Sunday, November 11, 2012

Links for the week ending 11 November 2012

It was a heartening week for re-immersing myself back in the news. To start, here's a compilation of some of the best writing I read about the U.S. elections on Tuesday.

From Amy Davidson at The New Yorker: "If the quarrels and deliberations associated with politics are, as Obama said in his speech, 'a mark of our liberty,' then his daughters were a mark of the passage of time."

Irin Carmon writes at Salon on the election outcomes of the war on women: "I once heard Ruth Bader Ginsburg quote her husband — a feminist ally before there were very many — saying that 'the symbol of the United States really isn't the bald eagle. It's the pendulum.'"

E.J. Graff at The American Prospect on the victories for same-sex marriage at the ballot box: "Americans have moved farther and faster on marriage equality than I had dared to dream."

At The Atlantic, Rebecca Rosen writes about the get-out-the-vote sociological experiment that you were part of if you logged into Facebook on Election Day.

"'We went into the evening confident we had a good path to victory,' said one senior adviser. 'I don't think there was one person who saw this coming.'" From Jan Crawford at CBS News, a report that will make you even more thankful that this team is not going to be in charge of managing the U.S.

This made me a little weepy and should be the very definition of how one goes on to live a dignified life in the wake of such a public failure. At The New York Times (but it's a blog post, so it shouldn't count against your 10-article tally), Katharine Q. Seelye shadows 79-year-old Michael Dukakis and his wife, 75-year-old Kitty Dukakis, as they go door-to-door for Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.

Finally, two reports from the voting booths on election night. At The New Yorker, Louise Erdrich writes a dispatch from Minnesota. "'Valiant attempt,' she says as he walks away. It is more a sneer than a compliment." And this heartbreaker from Laurie Penny at Vice: "Feeding Hurricane Victims Democracy Hot-Dogs on Election Night."

From the indefatigable Rebecca Solnit, here reprinted at Guernica Magazine, "Disaster has now become our national policy: we invite it in and it directs us, for better and worse."

Elizabeth Kiem at The Morning News: "Our final class, a discussion of Colson Whitehead in a Dumbo bookstore just yards from the East River was canceled. Whitehead's Zone One had become Zone A, and our far-ranging musings joined the mandatory evacuation."

From Scicurious at SciAm, a look at a new study that concludes: "not all stresses are created equal, even the traumatic ones. And it turns out that it's not the stress itself that is important… it's whether or not you have any control over it."

My kids agree that this is the coolest story of the week's news cycle (though even my kids are savvy enough to question why the girls are labeled "African," as if they had no nationality): Leslie Katz at CNET covers "Pee power! African teens create urine-fueled generator." (Thanks to Rachel Hartman for finding coverage of this story by a woman!) For a broader look at the Maker Faire in Lagos, Nigeria, Yinka Ibukun covers it for the Guardian.

Amazing work at Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker, who interviews James D. Watson about the newly released extended edition of his classic book, The Double Helix, showcasing (among other things) primary documents relating to the treatment of scientist Rosalind Franklin.

"If this trend continues, the universe will get only 5 percent more stars, even if we wait forever." Rebecca Boyle at Popular Science informs us that we are — cosmologically speaking — already in the End Times.

This is the "Leave 'Em Hanging" portion of the List this week. At The Hairpin, the first in a forthcoming series of posts about the pseudonymous author's personal experience with Scientology. At The New York Review of Books, the first article in Janet Malcolm's three-part series about the murder of Michelle Malakova's father, and the prosecution of the child's mother, Mazoltuv Borukhova, for that crime.

Yesterday was a "global day of action" for wounded Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. At the Guardian, Irna Qureshi writes about her British-born cousins who were denied the right to an education for being female.

Sady Doyle continues to hit it out of the park at Rookie: "I Am Whatever I Say I Am: A persona is a handy thing to have."

Thoughtful reflection by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano at The New Inquiry: "On Being a Fat Child."

Via Maria Bustillos, who reminds us that some old white guys know how to be the good guys: "Harvard Library To Contribute 'Crown Jewels' to Digital Public Library of America." By Radhika Jain for The Harvard Crimson.

A moving personal essay on new parenthood in the surveillance age at The Rumpus by Megan Stielstra: "Channel B."

And finally, this, which I saved from a couple of weeks back because it was too awesome to go unrecorded even during a vacation from the news: by Arika Okrent at Mental Floss, "From Y'all To Youse, 8 English Way to Make 'You" Plural."