The Reading List, 2/7/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Why the calorie is broken“–“Humans are not bomb calorimeters, of course, and we don’t extract every calorie from the food we eat. This problem was addressed at the end of the 19th century, in one of the more epic experiments in the history of nutrition science.”
  • If You Don’t Take Women’s Harassment Seriously, You Don’t Want to Understand The Problem“–“Every few months stories like these make it into the news cycle, even though related harassment and assaults are happening every day in the US and elsewhere.  When stories do surface, people express surprise, sadness and outrage, all of which seem to dissipate in a heartbeat.”
  • Navajo water contamination more horrific than Flint Michigan’s“–“Navajo water has long been contaminated by Peabody Coal mining on Black Mesa, uranium spills, strewn radioactive tailing from the Cold War uranium mining, and recently the EPA’s poisoning of the Animas and San Juan Rivers.”
  • Pregnant, Sick With Zika—and Prohibited From Getting an Abortion“–“Of the countries that have called on women to avoid pregnancy, only Colombia allows for abortion in cases of fetal anomaly, and the vast majority of nations in the region don’t permit abortion in such cases. Even in Colombia, 99 percent of abortions are clandestine, because so many women are turned away by doctors who won’t perform the procedure.”
  • 10 Things I Hate About Sex (Scenes)“–“You know what two words NEVER belong in a sentence together? Nipples and scissors.”
  • Female Shark Wins Seoul Aquarium Turf War, Eats Male Shark“–“Despite her best efforts to make a meal of the male shark, the female shark is expected to at some point regurgitate the remains of her former roommate.”
  • free memberships to CONvergence (& many other cons)“–“The following SFF con memberships are newly available, first-come first-serve, to fans of color/non-white fans”
  • UrsulaV explains the Oregon Occupation“–“Here’s what I don’t understand about the Oregon militia, and because I’m me, I will use Star Wars as a metaphor.”
  • Against ‘Don’t Read the Comments’“–“The fact that we joke about it documents an acceptance of a culture of abuse online. It helps normalize online harassment campaigns and treat the empowerment of abusers as inevitable, rather than solvable.”
  • NECSS and Richard Dawkins“–“First, many have pointed out that if we had such reservations about Dawkins we should not have invited him in the first place. This is a fair point.”
  • Feminism isn’t a side issue, it is a central issue in any movement with a pretense to rationalism“–“Feminists tend to be natural allies of the atheist movement, except as we’ve been seeing lately, when self-proclaimed leaders of that movement use their pulpit to dismiss their concerns as minor disagreements getting in the way of the great cause.”
  • ‘Hundreds’ of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm” (warning: auto-play video)–“Before the attacks, the mob handed out leaflets with the slogan ‘It is enough now!’ which threatened to give ‘the North African street children who are roaming around’ the ‘punishment they deserve’.”
  • The readers’ editor on… handling comments below the line“–“As a result, it had been decided that comments would not be opened on pieces on those three topics unless the moderators knew they had the capacity to support the conversation and that they believed a positive debate was possible.”
  • Let’s Talk About The Other Atheist Movement“–“I don’t want to talk about Richard Dawkins. Not today. I want to talk about the amazing, indispensable atheists I work with, and all the positive changes they’re making in the world.”
  • FOMO for Writers: in which bad puns are mostly avoided“–“If you want to make a career of this, you really need to go to cons. Or man, it sure does help. And then when you get back you have something to talk about on Twitter, with the people you now know. Unless you’re bad at Twitter, and you can’t afford to get to a con.”
  • Observations on the Nebraska Walk for Life“–“It was around this time that his friend in the green coat turned around, got a couple of inches from my face and said, ‘I love you. I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ I told him that was creepy.”
  • Dawkins insults feminists, complains when feminists feel insulted“–“Here’s a link to the video, but if it you don’t want to watch it I don’t blame you in the slightest. I didn’t want to watch it either, but did so that I could provide this transcript”
  • To the Ghosts of the Past I Left Behind“–“In one case, I had known a particular friend for over twenty years, but I knew all too well how the conversation would go if they found out — in fact, I knew because we had discussed evangelism tactics over lunch once in the past.”
  • A question for straight people“–“From lobotomies and workplace harassment to bullying and violence by the state, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have long experienced unique forms of discrimination tied to our sexual orientation and gender identity. It is because of that discrimination that Pride is important and is the reason why Pride exists.”
  • The left must speak uncomfortable truths about migration and sexual violence“–“The truth is this: Asylum-seekers, refugees, emigrants and immigrants are people, human beings in a full spectrum of behaviours and qualities.”
  • Please Don’t Eat Your Placenta“–“Neither of these functions is even remotely relevant in a modern human context. Unless, that is, you gave birth in a forest full of hungry wolves.”
  • World Fantasy Con 2016 doesn’t care about your harassment and accessibility concerns“–“The screengrabs show that the people behind WFC 2016 were told repeatedly that they needed these policies, and that it is unfair to not have the policies up before the lower registration fee deadline passed.”
  • Police swarm Katherine Clark’s home after apparent hoax“–“Clark said she assumes she was targeted because she has spoken out on the issue. She is the sponsor of the Interstate Swatting Hoax Act, which would make it a federal crime to spur an emergency response by any law enforcement agency without cause.”

