Sunday, September 2, 2012

Links for the week ending 2 September 2012

Women wrote a veritable tsunami of interesting things this week. I had more than twice the number of articles tagged for consideration than usual — and this for a holiday weekend, when I expect half the number of usual readers. (Isn't that ironic? Don't you think?) Given the flood of links I have for you, lots of good things must needs go unacknowledged. When in doubt, I cut the usual suspects that I link to most weeks, and the RNC coverage. You all read that stuff already, right?

At Businessweek, Sheelah Kolhatkar attends a fundraising breakfast with Karl Rove and the Republican party's biggest donors. These are the jokes, folks. God help us all.

Ha, ha, climate change is also hilarious. Just check out this laugh-a-minute article by Julia Whitty at Mother Jones on the record-breaking melting of Arctic ice this summer. (I might have linked to the more substantial article by Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post on the same topic, except I have a new policy: no linking to work that quotes climate-deniers without addressing their truthiness as sources.)

In related news! At The Last Word on Nothing, Anne Casselman writes about recent research that suggests "there may be a fail safe built into our human nature to help alleviate the tragedy of the commons. It's called peer judgement."

Did you or someone you love lose large sections of childhood to an obsession with Marguerite Henry's books? You might want to take that literary nostalgia trip to Chinctoteague National Wildlife Refuge soon. Because climate change is hilarious. Of course. By Jennifer Weeks for the Daily Climate.

In case any of you were still wondering, "Are campaign appearance crowds a good indicator of how people really feel about candidates?" Sabrina Eaton at the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that coal miners in Beallsville, Ohio, were told that "attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend." Uh-huh.

At least they didn't charge the Ohio miners with murder? Lydia Polgreen at the NYT (count your articles or clear your cookies!) on charges of murder leveled against 270 striking miners at a platinum mine near Johannesburg after 34 of their fellow miners were shot and killed by police.

Michelle Shephard at the Toronto Star has yet another amazing piece, this one tracing the harvest and rush delivery of the mild stimulant khat from Kenya to the East African diaspora community in Canada. "'The shock absorbers are out,' Mrefu explains, saying he often reaches a speed of 170 kilometres an hour."

Frontline is back for the fall season, and here is Azmat Khan with an explainer about the biggest problems in the nation of Yemen (which include a dire water shortage related to the production of khat). Also, from journalist Iona Craig in Yemen, the suffering and celebrity of a boy who lost both eyes to gunshot wounds when gunmen fired on protesters in Yemen's capital in March of 2011.

At Reuters, Alissa de Carbonnel writes about the growing Islamic revolt in Russia's Caucasus region. "In a survey, as many as 13 percent of Dagestanis under 30 said 'yes' or 'maybe' they could see themselves ending up as rebel fighters, sociologist Zaid Abdulagatov said."

Laurie Penny at The Independent on the rise of political xenophobia and anti-immigrant violence in Greece.

At the AP, Helen O'Neill reports on a few of the families shattered by the record number of deportations — nearly 45,000 parents in the first six months of 2012. Heartbreaking.

At Colorlines, Mónica Novoa reflects on a recent study on the impact of immigration policy on children, and her own personal experience with "illegal" and "wetback" when she was in elementary school.

Wow. Sarah Stillman at The New Yorker on the deaths of young people pressured into becoming police informants after being caught with small amounts of drugs. "'Now I lost my baby for an ounce of weed,' Nelson said at her kitchen counter. 'It's like they just threw her away.'"

Climate change is still funny, right? Dr. Judy Stone at SciAm on the increasing incidence of "Neglected Tropical Diseases" like dengue and Chagas disease in the Gulf states.

Oh, fun! "New tick-borne virus puts the bite on Missouri farmers." By JoNel Aleccia for NBC News.

Mites. On my face. Fabulous. From Linda Carroll at NBC News, the new study showing that rosacea may be caused by poop explosions following the deaths of the aforementioned mites. Now please hand me a Pussy Riot-style balaclava. Thanks.

But! There is good news! "Calorie Restriction Fails to Lengthen Lifespan in Primates," says Amy Maxmen in a Nature article reprinted at SciAm. So if I can only figure out how to keep from smearing chocolate all over this balaclava, I should be fine.

Sarah Lohman at Four Pounds Flour looked at the history of both chocolate and vanilla ice cream this week.

At The Walrus, Sasha Chapman writes, "Tell me what you think of Kraft Dinner, and I will tell you who you are."

At Slate, Tracie McMillan exhorts, "Cooking isn't fun, but you should do it anyway." (But, oh, boy, the article is brought to you by… the makers of breakfast cereal.)

Take time out from your busy schedule of cooking organic food from scratch to vaccinate your kids. Megan Boldt at on the surprising demographics of who refuses vaccines in Minnesota.

Some really lovely writing from Jia Tolentino at The Billfold: "Venice on Silence And Three Euro a Day."

Paging Jill Heather: the new Amy Jean Porter at The Awl riffs on Murakami's Cat Town.

Nearly half the students in Government 1310: Introduction to Congress are under investigation by Harvard for cheating on a final take-home exam. Just learning to assume their roles at the helm of the ship of state! By Mary Carmichael at the Boston Globe.

Best explainer ever? Annalee Newitz at on "How to Write About Hermaphrodite Sex."

It was Women Reading Comics in Public Day last Tuesday. Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote about being ashamed of reading comics as a girl, and how "Shame perpetuates shame."

The weirdest thing you will read all week: Sabrina Rubin Erdely at Rolling Stone profiling "The Gangster Princess of Beverly Hills."

The sweetest thing you will read all week: Jessalyn Shields at The Hairpin with "How to Live Practically Forever."

And, finally, Roxanne Gay at The Rumpus on trigger warnings: "The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion."