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You do not exist to be used.

Your personhood, your value, does not correlate with how measurable your achievements are or how they benefit the capitalist underpinnings of society. Your life is of purpose because it’s yours. Because you’re here, you exist in this moment, to be here, to be as unapologetic and unwaveringly unproductive as you so desire. Life’s purpose is for you to define; its value is inherent.
posted by odinsdream at 9:01 PM May 20 2019 - 50 comments [83 favorites]


Found Cat - Need Owners ASAP
posted by krix at 12:59 PM May 23 2019 - 70 comments [76 favorites]

Authenticity is for tourists.

"“My grandmother made tacos with peas and with potatoes,” Lopez said, and added it was because she couldn’t always afford ground beef. For some Mexican Americans, this gets at the essence of the way we eat. Pretending otherwise means suppressing our lived realities and histories. I can’t think of a better example of the fraud of authenticity, which is more interested in the aesthetics of poverty than in poverty itself, more invested in the feeling of realness than in any kind of truth." John Paul Brammer for the Washington Post: I’m Mexican American. Stop expecting me to eat ‘authentic’ food.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 7:21 AM May 20 2019 - 87 comments [65 favorites]

Yasuke, the Jesuit slave who became the first African Samurai

Yasuke (variously rendered as 弥助 or 弥介, 彌助 or 彌介 in different sources) (circa 1555–1590 CE) (Wikipedia) was an enslaved African taken to Japan in 1579 in the service of the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano (Beyond Ricci, Boston College), who had been appointed the Visitor (inspector) of the Jesuit missions in the Indies (East Africa, South and East Asia). "When Yasuke got to Kyoto (with Jesuit missionaries), there was a massive riot. People wanted to see him and be in his presence" (Thomas Lockley, quoted by CNN), as he was one of the first Africans seen by many of the Japanese. But he quickly went from novelty to trusted and valued retainer to, and warrior for, the Japanese hegemon and warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582 (Wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:45 AM May 22 2019 - 12 comments [64 favorites]

How do we know the Earth is round?

100 proofs the earth is a globe. David Morgan-Mar, author of the webcomic Darths and Droids and otherwise qualified person, is spending this year posting 100 short essays with different points of scientific evidence/proofs that the earth is round. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:09 AM May 18 2019 - 83 comments [59 favorites]

The boy in the photo

In the summer of 2018, BBC cameraman Andy Alcroft was waiting to film an interview at Exeter St David’s railway station, when he was approached by one of Amar’s friends. “You should do a report about him - Amar. The boy who came over from Iraq. Remember him? He’s got an amazing story,” he said. Andy took some contact details and we went to meet Amar in the Devon village where he still lives. We thought we might end up doing some kind of “catch-up” feature. “Whatever happened to the orphan Amar?” - that kind of thing. But when Amar revealed he had been receiving unexpected social media messages from a stranger, the story took an unexpected turn.
posted by satoshi at 2:01 AM May 18 2019 - 25 comments [57 favorites]

When the bass drops and confetti blows up, you know it's getting brassy

Need some more brass music in your life? Try some Meute (official site), a German techno marching band, combining "hypnotic driving techno and expressive brass band music ... just drums and brass, no computers involved" (YouTube profile). They're between the bombast of Too Many Zooz (YT) (previously, twice) and the grandiose scale of Acid Brass (YT) (mentioned previously). But like Acid Brass, it's all covers of techno tracks, like Laurent Garnier's "The Man with the Red Face" (original track; YTx2). If you want your brass mixed with vocals, accordion and other joyful noises, try some Afrobalkan Dance music from South Africa (YT) courtesy of Bombshelter Beast (official site). More of all this below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:48 AM May 23 2019 - 12 comments [49 favorites]

Words Matter: The Guardian Updates its Style Guide

The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world. Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 1:27 PM May 22 2019 - 24 comments [47 favorites]

Misselthwaite Manor

Latimer originally planted his bottle garden in 1960, sealed it, and let it sit — for twelve years. In 1972, thinking the plant may be a bit too dry after all of those years, he “put in about a quarter of a pint of water.” Then, he resealed the bottle — and it’s remained sealed to this day. [via Kottke]
posted by Chrysostom at 12:17 PM May 21 2019 - 35 comments [46 favorites]

Can We Make America A Democracy?

