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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Links for the week ending 24 August 2014

"And while we were still reeling, while we were yet aghast, either time stood still as Ferguson Police teleported back to 1963 or time sped forward and we were all dumped into a near-future dystopia or, likeliest still, today is no different than the day of Mike Brown’s murder. Today is moving at the same predictable clip as every day that came before it." Gorgeous, heartbroken writing from Stacia L. Brown, at her website.

"'You wake up with your face itching,' Moore said. When they start to smell it in the house, they turn off the air conditioning, because 'it comes right through.'" Durrie Bouscaren for St. Louis Public Radio on one family's experience of Ferguson during nights of protests and police violence.

"In Ferguson, Sherry Taylor, 52, who lives near the protest site on West Florissant Avenue, said having sleep interrupted for days by violence outside her door was the least of her worries. She said police had shot her in the back with a rubber bullet while she was in her own yard, and she has suffered the effects of tear gas." Michele Munz and Lisa Brown at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Ferguson is both what you think it is and so much more." Yamiche Alcindor for USA Today.

"The argument that many in the concerned community are making is that Bob McCulloch, when comes to a choice between protecting the reputation/careers of white police officers and searching for the truth in a case of a 'police-officer-on-African-American-crime,' will choose protecting officers at the expense of fairness, decency and truth." Lizz Brown at The St. Louis American.

"Though police brutality has become the center of this story, one black officer said race issues truly were the underlying reason for these demonstrations. Growing up in the St. Louis area, he said he learned quickly about the importance of the phrase 'yes sir' because police stopped him frequently on the street and asked for his identification." Amanda Wills at Mashable.

"Now, let’s join Michael Brown’s family in rejecting the perfect victim frame. Whether he was a squeaky clean, college-bound, 'gentle giant' or a teenager who may have done stupid things, his life still matters." Jamilah King at Colorlines.

"Violence is the effect, not the cause of the concentrated poverty that locks that many poor people up together with no conceivable way out and no productive way to channel their rage at having an existence that is adjacent to the American dream. This kind of social mendacity about the way that racism traumatizes black people individually and collectively is a festering sore, an undiagnosed cancer, a raging infection threatening to overtake every organ in our body politic." Brittney Cooper at Salon.

"'I tell people I grew up in an apartheid town,' he said. 'The only two places I remember being able to go were the public library and the St. Louis Zoo. Everything else was determined by where you lived and your skin color.'" Jeannette Cooperman with a brief history of segregation in the St. Louis metropolitan area. At Al Jazeera.

"The largest focal point of support is at the Dellwood Recreation Center, where the United Way, St. Louis County government, the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis and others have set up their base at the drop-in center. They’re providing food, children’s activities and an array of resources and services." At St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Margaret Gillerman lists some of the places where the people of Ferguson can turn for help — and the rest of us can make donations.

"The rhetorical value of 'Iraq or Missouri?' is undercut when it becomes possible to show two pictures, taken seven years apart, of the exact same armored vehicle and ask the question literally." Elif Batuman at The New Yorker.

"The federal government argues that giving local police tanks and other leftover war equipment is a great way to avoid the waste of throwing away expensive gear that taxpayers have already paid for. But critics counter that militarizing police forces escalates conflicts and creates needless violence." Liz Goodwin at Yahoo News.

"More surprisingly, HPD rarely believes even its own officers when they claim to have witnessed unjustified violence against citizens. In the same period, Houston cops reported other officers for excessive force 118 times. Internal Affairs dismissed all but 11." From last year, an investigation on police brutality in Houston by Emily DePrang at the Texas Observer. (Via Melissa del Bosque.)

"Ferguson will not be a freer, better, or more just place when the protesters are allowed to gather without cops in riot gear down the block. It will be the same constitutional nightmare it has evidently been for years. We need to expand our vision of what is a constitutional violation to include what happens when the cameras roll out of town. Because even when the world stops watching, Ferguson and all the Fergusons across the country will need a lot of constitutional protection." Dahlia Lithwick and Daria Roithmayr at Slate. (Via E.J. Graff.)

"What the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption considers to be corruption is not what the United States Supreme Court considers to be corruption. And much of what the commission urged, by way of legislative reform, is, in the eyes of the Court, unconstitutional." Jill Lepore at The New Yorker.

"The Obama administration is promising to change the way travelers can ask to be removed from its no-fly list of suspected terrorists banned from air travel." Eileen Sullivan for the AP. (Via Torie Rose DeGhett at This Week In War.)

"In fact, until recently, ISIS had a very different list of demands for Mr. Foley: The group pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him." Rukmini Callimachi for the NYT.

"He wonders if he shouldn’t have married, if he shouldn’t have brought a two-year-old son into this world. 'Why leave people behind when you’re gone? I see these people,' he said, pointing to the screens. 'They’ve left behind families. Honestly, there isn’t an Iraqi family that hasn’t been affected by violence in some way.'" Rania Abouzeid reports from a Baghdad morgue. At The New Yorker.

"The new authorization is one of several alternatives under active internal discussion as the administration grapples with whether and how to try to militarily defeat the Islamic State, which controls a wide swath of territory between Damascus and Baghdad." Hey, why not? We have such a great track record to date, right? Karen DeYoung at The Washington Post.

"Ebola relies on our weakness for compassion and comfort to survive, and as it successfully moves from one grief-stricken host to the next, it erodes another invisible bond between Liberians: trust." Dear god, in a heartbreaking month, this might just be the most heartbreaking piece of all. Jina Moore reporting for BuzzFeed.

"Brown’s death allows America to do what it does best – to plumb the depths of its soul in search of meaning. That she seldom learns the lessons that her poorest citizens teach her is another matter altogether, but for those wanting to learn, Ferguson’s critics offer many instructions on how to report with grace and dignity about people no one is supposed to care about." Thoughtful opinion piece by Sisonke Msimang at South Africa's Daily Maverick, contrasting the American coverage of Michael Brown's death to South African coverage of the recent brutal hate-crime killing of a woman named Gift Makau. (Via Mukelwa Hlatshwayo.)

"Now he's in police detention. No one even knows what crime he's accused of committing, apart from challenging the unspoken orders with his act of remembering an event that is supposed to be forgotten." Louisa Lim on one of the soldiers of Tiananmen. At NPR. (Via Anna Limontas-Salisbury.)

"However, we cannot close the malnutrition gap without addressing the social norms and economic rationales that deprive girls and younger siblings of the resources they need." Seema Jayachandran and Rohini Pande at the NYT on their research showing massive inequality within Indian families.

