Immigration + for-profit prisons = profitable racism

This video by Cuéntame is going viral lately. Would be nice if more people realized this is why the immigration “problem”, and the for-profit prison problem, are actually one and the same.

Considering Canada’s building big for-profit megaprisons under Harper’s autocratic rule, how long til we get our own SB1070? We’ve already started the process of importing the War On Some Drugs, and the mandatory minimums that even Texas Conservatives told us won’t work.

We’re not far from this reality.

Matt Barber Godwins the whole abortion debate

And the shameless application of icing on the nonsense cake: pro-lifers are like Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

He actually thinks that abortion of a blastocyst is exactly like killing an adult human being for religious reasons. A woman’s right to bodily autonomy is exactly like the Holocaust. Unbelievable. How do you reason with people like him, exactly?

Via Right Wing Watch.

On this day in space history

On March 22, 2001, an outer main belt asteroid provisionally named 2001FB10 was discovered by David Healy, founder of the Junk Bond Observatory. Its official name is 153289 Rebeccawatson.

That’s right, it was named after the woman probably most famous for making a whole lot of very insecure men very angry about having their sense of entitlement questioned. Rebecca Watson has an asteroid named after her, and you do not. U JELLY?

Additionally, it’s grossly unlikely to end humanity, despite certain howler monkeys’ protestations.

Women marrying their rapists: the “perfect solution”?

What a strange few days it’s been for me. It’s 25°C today, and it’s been about that for the past several days. And all the while, while sweating and cursing the unnatural heat, I’ve been working crazy hours and basically ignoring the goings-on on the intertubes. I honestly feel something like one of those Sims characters, whose Fun meter has completely bottomed out and is waving frantically at the camera and yelling about a video game controller or something. For some reason, I consider mocking ridiculous nonsense on the internet to be stress relief in a way.

But, where to start? There’s just so much! I guess I’ll just have to pick the most execrable piece of news I’ve come across; the piece of news that makes all my own personal travails seem like the first-world problems that they are. Something so damning of humanity that I can retreat comfortably into the crazy amounts of overnight work I need to do tonight as though it was a candlelit warm bath with a glass of wine.

Something like this story. Emphasis mine.

The suicide of Amina Filali, a Moroccan 16 year old instructed by a court to marry her rapist, has sparked outrage on the internet and protests in the streets of Barat, Morocco’s capital. A law allowing rapists to escape prosecution if they marry their victims is an “embarrassment”, campaigners say – which is one way to put it, although some might prefer “psychological torture” or “total disgrace”.

[Read more…]

Einstein’s complete archives go online

Via The CBC, that cesspool of liberal bias, comes the news that one of the greatest thinkers of our time — who believed in peace and didn’t believe in God — has been enshrined on the internet. And the Hebrew University of Jerusalem isn’t even mad about this false idol worship! In fact, they’re complicit!

Albert Einstein’s complete archives — from personal correspondence with half a dozen lovers to notebooks scribbled with his groundbreaking scientific research — are going online for the first time.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the German Jewish physicist’s papers, is pulling never-before seen items from its climate-controlled safe, photographing them in high resolution and posting them on the internet — offering the public a nuanced and fuller portrait of the man behind the scientific genius.

[Read more…]

Copyright is forever

This. Everything in this video is exactly true. Especially the stuff about the new Star Wars trilogy.

Thing is, copyright will keep being extended to protect The Mouse. The US will never allow Disney’s one original character go out of copyright. Ever.

When talking about copyright infringement, it’s never about content creators. It’s about companies who appropriate content and use it as fodder for their money-making machines. They just leverage the content creators into the argument to obfuscate the fact that those creators cannot possibly benefit from this arrangement.

(Some) Insects of Atlantic Canada

Jodi and I were at our nearby mall on Sunday, and they had a great travelling display of mounted insects, live arachnids and frogs, and various herpetological books and doodads at a kiosk in the main plaza. I figured I should take a picture of the one marked “insects of Atlantic Canada” and share it with you.

Mounted insect display

Click to embiggen!

This is obviously not a comprehensive list — it’s missing (at least) the monarch and viceroy butterflies, which were on another display, and any number of common insects that were better served in other mounts. And I cut off the horntail sawfly on the lower left. Whoops.

Maybe next time they swing through, I’ll take pictures of all their bugs — you know, when I don’t have groceries sitting in the car melting. The rhinoceros beetle was impressive, as were all the various metallic wood borers.

My posting this is actually rather timely, as well, as Bug Girl posted this yesterday, making me squee, and I had originally taken the picture explicitly with her in mind.

Supernova in M-95

Awesome. In an extremely close galaxy, one we’ve studied quite a bit previously, we’ve apparently just spotted a supernova and have started grabbing as much scientific data as we can manage. Of course, this is millions of light years away (estimated 38 million in fact), so unless you subscribe to the idea that everything “happens” from a geocentric fixed time frame, this supernova is already long since blown out into a nebula of some sort.

Phil Plait has more.

Dads to Huggies: “We’re no dummies”.

Huggies Diapers stepped in it bigtime recently, by pulling the same stereotyped crap about single dads you get from every sitcom and movie involving single parent fathers. Dads protested, and Huggies pulled the odious ads.

The “Dad Test” campaign, posted on Facebook and geared towards men, was meant to be funny. The idea behind the campaign, according to Huggies, was to prove that Huggies diapers and wipes can handle anything. As the ad’s narrator explains, “We put them to the toughest test imaginable: Dads, along with their babies, in one house, for five days.” They showed hopeless, overwhelmed dads in cliched scenarios (i.e., watching sports, neglecting their babies) as their wives get their nails done and sip tea (how original).

Well, let’s just say that viewers were not amused (and I don’t blame them one bit). They flocked to Facebook with claims they’ll never buy Huggies again, and even created a petition – called “We’re Dads, Huggies. Not Dummies,” at Change. org (so far, around 1300 people have signed it). Huggies quickly responded by apologizing, pulling the ads and replacing them with new ones that show dads sitting in gliders and rocking happy babies in their laps.

So now the ads include confident, capable men, and all it took was a campaign to tell Huggies that the “only mothers are parents” bullshit won’t fly. Yet another way traditional gender roles screw things up for men. I’m earmarking this for some hypothetical future sequel to the Disadvantages of Being a Man post.

Yeah, I’m not terribly amused by this either. This is stuff Huggies should be getting right the first time around. Surely they do product surveys, surely they know that men are often buying their products, and surely they know that many of those men are the primary child caregivers. We men are not sports-watchers and beer-swillers by default; we are not incapable of emotions or imbued with toxic masculinity except where we are molded by the same societal gender roles that do so much damage to women. It is in all of our best interests to disassemble these societally enforced ideas, and a diaper company reinforcing them to be “funny” just shows how difficult a proposition it will be.