firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I failed to record the sources where I found these, but many are from [personal profile] andrewducker and [livejournal.com profile] moominmuppet

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112661209/young-gorillas-observed-dismantling-poacher-snares

http://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/30-awesome-behind-the-scenes-photos-from-old-movie
"Old movies" are now movies made in the 70s and 80s, and in a couple of cases, 90s. Ghod.

http://boingboing.net/2012/07/23/eagle-scouts-stand-up-to-the-b.html
Some Eagle Scouts are returning their medals in protest of Boy Scouts of America homophobia and religious intolerance.

http://www.igda.org/why-crunch-modes-doesnt-work-six-lessons
Complete with equations! Now to get medical schools to also realize that days-long shifts aren't a good idea.

http://vimeo.com/28457062
Video of lightning captured at 7,207 images per second

http://www.salon.com/2012/07/21/paranoid_parents_kill_cities/
This is about how in the US and some other cultures, children are no longer allowed outdoors unsupervised.
"In the Sydney Morning Herald, a writer recently marveled at seeing children wandering unchaperoned all over Tokyo. When she worried to her Japanese colleague about the lack of adult supervision, he responded, “What do you mean, no adults? There were the car drivers, the shopkeepers, the other pedestrians.” In Japan, 80 percent of kids between 6 and 12 walk to school grownup-free."
Note: I don't judge any parents. But I wonder about the consequences of a culture where children are not allowed to have any time to themselves outdoors.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/07/geeks-guide-ursula-k-le-guin/all/
Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin. Includes the cover of an SF Masterworks version of The Dispossessed that strikes me as the most awesome bookcover ever. This interview also links to an article Le Guin wrote for Harpers in 2008 about reading:
http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081907

http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/dc-and-marvel-superheroes-as-manatees
MANATEE SUPERHEROES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happiness_is_about_respect_not_riches
Yes I agree, but that doesn't mean people who have survival needs going unmet are happy. So I hope no one uses it as an excuse to continue suppressing the minimum wage and promoting other underpaid work.

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs
How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science

And can I just say that I'm disgusted people are criticizing the body of a female swimmer who has won multiple gold medals? (Leisel Jones of Australia). I'm not linking to any of the news articles about it because they quote body hatred, but you can quack it.

http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/fluoride-lowers-your-iq-b.s.-headline-week
Fluoride lowers IQ, or does it? (How science is misreported, especially by people with an agenda.)

http://darkarchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/26/de-gendering-academic-dress-at-oxford/
I approve.

http://scienceinmyfiction.com/2012/07/23/science-fiction-fails-immunology/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-flooded-with-brand-police-to-protect-sponsors-7945436.html
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including "gold", "silver" and "bronze", "summer", "sponsors" and "London", if they give the impression of a formal connection to the Olympics.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/pot-legalization-is-coming-20120726
Interesting article about the ramifications of various ways to legalize and regulate marijuana.

Busyness

3 Jul 2012 04:39 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I often feel like I don't do enough. Yesterday I was beating myself up for it pretty badly, and then my brain kicked in and I said to myself, "Self, you have a bad cold and you did an hour of paying work, three hours of volunteer work, a couple hours of socializing, and an hour of knitting today. IT'S OK THAT YOU ALSO PLAYED A BUNCH OF TRAINYARD."

So I was happy to see this OpEd on busyness, via [personal profile] emceeaich.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/
Excerpts:
If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.”
I first noticed that my sophomore year in college (1984). Before that, I didn't have the right kind of friends and acquaintances to notice it. And my parents shielded me from being too busy. (They used to support my avoiding after-school sports by saying I needed the time to study.)