"All of the Indian professors on campus were upper caste as well, and all, except one, refused to advise me on projects and blacklisted my work. I stopped getting invited to South Asian events. These are some of the structural manifestations of caste in the diaspora. Once you’re out, you’re... out." Fascinating essay at Elle India on coming out as a Dalit in the Indian diaspora. By Thenmozhi Soundararajan. (Via Sonia Faleiro.)

"'You’re waiting on your job to control your life,' she said, with the scheduling software used by her employer dictating everything from 'how much sleep Gavin will get to what groceries I’ll be able to buy this month.'" In a more just world, this would have been the story I led with today. Jodi Kantor at the NYT on how scheduling software relentlessly destroys the lives of service workers — and their families.

"'There are many youngsters who only three days after they've been deported are killed, shot by a firearm,' said Hector Hernandez, who runs the morgue in San Pedro Sula. 'They return just to die.'" Cindy Carcamo for the LAT on the murders of children deported back to Honduras. (Via Suzy Khimm.)

"Scientists cannot yet begin to draw simple conclusions about drilling's effects on animals, plants and habitats because 'basic data is missing' on issues such as fracking fluid chemistry, and because of limited access to well sites, said Sara Souther, the study's lead author." Lisa Song for Inside Climate News.

"Whether harassment or discrimination takes place at a field site in Costa Rica or in a conference room, the problem will not be solved with new rules archived on unread websites. The responsibility for pushing back should not rest solely with the victims. Solutions require a change of culture that can happen only from within." Christie Aschwanden at the NYT.

"“It’s a gauntlet. Our very first one, when we opened it up, there were so many structures in there we could not figure out how a sperm would be able to swim from one end to the other,” Mesnick says." Marah Hardt at SciAm bringing the comic relief this week in re: whale vaginas. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"In this phase of human civilization the interaction of the vast networks we’ve built is just about where everything happens. Understanding how networks function isn’t esoteric specialist knowledge anymore than being able to read is." Quinn Norton at Medium.

"The comments have failed us. It is time to acknowledge that comments sections are, most of the time, a disservice to both the writer and the reader." Margaret Eby at Brooklyn Magazine.

"What happens to #Ferguson affects what happens to Ferguson." Zeynep Tufekci at Medium.

"I am affected. This is my truth, so I share it with you. And my dear sweet friends, those of you who have always supported my words, and images and work here, I honestly hope that you're affected too." Karen Walrond at Chookooloonks. (Via Els Kushner.)

"Why so trigger-happy, officers? Are these cops evil people? Violent sociopaths? Racists? Sadists? I suppose some are; all those traits exist in the general population and it’s possible that the nature of police work attracts an undue share of them. But I think a simpler explanation is that cops shoot so much because that’s what they’re trained to do." Damn, this is great. Susan Schorn at McSweeneys. (Hat tip to Rachel Hartman.)

"It’s a song about a movement nearly out of patience by a woman who never had very much to begin with, and who had little hope for the American future: 'Oh but this whole country is full of lies,' she sang. 'You’re all gonna die and die like flies.'" Claudia Roth Pierrpont at The New Yorker with a long profile of Nina Simone.

"Michelle spent many evenings—hundreds, in fact—standing shoulder-to-shoulder with witnesses in a cramped room that afforded a view of the death chamber, where she watched as men, and two women, were injected with a three-drug cocktail that stopped their hearts. All told, she had seen 278 inmates put to death." Finally, a masterful profile by Pamela Colloff for Texas Monthly: "The Witness."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Links for the week ending 10 August 2014

Beginning the list again with Torie Rose DeGhett's "This Week In War," because it has been that kind of week.

The situation in Iraq is moving fast. Once again, I recommend following Loveday Morris at The Washington Post.

"'How does this end? It doesn’t,' he said." Nancy Youssef on mission creep and the choices the U.S. faces against the Islamic State (ISIS). At McClatchy.

"A few blocks from Dr. Zeyada’s apartment, Younis al-Bakr, 9, sat curled on a sofa, chewing on his fist like a much younger boy. His family said he had not spoken a word since he witnessed the shelling that killed four of his cousins on the Gaza City beach on July 17. Younis and three more cousins survived the attack, suffering shrapnel wounds along with less visible ones." Anne Barnard at the NYT on widespread trauma in Gaza.

"Khuzaa survivors say efforts to flee were blocked by Israeli tanks and that Israeli soldiers shot at them as they waved white flags. Emergency responders say the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) shot at ambulances trying to enter the area." Kristen Chick at the Christian Science Monitor. (Via Rabia Mehmoud.)

"The whole point of an international organization like the UN, on the other hand, is to be inclusive—an antidote to nationalistic displays of hatred and violence. The UN won’t throw bombs back. It aims at solutions beyond revenge. " Atossa Araxia Abrahamian at Dissent on the particularly bitter ironies of missile attacks on civilians sheltered by the UN.

"Maisa Arshid, an attorney for dozens of the detainees, said that the crackdown on Palestinian citizens is only getting worse, with 20 to 30 Palestinians getting picked up every week in the Nazareth area alone. 'All of them are accused of participating in illegal demonstrations,' Arshid told Al Jazeera, adding that 'part of these demos were permitted by the police themselves'." Mya Guarnieri at Al Jazeera on Israel's crackdown against internal dissent. (Via Sarah Schulman.)

"Even as the war appears to draw to a close, the battle over casualty statistics rages on. No other number is as contentious as the ratio of civilians to combatants killed, widely viewed, including in Israel, as a measure of whether the commanders in the field acted proportionately to the threat posed by militants — or, in the eyes of Israel’s critics, committed war crimes." From a few days ago, Judi Rudoren at the NYT on the accounting of death in the Gaza war.

"Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene, the highest-ranking U.S. military officer killed in a war zone in four decades, died not at the hand of a sworn enemy but from a burst of gunfire by a soldier in an allied army who had been largely paid, trained and equipped with American and NATO support." Pamela Constable at The Washington Post.

"But, of course journalism suffers. The very essence of reporting—striking up conversations with strangers, hanging around—is a logistical nightmare. We don’t go to restaurants anymore. Some have given up walking. Others have put up higher walls. Kabul as an archipelago of refuge and safety is long over." May Jeong at The New Quarterly on being a woman and a foreign reporter in Afghanistan.

"Within weeks, gang members began to target Exelina. They demanded money, and threatened to kidnap and kill her children. At first, the monthly extortion was $200. Every month Elsy and Salvador sent money to pay off the gang. 'She would call me in tears, saying she didn't want to live there anymore,' Elsy says. 'But I would tell her, "Be patient. Wait for your immigration papers to come through."'" The first of a four-part series by Melissa del Bosque on the deaths of desperate immigrants trying to sneak around Border Patrol checkpoints in Brooks County, Texas. A joint project of The Texas Observer and the Guardian.