The Reading List, 1/28/2016

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Do we count as real writers, too? (aka that thing about Clarion. that. thing.)“–“The point of this post– if it were to have a point, and not merely be a rambling collection of thoughts– is not that workshops are necessary to become a serious writer. The point is that for people who don’t have easy access to a support system, it feels like it’s necessary in order to break into the global SFF scene. And it shouldn’t be.
  • But many of the people speaking out the other day cannot safely ignore Gaiman. His status is such that even casual statements of his carry weight.”
  • Why aren’t there more women in the SFF section?“–“As we talked, it became clear that the fault doesn’t rest with a single source. It’s the result of a ton of decisions, each of which is probably fueled by unconscious bias and then reinforced by a feedback loop.”
  • Jordan Kushner, crusading civil rights lawyer, on trial for filming police“–“He knew his rights. No matter: Kushner was escorted out and ‘thrown over a little brick wall’ by police, he recalls, a moment that was captured on building surveillance video.”
  • Stop saying Trump has a mental disorder“–“I know it’s tempting to share something that sounds like Trump is unfit for president. But there is plenty of material we can use to explain why Trump is not presidential.”
  • Police Use of Force Project“–“We reviewed the rules governing police use of force in America’s largest city police departments to determine whether they include meaningful protections against police violence.”
  • Lost erotica of Spain reveals an overlooked feminist history (NSFW)“–“For 10 years, Zubiaurre treasure hunted and researched similar erotic materials, eventually building a visual history of early 20th century sexuality in Spain. The X-rated treasure trove illuminates the public emergence of feminism, gay love, cross dressing, psychoanalysis, masturbation, sex manuals and hardcore porn.”
  • Militants Plow New Roads At Refuge, Possibly Damaging Artifacts“–“When asked about the construction, the militant claimed that the road was already there, and that militants had only removed snow from the path. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Thursday that not only is the road built last week by the occupiers new, but it is also within an archaeological site important to the Burns Paiute Tribe.”
  • St. Paul officer had antagonistic history with demonstrators, community groups“–“The St. Paul police sergeant widely criticized by the public, his own department, an industry group and the mayor for a Facebook comment encouraging drivers to run over marchers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day apparently posted similar antagonistic comments three months earlier.”
  • Thinking about Disability More“–“What I want to say is ‘Because we live in a society that values our ability to labor over quality of life, I worry about being judged on my “good days”, so I carry it with me at all times whenever I leave the house.'”
  • The Texas Abortion Case, Explained“–“As a result, legal experts, as well as activists on both sides of the abortion debate, see this case as the most important in a generation. So how did we get here, to a turning point in a legal and political journey that spans four decades and will set the stage for the next generation of abortion rights — or lack thereof — in the United States?”
  • What journalists get wrong about social science, according to 20 scientists“–“As a result, journalists can often write eye-catching stories that appeal to a popular audience but miss the bigger picture. This tension may never disappear. But in an effort to bridge the gap, I recently asked a few dozen psychologists and social scientists a simple question: ‘What do journalists most often get wrong when writing about research?'”
  • [Advice] Dating & Disorders“–“Of course, the complicated thing about values is not the having them, but the figuring out which ones you have, and in what order.”
  • 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Support the Asexual Youth in Your Life“–“Some adults who understand and acknowledge asexuality in youth end up supporting it for the wrong reasons – that is, for sex-negative reasons.”
  • Ethics For Men Online, AKA How Not To Be An Asshole“–“Nothing is more frustrating than constantly seeing powerful people, with reach and influence, spend their precious time on obviously angry jerks rather than, say, people of color who need eyes on their work and who are supporters of these influential people.”

