short & sweet: friday links

“Letting Go” at Rookie Mag, by Sady Doyle. A wonderful piece on smoking. Or rather, quitting smoking. P.S. I recently quit, too. Yesterday I had two months without a cigarette. Yay!

“learned helplessness” re: drug cartel violence in Mexico. Pretty intense stuff.

Slap Chop, Virgin Islands style:

 
Astronauts: Drop your cocks, label your socks!

Inspiring: my favorite tweet, this week.

An infographic: Gay Rights in the U.S., State by State

More on mainstream media assery: Time cover sells out moms to sell magazines

And finally: the best hitchhiking story I’ve heard in a while.

LOL J/K!

Friday links! You thought I’d forgotten? No way.

Patterns By Figgys, Sewing For Boys

From my little world: the book by Figgy’s is out, and I am so pleased! I spent a lot of time pattern-testing, giving feedback, searching for typos, and of course my little kiddos and husband were involved as well (Nels is featured in the pages of this lovely book and he is SO CUTE)! But my family’s involvement and efforts as compared to that of the authors is nothing. Karen and Shelly worked their asses off on this project. I can honestly say if you or someone you know wants some great patterns for kiddos infant to size 6/7, this book (which includes all patterns) is a wonderful investment.

First and best thing coming to mind this week: creative refutions of gay marriage protest signs. SO GOOD!

The Gay Agenda

Next: David Walliams swims the Thames. One more reason to be so in love with him.

I want to own a dress. OK, I own one dress (a light black cotton affair wonderful for the summer, and gifted me by the lovely Karen). This is the second dress I want to own. I recognized the dress and the movie right away – from a viewing many, many years ago. I have almost half the price tag saved up! We’ll see if that doesn’t get derailed by stuff like groceries or tacos.

Art: The Moody Nest. I like it.

Make: a digital camera more rugged. Very cool!

Birth Matters – And So Do Mothers and Kids by Wendy Priesnitz. Both mainstream culture and mainstream feminism exclude many groups – Ms. Priesnitz speaks eloquently to a more mature feminism. I’m ready for it, just wish more feminists were too!

To Those Who Call Me An Unparent at Demand Euphoria. This was cathartic to read! I have no idea if I parent like Vickie or not, as I’ve not read more than three posts on her blog – although you could certainly label us “radical unschoolers”. I do hear, from the rest of the world, ALL SORTS OF PREDICTIONS at how awful kids will be if they’re raised with X, Y, or Z (or without A, B, and C) – and I raise my kids these supposedly-terrible ways, and my kids are turning out awesome. I think what’s most important is people are prepared to engage their minds and hearts and listen long enough to understand where the other party is coming from. This includes parenting “debates”.

So, most y’all know I’m bisexual but I tend to be kinda closet-y about it in the real world. This article speaks to many reasons why (although, unlike the author, I would claim I have a lot of straight privilege even though I’m not straight).

Via Zoie on Twitter, and posted at Dandelion Roars: Permission Granted.

Two good films I recently watched:

Fish Tank (2009). Whaddya know, a film with a 15 year old female protagonist that does it soooooo right. Jarvis & Fassbender were incredible. Some truly harrowing moments but stick with it regardless (available on Netflix Instant).

Handsome Harry (2009). I liked this less than other films exploring similar themes, but Jamey Sheridan was fantastic and so were many moments in the film (also on Netflix Instant, if you haven’t figured out this is our only “television”).

Speaking of movies. Here is a film that is likely going to be a TURDÉ of high order. & yet I know I will still see it anyway. (shameface).

Finally, enjoy the sexy-mc-sexiness mashup, which kind of also makes me feel a little sick.

i am totally advocating for Ralph to name his band “The Jelly Tugs” but I don’t think he’s going to

Friday links – short and sweet this week.

A wonderful article: The Solace of Preparing Fried Foods and Other Quaint Remembrances from 1960s Mississippi: Thoughts on The Help by Roxane Gay

Another heady piece – hey, if you’ve ever thought criticizing a piece of work (as racist, misogynistic, disablist, etc etc) as “censorship”, perhaps you should read “Spinster aunt can’t shut the fuck up all of a sudden” at IBTP, where Twisty breaks it down for ye.