"'My family blamed me for my uncle's deportation,' his sworn statement read. 'They told me if I had not been detained he would not have offered to sponsor me and immigration would not have found him. If I go back to Honduras I have nowhere to live. My family will not accept me.'" Susan Carroll at the Houston Chronicle. (Via Lise Olsen.)

"When beginning Chicago Survivors four years ago, Johnson and her team surveyed a single block in a neighborhood just south of Hyde Park, the University of Chicago’s leafy home base. Of 22 single-family homes, 12 had lost an immediate family member to violence. Eight of those households had lost more than one." Carla Murphy at Colorlines.

"We didn’t know it at the time, but we were watching an experiment that tested the validity of the American dream for Boston’s poorest children. The kids we taught at camp and tutored during the school year were growing up in a tough place at a time of widening income disparities. We debated in our dorm rooms at night: How much can we do — or should we do — to try to change their lives?" First of a six-part series from Farah Stockman at The Boston Globe, tracking down the people who participated in a summer camp for Mission Hill children run by Harvard students in the early 1990s.

"In other words, prior to taking Anderson’s urban sociology class, when she is already at least one year into her study, Goffman is unable to discern as class difference the differences among black lower middle class, working class, and poor people. That blackness made that difference illegible as class is one problem that should raise questions about what else Goffman is unable to hear, see, and make sense of; her oscillation between tutor and ethnographer is another." Christina Sharpe at The New Inquiry critiquing a widely praised book by a young white sociologist about young black men in West Philadelphia.

"A new study suggests that highlighting racism in the criminal justice system is not the answer, and in fact pushes white voters in the opposite direction. Even when whites believe the current laws are too harsh, they're less likely to support changing the law if they're reminded that the current prison population is disproportionately black." Dara Lind at Vox.

"Let me repeat: My receipt was not good enough. I have never heard of needing to have a salesperson verify a purchase when a receipt has been proffered but I shouldn’t be surprised. The rules are always different when shopping/driving/walking/existing while black." You probably saw this already, but just in case: Roxane Gay on being profiled while shopping at Best Buy, plus bonus harassment from online conservative mobs afterwards.

"They’d ask me cutting and incisive questions about American political situations (they found the government shutdown as ridiculous as I did), they religiously followed the situation in Egypt with the Muslim brotherhood, mourned Mandela, and trash talked other football teams in anticipation of the World Cup. They also knew what chocolate was (and I suspect the guys in the video did too, but were in on the joke with the producers)." Anthropologist Erin Kane talks back to that video of cacao farmers trying chocolate for the first time. At Quartz. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"Miller is 29, and gets her health care through the university. Her on-campus doctor was barred from even prescribing the IUD, she said, because of Notre Dame’s adherence to Catholic teaching against contraception. The doctor sent her off-campus for the prescription, but even then, Notre Dame’s insurance wouldn’t cover it." Irin Carmon on "the next Hobby Lobby." At MSNBC.

"To automate the process, the team decided to build a robot body out of the most basic components: layers of paper, a thin piece of plastic with a circuit etched onto it, and Shrinky Dinks — children’s toys that contract when heated." Carolyn Y. Johnson at The Boston Globe, reporting on a new study proposing a design for "origami robots." What I wanna know is: do you get to color in the robot, first?

"The crows present a puzzling question to biologists, which gets to the heart of what it means to be a species: Given that hooded and carrion crows can mate and swap genes, how do the two groups maintain their individual identities? It’s as if you mixed red and yellow paint in a bucket but the two colors stubbornly refused to make orange." Emily Singer at Quanta Magazine on the surprisingly difficult question of how species are distinguished from one another.

"My name is Khadija al-Saadi. I am a 23-year-old Libyan woman. I live in Libya's capital, Tripoli. I study in the humanities faculty of the Tripoli university, and I work in my spare time in a couple of local NGOs trying to improve living conditions in the city. I exist, and this is my story." At Gawker, the now-adult daughter of a man who was tortured after being rendered back to Libya by the CIA and British intelligence writes eloquently of her family's experience, and demands that the U.S. and U.K. governments allow a full accounting of their actions. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

'You never hear, "She passed on her own, natural causes, old age," no, no, no,' she continues, ticking off on her fingers. "She's either raped and killed, she's jumped and killed, stalked and killed – or just killed.' Which is why, amid all the death and sorrow, CeCe, whose jagged life experience embodies the archetypal trans woman's in so many ways, has become an LGBT folk hero for her story of survival – and for the price she paid for fighting back." From Sabrina Rubin Erdely at Rolling Stone, a masterful profile of CeCe McDonald.

"Interviewing Cacioppo for my magazine article a few months ago, I naturally took many of his observations personally. One especially fraught time for lonely people, he told me, is when they are in a social setting and feel subject to ostracism or ridicule; it’s then that their brains go haywire, sensing social danger even where none might exist. 'We’re screwed,' I thought at the time." Finally, from two weeks ago, a piece from Robin Marantz Henig about loneliness. At The Archipelago at Medium.

No list next weekend. In the meantime, and as always, thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Links for the week ending 3 August 2014

"In its early years, Al Qaeda received most of its money from deep-pocketed donors, but counterterrorism officials now believe the group finances the bulk of its recruitment, training and arms purchases from ransoms paid to free Europeans. Put more bluntly, Europe has become an inadvertent underwriter of Al Qaeda." Kudos to the NYT for hiring one of the most impressive journalistic badasses of our time, Rukmini Callimachi, with another jaw-dropping article about how Al Qaeda gets things done.

"'I hate the future so much,' says 11-year-old Daad of Syria who dresses in pink and has dark nightmares. 'We might live, or we might die.'" Lyse Doucet of the BBC giving voice to the children of the rapidly expanding war zones of the Middle East.

"At the same school, a little girl with big eyes and red hair put her hand out for mine, but instead of shaking it, she just held onto me. She told me her name was Yasmin, but she wouldn't say anything else. She followed me around the school as I did interviews, and then came and sat next to me as I waited in the shade for a press conference. She didn't want to talk, just to sit quietly by my side." Sara Hussein on the children of Gaza. For AFP.

"One night, I make all three sleep in the same bedroom with us, hoping to increase the odds they’ll survive if a shell hits one of the empty rooms in our house. But then the next night, I’ll separate them, thinking that if I divide my children they won’t all die in an attack. (Unless we’re hit by a half-ton bomb, rather than artillery shell, in which case we’ll all be killed, anyway.)" Wejdan Abu Shammala at The Washington Post writes about parenting decisions in Gaza.