When I moved to California, I described the cultural shift as "On the East Coast, you keep up with the neighbors by having more stuff. In California, you keep up with the neighbors by having more stuff to do."
Notice it isn’t generally people pulling back-to-back shifts in the I.C.U. or commuting by bus to three minimum-wage jobs who tell you how busy they are; what those people are is not busy but tired. Exhausted. Dead on their feet. It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed....They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
I don't know if I would go throwing around the word "addicted," but I agree that most of the time it seems like a choice.
Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body....The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.
And I wouldn't put that in such absolute terms, but it's true for me. I generally only start feeling like doing creative stuff after I've had three full days of almost nothing to do. I almost never get that.
“The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. That’s why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.” This may sound like the pronouncement of some bong-smoking anarchist, but it was actually Arthur C. Clarke, who found time between scuba diving and pinball games to write “Childhood’s End” and think up communications satellites.
Well, for all I know, Clarke smoked bongs and was an anarchist.

I wish the article had gone deeper into the issue of people who commute by bus to three minimum-wage jobs (and/or try to navigate the government aid systems).
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/06/21/the-new-elite-attributing-privilege-to-class-vs-merit/ (emphasis in the original)
sociologist Shamus Khan...argues that new social mandates to diversify elite education may have some pernicious negative effects. A generation ago, when most students who attended the high school came from rich backgrounds, St. Paul’s students knew that they were there because they were members of the privileged class. Today about 1/3rd of students do not pay full tuition. Students, then — both those on scholarships and those who aren’t — learn to think of themselves as individuals who have worked hard to get where they are.

The problem, as Khan articulates it, is that identifying as a member of a class acknowledges that privileged individuals are lucky and may owe some gratitude to a society that has boosted them up. Thinking of oneself as a uniquely talented individual, in contrast, encourages a person to attribute all of their privilege to their own merits, so they not only feel no gratitude to society, but also fail to notice that our social institutions play a part in disadvantaging the disadvantaged.
The first comment is really insightful (emphasis mine):
EXACTLY! This process is alive and well in many institutions of higher learning. In law school, the same process is at play. Class privilege brought many of the young lawyers to law school, but the 3 years of hard work (which is fetishized) transforms that class privilege into something 'earned' - something that the individuals have to hide.

It is a way of laundering class privilege. And just like money laundering - turning the ill-gotten proceeds of crime into legitimate business ventures - the appearance is fundamentally altered. Instead of rich brats who had everything handed to them; they become bright, hard-working, intellectual go-getters who earned everything they have. Brilliant.
I'm not sure I like the implication that scholarships are responsible for the loss of understanding of class privilege. (Because then it's too easy to say "Let's do away with scholarships.") But the "laundering class privilege" metaphor strikes me as very powerful.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
"Popularity of woollen coffins soars" in the UK.

Which made me wonder whether if I were dying I would like watching friends knit me a woollen coffin. Or what it would be like to knit my own.

(Although actually I want to be cremated, and it would be a shame to burn up good knitting with my body.)
firecat: spock raising eyebrow. text: "Bitch, PLEASE." (bitch please (by lj user = pureglasscup))
Senior Writer
...
Qualifications: A nearly sociopathic desire for creating an audience
...
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Body Acceptance: From All Sides
Track: Feminism and Other Social Change Movements

Panel description
Body love movements have been gaining momentum recently, but for many people on the margins, the discourse needs to be expanded. The current movement of body love fails to account for persons with disabilities, people of color, trans and gender nonconforming people, pregnant and postpartum people, and fat people, among many others. We aim to discuss how (and in some cases, whether) body love and acceptance apply beyond a purely gendered analysis and expand to nonnormative bodies.

Panelists:
Julie Hayes
s.e. smith
Tanya D.
E. Cabell Hankinson Gathman
Mary Ann Mohanraj
Moderator - Annie D Chen

Twitter hash tag: #BodyAcceptance

I have a paraphrased transcript of this panel, and will post it on request, but that doesn't seem like the most helpful way to present the good stuff about this panel. 

I also tried to write it up by making a list of all the inappropriate assumptions mentioned that people make about each other's bodies and attitudes, but that just depressed me after I had gotten to 22 items (which wasn't all of them). 