An article on gliding dragons in Malaysia; OK, I have to admit, shit like this almost makes me not deeply fearful of Nature.

OK, there’s a certain trend that’s getting a little tiresome (for me), but still, these are some awesome awesome wedding photos!

Make: a cardboard cat rocket. Seriously this would go over so big at our house. Not just with the cats, but with Ralph, Phoenix and Nels constructing it.

Washington tree-ripened peaches are here! And here’s how to make pies from them. P.S. I also have the ear of a state-winning pie champion when I have pie questions. Pretty cool stuff.

Free swatch day at Spoonflower! Did I design & submit a swatch? WHY YES I DID!

Fun! A cross stitch manicure from The Daily Nail – a really cool blog project, too.

Homemade NKOTB sweaters from the 90s (and a little V. Ice), as compiled at Craft, and knit & blogged by Joanne Conklin. So much fun!

Someone should tell Buster Crabbe to pull his shorts up a little higher. Who’s with me?

I sent this to my brother and he said it wasn’t funny. But I think just about EVERY SECOND OF IT REALLY, REALLY IS.

& finally: So. Adorable. & sweet.

the most obvious punchline ever, but, still…

 
Yeah, the other day I had a bit of “Oh you have this degree, you should [insert employment ‘opportunity’]” directed at me specifically. You know, by someone I don’t (yet) know well, with no interest expressed nor questions asked as to what it is I actually do during the day, if I like it, how good I am at it, how interested I am at doing something else, what my family’s organizing principles are, etc. I observe over a decade I have never had this advice directed to me by a woman (so to borrow a phrase from Jasmine – men, get your shit together!).

But for serious I was thinking about careers and status. And men. (More in a minute!) Until the other day it had been a while since anyone else brought up my former life of moneyed and statused career in referendum of my current life which is a bit different in both those spheres. The symptomatic current-life devaluation of my existence doesn’t sting like it used to simply because I rely on my spiritual life and people I know and trust to help me know how I’m doing and what I’m worth. Really, the whole thing is funny to me (but it wasn’t when I first heard that college-degreed women who stay home to raise children are “opting out” and a bunch of other stuff about how they’re Ruining Everything – heard it from close friends, coworkers, etc). Because all of this is about them, not me. The day someone queries what it is I do, what I find value in, what my life is like, what I’m passionate about, who I help, what I’m skilled at (up until now), what I’m not (so far), what I long for, what I’m afraid of – and then makes some suggestions? Well first I’ll acknowledge them for even giving a damn to listen so much, but at that point I’ll also be interested in hearing their opinions on my life’s course.

I was thinking about, and this is related believe it or not – and truly a confession here I’m not proud of – how angry it’s made me, in the past, when men flirt with me. I have responded to men and women (very rarely) by flirting back, sure; but increasingly over the years I have become a fixed and hardened person when it comes to men, a smiling cipher who will move away when they move close (literally or figuratively), an outward smile and tactful deferral but years of scorn and fear slowly calcifying around my heart. Until very recently I have taken (false) pride in my defensive response, but now I realize it was a sign of my weakness. Because really, until now I have thought men who flirt are telling me they don’t think I’m worth much. They don’t care to find out if I’m in a mated pair (I am, and I wear a ring for one thing), or anything about me at all except for I make them have feelings in their pants or maybe I’ll take care of their laundry or their kids or their Existential Loneliness, whatever they crave, with sex of some sort. They (often) don’t know anything about me whatsoever; how can any interest in me be anything real or personal at all? Why do they put me in the position of having to do a goddamn thing (like “Yes” or “No” to an advance) when I want to go about my day and buy potatoes or ride a bike or mail a package?

I’ve hated myself for not saying something aloud. Like “Please stop, this is bothering me.” Of course, most women know what happens – often – when you do this. I haven’t been strong enough to stomach any more of what always happened before. “What’s your fucking problem?” “Don’t flatter yourself.” “I wasn’t doing anything.” “You’re making a big deal out of nothing.” “Bitch!” Physical threats.