"Even the most basic liberal democratic right—the right to vote, about which there is no end to sanctimony in this country—has never been equitably put into practice. Gaze upon our system’s vaunted political blessings from the perspective of, say, someone in Puerto Rico, and they look even more mixed than they do from the mainland, where the Constitution places more weight on rural votes and less-populated regions by design." Reclaiming the Future: On the growing appeal of socialism in an age of inequality "The top 0.1 percent of Americans held 20 percent of the nation’s wealth in 2016 (up from 7 percent in 1979) and owned as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Evidence suggests that the threat that the wealthy pose to what Rawls termed the “fair value of political liberty” has become extraordinary." Socialism and the Democracy Deficit "In reality, though, the resurgence of socialism in our time is a tale of dogged organizing against formidable odds of attaining simple cultural and intellectual visibility, let alone electoral success. " The Socialist Network (The New Republic) "But here, the local DSA has exactly the sort of qualities that have long been hard to find in left groups: practicality, organization, and friendliness. What has impressed me most is that they fundamentally care about actually getting things done, and not just engaging in symbolic politics." Why I Love The DSA (Current Affairs)
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM May 23 2019 - 14 comments [46 favorites]

Danny Macaskill: Danny Daycare (feat. Daisy)

Expert trials cyclist Danny Macaskill is looking after his friends' daughter and can't resist taking her for a wee bike ride around Scotland. (No children were involved in these stunts!) [more inside]
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:52 AM May 20 2019 - 22 comments [41 favorites]

‘The moment of awakening’

On May 15th, 1919, the country — and the world — watched in astonishment as tens of thousands of workers walked off the job in Winnipeg. They demanded higher pay, better working conditions and the right to bargain collectively. Some 35,000 workers took over the running of Canada's third-largest city for six weeks. The Winnipeg General Strike was one of the most important labour events in Canadian history. “Men who had just returned from a horrific war in Europe could not find employment; factories were shutting down and bankruptcies were a common occurrence. Tens of thousands of people in Winnipeg, Manitoba alone lived in substandard housing, where disease was a deadly reality. Working-class immigrants faced deep divisions along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines.” Lessons From The Winnipeg General Strike
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 AM May 22 2019 - 10 comments [40 favorites]

Is it raining where you are?

If it's raining where you are, you can put on "Sunset Mission," the 2000 jazz noir album by Bohren & der Club of Gore (Youtube, Soundcloud). If it's not raining where you are, you can make it rain, and then put on the album.
posted by rebent at 5:59 AM May 22 2019 - 9 comments [39 favorites]

50 abandoned greenhouses (and one cat)

A compendium of abandoned greenhouses
posted by moonmilk at 7:40 AM May 22 2019 - 19 comments [39 favorites]

One day, I will write about this place

Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina passed away from a stroke last night at the age of 48. He is probably best known in the West for his essay "How To Write About Africa," (video). His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place (excerpt), describes growing up in Kenya in the post-colonial Kenyatta and Moi era of politics, his experiences as a student in South Africa, and returning to Kenya around the post-election violence in 2007. In 2014, he published a lost chapter, "I am a homosexual, Mum", and he imagined the conversation he would have liked to have had with his father. He was one of Kenya's most vocally out gay men, and was also open about his HIV+ status. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 10:46 AM May 22 2019 - 27 comments [39 favorites]

♪♫♬ I gave my love a lizard / that had some bones ♪♫♬

VITAL UPDATE: my road runner porch-buddy used to run away if I wanted a pic but now when he catches a lizard he KNOCKS ON MY DOOR and then parades his catch around and poses, it’s amazing. Who’s a good boy! Mr Meepmeep! 😍

A woman chronicles being courted by an amorous(?) roadrunner. [Twitter thread with pics and video]
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:50 PM May 24 2019 - 20 comments [38 favorites]

Knitting Is Coding

Yarn Is Programmable (SLNYT by Siobhan Roberts)
posted by bq at 1:59 PM May 20 2019 - 15 comments [37 favorites]

This economics journal only publishes results that are no big deal

Start with the name: Series of Unsurprising Results in Economics (SURE). The journal publishes papers with findings that are, well, really boring — so boring that other journals rejected them just for being boring. Its first paper, published Tuesday, is about an education intervention that was found to have no effects at all on anything.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:01 PM May 18 2019 - 22 comments [36 favorites]

You would think it would be ARRR

As the internet continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, one thing always remains constant — The Pirate Bay
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:04 PM May 23 2019 - 61 comments [36 favorites]

But are there depression jeans?

There is no "depression gene". The authors go on to demolish every other "depression gene" connection in the existing literature. They went after the lot. Nothing. No clear evidence for any given gene, in any polymorphic form, with any effect on depression, as either measured by itself or in combination with any other environmental effect. Paper (paywalled). [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 5:54 AM May 19 2019 - 64 comments [34 favorites]

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