And oh, how they danced

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:52 pm
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[personal profile] radiantfracture
As [personal profile] bibliofile promised, the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performance was fantastic. Their first two pieces, in particular, were -- of all the art I have seen in recent memory -- the most exciting for me (and likewise for my viewing companion J). Both were choreographed by Crystal Pite. I am no kind of scholar of dance, but on the strength of these examples I would follow her work wherever I could find it.

(Hey! She's Canadian!)

The first work was "A Picture of You Falling." It began with a voice that would iterate and elaborate phrases throughout the work, reminding me a little of Laurie Anderson circa the 1980s, though less preoccupied with cliche.

"This is your voice," a female-coded voice, British. "This is a picture of you." Enter a man in a suit, an almost disappointing sign for "the generic" -- then his path is crossed by a woman in a similar suit -- again, that sense of almost-disappointment -- oh, will she only enter the centre of the narrative through his signification? Will he still define the terms of this dance? -- but then the coat comes off and she begins an exploration of movement, extension -- "This is a picture of you leaning back" -- it becomes her dance -- and she gives a solo performance of such strength.

Another dancer. "This is a picture of you, falling. Knees, hip, hands, elbows, head. This is how you collapse. This is the sound of your heart hitting the floor." A kinetic, impossibly flexible performer abstracts and -- yes, again -- elaborates and iterates -- the phases of falling, through some kind of half-narrated dreamlike repetition, like trauma, relived and distorted -- the noise of traffic, metallic crunch, door slam -- I really felt, watching nothing but this solo dancer's body jolt on a bare stage, that his body might fly into pieces. It was terrifying.

Later there is a room, a relationship, a pas de deux of striking equality of power and movement, seeming (to me at least) largely cleansed of the gendered tics of dance roles -- "they danced each other," said J., and I thought that was perfect.

The second piece, "The Other You", is a mirrored work for two male dancers -- uncanny, comic, destabilizing. J. thought it was about depression and I thought it was about power.

I found a great quote on the website of Pite's troupe, Kidd Pivot: "Your actions are pivotal—each change of direction extends your perspective of the possible." Like that.

Here are some clips from a 2012 performance -- but honestly I think the one we saw was more powerful -- sharper, cleaner, stronger, more focused.

* * * * *

And! LES BALLETS TROCKADERO are coming next season! (The drag ballet troupe that Brooke Lynn Heights performed with for five years!)
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Posted by Princess Weekes

1851: English novelist and writer Charlotte Bronte (1816 - 1855). Her novel 'Vilette' is based on her experiences as a teacher in Brussels where she fell in love with a married man, Paul Heger. Watercolour by Paul Heger (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
On the latest episode of Antiques Roadshow, a lock of hair in a ring discovered in a Welsh attic was deemed “very likely” to have been the hair of Charlotte Brontë, according to the Brontë Society, which is probably even bigger news than anything that happened on Game of Thrones last week.

Charlotte Brontë is one of English literature’s greatest female authors, with her most famous and influential work, Jane Eyre, being a staple book in the libraries of cool sad girls since 1847. Now, her work may not seem revolutionary, but at the time, Brontë’s command over prose fiction in first-person narration was lauded for giving readers such an in-depth vision of a protagonist’s inner psychological and spiritual development. Therefore, finding her hair in a ring is a huge deal to us book nerds.

The Guardian reports that, during the episode, a woman (who has not been identified) presented the ring, saying it belonged to her late father-in-law. The ring has an inscription on the inside, which bears the name of Charlotte Brontë and the date of her death in 1855.

“I’ve got goosebumps now thinking about it. It’s got a hinge on it, and inside there’s plaited hair. I think it may be the hair of Charlotte Brontë,” the woman told the show’s expert, Geoffrey Munn.

First of all, before we get any further, I want to know more about this father-in-law! How did he get the ring? What is the origin story? I’m legit curious about the backstory of this ring and ready for a Netflix special to explain things to me.

In the episode, Munn said there was “very little reason to doubt” that the ring would contain the author’s actual hair considering the practices of the time.