The Reading List, 1/24/2016

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 1/13/2016

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 1/10/2016

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • The Year of the Imaginary College Student“–“But the alarm about offense-seeking college students may say more about the critics of political correctness than it does about the actual state of affairs.”
  • The Mystery of the Missing Boardgame“–“This made me very sad. I assumed that I must have left it at the convention, even though games very rarely end up missing at that particular con.”
  • Michael Shermer: Murdering the facts about Homo naledi?“–“The schoolkids understood right away that the idea of murder and sacrifice don’t match the evidence that we have so far. Shermer preferred to speculate without evidence and publish an essay without fact-checking.”
  • No, Anti-Feminists Didn’t Cost Star Wars Any Money“–“As ridiculous as that may be—and it is perhaps the stupidest thing yet said about the film—their recent claims about just how much of an impact their, ahem, ‘balanced, critical reporting’ has had on the film’s financial success are even more ludicrous.”
  • Contempt Culture“–“We don’t reinforce our communities with respect or a sense of achievement, but with shame and contempt and awfulness. We exclude people. I’ve excluded people. Directly, me.”
  • No Vaccination, No Camp. Finally.“–“During the flu epidemic of 2008–09, I watched as dozens of kids came down with a new flu strain, one for which a shot had not yet been developed. It was a frightening lesson in what can happen in unvaccinated populations.”
  • California Bans Use Of Grand Juries In Police Shooting Cases“–“‘The use of the criminal grand jury process, and the refusal to indict as occurred in Ferguson and other communities of color, has fostered an atmosphere of suspicion that threatens to compromise our justice system.'”
  • 4 Common Lies You Should Stop Believing About Black Single Mothers Right Now“–“Tropes declaring Black women can’t properly raise children by themselves springboards from this legacy of deceit. And it’s from these fabrications that we see the responsibility for Black oppression, poverty, and criminalization placed at the feet of our women.”
  • Minneapolis NAACP calls for boycott of Mall of America over restraint of 14-year-old girl“–“As the teen attempted to make change for bus fare in the mall’s transit hub, four security guards restrained her face down on the floor as she screamed for them to get off her back.”
  • Timeline: Land Use and the ‘Patriots’“–“It also explores some of the antecedents to both the Bundy standoff and the Patriot movement, in particular such themes as the ‘county supremacy’ ideology embraced by Bundy and his many armed supporters in the militia groups.”
  • Why the Post Office Makes America Great“–“I bit my tongue and did not tell my already suspicious friends that the country was also dotted with libraries that provided books to all patrons free of charge. They wouldn’t believe me anyway since I hadn’t believed it myself.”
  • Read about the Worldcon supporting membership grant recipients, in their own words.“–“What I love best about this collection of paragraphs is that it really makes it clear that people who love SFF come from every walk of life. Liberals, Libertarians, moms, students, teachers… we all love this geeky stuff.”
  • The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality matters most“–“Science journalists may write about science, but it’s also our job to look beyond wonders, hypotheses and data. It is to look at the people doing the science and whether they have conflicts of interest, or trace where their money is coming from. It is to look at power structures, to see who is included in the work and who is excluded or marginalized, whether because of gender or race or any other identity.”
  • Lumosity to Pay $2 Million to Settle FTC Deceptive Advertising Charges for its ‘Brain Training’ Program“–“‘Lumosity preyed on consumers’ fears about age-related cognitive decline, suggesting their games could stave off memory loss, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s disease,’ said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.”
  • Cosby Charged in Case of Temple U Employee“–“The resolution also condemned Patrick O’Connor, Temple’s board chair, for representing Cosby 10 years ago when he was sued by a woman. Faculty leaders said it was a conflict of interest for O’Connor to represent Cosby when both were on the board together, potentially making it unlikely that the board would rethink its ties to Cosby.”
  • Today’s gun culture is NOT American tradition.“–“In 1934, [the] NRA testified in support of 1st federal gun law which cracked down on machine guns.”

