Sunday, December 9, 2012

Links for the week ending 9 December 2012

This week in The Doom Hanging Over Our Heads: Elizabeth Kolbert at The New Yorker observes, "the possibility of a carbon tax has come to seem more likely than ever, that is, not very likely, but also not entirely out of the question." At Mother Jones, editors-in-chief Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery pull no punches in making the case that the time to do something is now.

In the aftermath of Doom, do you plan to use your cellphone? Cora Currier at ProPublica explains how the big cell phone carriers have strongly lobbied for "voluntary best practices" rather than preparedness requirements — like 24-hours of emergency backup power for cell towers.

Via @jillheather, on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, The Seattle Times published for the first time journalist Elizabeth McIntosh's eye-witness account, which was deemed too graphic by her then-employer, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

At Time, Rania Abouzeid profiles a sniper for the Syrian rebels in the ruins of Aleppo. "'We will not become Somalia after Bashar falls,' he says. 'We will have many Somalias in every province.'"

More reporting from Erin Cunningham in Cairo: "Things are getting weird in Egypt." On the alliance that is bringing pro-democracy revolutionaries and pro-Mubarak counterrevolutionaries together.

"'I do not want to pretend everything is wonderful.'" Tracy Jan at the Boston Globe profiles grumpy, brilliant, trailblazing Barney Frank as he packs up his office in the House of Representatives and prepares for retirement.

Chilling and thoughtful piece by Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic Cities: "Life on the streets and in the tunnels of a densely packed city presents us with dozens, even hundreds of daily choices about how we behave toward our fellow humans."

Joanna Carver at New Scientist reports on a new study that found that urban birds use cigarette butts to line their nests — and decrease their parasite loads. It must have killed editors not to run with "smoking is for the birds" jokes.

At Colorlines, Akiba Solomon interviews Dr. Yaba Blay on her (1)Drop Project with photographer Noelle Theard. Stunning photographs if you click through to the project itself.

Via Andrea Pritzer, a review of a biography of singer Buffy Sainte-Marie by Lindsay Zoladz at the Los Angeles Review of Books. If you watched Sesame Street in the 1970s, you wanna read this.

Another book review, by Esther Freud for The Guardian, of the newly released (and only in the UK, alas!) The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson. Yay, Moomins!

Today in Healthcare Paranoia news, from Maryn McKenna at Wired: "Antiseptics Used to Prevent Health Care Infections Might Cause Them. Oops."

I can't even keep track of all the articles about football and violence anymore, but this one, about how the Notre Dame community hounded a sexual assault victim until she took her own life, says exactly what needs saying about the collusion of fans and the football establishment in creating that culture of violence. By Melinda Hennenberger for the Washington Post.

Wow. From Annalee Newitz, a remarkably matter-of-fact list of "Six Good Habits I Learned from Being Bullied as a Geeky Kid."

"Sometimes the known bad advice of the Inner Foot-Stomping Toddler is just too compelling, alas, to resist." Maria Bustillos at The Awl on not banishing irony in favor of some supposedly more authentic self.

IRONY ALERT: a totally true story about "The Amazing Reformation of Mitt And Ann Romney." By Ana Marie Cox at The Awl.

"[E]veryone I have spoken with has a working, personal theory that explains for them the nature of the psychic in the city." At THE STATE, Karen Gregory takes sociological theories out for a walk on a tour of New York City's psychic readers.

Via @missludmilla, a very smart post by Karen Coyle on her blog considering Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus in the context of gender inequality in available leisure time, asking, "Does this explain, in whole or in part, the masculine view of 'hacking,' the participation in Open Source, the gender nature of games and gaming?"

Helen Lewis at the New Statesman on the gamification of misogynistic abuse in the treatment of Anita Sarkeesian.

Finally, an incredible essay about video games, love, and death via @jillheather, by Jenn Frank at Unwinnable: "Allow Natural Death." I recommend locating the nearest box of tissues first.