“It was a convention to make jewellery out of hair in the 19th century. There was a terror of not being able to remember the face and character of the person who had died,” he said. “It wasn’t an uncommon thing to happen. [The ring] opens like a little biscuit tin lid, and amazingly we see this hair work within, very finely worked and plaited hair. It echoes a bracelet Charlotte wore of her two sisters’ hair … So it’s absolutely the focus of the mid- to late 19th century and also the focus of Charlotte Brontë.”

Munn says that he believed it was “utterly and completely credible” that the hair had been Brontë’s. That opinion is shared by Ann Dinsdale, the lead curator at the Brontë Society & Brontë Parsonage Museum, who the Guardian says “had no reason to doubt the ring had been made using the author’s hair, even though its provenance was unknown.”

Dinsdale said the ring would be a “lovely addition” to the museum’s collection if they can afford it, especially since they already have samples of Brontë’s hair on display at the museum. I guess she was giving strands to all her friends? How much is the ring worth? Well, without the hair, Munn said he would have valued the ring at £25; with the hair and the inscription, he valued it at £20,000.

Now, considering Brexit, that’s a lot of money, and I could see the desire to sell it, but honestly, owning a ring with the hair of Charlotte Brontë is such a deep flex that I’d just keep it. Money comes and goes, but bragging rights to all your fellow literary sads is priceless.

Also, finding a braided lock of a hair in a ring is gothic as hell, which I think Brontë herself would have approved of.

(via The Guardian, image: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Bow Fanzine

Apr. 19th, 2019 12:26 pm
gettinggreyer: (Adora)
[personal profile] gettinggreyer posting in [community profile] she_ra_fandom
Shot Through the Heart, a Bow Appreciation Zine, is open for preorders from April 19th to May 20th through Gumroad. All proceeds will be donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality. Here are the bundles available for sale:

Writer’s PDF Only - 5$
This contains seven short stories with small illustrations accompanying each one. The total word count is around $15,000 words and this PDF can be purchased solely for the price of 5$ or in addition to another bundle for 3$.

PDF Only - 10$
This PDF of the art zine contains the artwork of over 36 artists with 38 art pieces.

Merch Only - 15$
This merch bundle includes the artwork of nine artists and includes: 2 Miniprints, 2 Bookmarks, 1 Sticker Sheet, 3 Stickers, and 1 Double sided charm.

Physical Copy of the Zine Only - 15$
The art zine contains the artwork of over 36 artists with 38 art pieces. It is in full color and 6x9 inches in dimensions. The physical zine does not contain the Writer’s PDF Zine, but that can be purchased additionally for 3$.

Merch + Physical Copy - 25$
Contains the above Merch and Physical Zine descriptions. Does not contain the Writer’s PDF Zine.

The PDFs will be emailed after the pre-order period closes, while the physical zine and merch are expected to be shipped around June. For more information, please check out the zine’s social media pages: [ profile] bow-zine [ profile] bowspopzine
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Posted by David Murphy

While I haven’t gotten high in a long, long time, I certainly recall the silly adventures I had when I did. This was back in college—way, way back in college—when all we had was Super Smash Bros. Melee, lava lamps, and racquetball to entertain ourselves when sampling various (terrible-tasting) edibles. Ah, simpler…


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Posted by Steve Benen

According Trump, the report that "could not have been better" for the White House, and which offered him a "complete and total exoneration," is now "crazy"?
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Posted by Michael Simon

I am not Yours, Sara Teasdale

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:41 pm
toujours_nigel: (writer)
[personal profile] toujours_nigel
I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:55 am
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[personal profile] violsva
From [community profile] thefridayfive:

1. Did you enjoy your senior year of high school?

Certainly more than the other ones.

2. Did you have a senior trip (high school) and were you able to go on it?

A what now?

3. Was graduating (from either high school or college/university) a big thing with your family or just another day?

Well, I and my parents actually went to my high school graduation, so there's that. I did not attend my university graduation ceremony, mostly because the default was that you could have two guests and apply for a limited number of extra invitations, and there were at least four people I really wanted there and a couple others who would expect to be invited, so it was easier to just avoid the issue.