But today I need to forgive men, or at least those with the entitled assumption that all women find flirtations welcome or flattering. I need to forgive those who’ve abused me in the past (all of them). I need to forgive those who diminish me. I need to forgive them their clumsiness, even forgive those who are straight-up manipulative and/or hate women (that hatred is a Fear response anyway; I can empathize because Fear is indeed a plague that besets us all). We are all lost, at one point or another. I need to forgive myself for receiving and internalizing the message it is my beauty (ha!), or my “nice”ness, or my accommodation, or my cooking or my figure (ha!) or my performance of Femaleness, or a myriad of other things, that really count and that are up for others’ measure and evaluation. The thing that counts is I’m a person. Other people may not give me respect or be interested, not in Me really, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give these gifts to myself – and to them. I don’t have to hate those who are only doing the best they can at the time. I can’t forgive all, and instantly so, but I can know it’s what I need to do.

Do I wish sometimes I could have two weeks on an island free of this stuff? Yeah, I do. But I don’t have that space or time, and life is life.

I have been messing about fixing a car; if you’ve been counting, you’ll know we currently have one that’s working and one that is not. The car stuff is bringing up some of the Flirting D00d stuff; today in a garage I was assailed repeatedly by no fewer than four men, jumping on me like starving fleas. Doing that thing where they apologize profusely for their slips of “bad language”. Because I’m a Lady. And I guess I need smelling salts when someone says the word “fuck” (the thing that actually disturbs me is, acting one way when a woman is around and another when one is not, feel free anyone to self-reflect on that). Then telling me I smell good. Then wanting me to come look at their car project (“Hey, guess what this is?”). Then teasing me for texting (my husband, as it happened) and asking me to come over (I am not making this up). Instead of learning a bit about my car as I’d hoped to, I had the opportunity to experience all this. Finally the owner showed up – he actually helped me quite a bit in a totally direct and friendly manner. I drove off happy. I told myself I would never know why these men treated me this way, I can’t assume they were flirting with any intent, maybe they were just hyper – or Lonely. Hey, Lonely is okay. We’ve all been there. Nothing to be pissed about.

Short potential morals of these stories, if you find them useful: pay attention to people and who they evidence themselves to be. Ask yourself why you’re being prescriptive. Don’t be a Creeper. Find what you’re passionate about. Enjoy the passions of others as they display them. See if you can look yourself in the mirror and say aloud you (honestly) like yourself. Respect others.

When you run across a person you can be damned amazed you have this life and another human being to share it with. You don’t have to fuck it up, or at least you can fuck it up less.

relax, don’t do it – it’s friday!

Friday links, and I’m giving you a small portion of nice, soft, digestible pudding-like fare. This week’s prescription: take ‘er easy.

First, from the annals (eh) of unintentional comedy and American overconsumption:

Or, as Lizz Winstead says, “YOU: I like to poop, but would enjoy it more if it was more complicated. ME: No problem.”

Then: Wave At The Bus – 170 days of dadly awesomeness. Truly.

Fascinating: A Worldwide Day’s Worth of Food: “In their new book, What I Eat, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D’Aluisio present thought-provoking portraits of individuals around the globe and the food that fuels them over the course of a single day.” P.S. “calories for this day” – SUCH a victory over typical conversations!

Children have not always dressed, or been dressed, differently than adults. Here’s just one example. Quite relevant to a submission we have for our upcoming Fiber & Textile show.

h/t Flo for posting this on FB:

You know the only thing funnier than this seven-odd minutes is the fact that as I watched I realized: I don’t think I’ve ever used, nor heard someone use, that phrase IRL. But then –

You probably just don’t get it. Do you.*

(What movies did we see here? Check out the curator’s blog post.)

And finally: thanks, Jasmine. This is kick-ass:

* I should note: besides being a great montage, at about 0:56 we’re seeing KARATE KID III which was riffed most excellently by Mike, Bill, & Kevin.

"What the fuck are you Tolkien about?"

friday, friday, gettin’ down on friday

Friday links, or also, things I tweet and email to friends/family and then notice these people post them to Facebook to madcap happy responses. I miss the days of my Facebook account. I had many fans. Am I tempted to go back? Narp.

1. At design-fetish, from two years ago: “Retrofied Modern Movie Posters”. I sent these to my husband – a local and volunteer poster-designer, who wrote me in return (smugly), “I know.” Whatevs. A couple days later I stumbled (in a totally different space) on another such concept – but hello, a poster with major spoilers? Oh hell no.

