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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Links for the week ending 3 June 2012

I considered offering up just one article for the list this week. This was it: Elif Batuman's account in the London Review of Books of visiting the Museum of Innocence, an actual museum built in Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk to accompany his novel, also titled The Museum of Innocence. Such a delight!

To be honest, I also considered making that the only link this week because I nodded along a little too vigorously with this observation by Trish Hall, op-ed editor at the NYT: "'The hardest thing to find in this deluge of opinions is something that you haven't actually read before. There's not that much original thinking going on.'" Et tu, internets? (From an article for Columbia Journalism Review by Erika Fry on the gender disparity in bylines on the editorial pages. I strongly suspect that the question actually asked here is, "How do we convince straight white males that their uninformed opinions on whatever subject is at hand do not merit public broadcast, thereby freeing up space for people who actually know something about a topic to make their voices heard?")

In related news, "men had 81 percent of the quotes about abortion" in major news publications. Of course they did. By Abigail Pesta for the Daily Beast.

By Zadie Smith in the NYRB, an elegy for libraries and, by extension, all the other ways that the state once created and maintained public space for the public good, spaces now being sold off for private profit.

By Ailsa Chang for WNYC, an article profiling (ha!) lots of adorable New York City 14-year-olds and their extensive histories with the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program. Hey, Mayor Bloomberg? You know what else contributes to poor health outcomes besides massive amounts of sweetened sodas? Constant societal stress and harassment. Just saying…

In the Los Angeles Times, Barbara Demick visits the Chinese village of Dongshigu, still effectively a prison for its inhabitants six weeks after the escape of blind activist Chen Guancheng, who had been held there under house arrest since September, 2010.

In the aftermath of this week's revelations about the president's "kill list," the New Yorker's Amy Davidson distills the most troubling questions they raise into a single short but essential piece.

What could go wrong? Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal launches a plan to privatize the state's public schools, one voucher at a time.
The school willing to accept the most voucher students -- 314 -- is New Living Word in Ruston, which has a top-ranked basketball team but no library. Students spend most of the day watching TVs in bare-bones classrooms. Each lesson consists of an instructional DVD that intersperses Biblical verses with subjects such chemistry or composition.
By Stephanie Simon for Reuters.

"'Look at this, he said, 'it's a ball bearing.'" On smart farm boys, the perfect marriage of form and function, and the atom bomb. By the inimitable Ann Finkbeiner at The Last Word on Nothing.

The most incredible knitting photos grace this Last Word on Nothing post by Virginia Hughes about women in neuroscience. @lucypigpuppet, check out the knitted dissected lab rat!

At The Awl, Michelle Dean invites English speakers to be less stupid about what is really happening in Qu├ębec.

Tell people what you make at work! Irin Carmon gives you good reasons why. At Salon.

When cartoonists interview cartoonists! Mari Naomi's very funny illustrated interview with Alison Bechdel at The Rumpus.

"Maybe I'm done with nostalgia and have finally entered into the age of delete." Jennifer Sharpe, Early Web Aggregator. Interviewed at The Awl.