"The outlook for the revolt against Assad’s rule is now bleaker than at any time in the past three years, rebel commanders say, diminishing the chances that the opposition will be able to present any meaningful challenge to the regime or even to serve as a counterweight to Islamist radicals, as U.S. policymakers are hoping." Liz Sly reports for The Washington Post.

"In total, at least seven sacred shrines have been razed, said an official with the city’s Sunni endowment authority, which manages religious affairs. 'At first, we expected them to only blow up places for Shiite people,' said the official, who declined to be identified for security reasons. 'Now they are blowing up everything.'" Loveday Morris reporting from Mosul for The Washington Post.

"But in Monrovia, the capital city, there isn’t enough space in the specialized isolation unit to hold all of the city’s symptomatic cases. The Ministry of Health wanted to expand the unit at Elwa Hospital, on the outskirts of Monrovia, but the local community fought back, physically, making it impossible to secure health staff, a Health Ministry official told BuzzFeed by telephone." Jina Moore at BuzzFeed is covering the Ebola beat

"People’s apprehensions about the failings of the healthcare system come from experience, not from ignorance." Susan Shepler at Mats Utas' blog, about the narrative of public ignorance fueling the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. (Via Alexis Okeowo.) But, let's face it, she could be talking about events much closer to home.

"Surveillance isn’t simply the all-being all-looking eye. It’s a mechanism by which systems of power assert their power. And it is why people grow angry and distrustful. Why they throw fits over being experimented on. Why they cry privacy foul even when the content being discussed is, for all intents and purposes, public." danah boyd at Medium.

"In 2012, the number of bodies found in the brush or on roadsides in Brooks County doubled to 129, and more than half were unidentified. The next year, according to the sheriff’s department, officials discovered 87 bodies, and 44 percent were unidentified. So far this year, they have found 43 bodies." Heartbreaking piece by Maria Sacchetti at The Boston Globe on the unidentified bodies buried along Texas and Arizona borderlands, and the families left with no way of knowing the fate of their vanished loved ones.

"Four thousand of the fifteen thousand people fighting wildfires in California this season aren't professional firefighters. They're men and women serving out their state prison terms by working full-time in fire crews, under a state program called 'Conservation Camps.'" Dara Lind at Vox. (Via @prisonculture.)

"As the U.S. tries to set a global example by reducing demand for fossil fuels at home, American energy companies are sending more dirty fuels than ever to other parts of the world, exports worth billions of dollars every year." Dina Cappiello reports for the AP. (Via Lisa Song.)

"She calls rolling coal 'conspicuous pollution,' a very public way for conservative drivers to simultaneously broadcast that they aren’t worried about whether humans are the cause of global warming and to openly mock the people who are." Melissa Dahl at NY Mag.

"Groundwater pumping is largely unregulated in California, except in places where judges have ruled in specific disputes. Landowners are generally free to pump as much as they want from under their property." Most of California is now classified as in "exceptional" drought. Lauren Sommer at KQED reports on the unknowns of the groundwater being pumped to make up for the drought.

"It needs to change because while we have many experiences that are similar to those of our white colleagues, we are also living with realities that are very different. I believe that if those conversations had taken place, had been truly inclusive, and had considered a broader array of life experiences, we would all be further along than we are now in addressing so many of the things that, for many women, make life more difficult than it needs to be." At National Journal, Michel Martin speaks out "on balancing career and family as a woman of color."

"'You can't have it all, all at once,' Ginsburg said, referencing the controversial magazine article about work-life balance by academic and former Obama administration official Anne-Marie Slaughter. 'Who — man or woman — has it all, all at once? Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough. And if you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it.'" Liz Goodwin with the Yahoo News write-up of Katie Couric's interview with the blessed Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"Members of the Temple of Satan are encouraging all women who share their belief in medical accuracy to seek their own exemption from these laws, even if they don’t personally identify as Satanists." Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress on a promising new direction in "religious exemptions" to laws affecting women's access to health care. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"The last time we showed up ('Bring Back Crystal Pepsi,' last weekend), the pro-lifers put away all their signs, put down their bullhorns, stopped yelling at people going into the clinic, and just started praying for me. It went on for probably twenty minutes, all of them just praying around that Crystal Pepsi sign." More brilliant protest ideas, this from Tina Haver-Currin, who talks to Linnie Green at The Hairpin.

"Between June and December of last year, I squandered more than $76 buying extra lives in Candy Crush, which is still holding steady as the third top grossing app on iOS." Nitasha Tiku at Gawker on how we spend money now. (Via Adrienne Jeffries.)

"Almost 70 years later, Bohrer reminisces about her OSS days from the couch of her home in a Virginia retirement village. Now 90, she’s surrounded by seniors whose pasts are more sedate, but as she learned to her pleasure soon after she moved to the village, at least one of her new neighbors can relate." As always, I am a sucker for stories about badass little old ladies. By Monica Alba at NBC News.

"I saw that one of my fellow practitioners had written that she tended to speak very harshly or even yell when she felt she wasn’t being heard. She said she was starting to realize that perhaps sometimes she wasn’t meant to be heard, or she just wasn’t going to be heard. I got tears in my eyes when I read that." Anger, being heard, being an asshole. Sarah Miller at The Hairpin.

"It was my birthday recently. Perhaps you heard? Sorry about that! Google Plus, the zombie social network I have barely used since its launch in 2011, alerted my contacts that have Android phones. And anyone with iCal synced to Google Calendar had it marked in their iPhones." Joanne McNeil at Medium with "The Internet of Things Will Ruin Birthdays." (Via Quinn Norton.)

"If the concept of identification suggested that an individual experiences a work as a mirror in which he might recognize himself, the notion of relatability implies that the work in question serves like a selfie: a flattering confirmation of an individual’s solipsism." Rebecca Mead at The New Yorker.

"The success of 'Hamlet' in Arslanköy might attest to Shakespeare’s universality. Alternatively, it might attest to certain similarities between Shakespeare’s world and a twenty-first-century Anatolian village. Rural Turkey is a place where revenge killings, honor suicides, and blood feuds are real." From The New Yorker's unlocked archives, this 2012 piece by Elif Batuman on a women's theater company is so damn good.

"MFA vs. DMV." By Ali Shapiro at Ploughshares.

"She wrote dramatic, repetitive stories, full of sexual violence, and a teacher called Rex McGuinn saw something promising in them – and something deeply troubling. They met one day and he said, 'I'd like you to go to the counselling centre. I think they can help you, and I'll walk you over.'" So many great little nuggets in this Kira Cochrane profile of Roxane Gay at the Guardian.