2. I have one quibble with the self identified “world’s 9 most brilliantly pointless street fliers” curated at someecards. The “pointless” should be replaced with “fucking awesome!” because I peed a little. The last example had me at Hello.

3. I recently stumbled on the Antonio Buehler article “Who SHOULD Homeschool?”. I’m quite impressed as it is pretty frank and hard-hitting while emphatically laying to rest many myths propagated and ignorance perpetrated about the homeschooling option. Probably other people aren’t that impressed, but for me, he tackles a discussion many people pussyfoot around. On that note, I’d advise not clicking through unless you can read with an open mind, and as per usual if you have a refution or comment, please do leave it at the source material and link back through comments here if you like.

4. At the same time and in a similar vein, I found Buehler’s previously-published article, “Who Should NOT Homeschool” to be, as far as I’m concerned, compassionate and realistic in many ways… although I am a bit confused and have some concerns I haven’t satisfied. Beuhler seems to advocate for homeschooling purely in terms of achievement (which is a schema also embraced, however poorly consummated, by the schooling model). I’m wondering what worldview he holds for those who’d homeschool for holistic reasons, personal empowerment, and the mental, emotional, and physical health of our little human beings – regardless of the status, titles, or pay they end up commanding in their adult state.

5. Anita Sarkeesian challenges the mainstream tendency to celebrate so-called “feminist” film roles in this vlog: “True Grit, Mattie Ross and Feminism?”. There’s nothing I can say here that will add to Sarkeesian’s excellent analysis; the six plus minutes are well-spent. If you don’t know the term androcentrism, it’s long-past time you remedied that.

6. The Boston Globe “The Big Picture” feature contains a photo-essay of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan. The images of the very old and the very young are especially difficult for me. I also find myself wondering about the experiences of the rescue workers. They are faced with such colossal devastation, yet every moment they are making a positive difference – saving lives and moving people to tears and prayer.

7. At The Noble Savage, Amity Reed writes “Sleep, my pretty, sleep”, regarding a strategy to perserve mental health when the world seems a dark and scary place.

8. At What Tami Said: “Stop Being ‘Shocked’ by ‘Isms'”. I’ve heard this point before, and I am in whole-hearted agreement. I love how Tami writes because she is rational yet well-equipped to discuss emotional realities; she also has a succinct delivery on complex subjects that I rather envy. And good lord, any “progressive” or liberal reading here, please do click through.

9. Crafting: I’m pretty sure the Super Secret Waffle Cult is behind many nefarious breakfast pastry plots. And by the way, I would totally make up some of these crepe paper flowers except that within a week they’d be clotted with cat hair; no longer so “fresh”.

10. Sasson shirts. I don’t need to write any further, except to say this is what I like to put on after I’ve had a hard day bringing much love, happiness, and saxiness to the world.

11. The tribute to Dwayne McDuffie at Racialicious is sweet and informative. In particular I enjoyed the video interview where McDuffie makes some excellent points regarding the inclusion of racial minority characters in a white-dominated field. It is So. Worth. Watching!

12. Sent to me by friend and reader Bex: “Deb Roy: The Birth of a Word”. At 4:57 I STARTED CRYING. Also at the end. The big ticket/mass media/marketing opportunity items were less important to me than the reflection of the “feedback loop” of raising our young – in other words, it isn’t just us influencing them; we respond in Pavlovian kind.

13. Random Parenting Thought 2 – Behaviourism v Unconditional Parenting at Analytical Armadillo. I would cite Behaviorism as just about the number one mainstream US parenting principle (even if adherents, parents and non-parenting adults alike, wouldn’t self-identify it as such). It’s crap, and limited, and fear-based – and yet it prevails. Ed. note, see comments for a discussion of the meaning of “Behaviorism”.

14. Local! “Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain memorialized with guitar sculpture in Washington” (that would be Aberdeen, Washington) from APP.com (written by local reporter Steven Friederich). I notice Mayor Bill Simpson can’t help farting in the general direction (most locals with his views on Cobain however think our log/rape’n’pillage history and serial killer/boomtown murder rate are totally honorable/colorful and deserve the museums & memorabilia devoted to them. Etc.). What’s interesting to me is people still come from all over the world to explore Kurt Cobain’s life, to find clues, to look deeper into the birthplace of music that resonates with them. On a related note, Aberdeen and surrounding area has mostly whizzed this responsibility (and opportunity) down the leg, although as this newspiece indicates, many people are trying to do right by our historical record.