So here are my general thoughts and notes.
Read more... )
firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
National Public Radio (NPR) has a web page asking for comments on the topic "What does it mean to live in a nation where one out of every three people is obese." (The nation in question is the United States.)

http://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/form/apm/0d2dd143dca7/what-does-it-mean-to-live-in-a-nation-where-one-out-of-every-three-people-is-obese

The lead-in to the comment section says:
Americans are getting bigger. And it's not just changing our health, but our nation's infrastructure, spending habits, economy and state of mind. What changes have you noticed to the way we live? 

Tell us here. Your response will help shape a national reporting project on obesity.
Here are the comments I left them.

What conversations do you have - or avoid having - about weight?
Read more... )
firecat: hothead saying "feh" "muh" "nist" (feh muh nist)
There's an Internet conversation about rape, one post about which is here.

After reading that post, I saw several posts in which a woman said although she intellectually understands that many women fear men as potential rapists, she doesn't have that fear, and she has never been sexually assaulted, either because no one tried or because she defended herself with words or weapons.

I'm really glad that these women haven't suffered sexual assault or fear of sexual assault.

But I don't understand why a number of women are apparently responding to this conversation by saying that they aren't afraid of rape and don't have a general fear of men as potential rapists. Do they feel they should be afraid? I'm getting the impression that they feel not being afraid of rape makes them weird. Maybe that it makes them unfeminine somehow? Is this because our culture sends the message that all women should be afraid of rape?

I'm also not sure what I think about the suggestion that a certain attitude or body language -- specifically, attitude/body language that shows a lack of fear -- can prevent an assault from happening. I think it can make a difference in some situations--maybe a lot of situations. (I gather that it's part of what's taught at self-defense classes.) But I don't think it's any kind of guarantee. I know plenty of people who have a "don't mess with me" attitude/body language who have been assaulted.

(For the record, I haven't experienced sexual assault either. I have feared it in a few specific situations.)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Before the presidential election, I was disappointed to see Obama commenting that doing away with "obesity" would go a long way toward solving US health care problems. Some fat activists have been communicating with Obama and emphasizing that focusing on "obesity" is not beneficial; if disease prevention is a concern, then better results would be obtained by focusing on Health At Every Size (HAES) principles, including encouraging movement and whole foods.

I've mostly had my head in the sand about this because I don't trust Obama to get this. But I noticed that Yahoo had a news story a couple of days ago: "Obama wants skinnier feds".

But I read the article pretty closely and I didn't see one single quote attributed to Obama that mentioned weight. The article described the practices of seven "work force innovators who were meeting with the president to discuss their best practices." Only two of these descriptions mentioned weight: Microsoft was reported to have an "obesity program" and Safeway was reported to have a “Healthy Measures” program that was "making employees accountable for their weight."

A recent article in the New York Times, "Congress Plans Incentives for Healthy Habits", mentions "Congress is planning to give employers sweeping new authority to reward employees for...weight loss..." Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is one of the authors of a proposal that would encourage employers to develop programs that focus on "obesity" among other things that are believed to be related to health. Obama is mentioned only once, and not in the context of saying anything about weight.

On http://www.healthreform.gov a search on "obesity" turns up 16 references, most of them from reports on state by state "Health Care Community Discussions." But there are no documents coming out of the White House mentioning it, at least if the search form is working properly.

On http://www.whitehouse.gov today there is a blog post "Health Care Reform: Urgency and Determination." It links to a statement by the president about health care reform. One paragraph made reference to "prevention and wellness programs," but the main principles Obama asked Congress to emphasize were:
first, that the rising cost of health care has to be brought down; second, that Americans have to be able to choose their own doctor and their own plan; and third, all Americans have to have quality, affordable health care.
I'm nervous because "prevention and wellness programs" often focus on weight, but so far I'm not seeing any fat-bashing.

Unfortunately although Obama might be using HAES language, the health reform programs that actually get implemented might not use HAES principles. As such programs begin to be implemented fat activists are going to have to be vigilant to encourage the people developing them to turn away from using changes in weight and BMI as symbols of health improvement. They are lousy symbols of health improvement because they just aren't directly related to health the way changes in exercise habits, say, can be.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This is awesome.

http://www.food-for-thought-pyramid.com/
Designed as a tongue in cheek response to and criticism of the FDA’s Food Guide Pyramid, the “Food for Thought” Pyramid offers an alternative approach to enhancing your health. The “Food for Thought” Pyramid will help you become more conscious of the bigger picture of your health.
http://www.food-for-thought-pyramid.com/articles/pyramidsample.pdf

You can buy it as a poster.