"This is my own problem, an idiot’s problem, the inevitable result of so much time spent doubling down on jokes until they become unrecognizably assimilated into my lifestyle; the distance between poles eventually had to collapse. But now 'Rude has become the Wrinkle in Time tesseract of both my musical universe and my structural understanding of the relationship between intention and result." Finally, I am OLD, have never even heard this song, and did not click anything that would have dispelled my ignorance of it — but Jia Tolentino is such a damn delight, I would read her analysis of just about anything. (Even books about adultery", which, yawn.) At The Hairpin.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Links for the week ending 27 July 2014

This week has vaulted far beyond my limited abilities to keep up with it. I once again recommend that you check out (or, better yet, subscribe to) Torie Rose DeGhett's This Week In War for one-sentence rundowns with links to in-depth coverage from a wide variety of English-language sources.

Anne Barnard and Jodi Rudoren are still reporting from Gaza City and Israel, respectively, for the NYT. From Wednesday, here is their look at the not-my-fault arguments being passed around between Israel and Hamas on the carnage in Gaza.

"As the sun begins to sink over the Mediterranean, groups of Israelis gather each evening on hilltops close to the Gaza border to cheer, whoop and whistle as bombs rain down on people in a hellish warzone a few miles away." From last Sunday, Harriet Sherwood at the Guardian.

"'One night the shell will go a bit further and hit the building where we are sleeping and we will all be dead,' said Aboujad. 'Death finds you anywhere in Gaza, there is nowhere safe.'" Sheera Frenkel at BuzzFeed.

"It is not anti-Semitic to say 'not in my name'." Laurie Penny at the New Statesman.

"Egypt's police are back to the most brutal practices of the Mubarak era, and deaths in custody have surged once again. But this time popular anger is muted, as many swing behind a repressive security state as a bulwark against the chaos and sectarianism that came in Mubarak's wake, particularly after police retreated from the streets. Louisa Loveluck at The Christian Science Monitor.

"Tripoli's main airport, which is the centre of the latest conflict, resembles a scrap yard." Rana Jawad reports from Libya for the BBC.

Hey! What does the city of Detroit (or its hired henchmen) have in common with ISIS in Iraq and Syria? Compare and contrast an op-ed at the Detroit Free Press by Maude Barlow, Lynna Kaucheck, Maureen Taylor, and Melissa Damaschke with an article by Sarah Goodyear at Next City, and decide for yourself.

"But at the moment, for Hala, Sara and hundreds of thousands of men and women in many of the towns and villages that have fallen out of Syrian and Iraqi government control, the ISIL-Qaeda social order is slowly becoming a lived reality." Rania Abouzeid at Al Jazeera America.

"Forty-five-year-old Hayat Mohsen's family of four were gathered for their evening meal when their living room imploded around them, the doors and windows blown in. It's the third time her apartment has been damaged in a blast. She says she can't afford to move." Loveday Morris reports from Iraq for The Washington Post.

"In the capital, another battle is taking place. Weeks earlier, somebody paid to erect 30 mobile campaign billboards for the president’s expected 2015 re-election bid surround the park where the Abuja Family gathers. Two giant screens now flash pro-Jonathan messages, while the president’s face beams down from three hot-air balloons." Monica Mark at the Guardian on the struggle of the families of the abducted girls from Chibok, Nigeria. (Via Rukmini Callimachi.)

And also Monica Mark with the intensely alarming news that "A man has died of ebola in Lagos, the first confirmed case of the highly contagious and deadly virus in Africa's most populous metropolis."

"'There's no one doing research on this. No one's testing what's going on,' she said. 'I'm not against oil and gas drilling. I'm a Republican…I just think you need to do it safely, and you need to know what you're doing, and I don't think either of those things is happening right now.'" Lisa Song reports for Inside Climate News on preliminary research and health care for residents of southwest Pennsylvania's communities affected by fracking.

"But for them — and most farmers around here — the answer is no. They all listen to a local meteorologist named Brian Bledsoe, who calls the phenomenon 'government warming,' and broadcasts his climate change skepticism on the local radio station, through his Web site and on speaking gigs around the region." At The Washington Post, Lydia DePillis reporting from the drought-stricken fields of Colorado.

"The Court ruling also included language that seemed to assert that only wetlands with a 'significant nexus' to traditional navigable waterways would be protected under the Clean Water Act. The Court did not make clear the meaning of the term 'significant nexus.'" Naveena Sadasivam at ProPublica reports on how lobbying and the Supreme Court have hobbled the EPA's ability to fine water polluters.

"While its Colombian operations quickly became a significant revenue stream for the company, security issues and labor disputes have always been substantial obstacles for Drummond’s business. And, according to its workers, intimidation has become routine in a country where trade union leaders are often viewed as subversives." Rosalind Adams reports for The Center for Public Integrity on a lawsuit alleging that a U.S. coal company bankrolls paramilitary violence against labor organizers in Colombia. (Via Lisa Song.)

"Until last year, any 14-, 15-, or 16-year-old accused of murder in Massachusetts was tried as an adult and sentenced as an adult. Seventeen-year-olds were tried and sentenced as adults no matter the charge. Anyone convicted of first-degree murder got life without parole. No exceptions." Beth Schwartzapfel at Boston Magazine on a 50-year-old murderer sentenced to life when he was 17.

"Morris said he is not surprised to hear Khadr is eligible for full parole and could be released this year. 'On some level, you have to say, OK, the kid was 15 and regardless of what he’s become he at least deserves a chance,' Morris said." Michelle Shephard at The Toronto Star on her newspaper's lawsuit against the Canadian government for denying reporters any access to former Guantanamo prisoner Omar Khadr.

"I think what’s scary about it is thinking about how long does it take for all this change to happen and all the people who get ground up waiting? We are still a work in process. I use process instead of progress because I am not sure about the progress." Damn, this Nikole Hannah-Jones' interview at ProPublica with Rita Bender, who was widowed at 22 when her husband, Michael Schwerner, was murdered at the start of Freedom Summer in Mississippi.

"One after another, white mothers confessed the trouble their children had gotten into. Some of the behavior was similar to JJ’s; some was much worse. Most startling: None of their children had been suspended." Tunette Powell at The Washington Post on racism and preschool discipline. (Via Audrey Watters.)

"Thus, how would he have been 'helped' by this lady if indeed the cop had arrested us? J would have been left alone, needing his pain medicine for his gut and confused and stressed. It would have taken a difficult but stable everyday situation and made it terrible for all parties — and for no reason." Marie Myung-Ok Lee at Salon. (Via @prisonculture.)

