Sunday, April 15, 2012

Links for the week ending 15 April 2012

This was the most powerful thing I read this week: Roxanne Gay in The Rumpus on her love of The Hunger Games, and why "Just because you survive something doesn't mean that you're strong." Or maybe it does.

In the tweet that brought this article to my attention, Azmat Khan described these women in one word: survivors. Zara Jamal interviews six Pakistani women for The Atlantic.

An American teenager is killed by a drone in Yemen. No judge or jury sentenced him to death. Was his only crime being his father's son? And are these the legal precedents we are prepared to live with? By Michelle Shephard for the Toronto Star.

Ailsa Chang for wnyc writes about how the NYPD's illegal searches of men in minority neighborhoods has led to a huge increase in the number of dubious prosecutions for marijuana-related offenses.

From Ann Finkbeiner at The Last Word on Nothing, the adolescence of robins, and also of granddaughters. "How do their hearts stand it?" It's the question we're asking no matter what the topic, isn't it?

At SciAm, Melanie Lenart takes a trip to Argentina, where the switch from ranching to farming is causing water tables to rise and soaking soils in salt. Ecological systems are hella complex, yo.

Also in SciAm, more ecological complexity. In the Florida Keys, Michelle Bialek explores alien mosquito species, disease, control measures, genetic engineering, and public alarm.

At The Horn Book, Hilary Rappaport questions the persistence of gendered reading lists. I can't help but wonder if we plant the seeds of gendered byline inequities when we first inform boys that some books are nothing they need concern themselves with.

Speaking of one of the authors that Rappaport's boys loved (as does my son), Frances Hodgson Burnett really had a secret garden, for a time, on an estate she couldn't afford to keep. Vanessa Blakeslee at the Paris Review looks at Burnett's garden in the context of her career.

Sady Doyle just kills it this week at In These Times on Barbie the presidential candidate (available at toy stores now for $13.99).
As for Barbie herself, her history would stand up to the strictest conservative standards. She’s never needed an abortion. Or used contraception. Or had illicit sex, or premarital sex, or sex. Barbie, it turns out, has the single most valuable quality a woman in politics can have: A complete lack of genitalia. Also, a literal inability to speak or think for herself.

This was the weirdest thing I read all week: an account of the astrologer employed as a propagandist by the British government during World War II. By Emma Garman at The Awl.

Fabulous interview with danah boyd at about how she engages with the news, but also how Kids These Days do and don't engage with it. "When I hear news agencies talk about wanting to get young people, they don’t want to figure out how to actually inform them — they want to hear how to monetize them."

The former head of the FDIC suggests that every American household receive a $10 million loan from the federal government, so we can all invest in, you know, Portuguese debt and quit our day jobs. It's not often that sober financial bigwigs reach for this level of furious sarcasm. By Sheila Bair for the Washington Post.

Autumn Whitefield-Madrano in The New Inquiry reflects on race and the word "exotic," first in general terms, and then in personal ones.

You all probably saw this already, but seriously, who knew that Ashley Judd could unleash the righteous patriarchy-blaming like this? Awesome.

To help ease your grief about the short, brief life of the glory of the internet that was Texts from Hilary, Rachael Combe's profile of Hilary Clinton in Elle.

Fascinating Francine du Plessix Gray at the NYRB about stuttering and its sufferers (who are disproportionately male and disproportionately left-handed), including the author herself.

Last but never least, an incredible interview with Toni Morrison in the Guardian.