4. What were you looking forward to the most after graduating from either high school or college/university?

After high school I was looking forward to university. After university I ... wasn't really.

5. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your graduating self?

For god's sake go see a fucking psychiatrist. And the campus employment centre.

Run Faster With Track Workouts

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:30 pm
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Posted by Beth Skwarecki on Vitals, shared by Beth Skwarecki to Lifehacker

I rarely feel stronger or faster or more totally badass than when I’m running a track workout with short repeats. Today, I want to share that feeling with you.


New Books and ARCs, 4/19/19

Apr. 19th, 2019 02:53 pm
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Posted by John Scalzi

I may be in London right now but that doesn’t mean I can’t still show off the new books and ARCs that came to the Scalzi Compound this week! Here they are. What here intrigues you? Tell us all in the comments.

open thread – April 19-20, 2019

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:00 pm
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Posted by Ask a Manager

It’s the Friday open thread! The comment section on this post is open for discussion with other readers on anything work-related that you want to talk about. If you want an answer from me, emailing me is still your best bet*, but this is a chance to talk to other readers.

* If you submitted a question to me recently, please don’t repost it here, as it may be in the to-be-answered queue.

open thread – April 19-20, 2019 was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

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Posted by Sumana Harihareswara

This month a Recurser I know, Pepijn de Vos, observed a concentration of high-quality open source software in the developer tools category, to the exclusion of other categories. With a few exceptions.

I understood where he's coming from, though my assessment differs. I started reflecting on those exceptions. Do they "prove the rule" in the colloquial sense that "every rule has exceptions," or do they "prove the rule" in the older sense, in that they give us an opportunity to test the rule? A few years ago I learned about this technique called "appreciative inquiry" which says: look at the unusual examples of things that are working well, and try to figure out how they've gotten where they are, so we can try to replicate it. So I think it's worth thinking a bit more about those exceptional FLOSS projects that aren't developer tools and that are pretty high-quality, in user experience design and robust functionality. And it's worth discussing problems and approaches in product management and user experience design in open source, and pointing to people already working on it.

FLOSS with good design and robust functionality: My list would include Firefox, Chromium, NetHack, Android, Audacity, Inkscape, VLC, the Archive Of Our Own, Written? Kitten!, Signal, Zulip, Thunderbird, and many of the built-in applications on the Linux desktop. I don't have much experience with Blender or Krita, but I believe they belong here too. (Another category worth thinking about: FLOSS software that has no commercial competitor, or whose commercial competitors are much worse, because for-profit companies would be far warier of liability or other legal issues surrounding the project. Examples: youtube-dl, Firefox Send, VLC again, and probably some security/privacy stuff I don't know much about.)

And as I start thinking about what helped these projects get where they are, I reach for the archetypes at play. I'll ask James and Karl to check my homework, but as I understand it:

Mass Market: NetHack, VLC, Firefox, Audacity, Inkscape, Thunderbird, youtube-dl
Controlled Ecosystem: Zulip, Archive Of Our Own
Business-to-business open source: Android, Chromium
Rocket Ship To Mars: Signal
Bathwater? Wide Open? Trusted Vendor? not sure: Written? Kitten!

The only "Wide Open" example that easily comes to mind for me is robotfindskitten, a game which -- like Written? Kitten! -- does one reasonably simple thing and does it well. Leonard reflected on reasons for its success at Roguelike Celebration 2017 (video). But I'd be open to correction, especially by people who are familiar with NetHack, VLC, Audacity, Inkscape, or youtube-dl development processes.

Design: Part of de Vos's point is about cost and quality in general. But I believe part of what he's getting at is design. Which FLOSS outside of developer tooling has good design?

In my own history as an open source contributor and leader, I've worked some on developer tools like PyPI and a linter for OpenNews, but quite a lot more on tools for other audiences, like MediaWiki, HTTPS Everywhere, Mailman, Zulip, bits of GNOME, AltLaw, and the WisCon app. The first open source project I ever contributed to, twelve years ago, was Miro, a video player and podcatcher. And these projects had all sorts of governance/funding structures: completely volunteer-run with and without any formal home, nonprofit with and without grants, academic, for-profit within consultancies and product companies.