"It’s clear that the war on drugs—and the subsequent war on pregnant women of color who have used drugs—is motivated by ideology and profit, not actually care for the wellbeing of mothers and their children." Miriam Zoila Pérez at Colorlines on Tennessee's new punitive law on narcotic use during pregnancy. (Via @prisonculture.)

"The author gives the example of Japan as forefront of this development, because, she says, of 'workforce shortages.' It’s a good example because it really highlights what shortage of humans actually means: a deep hostility to the 'wrong' kind of humans." I don't agree with every single bit of this Zeynep Tufekci essay at Medium — if you've ever been cared for by an abusive human, robot caregivers don't sound like such a bad idea in comparison — but it is, as always, a piece that will ask you to think deeply about labor, culture, and value.

"And then it becomes this question of management. Can I convince this entity to do for me what I want it to do and what the entire company is telling it it should be doing? And so when I see it rebel, or when I personify it in such a way that I perceive its actions as rebellion, it becomes much more so that I perceive an actual relationship with it." Diana Clarke at The Toast with "Tending the Robots: An Interview About Labor, Technology, and Sexuality."

"The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code, primarily written by a company called AddThis, on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites. Most of the code was on websites that use AddThis’ social media sharing tools." Julia Angwin at ProPublica.

"Zoom in on the Mandelbrot set and the same shapes repeat themselves over and over infinitely. This characteristic is known as self-similarity, and it occurs, at least above the molecular scale, many times in nature. Fractal patterns have been found in coastlines, lightning bolts, vegetables, and even the timing of heartbeats." On turbulence and coffee. By Nicole Sharp at Nautilus.

"We are a congregation of two – a tiny fraction of the Muslim Ummah, isolated by a culture of segregation and orthodoxy. We’re the transgender Muslims of Chicago." Fascinating short personal essay by Mahdia Lynn at The Toast.

"'Goodnight nobody' is an author’s inspired moment that is inexplicable and moving and creates an unknown that lingers. How wonderful that this oddly compassionate moment, where even nobody gets a good night, shows up in the picture book that is the most popular!" More like this, please! Aimee Bender in the NYT with an appreciation of one of the small masterworks of literature in English. (Via Vivian Schiller.)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Links for the week ending 20 July 2014

"Asked what he would miss most about his brother, Ramzi looked at the ground. 'Kul,' he whispered in Arabic. 'Everything.'" Anne Barnard is in Gaza and reporting for the NYT along with Jodi Rudoren in Jerusalem.

"In the wreckage of the home on Friday morning, Salem Entez, 29, Mohamed Salem's father, approached the Guardian with a plastic bag, which he opened to reveal pieces of flesh he was collecting for burial. 'This is my son,' he said." Dude Peter Beaumont and Harriet Sherwood for the Guardian. Also, from this morning, the same team reported, "All morning, terrified people ran from their homes, some barefoot and nearly all empty-handed. Others crowded on the backs of trucks or rode on the bonnets of cars in a desperate attempt to flee. Sky News reported that some had described a 'massacre' in Shujai'iya." In addition, Harriet Sherwood reports on the Israeli military's use of anti-personnel ammunition in Gaza.

"They described hours of terror, as tank shells slammed into homes, with no electricity and no way to escape. They called ambulances, but there was no way for the vehicles to get in under the constant fire. So in the end, thousands of desperate residents fled on foot at first light, walking two hours or more into Gaza City." Sara Hussein reports for AFP.

"There were strong indications that those responsible may have errantly downed what they had thought was a military aircraft only to discover, to their shock, that they had struck a civilian airliner. Everyone aboard was killed, their corpses littered among wreckage that smoldered late into the summer night." Sabrina Tavernise is reporting from Ukraine for the NYT along with some dudes.

"Scientists have, for the first time, linked hundreds of earthquakes across a broad swath of Oklahoma to a handful of wastewater wells used by the fracking industry." From two weeks ago, but still news you can use, from Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian.

"This begged a larger question: How many of those 70,000 American plants offshored in recent decades, those millions of American jobs lost, had been the result not of a ruthless commitment to the bottom line, but of a colossal failure of due diligence?" Esther Kaplan with a longread at the Virginia Quarterly Review. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"That means a rep could get all the way to the second-to-last day of the pay period only to have a customer cancel four products. Suddenly the rep is below her goal, losing $800 to $1,000 off her paycheck." Adrienne Jeffries at The Verge with "Here's why your Comcast rep is yelling at you." (Via David Hull.)

"Waller reminded him that Parks was a 'sanctuary,' a 'safe haven' for the community. If the school didn’t meet its targets, Waller explained, the students would be separated and sent to different schools, outside Pittsburgh. Lewis said he felt that 'it was my sole obligation to never let that happen.'" Rachel Aviv at The New Yorker with the tragedy of Atlanta's school-testing cheating scandal.

"This is a story about what happened when I tried to use big data to help repair my local public schools. I failed. And the reasons why I failed have everything to do with why the American system of standardized testing will never succeed." Meredith Broussard at The Atlantic. (Via Audrey Watters.)

"All of the highways out of the Valley have checkpoints like the one in Sarita. When the checkpoint means they can't drive to San Antonio, some women go through with pregnancies they don't want. Others turn to Cytotec. Still others find out about unlicensed providers who perform cheap abortions out of their homes. Jill Filopovic at Cosmopolitan, and this is why our feminism had better be intersectional or it is complete bullshit. (Via Cory Ellen.)

"It’s a microcosm of the ways that beauty is about more than who we are just “naturally attracted to”. It’s a kind of oppression with far-reaching consequences for black women that leave us with almost negligible wealth, criminal justice battle stories, mass media accounts of our undesirability, poor health, and impoverished golden years." Tressie Cottom McMillan at her blog on a casting call for a new NWA video.

"Summer was the worst. Holiday weekends were full of needless shootings — arguments, stray bullets, kids finding their parents’ guns. Compiling weekend reports took me 10 hours every Sunday. It was a slog, but it was necessary. This is exactly why I went to journalism school. It’s rare that you get to effect change on such a big stage." Jennifer Mascia at RawStory with the behind-the-scenes story of the Gun Report, which tracked news reports of gun violence over a year and a half.

"But underneath all her work is the question posed in Ursula K LeGuin's well-known story The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas: if you know that the beautiful manner of living you yourself enjoy is built on a foundation of misery deliberately imposed on innocents, can you in conscience do nothing? Her own answer was always no." Margaret Atwood at the Guardian on the late Nadine Gordimer. (Via Jody T.)

"I can’t situate my thoughts in the topography of a big book the same way when I'm able to see the text only through a keyhole, as it were, unable to feel with my hands whether I'm a third or a tenth of the way through; I feel as if I’m on the surface of the text, rather than in it. That hard, glossy surface!" Maria Bustillos at The Awl with a meditation on the latest way to Disrupt Reading.