15. Guest-posting at Authentic Parenting, Meredeth Barth writes, “Just a Child”, her response to an average parenting mag’s average kind of article (“25 Manners Kids Should Know”). Of course I related to much of this, but today I’m reflecting that mainstream “experts” often aren’t really experts, but rather those who repeat and reify the views we’re finding comforting, convenient, etc. Most parenting “experts” today espouse a lot of twaddle (sadly, some of it quite harmful), and I’m sad to think of how much I’ve bought into, and how hard it continues to be to un-learn these tenets and simultaneously forge better relationships.

16. Awful Library Books discussed a potential shelving of Not in Room 204, a children’s book dealing with a child’s experience of sexual abuse by a father. The original post (specifically the submitter’s concerns) and many comments made me incredibly sad, or angry – some comments made little jests, some claimed the book was “too creepy” for children to handle and it might give them nightmares (ah yes, the perpetuated belief kids aren’t smart/are too fragile, etc. – while we hold they are, apparently, equipped to handle being abused in their homes without a lifeline). Fortunately better heads pervailed in the commentariat. I liked what Sarah, a librarian, had to say (3/17/11 4:54 PM): “This book handles the subject responsibly and respectfully. It’s crucial that we don’t hide information from kids even if it makes us uncomfortable; sometimes their lives depend on getting their hands on a book like this.” Leigha (3/17/11 10:56 PM) makes a great point about a handful of responses regarding access: “All the comments about how it’s a good book to have because it’s in the adult section anyway and the kid would need it read to them seem to be missing one key point…it’s normally (like for the girl in the book) one of the parents DOING the molesting. Do you really think a child molester is going to read this book to their kid? And I doubt anyone else would unless they suspected something. If it’s not where the kids themselves can get it, it’s pretty much worthless.” Me, I’m still saddened, and gobsmacked, that one of the most prevalent forms of abuse against children, and one the child is least able to get help for, is still so under-discussed and meets with so many so-called well-intentioned adults’ pressure to keep it under wraps.

17. Tonight the 7th Street Theatre here in Hoquiam is showing Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. As I have been doing for about four years, I designed the movie program (shoehorning in the popular trivia section, and deciding which trivia had merit, and imagining some the fantasy-geek rage I might inspire if I got any of it wrong). Anyway, whilst up late finishing that up I stumbled on this image which left me giggling.

"What the fuck are you Tolkien about?"

For those whom it applies, I hope you have a lovely Friday night and a fabulous weekend!

 

everybody’s working for the weekend

OK seriously, it’s 2 PM here PST and if you’re at a desk, it’s time to glaze your eyes surfing around at my assembled Friday links! The serious, introspective, serio-comic, and frivolous are all provided:

1. “Come On. Admit It!” Dial-a-Llama, or as one comment identifies: llamar una llama.

2. I’d previously seen images circulating of “The Perfect Body, As Illustrated By Olympic Athletes”; what an inspirational and informative photo-essay!

3. As a bisexual lady, I rather enjoyed this video primer: “The Bizarre World of the Bisexual” from MisterSharp.

4. Professor Kate Clancy pokes holes in evo psyche myopia in “Mate magnet madness: When the range of possible explanations exceeds your own hypothesis”; that last sentence in particular is a tangy zing! afterflavor following stellar sciencey radness.

5. This rant regarding Paper, Rock, Scissors reminds me of my brother, who I’ll bet has already thought about the logic (or lack therein) of the game.

6. Speaking of my brother, he sent me this “adorable cat image” (THE EYES).

7. For Cynthia and other fans: the Red Velvet Roundup via CRAFT. I currently have a triple-decker red velvet cooling on my counter. I’m told it’s not real Red Velvet Cake without the milk roux frosting. I’m just putting together cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla though, and I’ll bet any purists wouldn’t mind.

8. I quite enjoyed these: “Surreal Photos of Subway Cars Being Thrown Into the Ocean [Slideshow]”.

9. If you already know what’s fun and exciting about the phrase Orange Mocha Frappucino! – well now you can make them up at home!