So I know some of the dynamics that affect user experience in FLOSS for general audiences (often negatively), and discussed some of them in my code4lib keynote "User Experience is a Social Justice Issue" a few years ago. I'm certainly not alone; Simply Secure, Open Source Design, Cris Beasley, The Land, Clar, and Risker are just a few of the thinkers and practitioners who have shared useful thoughts on these problems.

In 2014, I wrote a few things about this issue, mostly in public, like the code4lib keynote and this April Fool's joke:

It turns out you can go into your init.cfg file and change the usability flag from 0 to 1, and that improves user experience tremendously. I wonder why distributions ship it turned off by default?
Wikimedia and pushback: But I also wrote a private email that year that I'll reproduce below. I wrote it about design change friction in Wikimedia communities, so it shorthands some references to, for instance, a proposed opt-in Wikimedia feature to help users hide some controversial images. But I hope it still provides some use even if you don't know that history.

I wanted to quickly summarize some thoughts and expand on the conversation you and I had several days ago, on reasons Wikimedia community members have a tough time with even opt-in or opt-out design changes like the image filter or VisualEditor or Media Viewer.

  • ideology of a free market of ideas -- the cure for bad speech is more speech, if you can't take the heat then you should not be here, aversion to American prudishness etc., etc. (more relevant for image filter)

    • relatedly "if you can't deal with the way things are then you are too stupid to be here" (more applicable to design simplifications like Media Viewer and VisualEditor)

  • people are bad at seeing that the situation that has incrementally changed around them is now a bad one (frog in pot of boiling water); see checkbox proliferation and baroque wikitext/template metastasis

  • most non-designers are bad at design thinking (at assessing a design, imagining it as a changeable prototype, thinking beyond their initial personal and aesthetic reaction, sussing out workflows and needs and assessing whether a proposed design would suit them, thinking from other people's points of view, thinking from the POV of a newcomer, etc.)

    • relatedly, we do not share a design vocabulary of concepts, nor principles that we aim to uphold or judge our work against (in contrast see our vocabulary of concepts and principles for Wikipedia content, e.g. NPOV, deletionism/inclusionism)

      • so people can only speak from their own personal aesthetics and initial reactions, which are often negative because in general people are averse to surprise novelty in environments they consider home, and the discourse can't rise beyond "I don't like it, therefore it sucks"

  • past history of difficult conversations, sometimes badly managed (e.g. image filter) and too-early rollout of buggy feature as a default (e.g. VisualEditor), causes once-burned-twice-shy wariness about new WMF features

    • Wikimedians' core ethos: "It's a wiki" (if you see a problem, e.g. an error in a Wikipedia article, try to fix it); everyone is responsible for maintaining and improving the project, preventing harm

      • ergo people who feel responsible for the quality of the project are like William F. Buckley's "National Review" in terms of their conservatism, standing athwart history yelling "stop"

I haven't answered some questions: what are the common patterns in our success stories (governance, funding, community size, maintainership history, etc.)? How do we address or prevent problems like the ones I mentioned seeing within Wikimedia? But it's great to see progress on those questions from organizations like Wikimedia and Simply Secure and Open Tech Strategies (disclosure: I often do work with the latter), and I do see hope for plausible ways forward.

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Posted by Michelle Woo on Offspring, shared by Michelle Woo to Lifehacker

The worst thing about letting my daughter watch a few shows is having to turn off those shows. It’s not so bad now that she’s 6, but at around 3, it was intense. I’d brace myself every time I’d enter the zone—that space between her eyeballs and the television. Standing in a place where she’d see me, I’d give her the…


Checking now and then

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:20 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

There's a white pine on my longer walk route with a fair-sized nest visible. Have seen either a Cooper's or sharp-shinned hawk flying to the tree, but the nest-call ki-ki-ki doesn't match either species in audio on the internet. Closer to the recordings for a merlin, which is unlikely.