The Reading List, 1/4/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • Bookstore puts Trump, Carson in ‘Humor’ section“–“‘There are a lot of people, particularly on the other side, who really have a very different philosophy of America,’ Carson said during the interview.”
  • ‘Shut Up, I’m Talking’: Why I Refuse To Educate Bigoted People“–“Here’s my experience: when someone I’ve called ignorant demands I educate them, they don’t want me to be patient—they want me to have infinite patience, to listen to them affably, without anger, however they behave, and to treat anything they say as valuable.”
  • What No One Said about Rey (Star Wars Spoilers!)“–“In the originals, Leia was competent and capable and became a role model for generations of girls, but all three films were filled with hot princess comments.”
  • A Sensitive Subject: On Family and Sincere Insensitivity“–“And there it is, her gift to me on my birthday. The candles are blown out, and the wish is made. Her wish, not mine.”
  • New Chrome App Helps Women Stop Saying ‘Just’ and ‘Sorry’ in Emails“–“Still, part of me always cringes when people tell women that the way they speak or write is wrong. One reason why women have adopted these kinds of speech and writing patterns is because, historically, they’ve gotten pushback for appearing too decisive and demanding (read: just as decisive and demanding as men).”
  • Lost Soles“–“Most were shocked to hear that it had even happened, even though they—like my husband, who didn’t realize I’d disappeared to the bathroom because I’d been horribly hurt, because I didn’t tell anyone, because no one was looking for it—were standing right next to me when it happened.”
  • The Developer Formerly Known as FreeBSDGirl“–“I had talked to someone from the FreeBSD Foundation earlier on the phone about what was happening. During this same conversation, they actually said ‘maybe you should be nicer.'”
  • The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel“–“For twenty years now, there have been those who say that this emperor never had any clothes on in the first place. Given the speed and intensity of his fall, perhaps it’s time to reconsider their case.”
  • A New Year’s Resolution For Science Advocates: Don’t Cry Wolfe“–“Wolfe draws in followers with cute, inspirational, and share-worthy graphics and posts, and then hits them with far less innocuous content.”
  • 3 Keys to Progress the Secular Community Needs in 2016“–“We live in a white-oriented, male-centered, heteronormative culture. Make it a habit to remove yourself from the typical whitewashed, insular narratives you’ve grown accustomed to and immerse yourself in the plight and outlook of others foreign to your background and worldview.”
  • The En-Gendering Of Genius“–“And that is why, in responding to this year’s Edge Question, I first began to write about the icecaps. But perhaps the insignificant measure we assign to the under-estimation of the creative potential of more than half our population is itself a manifestation of the problem.”

The Reading List, 12/31/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/29/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/23/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

The Reading List, 12/20/2015

I share a lot of links on Twitter and Facebook that I don’t blog about because I don’t have much to add. The reading list is a periodic feature where I share those links with my blog audience too. Of course, you’re still welcome to follow me on Twitter.

