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I can’t imagine why Google prefers their FIFA World Cup Doodles over my well-researched one. Oh well, their loss I guess.

Nappy (Pharrell Cover) with Lyrics by Maimouna Youssef feat. Dev Duff

Saturday Afternoon Reading

Definition: “Scrounger”
by Derica Shields

But she doesn’t let them to dismiss her! I cannot count the number of times I’ve been talked over and talked down to by white British men. My statements informed by education, research or experience are interrogated, picked apart, evengoogled when similar statements by a white man would be accepted as truths. Apparently, women of colour’s speech is always awaiting verification. I love that Yaqoob refused to succumb to all those familiar silencing tactics, and so quickly articulated a powerful case against austerity.

Read more at AfricasACountry.com

How safe is New York?
by Keir Clarke

In this Safe New York map I’ve taken the data for Manhattan, New York. The map shows the safest and least safe locations as perceived by the MIT Street View algorithm. The MIT q-score assigns a value up to 43 for each Street View image. The higher the q-score assigned the higher the safety perception. The lower the q-score the lower the safety perception.

Read More at GoogleMapsMania

Why All Our Daughters Need to See ‘Maleficent’ Right Now
by Melissa Cordner

Reviews and friends will tell you that Maleficent was predictable, at times slow, and seemed to be primarily an excuse for the artists to show off their CG skills (that dragon though!). In terms of action-based plotlines, this is fair, but those who are bored by the film are overlooking one key factor: character development. Maleficent is a classic stereotypical “total bitch”—and THAT’S PORTRAYED AS A GOOD THING.

Read more at BitchFlicks

Intro Class
by Robot Hugs

Robot Hugs is a webcomic updated on Mondays and Thursdays.

I live in Toronto and work in UX/IA. I have a degree in Linguistics. I believe in ninjas, and romance, and saving the world. I prefer gender-neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ or ‘zie/zir’.

Read More at RobotHugs

Who do you think should direct Episode IX?

Saturday Afternoon Reading

by Maurice Mcleod at MediaDiversified.org
Football frequently makes me a hypocrite.
I’ve spent a sizeable chunk of my life thinking, writing and ranting about social justice but when it comes to football, I’m as blinkered as a Daily Mail reader. A bunch of philandering millionaires, kicking a bit of leather around, get my full-hearted backing in a way that city traders and industry big-wigs can only dream of.
Read More at Media Diversified Does Keeping a Cell Phone in Your Pocket Reduce Male Fertility?
by Greg Laden
The study considered the effects of radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation (RF-EMR) on sperm motility (movement), viability, and concentration. As a meta-analysis, the study looked at several in vitro and in vivo analyses, combining the results, and using a statistical analysis to test the idea that RF-EMR has an effect on any one of these three variables. In total, ten studies were selected from a wider range of studies (the others were eliminated for various reasons) across which a total of 1492 sperm specimens were analyzed.
Read More at ScienceBlogs.com Jenny Yang’s ‘If Asians Said the Stuff White People Say’ A Fast Online Hit
by Arturo R. García
“I just love dating white guys,” she tells one guy. “Because they’re so large and overbearing.” In another “romantic” scene, Eugene smoothly tells a white woman, “You know, I’m really into white girls. Just white girls,” only to protest, “Where you going?” as she runs.
Read More at Racialicious a continuum of thought
by Dermot O’Connor
For the past two years I’ve been working on a comic book called ‘Continuum’. In ‘Continuum’, Albert Einstein takes a young George W. Bush on a journey through space-time and philosophy. Some of the pages were relatively straightforward, until this one – page 100. Page 100 shows many of the key figures who shaped different aspects of the modern worldview. This page has to date taken about 2 months. Each pose animates into the one following. Hefty research was required to select the characters – and when a new figure was added, this occasionally necessitated altering the poses of the figures before and after (one reason why this page took so long to complete).
Read More at AngryAnimator.com
What else should I be reading?

