent funding cut if no extra state money is found. The change would bring state funding for LSU from around $3,500 per undergraduate student to $660 per undergraduate student next year. 
22 Apr 21:00

Newswire: Ben Affleck apologizes for asking PBS to hide his slave-owning ancestor

by Sam Barsanti

Recently, the internet somehow found out that Ben Affleck had asked PBS not to include a scene of him discovering that one of his ancestors owned slaves in his episode of Finding Your Roots. The show is about using DNA technology and genealogical research to trace a famous person’s family history in order to find interesting things to say about them for an hour. During this process, PBS happened to find evidence that one of Affleck’s ancestors was a slave owner. At Affleck’s request, his episode—titled “Roots Of Freedom,” because irony is the best—left that part out.

Now Affleck has posted a message on Facebook explaining why he asked PBS to make this edit to his family history, and why he’s admitting the truth now. Basically and unsurprisingly, Affleck says he was “embarrassed” by this revelation. “The very thought left a bad taste in ...

13 Apr 07:19

Life Lately v.03

by Jen
Russian Sledges

it's probably a good thing I didn't know that the Icelandic iceberg Liberty pattern was available on knit fabric

LIfe Lately v.03 | Grainline Studio

Things have been moving at quite a clip behind the scenes lately which has left me with less than ample time for coming up with blog posts. I feel like there are so many things I need to fill you in on or that I want to talk about so I figured I’d give you the Cliff’s Notes version for now in the form of another Life Lately post and potentially expand on these ideas at a later date. As with all of these posts, the images are pulled from my Instagram account (@grainlinestudio) where I try to post daily with what we’re up to.

In all this scurrying around I did take a day off last week to sew an Archer (not pictured), two Lindens and a raglan tee from my personal pattern collection, and just in time for Me Made May! I’ve got a few more ideas for things I feel like I *need* to get sewn before May 1st – you know how that goes – so hopefully I have a free minute or two to squeeze those in! I’m getting excited about my second Me Made May, I definitely filled in some wardrobe gaps over the past 12 months. Will you be participating this year?

LIfe Lately v.03 | Grainline Studio

Recently I’ve noticed two real workhorses in my wardrobe. If you know me in real life you know I have a bit of a uniform, I’m not sure how much of that comes across via the internet, but I’m sure you’ve noticed at least a bit. I’ve made three of these oversized raglan tees now and they’re hands down my new go-to favorite for when I’m working. I don’t like things restricting my arm movements at all when I’m working so this is perfect. As the seasons change – spring is finally here!! – I’ve been wearing my Bellows cardigan almost every day as the coat-sweater I intended it to be. I knew I would love this sweater before I started knitting it, but I didn’t realize how quickly it would become an everyday garment!

LIfe Lately v.03 | Grainline Studio

While we’re on the subject of wardrobes, I downloaded the Into-Mind Wardrobe Workbook last week on a whim after seeing it mentioned more than a few places recently. I’ve enjoyed Anuschka’s posts for a while but never thought I was the wardrobe workbook type and after perusing it I actually still don’t think I am. The workbook looks pretty amazing, super thorough and covers basically every aspect of building a wardrobe in depth, but it’s also a bit of a time commitment and I don’t really feel like I have that much of a wardrobe ‘problem’. Since reading through it I’ve been noticing more similarities in the things around me though, for instance, my outfit, bags, couch, new fabric, and plant, as well as my filing cabinet and its contents all coordinate. Ha!

LIfe Lately v.03 | Grainline Studio

You may remember that sweater I’ve been working on for the Sunday Sweater KAL? The one where I knit the front, back, and one sleeve, decided I was knitting too dense of a fabric, ripped everything out, and went up two needle sizes. Ooph!! Well, I’m now finished with the new front and back and will be starting on the sleeves this week just as soon as I adjust the math for my new gauge. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to finish this thing up!

LIfe Lately v.03 | Grainline Studio

And last but not least Kendra and I have been working like crazy on patterns. The next release is at the printer and we should be getting them in the next two weeks. The first is the printed version of the Moss skirt and the second is that long awaited Morris blazer! A lot of people have asked about the fabric on the Morris, I’ve drafted it for use with both stretch wovens and stable knits. Think stretch wool, ponte, etc. More on these soon though!

22 Apr 16:10

This black artist dressed up like her white ancestors to prove a point

by Jenée Desmond-Harris
Russian Sledges

via Ibstopher

Stacey Tyrell, a Canadian artist whose parents are from the West Indian island of Nevis, knows that when most people look at her they see a black woman.

"Backra Bluid" artist Stacey Tyrell. (

But Tyrell has a background that's invisible to many observers. She explained in an interview with the Huffington Post that some of her ancestors were enslaved African people who were forced to work on plantations and often coerced into sexual relationships. The result: she, like many other people in the Caribbean and in the United States, has Europeans in her family tree, too.

Still, because of what she calls "a dualism that is inherent in Euro-centric constructs of 'Whiteness' and 'Blackness' in western societies" — the idea that most people are one race or the other, not both — she often gets uncomfortable looks when she openly claims her English, Scottish, and Irish ancestors, she wrote on her website. She says it started when she was "a black child attending a predominantly white school," and it hasn't stopped.

"Over the years I have found that a lot of people (often white) get very uncomfortable at the mention of such a connection because they half expect me to launch into a diatribe about colonialism and slavery when all I really seek is an inclusive conversation about the fact that all of us are more related than we think," she told the Huffington Post.