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Posted by Libby Anne

Think about it. Do the Little House books mention birthdays in any substantive way? I don't think they do. Christmas is a huge deal throughout the books, but birthdays? Even that special gift Almonzo gives Laura before she fully realizes he's sweet on her---wasn't that a Christmas present? 

Click through to read more!

The Beard

Apr. 19th, 2019 07:52 am
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[personal profile] calimac
The most light and enjoyable topic to come out of a day spent releasing the Mueller report was the obsession with The Beard: the one on the guy standing behind Attorney General Barr at his press conference.

Here is both the answer to "Who is he, anyway?" (he's a deputy AG) and a collection of various tweets and comments about his appearance, of which the second best is
“This is going to be tough. Get me a guy with a cool beard to stand behind me.” -William Barr
and the best is
Breaking News: Attorney General Barr brings former President James A. Garfield to press conference in order to distract reporters with his magnificent beard.

*waves awkwardly*

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:53 am
brightandravenous: (Default)
[personal profile] brightandravenous
Hey everyone, I"m home again.

Very tired from new meds, very tired from the experience, just...very tired.

But not in a bad way. In an I-have-to-readjust-to-life way.

Thank you all for the love and support and kindness you've shown me and [personal profile] fullupwithfire this week. You've been amazing and I am so happy to have you all in my life.

There are some things I'm going to try and do differently but I'm still trying to figure out how that is going to work. We'll see how it goes.

But I'm home again and it feels so, so good.
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Posted by Kylie Cheung

bernie sanders sits on a senate committee hearing

Welcome to The Week in Reproductive Justice, a weekly recap of all news related to the hot-button issue of what lawmakers are allowing women to do with their bodies!

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ Fox News town hall this week has drawn a lot of attention—mostly directed at a glorious moment when its hosts surveyed the audience on their support for Medicare for All, and the majority of audience members seemed on board—but another particular moment, in which Sanders spoke of later abortion, also made waves on the internet, as anti-abortion news outlets seized on the opportunity to generate fear-mongering headlines, and reproductive rights advocates used Sanders’ response as a learning opportunity.

Sanders was asked by town hall moderator/Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum whether he believes “that a woman should be able to terminate a pregnancy up until the moment of birth.” He responded: “I think that that happens very, very rarely, and I think this is being made into a political issue. … But at the end of the day, I believe that the decision over abortion belongs to a woman and her physician. Not the federal government, not the state government, and not the local government.”

It was obviously a well-meaning response: Indeed, women must absolutely be trusted with their health care decisions, from the beginning to the end of pregnancy and beyond, but this question came from a place of bad faith and bad information, and Sanders should have acknowledged that from the get-go. Abortions don’t happen “up until the moment of birth” rarely—they never happen. That is not how later abortion works, and dignifying such questions not only advances the ignorance and hatred that they’re rooted in, but also further arms the right with dangerous, inflammatory talking points.

Sanders’ response to the question, in which he failed to dismiss it as utterly removed from reality and politically motivated, has already led to important dialogue on Twitter and social media among reproductive rights advocates, and this dialogue will hopefully better prepare other Democratic presidential candidates and politicians to answer questions like this, which they’ll inevitably face at some point in this political climate, which has made later abortion such a salient—and misunderstood—issue.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the U.S. Supreme Court

With a seemingly endless influx of anti-abortion bills striking state legislatures across the country recently, we’ve increasingly come to rely on lawsuits to fight back. In many cases—such as a judge’s decision to strike down a 20-week abortion ban in North Carolina earlier this month—with Roe v. Wade in place, these efforts have been successful, but under the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Senate, the ideological makeup of not just the Supreme Court but courts across the country is shifting quickly, placing reproductive rights in an increasingly precarious position as anti-abortion laws continue to flood the judicial system.

As of this week, the Center for Reproductive Rights has asked the Supreme Court to overturn a Fifth Circuit decision upholding a Louisiana law that would require every doctor who provides abortion services to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This law would effectively shut down at least one of Louisiana’s three remaining abortion clinics.