Sometimes I want to dance on Hitler’s grave, and shout out,
“Groucho Marx, Lenny Bruce, Leonard Cohen, Philip Roth, Bob Dylan,
Albert Einstein, Woody Allen, Leonard Bernstein, Harry Houdini, Emma Goldman, Sandy Koufax!”

And then I want to shout as loud as I can,
watch the chandeliers that sway dangerously overhead, proclaiming
Kristallnacht is over

I say that Kristallnacht is over! The only broken glass tonight
will be from wedding glasses shattered under boot heels

We’re not the ones who are in the museum, it’s you,
your curious mustache and your chamber of horrors

Dan Bern — Lithuania

(Go listen to the whole thing here)


Sunday Afternoon Reading

[Bonnie] Pietila hired Nancy Cartwright to voice the main character of the family’s son Bart, as Cartwright had done several little boy voices in the past. Dan Castellaneta’s tenor became the voice of Homer Simpson for financial reasons, as Pietila says Groening’s budget was so tight they needed someone who could do several different voices in addition to Homer’s.
The Sea Org is Scientology’s answer to Navy SEALs, only with less focus on special ops and more on fleecing children and the gullible. They were originally created to crew L. Ron Hubbard’s private fleet, but over the years they morphed from “religious Marine Corps” into something between a cult, the Mickey Mouse Club, and a time-share scam. My name is Derek Bloch, and I spent three years in Scientology’s creepy space navy before abandoning ship. Here’s what I learned…
We’re all familiar with the pattern now: a solitary young white man goes on a shooting rampage. People die. The media describes him as “crazy,” “disturbed,” “troubled,” “insane.” Everyone collectively bemoans the failings of our mental healthcare system, presuming that its failure is relevant here. People with mental illnesses cringe at the reminder of what our society thinks of them. A few people advocate stricter restrictions on guns. The victims are buried and memorialized, the killer’s parents shunned or comforted, and the killer gradually forgotten.
Civilians don’t miss war. But soldiers often do. Journalist Sebastian Junger shares his experience embedded with American soldiers at Restrepo, an outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley that saw heavy combat. Giving a look at the “altered state of mind” that comes with war, he shows how combat gives soldiers an intense experience of connection. In the end, could it actually be “the opposite of war” that soldiers miss? 

by Ali

We all know why commenting is important — it fosters our happy community and allows a discussion on topics on which, if we’d printed them in a newspaper or magazine, would be a one-way information download instead of a two-way (or million-way) conversation. Commenting is the ultimate in symbiotic relationship. Commenting rules.

Read More at Autostraddle.com

Saturday Afternoon Reading

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.
Princess Leia has gone missing from kidword… Of course, this is far from the first time I’ve noticed Leia’s absence. There are so many LEGO “Star Wars” sets but few feature female characters. The origin of that problem obviously is the lack of females in the “Star Wars” movies, but still, why does Leia go missing? If you search on the internet, you can find her in LEGO sets, but as my daughters and I go about our day, walking through toy stores or books stores or Target, we see Leia hardly anywhere. My seven year old and I did  spot her one day, and we bought the set, but we were disappointed that the scene depicted was where she was clad in a metal bikini chained to Jabba the Hut… It wouldn’t be so bad if there were many scenes and outfits for Leia, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.
I had come to believe that by now the racism of H.P. Lovecraft, the celebrated author of horror and fantasy, was a settled matter–like declaring Wrath of Khan the best film in the Star Trek franchise. Arguing against such a thing should be absurd. I certainly thought so after the matter was thrust into the spotlight in December 2011, when author Nnedi Okorafor won the esteemed World Fantasy Award–whose statuette is none other than H.P. Lovecraft’s disembodied head. Okorafor had been unaware of the depths of Lovecraft’s “issues,” until a friend sent her his 1912 poem, On the Creation of Niggers, where blacks are fashioned by the gods as “a beast … in semi-human figure.”
This week, I’ve found myself dragging through this last round of revisions.  I even fell asleep several times while working on my book.  I’ve come to believe that part of me is dragging out this particular moment.  The post-breakthrough where success seems imminent, but the hard work of the next phase hasn’t begun yet.  Part of me, I think, would like to hover here indefinitely, forever on the brink of something big.
Words and Music
Songstress Maimouna Youssef’s [(a.k.a. Mumu Fresh)] soulful cover We’re Already Royal not only puts Lorde’s original to shame, it complicates the young New Zealander’s Grammy winning track’s entire narrative. It flips the script, becoming a type of alternate surreal reality that (after closer inspection) we realize is really our own.
Please, let me know if there’s anything I should read?

