Sunday, September 21, 2014

Links for the week ending 21 September 2014

"This was the decision, then, and a large part of me felt relief, not so much for the outcome, but more for the fact that I wasn’t responsible. I could continue being the kind of person who supports the radical movement without having to deal with the consequences. I hated myself a little bit, and I slept again." Lovely personal essay from Morven Crumlish at the Guardian about voting in the Scottish independence referendum.

"Health workers, who have, according to the Ministry of Health, accounted for 8 percent of all Ebola cases and 6 percent of all Ebola-related deaths in Liberia, are scared to come in to the clinics." Just one of many alarming statistics from Sara Jerving's piece at The Nation about the making of Liberia's Ebola disaster. (Via @fpinterrupted.)

"This now truly is a type of epidemic that the world has never seen before. " It won't help you sleep at night, but Maryn McKenna's take on the Ebola epidemic is worth reading nonetheless. At Wired.

"While the combatants scrambled on the battlefield, the chairman of a United Nations investigatory panel on human rights said in Geneva that he 'had run out of words to depict the gravity of the crimes committed inside Syria.'" Anne Barnard and Hwaida Saad for the NYT.

"But on the front lines of Thuluyah, Sunni tribesmen, the police and the Iraqi army fight side-by-side. In recent weeks they have been joined by Shiite militias that are notorious for revenge killings against the Sunni sect." Loveday Morris reporting from Iraq for The Washington Post.

"Some of the men shared idle banter with the police officers, speaking laconically of this year's grape harvest in neighbouring districts. The police officers let them pass; if they had looked more carefully they may have spotted the guns and ammunition hidden under the shipments of grapes." May Jeong reporting from Afghanistan for the Guardian. (Via Margherita Stancati.)

"But in the 10 years since the previous ban lapsed, even gun control advocates acknowledge a larger truth: The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference." Lois Beckett at ProPublica.

"'In local elections in St. Louis County in general, the typical turnout as measured as percentage of registered voters is between 10 and 15 percent,' said Jones. 'Sometimes if there is a hotly contested issue, they might get into the low 20s, but that is the exception, not the rule.'" Emanuele Berry reports for St. Louis Public Radio on grassroots drives to register voters in Ferguson.

"Speaking to Reuters in a group interview, the heads of police of Dallas, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Elk Grove, California, Boston, and Toronto, Canada said that every police shooting since Ferguson has been followed by protests." Fiona Ortiz for Reuters. (Via Alice Speri.)

"Because there has never been a time in history when we’ve successfully eliminated the abuses that take place in these facilities, no matter how many investigations and reports and waves of reform there have been, I don’t believe they can be eliminated." At The Awl, Sarah Mayeux interviews Nell Bernstein on "The Case for Abolishing Juvenile Prisons."

"The story of Alameda’s mandatory pregnancy tests is really the story of how U.S. prisons have grappled with an influx of young women over the past four decades: with supreme incompetence and intermittent malice." From earlier this month, Susie Cagle at RH Reality Check.

"NPR investigated these tools, also known as spyware, and spoke with domestic violence counselors and survivors around the country. We found that cyberstalking is now a standard part of domestic abuse in the U.S." Aarti Shahani at NPR. (Via Sarah Jeong.)

"There’s not much difference to me between the adjunct crisis in higher education and the labor conversations that fast food and other low wage workers are having. It’s just that we like to see ourselves as different. We like to see our destinies as different. But they’re the same thing." Carla Murphy interviews Tressie McMillan Cottom at Colorlines.

"Working minimum wage for eight hours per day would earn a worker $1,386 per month, less than half of the current median average rent in Brooklyn." Olga Khazan at The Atlantic. (Via Amanda Watson.)

"On November 4, North Dakotans will vote on Measure 1, a human life amendment that says, 'The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.'" At Cosmopolitan, Robin Marty on the abortion amendment even North Dakotans haven't heard of. (Via Garance Francke-Ruta.)