On top of being medically unnecessary, the law also advances the myth that abortion is dangerous and therefore requires close proximity to a hospital, despite how abortion is objectively safer than colonoscopies and certain dental procedures. Because it’s so plainly rooted in obstructing abortion access, laws like this were ruled unconstitutional in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt ruling.

But, of course, since 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court has seen the addition of two conservative, anti-abortion Justices appointed by President Trump. If the Supreme Court opts to hear the Center for Reproductive Rights’ case on the Fifth Circuit’s decision, there are several possible outcomes. One could be that the court overrules the Fifth Circuit’s decision and respects the precedent set by Whole Woman’s Health—but the court may also uphold the Fifth Circuit decision, effectively overturning that 2016 precedent and shuttering abortion access in Louisiana and other states that implement similar laws.

If the endless abortion ban proposals by state lawmakers haven’t made things clear enough, this is a precarious time for abortion rights, and so long as Donald Trump and Mike Pence are in office, appointing the judges who will rule on these abortion bans and restrictions, it’s growing increasingly difficult to trust that the judicial system will protect women.

“Born alive” anti-abortion bills see mixed results

Just days before North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a fear-mongering, anti-abortion “born alive” bill, Texas legislators advanced a similar bill, to receive final votes in the House and Senate soon. “Born alive” bills are rooted in the uniquely bizarre, disturbingly ignorant anti-abortion myth that “babies” can “survive” abortions later in the pregnancy, and mandate that doctors do everything they can to “save” these babies’ lives, or potentially face criminal charges. Of course, none of this ever happens, and it’s all just so ridiculous, contrived, and politically motivated that I can’t believe I’m even writing about this.

Since the start of this year, when state lawmakers in New York and Virginia moved to codify existing protections of the right to later abortions in the event that Roe is overturned, right-wing politicians have seized on the opportunity to demonize later abortion and equate all abortion with infanticide. “Born alive” bills literally do nothing, because the scenario they supposedly address simply doesn’t happen, but what they do achieve is the further demonization of later abortion care.

There’s obviously a lot to unpack here, from the objective rarity of later abortions (92 percent of abortions take place in the first trimester), to the importance of protecting women’s fundamental privacy rights, to the reality that extreme health circumstances are always going to arise, and later abortion must always be a safe, legal option. But what we urgently, desperately need to talk about is the reality that “born alive” bills and anti-abortion rhetoric about later abortion, in general, is going to get doctors and abortion providers killed.

We’ve already seen a jarring uptick in violence and violent threats targeting abortion providers during Trump’s tenure, and a subsequent emboldenment of all anti-abortion politicians and extremists. Rhetoric that quite literally, unabashedly represents abortion as murder isn’t just dishonest, compassionless, and plainly ignorant—it’s dangerous.

And there is no way to separate violent rhetoric from the violent acts that affect abortion providers on a far too frequent basis.

Oklahoma lawmakers pass “abortion reversal” bill

The anti-abortion lies don’t end with “born alive” bills. This week, the Oklahoma state legislature passed an “abortion reversal” bill to the desk of its anti-choice Governor Kevin Stitt. Abortion reversal laws, which are currently active in four states, require doctors to tell medication abortion patients that medication abortion, which involves taking two separate pills to induce a miscarriage, can be “reversed” if, after taking the first pill, the patient consumes large amounts of progesterone.

This is objectively false: The chance of maintaining a pregnancy when taking the first, but not the second, medication abortion pill is the same whether progesterone is taken or not. Of course, the difference between taking the first pill and not the second, and taking the first pill and then undergoing “abortion reversal” treatment, is that the “reversal” treatment can have a dangerous impact on women’s health.

Abortion reversal bills are all about forcing doctors to lie to patients and perpetuating the myth that those who have abortions should regret their decision. The bill, of course, isn’t forcing medication abortion patients to undergo abortion reversal, but by mandating that doctors literally lie to their patients, it erodes the fundamental trust that is so necessarily in health care—and especially reproductive health care.

Bernie Sanders’ answer to a “late-term abortion” question sparks important conversation

Tune in next week to see what lawmakers will try next in their never-ending mission to derail reproductive justice!