  • “The Problem With ‘Dress Professionally'”
  • “The Story Behind A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens”–“Little did they know that Carol would create not only a gigantic Christmas book market, but change the popular understanding of Christmas forever.”
  • “On Setting The ‘Universal Sex Difference’ Bar Way Too Low”–“Call us sticklers, but we don’t think you can declare human universals because the BBC did an internet survey, where only people who spoke English responded.”
  • “Planting New Farmers for the Future of Food”–“We lost that knowledge transfer. Ninety percent of people in the room at this conference are growers—but 80 to 90 percent of them had no connection to farming before they started.”
  • “Condescension Isn’t Kindness”–“Often, people think this is a kindness, that they know my heart and know that I would never give up my belief—when I didn’t give up anything in the first place.”
  • “Growing Up Arab American in DC After 9/11”–“Like I said, I was always a little weird. Still, no amount of thick skin could prepare me for the type of bullying I faced after 9/11.”
  • “Tennessee Woman Charged With Attempted Murder After Failed Self-Induced Abortion”–“‘Tennessee’s homicide law explicitly doesn’t apply to [Yocca],’ explained Farah Diaz-Tello, senior staff attorney at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, ‘but this arrest tells women that if they try to seek emergency medical assistance, they may end up behind bars. That won’t stop women from having abortions, but it will stop them from getting help.'”
  • “Fuck Imposter Syndrome.”–“I asked myself why I’m spending all my time worrying about what other people think of me, instead of focusing on what I feel. What I want. And just like that, this scary meeting transformed into something exciting.”
  • “Trump and the Good Americans who want to be entertained”–“The best show in town. The fucking privilege to be able to imagine that Trump’s campaign is nothing more than a “spectacle” for your consumption—a terrific bit of entertainment to take in with your son, like a revival of Hair, perhaps.”
  • “‘War’ Correspondence: Almost Half Of Americans Say They Prefer Secular Greetings Rather Than ‘Merry Christmas'”–“The poll found that 49 percent prefer retailers say ‘Happy Holidays’ or ‘Season’s Greetings’ to their customers, while 43 percent said they want businesses to wish them ‘Merry Christmas.’ In 2010, only 44 percent said they favored secular tidings while 49 percent wanted to be wished ‘Merry Christmas.'”
  • “No, Trump’s Racist Anti-Muslim Proposal is Very American”–“But the true spirit of American values has always been demonization of the other in the name of ‘democracy.’ Homilies about the U.S. moral uprightness and vaunted democratic freedoms are belied by the staggering reality of epic racial wealth gaps, deepening racial segregation and state violence.”
  • “101 Lies to Tell So You Can Stay Home and Read”–“I tasted vanilla extract and the fact that something that smells so good can taste so bad is making me question everything I know about the world.”
  • “Study: Elite scientists can hold back science”–“All this suggest there’s a ‘goliath’s shadow’ effect. People are either prevented from or afraid of challenging a leading thinker in a field. That or scientific subfields are like grown-up versions of high school cafeteria tables.”
  • “United Nations Working Group: Women in the United States, Texas Face Extreme Barriers to Basic Health Care”–“The Working Group—which visited Washington, D.C. and Texas interviewing various community leaders, elected officials, and individual women—announced their preliminary findings at a press conference in Washington, DC last Friday, noting that the U.S. in general ‘is allowing its women to lag behind international human rights standards.'”
  • “About That Wine Experiment”–“There are two levels to the inaccuracy of the popular story. The first is that several of the details that have been routinely reported are simply incorrect, having been copied from one article to another. So let’s break them down.”
  • “Why Women Don’t Apply For Jobs Unless They’re 100% Qualified”–“First, it’s likely that due to bias in some work environments, women do need to meet more of the qualifications to be hired than do their male counterparts. For instance, a McKinsey report found that men are often hired or promoted based on their potential, women for their experience and track record.”
  • “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”–“In a report not previously made public, Sgt. Gregg Rinta, a sex crimes supervisor with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, wrote that what happened was ‘nothing short of the victim being coerced into admitting that she lied about the rape.'” (CN: While this article gets to something like justice, the story of injustice is delivered in such a neutral tone that I had some trouble with it.)
  • “Secular Social Justice Conference 2016”–“SSJ focuses on the lived experiences, cultural context, shared struggle and social history of secular humanist people of color and their allies. The event will include panels on economic justice, feminism(s) of color, LGBTQ atheists of color, African American Humanist traditions in hip hop, racial politics and the crisis of New Atheism and much more.”
  • “Online Harassment Insurance Is Useful, But It’s Another Tax On Women For Being Women”–“However, it also falls squarely into a bucket with an infinite array of services, applications, weapons, and products that women have to pay hard-earned money for in order to ‘stay safe.’ It is just one more way that we are expected, and encouraged, to pay for violence we are subject to because we are women.”
  • “Sponsor withdraws Mizzou athlete strike proposal”–“Brattin’s decision to withdraw the legislation came as a surprise Wednesday to co-sponsor Rep. Kurt Bahr, R-O’Fallon. ‘Unfortunately, it’s going to be seen as a coup by those who opposed the bill,’ Bahr told the Post-Dispatch.”