10. Ani DiFranco’s homebirth, in her own words. FUCKING CHILLS, because of teh awesomez.

11. “Equals” – making the rounds a lot this week, the IWD PSA featuring Daniel Craig & Dame Judi Dench.

12. The New York Times reports on an alleged gang-rape and rightfully gets taken to task for the horrific way it does so: here is commentary by The Stranger in Seattle; here from PostBourgie. I’m glad people are working and speaking out about this form of reporting; I feel sad and cynical and rather pessimistic that men and women will reframe our victim-blaming societal discourse. I’m also hoping this girl and her family have strong support.

13. Ouyang Dan provides some resources regarding the Japan quake and tsunami.

14. Face/Off in Hecklevision” priemered earlier in the week. Oh dear Lord how I would have loved to go. In a similar vein, Rifftrax is releasing Highlander any minute. w00t!

15. National Geographic created a real-life version of the Up house. Adorable!

16. The Secular Homeschooler is shutting itself down. I s’pose that means I didn’t get my subscription’s worth, but I don’t much mind – except I will miss the awesomeness of the magazine. Deborah did a wonderful job in this publication; she and it will be missed.

But my all-time favorite video, link, etc. this week comes from “That Mitchell and Webb Look” through friend and reader Paige:

different outlooks different hopes

friday, friday, so good to me

Taking a break from my latest Netflix obsession (don’t worry, my obsessive-television watching is usually in short-lived bouts) I bring you: FRIDAY LINKAGE.

Film
Bollywood for Beginners Index at Filmi Girl

“Worst Movie of the ’00s?” at PostBourgie. Great piece and excellent comments.

There are no words for the excellence:

(thanks, Steev!)

Society
“Smiling Indians and Edward S. Curtis” by @NativeApprops. Definately check out the galleries, & the video.

“Guest Post: Reactions to the Case of Lara Logan” by Matt Cornell; also, Bill Maher makes LOUD NOISES about how U.S. is just SO MUCH BETTER TO WOMEN THAN MUSLIMS: “Bill Maher Pronounces Sexism in The Middle East, Worse Than In America” from womanist-musings. Finally, a succinct summation of some of those others who stand to lose with these narratives: Laura with “On Feminism, Religion, Superiority, Kyriarchy and Women’s Rights”.

“CNN buys into homeschooling stereotypes in child abduction case, blames victims”. Just add another nugget to the pile of deplorable turdburger that “Nancy Grace” (the show, not the person).

“Covering Up is a Feminist Issue” via PhD in Parenting, fertilefeminism; great video and a good 101!

“Class warfare” at globalsociology

“Just a Parent” by Ouyang Dan on Random Babble

Health
Planned Parenthood at PostBourgie

“Dear Michele Bachmann, et. al: Please Shut Up and Sit Down” at parenting.com

Gym Class by Michelle Allison. If there was a BINGO card about lots of awesome shit Kelly cares about (abolishing adultist thoughts, freeing children from forced institutionalism and segregation, HAES/FA etc.) I’d be shouting “LOTERIA!”

Parenting
“The best parenting book you will ever read.” – some thoughts on a fictional hero of mine – and many others’ (note: spoilers, link concerns the book To Kill A Mockingbird).

“Five Questions for Laurie A. Couture by E. Christopher Clark of Geek Force Five”. Ms. Couture is becoming one of the items in my feed reader I look forward to most. Her thoughts on the third question – C. – I’ve found most relevant as she’s discussing teens, and I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time around teens lately and I’m loving it!

Make/Craft
Awesome Godzilla Quilt, courtesy of the East Bay Heritage Quilters

“Coke Bottle Watering “Globes” at RadMegan

Hand-painted  B-movie purses? I had to write this lady a stalky email because. Come on. How awesome!

How to cook perfect rice – in a frying pan at Just Bento

Quotable
‎”Free children are not easily influenced; the absence of fear accounts for this phenomenon. Indeed, the absence of fear is the finest thing that can happen to a child.” ~ A. S. Neil

Random Awesomeness
Promtacular – ZOMG, who’s ready to dig up prom pictures? 100 to YES.