"As we all stood on the steps with our hands in the air so a group photo could be taken, passing white affluent students, who’d largely previously treated our group like an obstacle to be avoided, began to take notice. Immediately out came the I-Phones to post Tweets and Vines." At The Toast, Rose Espinoza "On Being Brown and Alive" at the University of Michigan.

"And there is a translation process that happens there, where this set of ideas of was mostly being used by teachers of color with children of color. Now a multi-racial group of teachers is using these strategies. When someone from your community says to you, 'Look, there are no excuses,' that is very different from when someone from outside your community is telling you 'no excuses.' Although these are very old ideas, what they mean in practice today is has changed." Miriam Zoila Pérez interviews Dana Goldstein at Colorlines.

"The myth of the monochrome Middle Ages, in which the medieval is originary, pure, and white, transcends geographical and temporal boundaries. It is attached, through supposed biological descent, to white bodies, wherever and whenever they go, even into the apparently non-corporeal digital realms of fan-forums, television and video-games." From last month, Helen Young at the medieval studies blog In The Middle. (Via Rachel Hartman.)

"Basement Floor C resembled a boiler room, yet I felt that I had entered a commune of unicorns." So many great lines in this excellent profile of ballerina Misty Copeland, by Rivka Galchen at The New Yorker.

"Expertly employing the tips on how to take control of an interview, he looked this reporter straight in the eye and, with the utmost politeness, expertly skirted all the hard questions about specific parts of the program. Then he shook hands firmly, said thank you and loped out of the room, ready for the big leagues." Sarah Lyall on the NBA's training program for rookies. At some odd corner of the NYT.

"If you send your children to school this week with cheese and crackers for lunch, you may not be providing the healthiest or most well-rounded of meals, but you will be continuing a longtime classic of basic sustenance for travelers." From last week, a short history of cheese and crackers, by Abigail Carroll for The Boston Globe.

"What we found is that the people who were taking acetaminophen reported less hurt feelings than people who were taking placebo, and they showed less pain related activity to social exclusion, just as a function of taking acetaminophen. We see this crossover effect in some ways, that this agent, which known to reduce physical pain, also seems to affect social pain." Naomi Eisenberger at Edge. (Via Nilanjana Roy.)

"Even a relatively light-on-ideas speculative novel for young people (Divergent, say) is about a thousand miles ahead of half the 'adult' stuff on the bestseller lists—get-saved or get-rich Life Full of Purpose snake oil, dumb, pompous narcolepsy-inducing would-be Literary Fiction, warmed-over Dean Koontz etc., etc., etc. I mean this not just in terms of entertainment—although, that too—but in terms of providing useful, interesting moral and philosophical questions for the reader to think about, and test against his own ideas." Maria Bustillos at The Awl.

"'O, I see my mistake, you cannot know our customs, as you were never here before. We shut our men indoors.'" 1905 pioneering misandrist SF by Rokheya Shekhawat Hossein, digitized at UPENN. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)

"On my way down Franklin Street, I pass the bar where X. and I were hanging out the evening before he raped me. It’s still there, on the same street as the place where I’m going to report being raped." Brave piece at The Toast by Katie Rose Guest Pryal.

"Sexual assault is a pernicious and formidable barrier to women in science, partly because we have consistently gifted to it our silence. I have given it 18 years of my silence and I will not give it one day more." Also brave: Hope Jahren at the NYT. (Hat tip to Jenevieve.)

" Dear god, Dirtbag Teddy Roosevelt. Mallory Ortberg strikes again at The Toast.

"As Twitter expanded and my own little slice of it grew as well, I called it my front porch and defended its quirks and downsides. But now the magic has turned, in ways that have felt irrevocable." Thoughtful piece by Erin Kissane at her website, and one that will resonate for all of you who participated this week in a short Twitter requiem for an even earlier social media era. (Oh, days of blogger yore!)

"That is the helpful thing with codes; they make their users citizens of two countries, one public, the other a private place where the code is spoken and understood by an exclusive bonded few." Finally, petition to make the event of a new published piece by Carrie Frye a national holiday. Who's with me? At Gawker. (Via Nicole Cliffe at The Toast.)