Lazy IBARW

9 Aug 2008 10:55 am
firecat: blue bubble background with text "white privilege: you're soaking in it" (white privilege)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster and [livejournal.com profile] altfriday5 for providing me with fodder for Blog Against Racism week.

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.
Hm. First I would have to know what my culture is. I was raised in Michigan as a WASP, which means that a lot of my culture of origin is pretty mainstream and people in other cultures, at least in the US, are expected to know about it. In order to get to things that others go "bzuh" about, I need to talk about subcultures that I now belong to - queer, poly, fat activist, SF fandom, geek.
--Queer: Most queer people I know are conversant with the terms "butch" and "femme," although there's certainly little agreement what the terms mean. Many folks who don't know much about the queer community don't understand those terms.
--Poly: The concept of polyamory is not really known in the mainstream. The part of it that mainstream people seem to have the hardest time with is the part where people actually know about each other's other partners, rather than the multiple relationships being kept hidden.
--Fat activist: We call ourselves fat because it is descriptive and we consider the terms overweight and obese to be offensive or misleading. People outside this subculture are confused because they think "fat" is offensive and the other terms are "kinder."
--SF fandom: In this subculture, it is considered polite and appropriate in conversation to correct another person's mistake. In mainstream culture, a lot of people consider it rude to do this.
--Geek: Glasses are considered sexy. (Kind of a lame example. I'm finding it hard to come up with a better one.)

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?
I recently listened to the audiobook Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A few months ago I read Dark Reflections by Samuel R Delaney. I mostly read books by white people, but I do sometimes seek out SF&F by people of color. If they are writing about their culture, I want to learn about it. And regardless of whether they are writing about their culture, I want more authors of color to be published. Some publishers are reluctant to publish works by authors of color or who belong to (US) minority cultures, because they assume that white people won't want to read such works. There's a tendency for mainstream culture to pigeonhole such writers and assume that they will only write about how they are different and that their works will only appeal to other people like them. The former is not true, and it would be nice if the latter were not true either.

I make more of an effort to seek out movies and documentaries by people of color than I do to seek out books -- I usually really enjoy them and it seems there are a lot of really talented people of color in the film industry.

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?
I ate a veggie burrito at a restaurant that serves Mexican and Caribbean food. I guess burritos are considered ethnic food in the US. (At least I am aware of a concept of "American food" that includes only hamburgers, sandwiches made with bread, and meat+potatoes entrees; everything else is considered "ethnic"). On the other hand, taquerias around here are more common than McDonaldses.

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?
Mostly it hasn't changed, but over the past few months I've widened the selection of clothes I wear, so that now in addition to cotton pants, t-shirts, caftan tops, and hawaiian shirts, I also sometimes wear dresses and babydoll tops. I'm mainly doing it for comfort and "lazy respectability"; that is, at home I tend to clothing that is only one step removed from underwear (bike shorts and tank tops), but sometimes I want to go out to dinner somewhere that outfit would make me underdressed, so I take off the tank top and throw on a dress. I feel like I am in drag when I wear dresses though.

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?
I participate in the discussion when other people start it. I feel I should be more proactive; I think it's an important topic of conversation. I feel like as a white person who has done some reading and thinking and listening about racism, I ought to be talking to other white people about what I have learned, so that the burden of education doesn't fall entirely on people of color.

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?
I was aware of it and this is my participation in it for this year (somewhat late, I guess). I didn't participate more fully because for the past little while I haven't had the mental energy to initiate discussions about political issues. As a white person I have the privilege of being able to ignore the topic of racism if I don't feel like engaging in it.

Profile

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

February 2017

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728    

Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated 19 Feb 2017 11:45 am

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios