Sunday, November 24, 2013

Links for the week ending 24 November 2013

"The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests." Every news outlet in the whole freakin' world should have led with this story by Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian this week. I'm just saying.

"Saleh was so troubled by what he saw that he decided to install video cameras in his store. Not to protect himself from criminals, because he says he has never been robbed. He installed the cameras — 15 of them — he said, to protect him and his customers from police." Incredible, outage-causing story by Julie K. Brown at the Miami Herald on the "broken-window" theory of law-enforcement gone very, very wrong.

"For Ms. Barrington-Ward, joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans." From last weekend, Annie Lowrey at the NYT on the dire straits of the long-term unemployed. (Via Lizzie O'Leary.)

"Reed said it was 'ignorant' to question efforts to help people in need or blame Walmart for the economic realities of the labor force nationally. 'You can't find a decent job anywhere,' she said." Nuanced and deeply sad article by Olivera Perkins at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer on the widely reported Thanksgiving food drive one Ohio Walmart is holding for its employees. (Via David Hull.)

"While it’s hard to say exactly what Duquesne should have done for Vojtko in the months before she died, her case highlights the devil’s bargain universities have made by exploiting adjuncts—who, at Duquesne and elsewhere, are finally fighting back." From L.V. Anderson at Slate, a look at the complexities behind the another widely reported labor-outrage case on the death of a recently fired elderly adjunct.

"The rules governing academic and scientific research recognizes that some groups are too vulnerable to risk the failure that the scientific method requires." Super-smart essay by Tressie McMillan Cottom on why education "reformers" should be held to the same Institutional Review Board standards as any other university-based experiment involving other human beings.

"Intersectionality is more like layers of sand than overlapping lines; often, the consequences of inequality don't cross - they coexist and even feed one another. They aren't visibly alien to one another, and it isn't always possible to parse them out." Wonderfully thorough and readable essay by Carmen Rios at Autostraddle on a recent report on the immense diversity of challenges facing LGBT workers of color in America.

"For transgender women, it doesn’t get better, apparently. We experience most of the violence with none of the visibility. We are the dead and we are the forgotten." Powerful piece by Samantha Allen at Jacobin for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

"Qatar has the world’s highest ratio of migrants to citizens, with its 250,000 nationals accounting for only about 12 percent of the population." Mind-boggling statistics in this piece by Abigail Hauslohner for the Washington Post on slave-like labor conditions in one of the world's wealthiest nations.

"The less than one mile her children have to walk to reach school daily has been flooded with sewage for days. Local health officials say that polio has been detected in the untreated sewage, after several outbreaks have been reported nearby this year." This article by Sheera Frenkel at Buzzfeed makes some questionable editorial choices in blaming the sewage floods in Gaza City on the shutdown of Egyptian tunnels (rather than on, say, why fuel-to-power-sewage-plants needs to be smuggled into Gaza in the first place), but it is still worth reading, because otherwise how will you know that Palestinian parents have to decide whether to send their kids to school and exposing them to rivers of polio-infected shit every morning?

"Laura Conteh didn’t know what war sounded like until the night it engulfed her life." It's not often that I say "You have to read this piece at The Telegraph," but this Jean Friedman-Rudovsky article on the lives 15 years later of women who had been forced to join the rebel fighters during Sierra Leone's civil war is exceptional. (Via E.J. Graff.)

"The demonstrators have even been giving the brioches out to the freshly deployed policemen to show that at last Tripoli is getting the upper hand." Forget cronuts. Here is a great little piece from Rana Jawad at the BBC about the role of baryoosh pastries in the movement to expel armed militias from Libya's capital city.

"The fight for bipartisan normalcy has already been lost. The majority leader merely sounded the death knell. There will be lots of loud lamenting at the wake that follows. Don’t be fooled." Emily Bazelon at Slate on the nuclear option and the filibuster in the Senate.

"But Chin is an undisputed leader in the field, and her work has brought new insights to scientists’ understanding of Mesozoic Era, when towering reptiles walked the earth. 'I think it’s fair to say I’ve studied more dinosaur feces than most,' she says modestly." From Elizabeth Strickland at Nautilus, the best article on the study of prehistoric poop that you will read all week.

"The similarities between astrophysics and virtual mass slaughter for recreational purposes begin at the start of both activities." This piece by Elizabeth Tasker at The Toast confuses me, because (back in 19…cough…nevermind) Prof. Robert P. Kirshner did, in fact, demonstrate to the class how galaxies were distributed throughout the universe using a large pepperoni pizza. Maybe the distribution of galaxies throughout the universe is much more like pepperoni pizza than the formation of individual galaxies, which is like playing video games? In any event! My personal confusion notwithstanding, it is a fabulous piece and you should read it.

"It was loud in the way that a flock of geese is loud. One big conversation; nothing individual. What I imagine Twitter would be if all those quips were given voice. And then…out of the crowd of people crushing to connect to the person next to them in some semi-meaningful way, strode this Amazon in a shiny bunny suit." Also fabulous and at The Toast, the second in a series of pieces by Sherlynn Hicks.

"Writers are generally fated to commit the truest parts of themselves to the page, whether they choose to own their work in public or not. That is the ultimate vulnerability, and it is inescapable." Maria Bustillos at The New Yorker on anonymous writing.

I'm making grand and yet ironized claims, announcing a situation and commenting on that situation at the same time. I'm offering an explanation and rolling my eyes—and I'm able to do it with one little word." You've probably read this piece by Megan Garber at The Atlantic already, but you should read it again, because happiness! (Via V.C. Maguire.)

"On Wednesday he ate through three plums but he was still hungry. He had always been hungry. Famine filled his mouth and his throat and his lungs; even his veins felt empty. Death wore him like a hollowed skin." Mallory Ortberg rewrites The Very Hungry Caterpillar and it is terrifying. At The Toast.

"Let me go, and you live, she said to her mother, before the current took her. None of this is metaphor. Ten thousand lives did not shut very beautifully, suddenly, or close like roses." At Vela, a remarkable assemblage of writers' responses to Typhoon Haiyan. Do not miss.