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Kylie Cheung writes about feminism and politics, with a focus on reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kylietcheung, or learn more about her writing at

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petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
[personal profile] petra
This essay by [personal profile] greywash says what I've been feeling. Spoilers all the way down.

North of Tyne Local Elections

Apr. 19th, 2019 03:13 pm
notasupervillain: Cat at computer (Default)
[personal profile] notasupervillain
Post 1 of 2.

I went to the Mayoral Candidate Economic Hustings for the North of Tyne Region, which doesn't cover all of Newcastle and also isn't exclusively North of the Tyne River, because that would make sense and we can't have that.

I'll post in detail about my experience, because I took lots of snarky notes about ridiculous things the candidates did and said, but later because typing long posts on my phone is too much. For now, I'll say that I left with a very definitive candidate-quality ranking, one which was supported by the civil servant sitting next to me. Mind, this isn't a ranking of policy. That ranking will come in my second post. This is purely "how good will you be at the job of being a mayor"?

1. John Appleby - Liberal Democrat
2. Jamie Driscoll - Labour
3. Charlie Hoult - Conservative
4. John McCabe - Independent
5. Hugh Jackson - UKIP

The problem being, of course, that I don't want Vince, Jeremy or Theresa to get the boost of their party doing well in a local election. The civil servant said that he was considering voting for the Independent instead of the Lib Dem, because, well, mayor is kinda a figurehead and John M. seemed to meet the base level of competent. I am in a similar situation, but I decided that I'd give the two top local candidates a chance. Maybe they're better than their parties on the issues that most concern me for each party.

I e-mailed Jamie last week to ask how he had personally worked to combat anti-Semiticsm. I haven't had an answer back but I'll post if I hear back.

After the debate, I cornered John A. I said that he was the candidate who spoke most about diversity, but he had never explicitly mentioned LGBT people and could he tell me where he stood on that?

He said that he wasn't going to just give me assurances, because anyone could do that, but he would give me 3 concrete examples. 

1. When he was Head of Mechanical Engineering, he supported a staff member's transition to female.
2. Something something a lesbian elected in the Anglican Church I don't understand church stuff.
3. He wrote an article on intersex people and faith, and had it published in the Church Newspaper. I found the article, and you can read it here:

The overall impression I got of him was someone from a different generation who's trying to learn. Like, I wouldn't be impressed if my younger siblings wrote that article or used exactly the words John A. used to describe helping his colleague transition. He's not #Woke. But I'd be delighted if my dad did. I think his intentions are good and he's acting in good faith (no pun intended).

I've learned by now that it's useless to tell people their parties have a problem with an issue, but I told him that his party has a big problem with perception over LGBT issues, and they need to rehabilitate their image. It's the same thing in politician-speak, where perception and reality are the same thing, but that framing doesn't get backs up the same way as calling out the problem itself. He listened, anyway. If nothing more comes of it than one member of the Liberal Democratic party seeing that this issue is still very much alive in his target demographic, I'm happy.
[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Shep McAllister on Kinja Deals, shared by Ana Suarez to Lifehacker

If you’re watching your weight in the lead-up to beach season, a smart scale can keep you honest by tracking your progress over time, and syncing to your other fitness and diet apps via Apple HomeKit and Google Fit.



Apr. 19th, 2019 07:37 am
prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
[personal profile] prettygoodword
fulham (FOOL-uhm) - n., (Brit., arch., slang) a loaded die.

That is, dice made with extra weight towards a side or a corner so that they favor specific throws, rather than even odds for each face. The more common spelling is fullam, even though it's named after Fulham, Middlesex (now part of Hammersmith, greater London) where they supposed to be chiefly made there.

Dice rolling high
Thanks, WikiMedia!

And that wraps up anther week of WTFWWF -- back next week with ye olde regular lexical mix.


(no subject)

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:19 am
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
Whoops, got distracted by fandom yesterday and missed the daily poem.