"I’m reminded here of viruses, which, as Wikipedia points out, can only replicate inside the living cells of other organisms. Facebook benefits when this relationship remains invisible. When we make the mistake that I made—when we forget that Facebook is using our friendships as hosts, and not the other way around—our forgetting is very convenient for Facebook." Jessica Ferris from two weeks ago at Medium.

"But Ebola, far away and ripe for the imagination, has grown legendary—and, like most legends, the truth is not quite as awesome as the tale. But before we wake ourselves up from this nightmare, let’s bask in the mechanics of this notorious killer." Leigh Cowart at Hazlitt (Random House Canada). (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"A powerful new technology could be used to manipulate nature by 'editing' the genes of organisms in the wild, enabling researchers to block mosquitoes’ ability to spread malaria, for example, or to make weeds more vulnerable to pesticides, Harvard scientists said Thursday." Carolyn Y. Johnson at The Boston Globe, where the zombie movie plots practically write themselves.

"But he positively bounded toward the Popemobile at the end, like a child who has unexpectedly been offered his favorite peanut-butter sandwich. Refusing assistance, he climbed on energetically, as if to say, Let’s go!" Wow, Matter (Medium) brings in Alma Guillermoprieto (usually at the NYRB) for this nuanced and moving profile of Pope Francis.

"It was there, in 1974, that some co-workers, prodding to know how tall she really was, kicked off their pumps and climbed on desks and chairs and dangled a tape measure down. They sent the figure to Guinness, in London, which replied that she was taller than any woman they had on record but the measurement needed to be verified by a medical professional. Sandy got in her car — which was hard-earned, and into which she barely fit — and drove to her family physician, where the figure was confirmed." Another moving profile, by Sandra Allen at BuzzFeed about another Sandra Allen, who just happened to be the tallest woman in the world.

"I wish that every woman whose actions and worth are parsed and restricted, congratulated and condemned in this country might just once get to wheel around—on the committee that doesn’t believe their medically corroborated story of assault, or on the protesters who tell them that termination is a sin they will regret, or on the boss who tells them he doesn’t believe in their sexual choices, or on the mid-fifties man who congratulates them, or himself, on finding them appealing deep into their dotage—and go black in the eyes and say, 'I don’t fucking care if you like it.'" Deeply, deeply satisfying piece from Rebecca Traister at TNR. (Via Betsy Phillips.)

"Gleaners meet, then carpool to a designated farm, and over a few hours, harvest the seasonal crop — strawberries and peas in spring, corn in August, and root vegetables in winter. After enough boxes of produce are harvested to fill a van, the day’s pickings are driven directly to local food pantries and shelters." Perhaps for some reason you need to fortify your faith in humanity this week? This might help. Kathy Shiels Tully writes for the Boston Globe about a revival of gleaning.

"As it turned out, Brill, his wife, and I were early, so I had a chance to ask how a middle-aged research associate at a giant pharmaceutical company with a degree in history became the Rube Goldberg of rice." Sheer delight: Nicola Twilley (from Edible Geography) at The New Yorker. (Via Paige Morgan.)

It has been a rough week out there. Here is your reward: Caity Weaver at Gawker with "My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers."

"When I was growing up, my father kept a pronunciation dictionary of the English language by his seat at the table. Finally, this gorgeous essay by Mattie Wechsler on language, the autism spectrum, and her father. (Grateful hat tip to Els Kushner.)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Links for the week ending 6 July 2014

"It doesn’t matter what women choose to do with the opportunities provided by birth control—what matters is that women are allowed to make these choices for ourselves." Best pop star ever Cyndi Lauper at The Daily Beast. (Via Anna Limontas-Salisbury.)

"I have come to the point that, whenever I read the word dignity in a majority opinion, I start to flop sweat." Dahlia Lithwick signing off after the Supreme Court equivalent of "Oscar week." But before she goes, catch up on her take on the Hobby Lobby decision's, er, highlights: "For one thing we are—going forward—no longer allowed to argue the science." Fabulous. At Slate. (Via Jody T.)

"She added, “I would like to see the Supreme Court get its fanny out here and talk to these people.”" Jess Bigood and dude John Schwartz reporting for the NYT on the scene at a Boston abortion clinic after the Supreme Court struck down buffer laws.

"'But thinking one’s religious beliefs are substantially burdened … does not make it so.' She added, 'Not every sincerely felt "burden" is a "substantial" one, and it is for courts, not litigants, to identify which are.'" Irin Carmon at MSNBC covering the "open revolt" on the court evinced by a dissent issued by Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg. You yourself may have some revolt to express. Katherine Fritz at Ladypockets has some crafting solutions for you. (Hat tip to Sheila Avelin.)

"Roberts explicitly rejects the idea that there are simple analogies between the search of physical objects (tangible things) and the data to which a phone is a portal." Amy Davidson at The New Yorker on the not-bad-news decision the Supreme Court made unanimously on the need for a warrant before searching a cellphone.

"The FBI conducts a “substantial” number of warrantless queries for Americans’ e-mails and phone calls in a special database of intercepted communications, but it does not track exactly how often, an intelligence official said in a letter released Monday." Ellen Nakashima at The Washington Post.

Can't keep up with what NSA program you should be outraged about today? Julia Angwin and dudes Jeff Larson and Albert Cairo have for you special this handy chart. At ProPublica.

"Operational security and data journalism are just plain hard. But they are the realities of accountability journalism today. Not just the accountability that journalists bring to those in power, but the responsibility journalists have to their subjects, their readers, and especially their sources." Quinn Norton at Columbia Journalism Review describing the process by which a Syrian hacker got documents revealing Russian support of the Assad regime to ProPublica.

Keep up to date on Iraq by checking in with Loveday Morris at The Washington Post.

"Meera completed a BA from Jhansi in 2006; Kavita (32) has had no formal education. Both of them have children. When Meera’s daughter calls her, she gently chides her. 'You know I am working on the field, I will be late.'" At The Hindu Business Line, Priyanka Kotamraju profiles two intrepid reporters for a local weekly tabloid in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. (Via Sonia Faleiro.)

"But perhaps more subtly too, 'Spent' sells another idea being brought home by fast food and other low-wage worker protests around the country: Working class and low income Americans just are not earning enough money." At Colorlines last month, Carla Murphy reviews a YouTube documentary on poverty and the financial services industry.