Sex and the First Amendment: Jessica Mitford on How Society Deals with Sexual Matters

Jessica Lucy Freeman-Mitford (11 September 1917 — 22 July 1996) was an English author, journalist, civil rights activist and political campaigner, who was one of the Mitford sisters. She became an American citizen in 1944.

Mitford, the sixth of seven children, was the daughter of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, and his wife Sydney (daughter of politician and publisher Thomas Bowles), and grew up in a series of her father’s country houses. She had little formal education, but never-the-less was widely read. Though her sisters Unity and Diana were well-known British supporters of Hitler and her father was described as being “one of nature’s fascists”, Jessica (always known as “Decca”) renounced her privileged background at an early age and became an adherent of communism. She was known as the “red sheep” of the family.

At age 19, Mitford met her second cousin, Esmond Romilly, who was recuperating from dysentery caught during a stint with the International Brigades defending Madrid during the Spanish Civil War. Romilly was a nephew (by marriage) of Winston Churchill. The cousins immediately fell in love and decided to elope to Spain, where Romilly picked up work as a reporter for the News Chronicle. After some legal difficulties caused by their relatives’ opposition, they married. They moved to London and lived in the East End, then mostly a poor industrial area. Mitford gave birth at home to a daughter, Julia Decca Romilly, on December 20, 1937. The baby died in a measles epidemic the following May. Jessica Mitford rarely spoke of Julia in later life and she is not referred to by name in Mitford’s autobiographical novel, Hons and Rebels.[1]
In 1939, Romilly and Mitford emigrated to the United States. They traveled around, working odd jobs, perpetually short of money.[1] At the outset of World War II, Romilly enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force; Mitford was living in Washington D.C., and considered joining him once he was posted to England. While living in D.C, with contemporaries Virginia Foster Durr and Clifford Durr, she gave birth to another daughter, Constancia (“the Donk” or “Dinky”) Romilly on 9 February 1941.[3] Her husband went missing in action on 30 November 1941, on his way back from a bombing raid over Nazi Germany.

Mitford threw herself into war work. Through this, she met and married the American civil rights lawyer Robert Treuhaft in 1943 and eventually settled in Oakland, California. She became an American citizen in 1944.[4]
There the couple had two sons: Nicholas born 1944 (who was killed in 1955 when hit by a bus), and Benjamin, born 1947. Mitford approached her motherhood in a spirit of “benign neglect”, described by her children as “matter-of-fact” and “not touchy-feely”.[5] She became closer to her own mother by letter over the decades but remained estranged from her sister Diana for the rest of her life.

The author Christopher Hitchens expressed his admiration for Jessica Mitford and praised Hons and Rebels.[14]
J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, reviewed Mitford’s book of letters, Decca, in the Sunday Telegraph in 2006.[15]
Rowling stated in 2002, “My most influential writer, without a doubt, is Jessica Mitford. When my grand-aunt gave me Hons and Rebels when I was 14, she instantly became my heroine. She ran away from home to fight in the Spanish Civil War, taking with her a camera that she had charged to her father’s account. I wished I’d had the nerve to do something like that. I love the way she never outgrew some of her adolescent traits, remaining true to her politics — she was a self-taught socialist — throughout her life. I think I’ve read everything she wrote. I even called my daughter Jessica Rowling Arantes after her.”[16]
In 2013 the singer David Bowie named The American Way of Death as one of his favourite books.

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