Dark Charms
by Dorianne Laux

Eventually the future shows up everywhere:
those burly summers and unslept nights in deep
lines and dark splotches, thinning skin.
Here's the corner store grown to a condo,
the bike reduced to one spinning wheel,
the ghost of a dog that used to be, her trail
no longer trodden, just a dip in the weeds.
The clear water we drank as thirsty children
still runs through our veins. Stars we saw then
we still see now, only fewer, dimmer, less often.
The old tunes play and continue to move us
in spite of our learning, the wraith of romance,
lost innocence, literature, the death of the poets.
We continue to speak, if only in whispers,
to something inside us that longs to be named.
We name it the past and drag it behind us,
bag like a lung filled with shadow and song,
dreams of running, the keys to lost names.

"Dark Charms" by Dorianne Laux, from The Book of Men. © Norton, 2011.

Fashion Friday DE

Apr. 19th, 2019 07:21 am
bjornwilde: (Default)
[personal profile] bjornwilde posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
Are there any cultural prohibitions* regarding fashion from your canon? How does your character view such prohibitions? Adn feel free to take this to mean anything from clothing, to jewelry, to hair, to whatever.

*prohibitions is a strong word to use but it seems the only one I can think of. I was originally thinking something along the lines of how those who present as male tend to get frowned upon for wearing skirts, dresses, and other traditionally female attire. Feel free to run with this or dig deeper.
swingandswirl: text 'tammy' in white on a blue background.  (tammy)
[personal profile] swingandswirl
 ... but bless your hearts, I sincerely hope that none of your tottering piles of paper books come into contact with fire, water, or silverfish. And that you never have to move ten times in ten years with only two suitcases for luggage. And that you never wind up moving to a country with such a minuscule English publishing industry that the only paper editions available to you are imported ones that cost half your (generous) monthly book budget. 

(I just... y'all, I'm so fucking tired. Of the Kondo reactions, the reactions to the reactions, the paper book evangelism, the judgement re: buying from Amazon like some of us even HAVE indies nearby, or the ones that do exist actually sell the sort of books we read. You do you, and leave everyone else out of your damned nonsense.)
[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Meghan Moravcik Walbert on Offspring, shared by Meghan Moravcik Walbert to Lifehacker

When Fisher-Price recalled its highly popular Rock ‘N Play “sleeper” earlier this month, sleep-deprived parents everywhere let out a collective sigh of frustration. For some parents—especially those whose babies have reflux—the slight incline and cozy structure (not to mention its vibration feature) was a godsend…


[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

Bill Barr appears to have lied and acted as an extension of the White House, almost certainly knowing he'd get caught. Will there be any accountability?

An Unusual Combination

Apr. 19th, 2019 02:46 pm
notasupervillain: Cat at computer (Default)
[personal profile] notasupervillain
I find this lot of products mildly unsettling. I've heard Halloween stories about people who go into a curios shop and convinces the merchant to sell them a lot of items just like this. In the best endings, those people are never heard from again.

The Golden Hands. There's something not right about them.

But the thing that really distresses me, the thing I can't understand, is that the hands aren't a solo product. Oh no. If you want to purchase the hands, my friend, you must buy the whole lot. And the other item, the one you can't see in the item teaser photo, the one I'm warning you about before it's too late, is knives.

Uncanny hands

A steal at £9.99.

O Sacred Head, surrounded

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:54 am
marycatelli: (Galahad)
[personal profile] marycatelli
O Sacred Head, surrounded
By crown of piercing thorn!
Read more... )

Cool Stuff Friday

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:55 am

TV and Nonfiction

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:34 am
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
[personal profile] rivkat
Unpopular Magicians opinion (not the big one, probably): Read more... )

Looking forward to Lucifer returning. It's too much to hope that it will be like that one J2 story where SPN got moved to HBO and everything got very hot and heavy, isn't it?

Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence: trippy )
Anand Giridharas, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World: the charitable is political )Pete Buttigieg, Shortest Way Home: he's a mayor )
Bradley Hope & Tom Wright, Billion Dollar Whale: The Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World: the banality of evil )
Jeff Kosseff, The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet: section 230 )

Jared Diamond, Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis: oy )

Larrie D. Ferreiro, Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved Itworld historical )David W. Blight, Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memoryhow the lost cause was won )

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