"'But I don’t know why anyone has the right to use the power of the state to force their religious views on other people. If your god doesn’t want you to end your life early when you have a terminal disease, then… don’t! This law wouldn’t require anyone to do anything. But don’t tell someone else who has different religious beliefs that they can’t live their lives according to their own beliefs.'" Very long piece by Emily Guendelsberger on Pennsylvania's attempt to prosecute on homicide charges a woman who handed her 93-year-old father (then in hospice care) the bottle of morphine that hastened his death. At Philadelphia City Paper.

"It is now a crime to use drugs if you are pregnant in Tennessee." Katie Zezima at The Washington Post.

"'I felt like this was my opportunity to basically improve life for all of us, and the one key part of it is now not available, so what do I do now?' Ms. Taylor said. 'That was my only thought: "What do I do now? What do I do now?" That was kind of what started the whole chain of events that day.'" If you didn't read the NYT piece about Shanesha Taylor from two weeks ago, it is heartbreaking. By Shaila Dewan. (Via @prisonculture.)

"This week the university billing itself as the “New American University” is back in the news with a more personal story about class (and race and gender). ASU campus police arrested professor Ersula Ore for jaywalking on a campus street." From last week, Tressie McMillan Cottom at her blog.

"Weaving scholarly analysis with interviews of leading black environmentalists and ordinary Americans, Finney traces the environmental legacy of slavery and Jim Crow segregation, which mapped the wilderness as a terrain of extreme terror and struggle for generations of blacks—as well as a place of refuge." Francie Latour at The Boston Globe interviews geographer Carolyn Finney about the hidden history of African-American engagement with environmental stewardship. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"If Alice is happier when she is oblivious to Bob’s pain because Facebook chooses to keep that from her, are we willing to sacrifice Bob’s need for support and validation? This is a hard ethical choice at the crux of any decision of what content to show. And the reality is that Facebook is making these choices every day without oversight, transparency, or informed consent." danah boyd at Medium with incisive commentary on the FB research study uproar.

"If Facebook is a country, then it is a corporate dictatorship. This is not a metaphor. I believe that it is beyond time that we began to hold social networking not just to the laws of the market, but to the common laws of the societies we live in and the societies we want to see." Laurie Penny at the New Statesman.

"States can make minor modifications in the Pearson contract. For instance, the contract anticipates a shift to grading student essays by computer algorithm, assuming the technology pans out, but lets states pay more to have them scored by a human reader." Count me as overwhelmed by enthusiasm to think of my kids spending the school year prepping for an essay test that will be graded by computer algorithm! By Stephanie Simon and Caitlin Emma for Politico. (Via Audrey Watters.)

"While technology has often been hailed as the great equalizer of educational opportunity, a growing body of evidence indicates that in many cases, tech is actually having the opposite effect: It is increasing the gap between rich and poor, between whites and minorities, and between the school-ready and the less-prepared." You don't say. Annie Murphy Paul at Slate.

"Hospitals across the country are struggling to deal with a shortage of one of their essential medical supplies. Manufacturers are rationing saline — a product used all over the hospital to clean wounds, mix medications and treat dehydration." Yay, free-market health care! By April Dembosky for KQED.

"s if the threat of Lyme disease weren’t enough, a new study finds that a deer tick carrying the potentially debilitating illness has a good chance of toting some other malady, too — and that may be especially true if the tick hails from the suburbs." Yay! Now enjoy summer! By Claire Hughes at boston.com.

"It is one of the highest-profile retractions of the last decade, and several stem-cell researchers said they are now convinced that the stunningly simple method for producing stem cells, reported in two papers in January, won’t work." Carolyn Y. Johnson at the Boston Globe, following up on her excellent coverage of the stem-cell-discover-that-wasn't.

"Overall at the top US research institutions, male professors employed 11 percent fewer female graduate students and 22 percent fewer female postdoctoral researchers than do women professors." Also by Carolyn Y, Johnson at the Globe. Sigh.

"I wasn't hired to talk to the men." An illustrated interview with a woman in tech by Ariel Schrag, at Medium. (Via Susie Cagle.)

"It’s hard to believe this is what actually happened, but Patience Wright pulls from her skirts a bust of William Pitt from his head down to his navel, so it looks like they’re in an act of congress. And Jane Franklin thinks this is like the coolest thing she’s ever heard of." I just finished reading Jill Lepore's fantastic biography of Benjamin Franklin's sister Jane, so, in honor of Independence Day and all, here is a wonderful interview with Lepore by Joy Horowitz at the LARB from last November.

"Tampons were packed with their strings connecting them, like a strip of sausages, so they wouldn’t float away. Engineers asked Ride, 'Is 100 the right number?' She would be in space for a week. 'That would not be the right number,' she told them." At The American Prospect, Ann Friedman on a new biography of Sally Ride. (Hat tip to Jill Heather.)

"People of all genders deal with unwanted attention, but women are especially likely to be regarded as resources rather than people. It is unfair, according to many a manbaby I have spoken to, that I’m selfishly hogging my goodies. Such a shame that only I get to be in my body." Julie Decker at The Toast.

"Several years later, after my banking days were long over, my dad called me, laughing, and told me the news that a pair of robbers had walked down the line of cars waiting at the drive up window at my favorite bank, and had methodically robbed them all." Lovely essay about paranoia, risk assessment, and bank robbery by Kathleen Cooper at Medium. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

"Here was a game not unlike Clue—the object being to solve, from a rogue’s gallery of Cabot Cove’s finest, whodunnit—with an added twist: one of the players WAS the murderer. If you drew the murderer card, you visited people around the Cove spaces on the board and replaced their alive character tile with a dead one, thereby secretly MURDERING." For a certain child of my acquaintance, this great piece from Kate Racculia on her girlhood devotion to the doyenne of the murder capital of the world, Cabot Cove, ME.

Continuing on the theme of "things a certain child (and I) would love to own," Maria Popova at Brainpickings with some sublime illustrations from the Tove Jansson edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

"We both love Philly, and also live with a constant, yawning void of homesickness and alienation. We both tend to fill that void with junk food." Really great essay from May on dislocation, nostalgia, and junk food, by Virginia C. McGuire at Medium.

"The use of a SWAT team to execute a search warrant essentially amounts to the use of paramilitary tactics to conduct domestic criminal investigations in searches of people’s homes." Finally, I am taking next week off, so keep yourself busy next weekend reading this pdf on the militarization of law enforcement from the ACLU by a team of authors, including Kara Dansky, Sarah Solon, Allie Bohm, Emma Andersson, Jesselyn McCurdy, and dude Will Bunting. (Via Meghna Chakrabarti.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

No links for the week ending 29 June 2014

No post this week. I'll be back next week with links. As always, thanks for reading, whatever it is you read!