August 12, 2014
In refusing to address the problem, Gawker's leadership is prioritizing theoretical anonymous tipsters over a very real and immediate threat to the mental health of Jezebel's staff and readers. If this were happening at another website, if another workplace was essentially requiring its female employees to manage a malevolent human pornbot, we'd report the hell out of it here and cite it as another example of employers failing to take the safety of its female employees seriously. But it's happening to us. It's been happening to us for months. And it feels hypocritical to continue to remain silent about it.Because somebody is spamming Jezebel with violent porn gifs and Gawker has been lackadaisical in dealing with it, the problem has now spread to other Gawker sites.
Calico, the company Google launched in September to try to cure death by tackling aging and illness, now has an official website..." [more inside]
Elizabeth Dorfman of Bainbridge Island, WA, is the 32nd grand prize winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which challenges writers to concoct the worst opening sentence of a hypothetical novel. The winning entry:
When the dead moose floated into view the famished crew cheered – this had to mean land! – but Captain Walgrove, flinty-eyed and clear headed thanks to the starvation cleanse in progress, gave fateful orders to remain on the original course and await the appearance of a second and confirming moose.More notable entries from this year. [more inside]
Lauren Bacall, the film and stage actress and model who was known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks, died Tuesday at the age of 89. IMDB, Wikipedia, An interview from 1994. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? Previously
Skylab is Falling! (SLYT) A seven minute Indian film about the 1979 Skylab "disaster" as seen through the eyes of a child. [more inside]
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
The 2014 Fields Medals have been awarded to Artur Avila, Manjul Bhargava, Martin Hairer, and Maryam Mirzakhani. Mirzakhani, a professor at Stanford, is the first woman to win math's highest prize, and Avila is the first South American. Erica Klarreich at Quanta Magazine has profiles of all four winners. [more inside]
Balls to the Wall: Inside New York City's Thriving Lacrosse Culture
Julia Eccleshare knows what kids should read in order to experience an antidote to our money-fuelled world, to learn to question authority, have smart female role models, learn about feminism, get to know South Asian characters and families with same-sex parents. Which books help to feel good about wearing glasses, when one feels 'weird' or different, which make the dark less scary or would lure a 13-year-old boy away from his Xbox. She is the book doctor. [more inside]
Íslandskort is a digital collection of historical maps of Iceland put online in high quality pdf-files and jpegs by the National Library of Iceland. Here are a few of my favorites: 1, 2, 3. You can either browse a timeline of all the maps or browse categories such as first maps of Iceland, Iceland on sea charts in the 17th and 18th centuries and other maps, which includes maps of Frisland (1, 2), a phantom island that bedeviled cartographers for centuries.
LEGO does something good! (Sets revolving around female scientists sold out in one day; previously.) LEGO does something bad! (Sets with major petro-company branding.) [more inside]
Delta Hot Tamales Are Hotter Than Ever
Delta "hots" themselves perfectly exemplify the tamale's malleable properties. Made with cornmeal instead of the lime-treated masa used in Mexico, a Delta hot is simmered (rather than steamed) in a spiced broth—hence the name. Though the dish's precise origin remains elusive, it's said that at one point in the 1920s a few Mexican cotton pickers made their way up from the Rio Grande Valley, toting a recipe that was then transformed by local African-American cooks—possibly aided by southern Italians who'd settled in the area. Whatever. By 1936, tamales were so entrenched in Delta culture that Robert Johnson, who'd made his pact with the devil just up the road from Greenville, recorded a song about them called "They're Red Hot."[more inside]
Vice has obtained "unprecedented access" inside the Islamic State in a 5-part documentary The Islamic State. War photographer and corespondent Medyan Dairieh spent weeks alone among the Jihadists. Other films by Dairieh include Rebels of the Bridge, and A City Left in Ruins: The Battle for Aleppo
Depression is like being forced to wear a cloak made of lead. You don’t get to choose when to put it on and take it off. It is a second skin which gradually seeps into your own real skin and poisons it until you are a walking, toxic, corrosive bundle of infectious awfulness. The thought of suicide is the only real respite and the only chink of light at the end of the tunnel. You can "pull yourself together" only inasmuch as you can make yourself three feet taller. [more inside]
Meet the Beer Bottle Dictator: For years, one man has approved virtually every beer label design in the United States. Among brewers, he’s a tyrant. A legend. A pedantic pain in the ass. Brewers and legal experts speak of him in hushed tones, with equal parts irritation and reverence. "He’s the king of beer. His will is law," said one lawyer who works with him regularly. The lawyer asked to remain anonymous, for fear of crossing the beer specialist. "There’s one dude in the government who gets to control a multibillion-dollar industry with almost no supervision." And he goes by the name "Battle."
This past Sunday, Philadelphia's Taney Dragons punched their ticket to the Little League World Series behind the complete game shutout pitching performance of Mo'Ne Davis, who at 13-years-old already throws a 70 MPH fastball. Davis will become only the 17th girl to play in the LLWS in 68 years. She has become an inspiration to others as she redefines what it means to "throw like a girl".
Deep Chords: Haruki Murakami’s ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ [New York Times] Patti Smith reviews Haruki Murakami's latest novel. Book Trailer
Grumbling Fur are a pair of former choir boys drawn to each other as teenagers by a love of metal and hardcore punk. Now they "make music that is terribly English: both polite and sinister," one part drone, one part rural psychedelia. Their new album, Preternaturals, released yesterday, is now streaming over at The Quietus. [more inside]
The Public Art Archive is a free database of publically visible and accessible works of art, primarily in the United States. It currently contains 8605 works of art, by 3578 artists. For an idea of what's there, they also produced an overview map