The Survivor. "When your family is murdered, and the home you had made together is destroyed, and you yourself are beaten and left for dead — as happened to Bill Petit on the morning of July 23, 2007 — it may as well be the end of the world. It is hard to see how a man survives the end of the world. The basics of life — waking up, walking, talking — become alien tasks, and almost impossibly heavy, as you are more dead than alive. Just how does a man go about surviving such a thing? How does a man go on? ... Why does one man come undone while the next finds a way to make it through?" [more inside]
Artist Debbie Grossman starts with Russell Lee's Depression-era photographs of Pie Town, New Mexico, and then Photoshops the men into women. (via) [more inside]
Cantankerous curmudgeony robber baron Wellington R. Burt was among the 8 wealthiest Americans, worth around $90 million when he died in 1919. He feuded with his 7 children, and left them very little. In an act of supreme cruelty, or foxy genius, his will stipulated that 21 years after the death of his last grandchild, any remaining heirs would receive the fortune. 92 years later and the money is being distributed, to three great-grandchildren; seven great-great grandchildren; and two great-great-great grandchildren.
'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'
Rick Hill was vacationing in Hawaii. So was Joe Parker. The two lived within one town of each other in Massachusetts, but discovered on that Hawaiian beach, when Joe offered to take a picture of Rick with his fiancee, that they have the same father.
Udderly Amazing. [SLYT] 15-year-old German girl could not have a horse, so she trained one of her family's cows to become a show jumper. Luna the cow has come to navigate the pasture with equine ease.
A University of Michigan study has found that 1 in 5 American women have had children by several different men. Time Magazine dubs the phenomenon "domino dads". The study is the first of its kind to survey Americans from all walks of life, and it finds that the practice can be found across economic classes. But is its publication putting an unfair spotlight on black women?
With Few Jobs, an Unmarried Pastor Points to Bias “Prejudice against single pastors abounds,” Mr. Almlie wrote in articles (Part 1, Part 2) he posted on a popular Christian blog site in January and February, setting off a wide-ranging debate online on a topic that many said has been largely ignored.
Salon.com's "Real Families" section features personal essays about modern family life submitted by their readers. [more inside]
Henry Roth had one of the most anomalous careers in modern letters: a brilliant novel at age twenty-eight, the incomparable Call It Sleep, lost for thirty years but never quite forgotten, then a torrent of words let loose in his seventies and eighties. ... Roth continued to resist any single explanation for his catastrophic writer's block, but it became evident that it was the incest, and the self-loathing that accompanied it, that threw the biggest roadblock across his path. [more inside]
The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
Dyson likes to dress as a princess, so his mother wrote a book about acceptance, and his school and family rallied around him this Halloween. [more inside]
đẹp khoe, xấu che, or “show the good, hide the bad” - from the inaugural issue of the Trans Asia Photography Review. [more inside]
Web of stories - "There are few things more interesting or more pleasurable than to watch someone tell a good story. And one story always leads to another."
A D.C. couple wants children, but not now, and are worried about infertility creeping up on them as they get deeper into their thirties. They came up with a novel solution -- donating frozen embryos to their future selves. The procedure is not uncommon for couples with fertility problems; will it become a popular insurance option for young couples who just aren't ready for kids? They might want to think about what to do if they have more embryos than they want. Or what happens if they get divorced.
If red and blue America seemed to be talking past one another about family values, it's because they were.
"In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families." Do liberal and conservative states operate with different conceptions (*cough*) of family? [more inside]
Noah Kirkman was stopped by the police while riding a bicycle without his helmet... He then spent the next two years trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare... trying to go home. The Kirkman family has been locked in Kafkaesque bureaucratic limbo since a misunderstanding ruined an idyllic summer vacation in small-town Oregon in 2008. [more inside]
Family of four maintains a book review blog as hobby A New York Times story of family spending time together via blogging their book reviews. So far, 600 followers and media credentials for the 2010 BookExpo America. Oh yeah, and book reports are easier.
LGBT Immigration Some countries such as Australia and Canada already allow same sex couples to immigrate. In the United States Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said he will introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill early this year. A window is opening to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA)....
"Indian country begins where the serene prairie of Custer county gives way to the formidable rock spires marking out South Dakota's rugged Badlands. The road runs straight until the indistinguishable, clapboard American homesteads fade from view and the path climbs into a landscape sharpened by an eternity of wind and water. At this time of year, the temperature slides to tens of degrees below freezing and a relentless gale sets the snow dancing on the road, a whirligig of white blotting out the black of the asphalt."
