Sunday, August 26, 2012

Links for the week ending 26 August 2012

It was Every Sperm Is Sacred Week here on the internets, as in the world at large, I suppose. Perhaps you'd like to read 40 gazillion articles about Todd Akin and Republican misogyny? Yeah. Me, either. So here is only the merest selection of the Outrage of the Internets from the week:

At SciAm, Kate Clancy brings it: "Here is Some Legitimate Science on Pregnancy and Rape."

At xojane, fierce and eye-opening "Open Letter to Rep. Akin From a Woman Who Got Pregnant From Rape," by lawyer Shauna Prewitt.

Rev. Martha Spong reminds anyone who needs reminding that no variety of rape comes with a "Magic Diaphragm of Holy Conception Preventing Power."

The second-best thing to ever appear on the internets on the subject of Todd Akin and his ilk: Mallory Ortberg at The Awl with "Other Things Missouri Representative Todd Akin Believes To Be True About The Uterus, Besides Its Ability To 'Shut Down' A Legitimate Rape."

And, finally, the best thing to ever appear on the internets on the subject of Todd Akin and his ilk: on YouTube, "Legitimate Rape," by the Renegade Raging Grannies. Via Jenni Diski, and I could not be more grateful.

Lest we forget that some people who belong to the Todd Akin School of Thinking About Women's Bodies are in other branches of government, too: Jordan Smith at The Austin Chronicle on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals deciding this week that Texas can block Planned Parenthood from providing care to the state's uninsured women under the Women's Health Program. Justice is only as good as the courts that deliver it, yo.

Laurie Penny at The Independent on Assange, Wikileaks, and rape apologists. "It is not only possible to defend both women's rights and freedom of speech. It is morally inconsistent to defend one without the other." Also from Laurie Penny, a guest post at The New Inquiry on how the news has made it "Trigger Warning Week" for her and for countless other rape survivors.

Fariba Nawa writes at Forbes about the death of her friend Roya Hamid, in childbirth.

Amy Davidson spent most of the week at The New Yorker writing about either Akin or gun violence in the U.S., but this quiet piece, on the lynching of an Arab teenager by Jewish teens in broad daylight in a crowded public square in West Jerusalem, is the most chilling.

At the NYT's Latitude blog, Dayo Olopade writes about the legacy of Ethiopia's autocratic prime minister, Meles Zenawi, who died this week.

Ailsa Chang at WNYC has a two-part piece of kick-ass journalism about the dysfunctional cycle of of hostility and distrust between the Bronx DA's office and the community it's supposed to be serving.

At The Daily Beast, Olesia Plokhii on witnessing the murder of Chut Wutty, a Cambodian ecological activist trying to save the largest lowland evergreen forest in southeast Asia. Via Lois Beckett.

Moe Tkacik isn't one to mince words. "Why Thomas Jefferson's University Is Killing Off Climate Science."

Christie Wilcox at SciAm is also not bothering to mince words: "Record-breaking incidences of West Nile are strongly linked to global climate patterns and the direct effects of carbon dioxide emissions."

At NPR, transcript of Monica Brady-Myerov's look at my home city's "Plans For 'Near-Term Risk' Of Rising Tides."

Those Republicans! So touchy about science. At Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard on "Republicans Attempt to Ax Program Monitoring Carcinogens." This is the most recent edition of the biannual report to which she refers, if you'd like to get it while you can.

Much as I love Mother Jones' long-form reporting (which I'll get to in a minute), it is one of a list of online media orgs whose quick-hit science coverage often relies on button-pushing alarmism rather than fact-checking. This week at The Last Word on Nothing, Cassandra Willyard takes on the alarmist repackaging and uncritical journalism that gave us goofus headlines about eggs being more deadly than cigarettes. Fabulously done, with a shout-out to the one young reporter who actually did her research before writing up the story.

More breaking news from the Department of Correlation Is Not Causation: "Why Cell Phone Bans Don't Work," by Carol Cruzan Morton at Science.

Because I am always here for you in re: hope for our future, here is the most absolutely depressing article of the week, by Maryn McKenna at Wired, about the "NIH Superbug" story: "There was nothing unusual about this outbreak, other than the resources that the NIH infection preventionists were able to marshal to attack it by means of their unique funding." Need a second opinion? Here's one from Dr. Judy Stone at SciAm: "I am called to treat highly resistant bacteria like this regularly." Yeah. Have a nice day.

Planning to get any new tattoos? Er. Maybe wait awhile? "Infected tattoos linked to distilled water in ink," by Maggie Fox at NBC News.

Maia Szalavitz at Time on recent studies confirming the wisdom behind "Fake it 'til you make it."

Here it is, a year and a half in the making: long-form reporting at Mother Jones by Kristina Rizga from inside what test scores describe as one of the nation's worst-performing public high schools: "Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong."

At Al Jazeera English, anthropologist Sarah Kendzior on "the end of higher education as a means to prosperity."

Via Sarah McCarry, "How to Succeed in Journalism when You Can't Afford an Internship," by Alexandra Kimball.

Kate Fagan at espnW on "the cannibalization of female athletes," and the NYT's hatchet job on American sprinter Lolo Jones.

For Sheila and anyone else with an obsession with the stuff: "Being a Cheesemonger Is Better and Worse Than You Think It Is." Excerpts at The Billfold from Martha Grover's new book, One More For the People.

From Kate at Eat the Damn Cake, "being friends with other people's moms." I felt this way at that stage of life, and now I'm vowing to be one of those moms.

"There was a bigger me and a smaller me, and a bigger voice and a smaller voice." Tavi Gevinson briefly interviews Quvenzhané Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Finally, a tie for the Winning the Internets category this week. First, Ann Friedman's Pussy Riot Pie (chart). Second, Michelle Dean absolutely nails ALL THE THINGS with "Critics Who Explain Things." Both at The Awl.