"...in one of the richest countries that has ever existed, about 15 percent of the population faces down bare cupboards and empty refrigerators on a routine basis." (slTheAtlantic)
US Congresswoman Gwen Moore is tired of the "criminalization of poverty." Moore plans to introduce a bill on Thursday that she thinks will even the playing field or, at least, “engage the wealthy in a conversation about what fair tax policy looks like”. The bill, called the Top 1% Accountability Act, would force taxpayers with itemized deductions of more than $150,000 – which, according to 2011 tax data compiled by the IRS, would only be households with a yearly federal adjusted gross income of more than $1m – to submit to the IRS a clear drug test from a sample no more than three months old, or take the much lower standard deduction when filing their taxes. [more inside]
The Fader recently collected insights from artists associated with 12 microgenres of the past 15 years, from electroclash to vaporwave, but they left out sound samples. That's remedied, below the break. [more inside]
In ten states, people who have ever been convicted of a drug-related felony are barred for life from getting food stamp benefits. [more inside]
Lucero Tena (Spanish) has amazing rhythm and control, as seen and heard in her dancing, tapping, clapping and snapping, but she is best known for her mastery of the castanets, used in accompaniment to a solo guitar along with her dancing, and perhaps more impressively, as a solo instrument in front of an orchestra there in a piece specifically written for her and her castanets. She may not dance any more, but her skill with the castanets is still astonishing. If you're lucky, you can catch her in a live performance.
The Salt, NPR's food blog, explains how Leanne Brown was inspired to develop a cookbook for people on SNAP. Leanne published Good and Cheap[PDF] as the capstone project for her MA in Food Studies at New York University and released it online as a free ebook. She also ran a successful Kickstarter to produce a print version.
“This is not your grandmother’s hunger,” says Janet Poppendieck, a sociologist at the City University of New York. “Today more working people and their families are hungry because wages have declined.”
“If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food.” Food stamp assistance in the US will be cut by $5 billion this Friday. Among those affected by the cuts, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are 22 million children and 9 million seniors and people with disabilities.
By a bipartisan vote of 68-26, the Wisconsin state Assembly has approved AB-110, a measure requiring beneficiaries of SNAP -- known in Wisconsin as FoodShare, or more colloquially as food stamps -- to spend at least 2/3 of their monthly benefits on items from "a list of state-defined healthy foods" [PDF]. [more inside]
The food stamp economy of Woonsocket, RI, profiled in The Washington Post.
15-year-old Noah St. John won this year's Snap Judgment Performance of the Year for his moving story about his two moms and the moment he thought he might lose the family he had always known. (SLYT) (Snap Judgement previously: 1, 2, 3)
"At first, I thought, 'Why should I be on food stamps?'" said Magida, digging into her dinner. "Here I am, this educated person who went to art school, and there are a lot of people who need them more. But then I realized, I need them, too." Salon takes a look at the growing wave of young people utilizing food stamps.
Don't! Mess! With! A! Snap! Diva! A clip from the 1989 documentary Tongues Untied which is about black gay identity. (via)
Free Friday Frantic (Music) Fun: Ergo Phizmiz & The Midnight Florists cover five 1990s chartbusting, dancefloor filling smash hits with arrangements of acoustic, electronic, homemade, and toy instruments. [More musical mischief inside] [more inside]
Jumping spiders use their legs to communicate courtship interests to potential mates. The minuscule impacts of spider legs tapping against the ground surface are detected by nearby spiders. This "drumming" cadence signals the spider's reproductive interests. The female detects the low frequency vibrations through her legs. She responds by allowing the male to mount her. Absolutely amazing video here. The sound is the best part, so make sure it's on.
U.S. Catholic priests abused 10,600 children The SNAP network exposes myths about priest pedophilia. Perhaps we'd be better off if Mel Gibson made movies about the real victims of Xtianity.
Topher's Breakfast Cereal Character Guide Snap, Crackle, Pop, Boo Berry, Count Chocula, Tony the Tiger (and mysteriously, also a Mrs. Tony), Spock, Powdered Toast Man, Cracklin' Oat Flakes (with Xtasy!), Dr. Dre's Weedies... Send in your Proof of Purchase Kids for a FREE jagged metal Krusty-O in every box and excruciating embedded sound on every page. via the excellent Speckled Paint