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On Running and Street Harassment
This past Saturday, eight different men verbally harassed me. Two stepped into my path and said they wouldn’t move unless I gave them a high five. The murmurs, the coos and looks, all serve as reminders that I am not a person to them.[more inside]
By the seventh man, I was tired. He told me he could look at that ass all day. I told him to shut up. He said to me, “Don’t worry, baby, I still love you,” and my skin went clammy with defeat. And there was something about hearing the word “love” come out of his mouth that made me want to push him into traffic.
Deathhacks: Tech tips for people who are going to die (someday) Jessamyn West (Mefi's own) describes the challenges that came with being executrix of her father's estate, and his house.
Aftenposten, Norway’s largest newspaper, flew teenage fashion bloggers, Anniken Jørgensen, Frida Ottesen and Ludvig Hambro, to the Southeast Asian country’s capital of Phnom Penh, where they experienced a modicum of a Cambodian textile worker’s life for a month in 2014. Their experience is the subject of a five-part reality show available online, titled "Sweatshop - Deadly Fashion." [more inside]
Islamophobic Bus Ads In San Francisco Are Being Defaced With Kamala Khan. From the article: "Well, this is just brilliant. Racist adverts promoting hatred against Muslims are currently being run on buses in San Francisco - but someone has started covering them up with anti-hatred messages from Marvel's première Muslim superhero, Ms. Marvel." [more inside]
Oh my God, I'm ashamed that your are my son. The Peruvian show Sílbale a tu Madre (Whistling at your Mom) takes a...creatively confrontational approach to fighting street harassment. They enlist the mothers of chronic catcallers to catch their offspring in the act, a process involving makeovers, hidden cameras and very public shaming. [more inside]
The Smithsonian Magazine reminds us that "Barns are painted red because of the physics of dying stars", summing up a more detailed post by Google employee Yonatan Zunger on the nature of stars, the atmosphere, and cheap paint found on barns.
"The details that we see in the light curve are incredible. The eclipse lasted for several weeks, but you see rapid changes on time scales of tens of minutes as a result of fine structures in the rings," says Kenworthy. "The star is much too far away to observe the rings directly, but we could make a detailed model based on the rapid brightness variations in the star light passing through the ring system. If we could replace Saturn's rings with the rings around J1407b, they would be easily visible at night and be many times larger than the full moon."The first extrasolar ring system found turns out to be some 200 times larger than that of Saturn, easily eclipsing its parent star for days.
Profile: Breaking down the problem of bound gaps [New Yorker]: After graduating with a Ph.D. in algebraic geometry from Purdue in 1991, Yiting Zhang kept the books for a friend's Subway franchise and found other odd jobs before taking up a part-time calculus teaching position at the University of New Hampshire in 1999.
“For years, I didn’t really keep up my dream in mathematics,” he said.He published one paper in 2001. Then, in 2013, he submitted "Bounded Gaps Between Primes" to Annals of Mathematics, one of the most prestigious journals in the field, which contained a proof for a finite bound within which there exist an infinite number of pairs of primes. It was a stunning mathematical breakthrough. [more inside]
“You must have been unhappy.”
He shrugged. “My life is not always easy,” he said.
Can the U.S. Ever Fix Its Messed-Up Maternity Leave System?
Most new mothers are in their 20s or 30s, which means they grew up in a world of female Supreme Court justices, politicians, and astronauts. They have more college degrees than men, they entered the workforce in near-equal numbers, and they chose their careers assuming that having children wouldn’t mean losing money. Almost two-thirds of women with children under 6 work, about twice the rate of the previous generation. "I went to college and found something I loved. I got a job. I married and had babies and just assumed maternity leave was something that existed," says Annalisa Spencer, 31, an electrical engineer in Salt Lake City who has three children, and got no leave for the third. "Nobody told me it would be like this."[more inside]
The Jennifer Lopez vehicle "The Boy Next Door" opened this past weekend and earned a paltry 12% on the Tomatometer. There's nothing terribly unique about this number deep in the cinematic dumping ground that is January, but people are quickly taking notice on how absolutely bonkers the film really is. This starts with the trailer and then moves on to the film itself, which is that rare beast in this era of boring SyFy Channel schlock: A bad movie that never stops being fun. If you need further convincing, witness one moment from the film that was recently singled out by Slate. It's a thing of beauty.
In a functional market economy, the classic couple in a posh restaurant are young and close in age. In my travels through the eurocrisis – from Dublin to Athens – I have noticed that the classic couple in a dysfunctional economy is a grey-haired man with a twentysomething woman. It becomes a story of old men with oligarchic power flaunting their wealth and influence without opprobrium. [more inside]
Animated stories that parents tell their children: How milkshakes are made (really bouncy grass) and why you have to be quiet on trains (beware of bears, they're unstoppable). But if you're grown up now and want to really know if your parents were full of ... molasses, let Ken Jennings share the truth behind 17 things parents tell their kids, and five more excerpts from his collection of such because-I-said-so-isms.
"In an essay in the New York Times, psychiatrist Richard Friedman writes that the relationship of adults to their abusive parents 'gets little, if any, attention in standard textbooks or in the psychiatric literature.' But Rochelle is not alone. I have been hearing from people in her position for years, adult children weighing whether to reconnect with parents who nearly ruined their lives. Sometimes it's a letter writer such as 'Comfortably Numb' who has cut off contact with a parent but is now being pressured by family members, and even a spouse, to reconcile and forgive. Sometimes a correspondent, like 'Her Son,' has hung on to a thread of a relationship, but is now fearful of being further yoked emotionally or financially to a declining parent." [SLSlate] (Trigger warning for descriptions of abuse.)
“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.
A new approach to assisting the "ultra-poor" – the poorest people on the planet – is showing promising results. In up to 95% of cases, the approach has been shown to help people exit the category of ultra-poverty, defined as living on less than 50 cents per day. [more inside]
Find yourself elsewhere than in the grips of Juno, the Blizzard of 2015? Want to play the home game? Track the plows of NYC using the PlowNYC map. Want something faster than 15 minute update intervals, or less NYC-centric? Twitter's got you covered.
The History Kitchen takes a quick look at the food of the California Gold Rush, and has a recipe for Hangtown Fry.