Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday roundup and ramble

If you care about the world, cut down on meat consumption.

Some things (i.e., facts) are not a matter of opinion.

Some men are really afraid of women's humanity. Some (surprising) women aren't helping.

I think I had a "mid-life" crisis, on and off--mostly on--between the ages of 20 and 35. It was not rooted in people-pleasing (as was Jess Zimmerman's experience, linked). As I've written before on these pages, my mother did me the great favor of being so overwhelmingly overbearing that I had no choice but to go my own way; it was live-for-myself, or stay under her thumb indefinitely.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saturday roundup

Heartbreaking human trafficking epidemic in Bangladesh and child labor among Syrian refugees in Jordan. Also: water crisis in Yemen.

Very inspiring video about a soccer team of ebola survivors.

Michigan punished a brain cancer patient's family.

Meat: it's what exacerbates antibiotics resistance. Any surprise that we recall tons and tons?

Eggs are almost never humane.

Go ahead, have immitation meat.

Restaurants that overwhelmingly serve meat are not green, no matter how farm-to-plate they are.

Exercise to feel better now.
Anti-neutrino detection is very cool.

Surprise! Men who harass women online are losers.

Some great insights on nudity without objectification.

I don't have the energy to get into why this is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever read, and I can't believe TNR reprinted it. Does it occur to that dude to mention that there's a nonproliferation regime in place that has helped slow proliferation? I'd love that kind of honey-badger don't-give-a-shit confidence to write authoritatively about shit I know nothing about, but, for one thing, I have the wrong anatomy for that kind of thing and tend to stick with what I know (not that anatomy stops everyone).

Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday roundup because I'm away this weekend

Have we talked about how meat and dairy are drying out California?
In fact, some of the biggest "water hogs," indirectly, are meat and dairy. Cows and chickens and other animals eat a lot of crops, which in turn require a lot of water. So it takes 86 gallons of water to make just 1.75 ounces of beef. Some research has suggested that the country's meat industries create such a high demand for water-thirsty feed crops, that if every American ate meat one less day a week, it could save as much water as flows through the Colorado River in an entire year.
Also, bacon comes from a system of environmental racism and farm animals are sentient beings.

Read this old David Carr piece instead of the latest Gawker overreach.

Laverne Cox on cultural appropriation.

This piece on gaslighting brings back memories of RM, especially the third item. Also, mom and an ex come through.

The Times' ombudsman on the Serena debacle. I agree with most but not all of this: it's okay to celebrate Serena's beauty as she defines it.

Old New Yorker piece on the f word.

Have I told you that I've essentially stopped showering?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Quick Sunday roundup

China relocates its nomadic herders.

We're in a heroin epidemic with heartbreaking consequences.
Since when is it suspicious or abusive for a parent to seek a second opinion? None of the doctors I know think they're infallible gods who should never be questioned.

Meat and dairy are killing the planet.

Religious minorities are helping to rebuild burnt churches. Pair with the Aslan/Mihnaj open letter I linked to yesterday.
“Hate is hate whenever you see it,” Talve says. “This has been a time for us to show that, as allies, we understand that if we don’t all work together to end hate – racism, antisemitism, homophobia, Islamophobia – and if we don’t stand up when it happens, then we’re all going to suffer.”

The internet makes it too easy to share scientific results without attribution. IFLS is particularly egregious in this sense.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday roundup

Russia's delusions.

Surprise! Birth control works (i.e., prevents unwanted pregnancies, reduces poverty).

Kudos to CVS for withdrawing from the Chamber of Commerce for the latter's death-promoting activities.

Taking down the confederate flag, in pictures.

Jamilah Lemieux on Cosby and rape culture (but don't let Cosby distract you from the fact that the less powerful get away with it, too, easily and all the time). David Futrelle on MRAs and rape culture (and also make-up).
Pair that last one with Andrea Grimes' piece on "Magic Mike XXL" and the female gaze. See also @theshrillest's analysis of the nasty Times piece on Serena Williams and body image.

Speaking of paying losers more than winners, see: the U.S. women's soccer team.

Can we stop telling women to just be more like men?

Apparently over-airconditioning is a status thing, and so is paid wi-fi in hotels.

