Sunday, August 31, 2014

Links for the week ending 31 August 2014

"Lesley McSpadden waits for the crowds and the cameras to leave before she turns back to her son's casket to kiss it goodbye." Yamiche Alcindor reporting from Michael Brown's funeral. For USA Today.

"Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown. Here’s why he probably won’t go to jail." Amanda Taub at Vox. (Via Ta-Nehisi Coates.)

"But that has it precisely backward. What we’ve actually seen is the latest outbreak of white rage. Sure, it is cloaked in the niceties of law and order, but it is rage nonetheless." Carol Anderson at The Washington Post.

"'Mommy, am I going to be killed when I go to school?' Jade Bugett asked." Jessica Bock at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Women of color bear a relationship to reproduction that is fraught with trauma and state control, a perpetual tightrope that stretches beyond the simple paradigm of 'pro-choice' organizing." Hannah Giorgis at The Frisky. (Via @prisonculture.)

"But these forces operate in tandem—the tear gas and the tickets; the weaponry and the warrants—compromising a wide range of fundamental rights that seem, in Ferguson and beyond, to have gone up in smoke." Sarah Stillman on Ferguson at The New Yorker, and, while I linked to her piece on probation companies earlier this year, there's no harm in reading it again: "'When you inject a profit motive into the criminal-justice system, you’re opening it up to corruption and abuse,' he later told me, adding, 'You are asking the poorest of the poor to fund the court system, and that’s what’s causing all of these abuses, in my opinion.'" (Via Beth Schwartzapfel and Jelani Cobb.)

"For many desperate families searching for missing relatives, Martinez is one of the few law enforcement officials they’ll ever meet who will genuinely listen." In the last of a four-part series by the Texas Observer's Melissa del Bosque and a multimedia team at the Guardian, a moving profile of the Brooks County sheriff at the epicenter of an immigration crisis.

"The truth is this: even today, in America, white privilege works better than most medicine when it comes to staying healthy. Racial health disparities may be a more subtle killer than gun violence or murder, but they're arguably a more violent one. They infect every part of the body and they strike at literally every stage of life, from cradle to grave." Julia Belluz and dude Steven Hoffman at Vox.

"The long history of associating immigrants and disease in America and the problematic impact that has on attitudes toward immigrants should make us sensitive to the impact of “othering” African immigrants to the United States in the midst of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa." Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne at The Washington Post. (Via @bechamilton.)

"The Islamic State, he said, is likely earning some $2 million a day from crude sales, paid in cash or bartered goods as the oil crosses into the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Jordan." Indira A.R. Laskshmanan for Bloomberg. (Via Yeganeh June Torbati.)

"All dozen or so Christians interviewed by National Geographic adamantly shared the demand for a safe zone, akin to the two no-fly zones the West established in 1992 to protect Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslims in the south from the forces of former leader Saddam Hussein." At National Geographic, Rania Abouzeid does a deep dive into the perilous choices left to Iraq's remaining Assyrian Christians.

"As for me, I still believe you can only fight terrorists with what they're seeking to destroy, namely, your soul." Mariane Pearl at The Berkshire Eagle. (Via Lyse Doucet.)

"Mike was 33 years old. He’d been in and out of institutions for half his life, since he first got sick when he was 17. His diagnosis had changed over the years — it was schizophrenia, then bipolar disorder, then schizoaffective disorder — and his medications were in constant flux." The first of Jenna Russell's three-part profile of a man struggling with chronic mental illness. At The Boston Globe.

"Up front, aggressive usually wins, but over time, persistent politeness will change the situation, and often even the aggressive people calm down." There are some misfires here, but also a lot of wisdom in this essay by Quinn Norton at Medium, "How To Be Polite For Geeks."

"It’s that the thing that you want to hear during the hardest points in your life is not always that things will be OK, which they mostly turn out to be. What you need to hear is yes, life is hard and strange for everyone. That your pain is valid. That you are seen. That the messiness of humanity is a feature, not a flaw. That we are all improvising here." Margaret Eby pens a tribute to advice columnists. At Brooklyn Magazine.

" Our standards are pretty low. Can you carry on a conversation? Is your kid maybe not a complete asshole? COME SIT NEXT TO ME, YOU ARE MY BUDDY." Speaking of advice columnists! Heather Havrilesky's Ask Polly column moves to The Cut, continues to be awesome. Here on the subject of making friends in one's post-education adulthood.

"When an organism thought to be extinct is rediscovered—either in living form or in the fossil record after a gap of millions of years—it is known as a Lazarus taxon. In this sense, glass sponge reefs are a kind of Lazarus ecosystem." Sarah DeWeerdt at Nautilus on the mind-blowing phenomenon that is "zombie sponge reefs."

"These images were generated using a cat stencil and entangled photons." Schrödinger's cat, for reals. By Penny Sarchet for New Scientist. (Via @pourmecoffee.)

"The Lost Ladybug Project, a citizen science program that tracks ladybug populations around the country, has noted for years that populations of many lady beetle species have been shrinking or moving around—the result of an unknown number of variables." Cat Ferguson at The Awl last week.

"'The people who read the Mail are middle-aged women, and they look like me. They know what he’s saying. For all the very right-wing, slightly unpleasant populism that the Mail trades in, its readership is actually people who know an unacceptable insult when they see it. They’ve got gray hair. He’s talking about them.'" Rebecca Mead's profile of Mary Beard this week in The New Yorker. (Hat tip to Paige Morgan.)

Finally, if you haven't seen this already, or even if you have: Mallory Ortberg reads "Male Novelist Jokes" out loud, and you get reaction shots of Roxane Gay in the background. Enjoy!