A sobering look at one Native American community and their hopes during the Obama years, by The Guardian's Chris McGreal.
A sobering look at one Native American community and their hopes during the Obama years, by The Guardian's Chris McGreal.
The Ugandan government is considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality, advocacy for gay rights, or even failing to report homosexuals to the govenment. And death for HIV+ gays. And who is behind this? An American group with purported ties to the administration called the Family. [more inside]
Woman tries to go through metal detector at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson aiport with her infant son, only to have his pacifier set off the alarm. TSA did the only rational thing and took the woman's son
War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
So how long have you been running your business? The Houshi Onsen in Komatsu, Japan. About a 2.5 hour train ride north from Kyoto is the Houshi Onsen complex was founded in 718. The legend states that the god of Mount Hakusan visited a Buddhist priest and told him to uncover an underground hot spring in a nearby village. He found the hot spring and asked his disciple, a woodcutter’s son named Gengoro Sasakiri, to build and operate a spa on the site. His family has run a hotel in Komatsu ever since. The structure houses 450 people in 100 rooms. For generations, Houshi proprietors have borne the name Zengoro Houshi. The current proprietor is the 46th Zengoro!
Home Movie Reconstructions 1974 / 2004 MeFi's own dziga takes family movies from 1974, revisits the locations 30 years later with the same people doing the same things. Amazing. [via mefi projects]
"The 2000 census found that nearly 23 percent of families living in Letcher County, KY, fell below the poverty line. The median household income in most counties is at or below $25,000, with individuals making on average $12,000 a year." The White Family by Carl Kiilsgaard [more inside]
A Gay Soldier's Husband — In the backdrop of the conservative activist Supreme Court's recent decision against hearing a challenge to the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, one gay American relates the difficulties he faces having a partner on active duty in Iraq. In Iraq itself, death squads continue to murder gay and lesbian Iraqis, while American occupying forces look the other way.
"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
Everyone has been in bad family photos, but sometimes a photo goes beyond bad and becomes awkward.
Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
The first little pig built his house out of straw [previously]. The second little pig built his house out of sticks. The third little pig built his house out of bricks; but the relatively unknown fourth little pig built several structures of all sizes out of mud (and straw), and he wasn't a hippy. [more inside]
According to a new report, children in Sweden are becoming increasingly concerned by their parents' internet habits. "This summer she has been sitting up all day and all night and she forgets what's important to me. And when she's not at the computer she's like a lost soul. She just looks straight ahead and says nothing. I'm not doing so well." Dr Jerald Block from Oregon Health and Science University in Portland is pushing for internet addiction (and its three subtypes: excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations and e-mail/text messaging) to be included as a common disorder in the next update of the DSM (DSM-V). "The relationship is with the computer. It becomes a significant other to them. They exhaust emotions that they could experience in the real world on the computer... It's much more acceptable for kids to talk about game use, whereas adults keep it a secret. Rather than having sex, or arguing with their wife or husband, or feeding their children, these adults are playing games..."
Kiki and Bubu! Austrian art collective monochrom presents the adventures of two sock puppets. Part One: Kiki and Bubu and The Shift. "Bubu wants to know why his dad is busy all the time. And Kiki explains him why... because of the neoliberal shift." Part Two: Kiki and Bubu and The Privilege. "Bubu ran into a bunch of liberals and they gave him a book. They said if he doesn't read it, they're going to beat him up. But Bubu can't read! And so Kiki helps..." [Via BB]
Kindo - Web 2.0 Genealogy
The Belgian version of Russian roulette.
TheDataWeb - a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data
A good chuckle about surviving the hellidays: Dysfunctional Family Holidays, the music l an interactive karaoke with several songs l What exactly is a dysfunctional family? l What are the roles for the kids? [more inside]
Sibling rivalry. Meet Edward Mapplethorpe, photographer. Yes, he's related to the other one. They're brothers -- which has actually made things harder for Edward than you might think. In his latest show, just wrapping up at NYC's Foley Gallery, Edward does amazing work using darkroom techniques alone: "The exhibition is composed of unique works solely created in the darkroom without the use of traditional cameras." (This one is my fave from the current show; of his earlier work, I particularly like this one and this one [nsfw].)
Zahra al-Azzo was murdered by her brother last January in a horrible, but all-too-common Syrian honor killing. Public outcry at her murder is growing.