Henry Fairlie, in 1983, on America. I wonder how things might have changed since then--in particular, the contrast with Britain. On a related note: the irony of shock in Cuba that
the son of a mill worker and shopgirl could be a presidential candidate in the United States.

Not quite as old, but a 2013 interview with Reza Aslan on, among other things, the distinction between faith and religion. See also his (and Hassan Minhaj's) recent open letter on gay marriage.

Beef: it's what's drying out California.

Small farms are no guarantee against cruelty.

Love this wisdom from one of Carolyn's readers (and the example that goes with it):

Assertiveness is the skill of using adult, confident, polite, logical and clear communication. I finally said, “I am tired of your apparent assumption that you have the right to comment on my weight, or to grill me on what I eat, how much I exercise or anything else related to the topic. You cross a line into my space in doing do, and I want this to end. I cannot change your behavior, but if this happens again, I will leave immediately.”
Memorize, fill in the blank, and repeat as needed:  I am tired of your apparent assumption that you have the right to...

Gotta go but I'm hoping to publish more frequent roundups (and less massive ones).

Friday, July 3, 2015

Big Friday roundup

The heartbreaking story of an escaped fisherman slave and how to help those like him.

The Chamber of Commerce is pushing cigarettes around the world. Industrial ag is pushing industrial ag.

The NRA does not represent all gun owners.

There's no doubt what the Civil War and confederate flag are really about.

If slavery was ended in spite of how entrenched it was in the economy, can we do the same for our dependence on fossil fuels?

Gary Younge on having lived in the U.S. as a quasi-outsider.

I have no place commenting on the debate about whether black beauty-bloggers have a duty to incorporate activism into their internet presence, but I wanted to bring attention to it because it's an age-old issue for every writer, artist, etc.: is it possible to be apolitical in a world that forces you to choose sides, and what are the perils of speaking out?

Bree Newsome is AMAZING.

Misty Copeland is AMAZING.

Charles Blow remembers his cousin, victim of a hate crime.

The women transforming a Dhaka slum.

Dr. Francis on the shortcomings of the Nobel Prize, and the Royal Society on Tim Hunt. Phil Plait sums it up very well.

MRAs continue to lower the bar.

For those who cry "false advertising!" over make-up: women are being, not advertising; we're
not things for your consumption.

An interesting profile of the chef at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (link in Russian). She talks aboutsushi (turns out it's everywhere because it symbolizes the era when the country first opened itself to the world), sanctions (she's using more local vegetables), fashion (yes, everyone wears high heels, no matter her age, dill (we sure do love that stuff).

If you're going to eat animals, think about that when you get outraged about dog meat festivals. Also, meat and dairy are exacerbating the drought.

I'm left out of the global conspiracy, too.

I have no use for Kim K., but I object to her objectification.

Comedians who don't understand the concept of punching up, not down.

About that dildo flag.
Single people are people, too.

I really feel for both people, this is such a heartbreaking story. I've written before and linked to pieces about feminism and weight (and written about associated complexities). People are attracted to different body types, and we can't help what we're attracted to (though time is supposed to help).

This is awful but I've done the same to a lesser extent (i.e., I've talked about cats and food politics to try to drive dudes away).

Wow are guys really this distracted?
I wanted to do them all. Men – young and old, thin and heavy, coiffed and shaggy – walked past my gate in Hartsfield-Jackson as I waited for my connection to visit my sister in Connecticut. Not all rated attractive, but I found the idea of sex with each captivating.

The young man with the tight shoulders, the bookish guy with Clark Kent glasses, the soldier in fatigues? Yes, yes and yes. The sweatshirt-clad-torn-jeans man was not my type, but I ogled him anyway.
I had been taking estrogen replacement therapy for four years prescribed after my hysterectomy at 36. But two weeks ago, my doctor added a special cream to boost my testosterone. She warned me of “odd symptoms,” but she didn’t mention this constant sexual distraction.

This woman is absolutely right that schools have no business asking about birth methods in assessing kids' behavioral issues; but she errs in suggesting that vegan kids may be any more vitamin-deficient than omnivores. That's just as baseless.

This vegan-cheesemaker used to hate vegans.