The solution: in a photography project titled "Backra Bluid," (the name combines the Caribbean slang for "white master" or "white person" and the Scottish word for "blood" and "kin") she's dressing up like the white people in her family tree using full costumes, hairstyling, and makeup, to challenge the way people think of race and heritage.

An image from "Backra Bluid." (Courtesy of Stacey Tyrell/

"The images in the series are an attempt to interpret and explore these relatives from both past and present that I know are out there," Tyrell writes.

An image from "Backra Bluid." (Courtesy of Stacey Tyrell/

The artist believes the resistance she often encounters when she discusses her white heritage is "due to the fact that with the very act of mentioning such ties I am inadvertently reminding them of the brutal system of colonial African slavery and its legacy that has brought about such connections."

An image from "Backra Bluid." (Courtesy of Stacey Tyrell/

She says she's simply trying to get across that the majority of people in post-colonial societies are "hybrids of its past and current inhabitants. "

An image from "Backra Bluid." (Courtesy of Stacey Tyrell/

What's the point of using her own face and body to make this statement? Tyrell says, "By simply changing my skin color and making subtle tweaks to my features I wish to show that if someone were to take a closer look at my face they would see that it might not be that much different than their own."

"Backra Bluid" artist Stacey Tyrell prepares for a photo shoot. (

(h/t Huffington Post)

Further reading:

Watch: The myth of race, debunked in 3 minutes

22 Apr 13:24

Gotta go fast!

Russian Sledges

via Chelsea

22 Apr 19:48

Don't Call It Pink Saturday (This Year)

by Jay Barmann
Don't Call It Pink Saturday (This Year) Even though people will probably end up calling it Pink Saturday anyway, its traditional organizers, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, have voted to retain the name for themselves. [ more › ]

22 Apr 03:00

19th Century Acquaintance Cards Were the Pick-Up Lines of a Lost Age

by John Farrier
Russian Sledges

via Chelsea

(Photo: Alan Mays)

It’s Tinder from the Gilded Age. You want to chat up a girl? You can drop a nice line on her or you can just slip her a card. Back in the 1870s and 1880s in the United States, gentlemen would offer these cards to ladies they found attractive. Often they consisted of formal invitations of acquaintanceship or offers to escort a lady home, which is why they were sometimes called "escort cards."

(Photo: Alan Mays)

Some men offered to escort ladies at great peril. They subtly boasted of their virile courage, saying that they would take risks to enjoy such esteemed company.

(Photo: Alan Mays)

Others were downright risqué. Mr. Krout, for example, offers this card-sized résumé of amorous abilities, which he offers to demonstrate confidentially. This may repel ladies of quality. But when advertising your services, it be helpful to state exactly what you have to offer. You will attract the right sort of customer.

These three cards come from Alan Mays's massive photo gallery of acquaintance cards. Peruse and take notes--you may find something useful.

-via Messy Nessy Chic

22 Apr 00:38

Pinboard on Twitter: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle not to punch your smug face"

by russiansledges
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle not to punch your smug face
21 Apr 20:59

New Raven’s Lace whiskey has a feminine touch

by russiansledges
Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey is a flavoured whiskey with both a wild and sweet side. Offering an alternative to masculine dominated flavoured whiskeys, Heaven Hill Brands describes Raven’s Lace as a “one-of-a-kind whiskey with a vibrant attitude and feminine touch with the juxtaposition of a darker side”. Available in June, Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey infuses juicy peach and sweet strawberry flavours with the smoothness of Bourbon whiskey at an approachable 60 proof. Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey primarily appeals to the growing segment of female consumers for whom traditional whiskey is not necessarily their drink of choice but are interested in the sweet taste of flavoured whiskeys.
21 Apr 04:44


Russian Sledges

via saucie

17 Apr 06:59

Raicilla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

multitask suicide, I think this is what John poured for us on Thursday night?

Raicilla is a distilled spirit, originating in the south western portion of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and pre-dates the arrival of Hispanic people in the country.[1] It is similar to Tequila and Mezcal as it is also a product of the agave plant.[2] Traditionally raicilla has been created and sold as a "moonshine" product without government sanction or approval.[3] Recently a company has begun to market a variety of legal brands of raicilla.
20 Apr 17:20

An Amusing Illustrated Bootlegger’s Map of the United States From 1926

by Lori Dorn
Russian Sledges

via Chelsea

Bootlegger's Map of the United States (interactive map)

The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has gotten hold of “The Bootlegger Map of the United States,” an amusingly illustrated 1926 map from a bootlegger’s point-of-view that includes playful descriptions of state capitals, the resources of each state, and those odd things to look out for when in the moonshining business.

Bootlegger’s map of the United States, published in the early 20th Century. This unique map look at alcohol and prohibition. Includes many place names and plays on words that captures the humor and mood of the time.

The map was originally created by Edward Gerstall McCandlish, an early staff cartoonist at the Washington Post and children’s book illustrator.

Edward Gerstall McCandlish had an extraordinarily varied working career including being a staff cartoonist at the Washington Post where he illustrated a Sunday column called the Bunny Tots, an illustrator of many children’s books and designer of many toys, and designer of three humorous pictorial maps: The Bootlegger’s Map of the United States, The Ration Map of the U.S., and the “Un-Convention-Al Map of New Haven.”

via Coudal Partners