“Mad, Mod & Macabre – The Ronald Stein Collection” – I. Want. This.

different outlooks different hopes

America is for Americans

freaky friday

Quotable
Something I wrote last Friday was quoted at both The Life Learning (Unschooling) Happiness Project and Life Learning Magazine. I love it when I’m quoted without an accompanying descriptor, hee. And in the case of Life Learning I mean look who else is quoted there. Come on. Who wouldn’t feel just a teensy bit awesome about that?

Culture & Pop Culture
“A Decade of Fear” from Information is Beautiful
I wonder how many people think of the toll that obsessive fear plays on our own and others’ psyche.

Kanye’s new video got leaked, so they’ll be much this-and-that discussion. Right out of the gate PostBourgie and Ta-Nehisi Coates came forth with pieces I enjoyed.

Refiguring the Passive Girl Toy at SocImages (Yeah, that’s me that made the submission. SocImages has the readers do a lot of their legwork, I think they should work harder on the linky-love, but then what do I know. I have a tiny site with small readership).
The first commenter asserts girls won’t like having their toys chopped up (so I guess this person doesn’t understand the concept of a child owning his/her own toys and getting to make that decision on their own?). Never fear, many readers (several of which who were once, you know, actual girls) chime in with how very much they DID like hacking their toys. Yarp.

Health
The new issue of Squat! is available. If you’d like you can read last summer’s first issue gratis, which features a piece by reader and friend Kat (“Unassisted Birth Story of David Elijah Kirkwood”).

From The Unnecesarean: “Nitrous Oxide for Laboring Women in the United States”. I am truly gobsmacked with what women face in the hospital, this form of low-risk and near instantaneous assistance (which has the additional advantage of being in the mama’s control) is not available.

Some perspective on the obese monsters who are Ruining America (and the concern trolls who love them), brought to us by Idzie’s tumblog and from Fat Heffalump.

Work
“A Plentitude of Work” by WendyPriesnitz: “unjobbing”, not just for SNAGs anymore.

Race
Re: Huckleberry Finn – I read easily a half dozen pieces this week. I enjoyed the summation “Voices: The Huckleberry Finn Controversy” at Racialicious, Renee’s perspective, and The N-word belongs in “Huckleberry Finn”, by Elon James in “This Week in Blackness” at Salon

This isn’t a case of political correctness. This is a case of being racially uncomfortable [ … ] America, in its constant obsession with being seen as “awesome,” will actively try to Photoshop its own historical portrait. (Um… is this last sentence pretty much the best sentence I’ve read about America? Yeah. I think so)

“Nickelodeon Gets Diversity Points, But Still Overlooks Race” at Colorlines

Also from Colorlines: “Two Young Girls Climb U.S./Mexico Border Fence in 18 Seconds”; please do watch both videos.

“Racists Totally Freak Out Over Muslim ‘Batman of Paris'”; this came to me via Ralph. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen (white) fanboys froth at the mouth regarding the God-given imperative to cast white actors in supposedly white-sourced roles. Guess how many mainstream Hollywood films have featured black superheroes as title character? No, guess. (I’d cite non-black poc statistics but I actually don’t know the answer on that one).

Make/Craft
Milk Punch at smittenkitten (h/t Paige). We made a non-booze version and it was delicious; Ralph especially enjoyed it.

The Soul Roll by Emeril. Made this two days ago and? Yeah. Delicious. Do make the sweet cornbread with this meal. It perfectly balances the NOMNOMNOMness.

Environment
“It is the main topic along the border. And the strange thing is it’s very hard to find anyone for it.” Speaking of the U.S./Mexican border fence, as the largest country-dividing construction since the Great Wall of China (h/t reader and friend Jeanne), the levels of suckery are boundless: “The US-Mexico Wall, it’s Borderlands, Wildlife, and People” from triggerpit. Beautiful, amazing photos and a wonderful and informative perspective in the text.

“Nobody disagrees on how this is affecting the environment, the only disagreement is how important the environment is in the overall discussion.” Ana Cordova, Ph, D, Institute for Northern Border Studies. US-Mexico

Tweet Of The Week
Yeah, I totally agree.

Random Awesomeness
America is for Americans

No matter how mean the internet is sometimes, mashups #FTW: