Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep…feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love.
Zooey Deschanel (via moon-medicine)
Very true, but true for everyone. So do it and be not afraid to be human.
Lactose Intolerance Around the World
About that Milk Bar you were going to open in Beijing…
Neoliberal plague: AIDS and global capitalism (via sociolab)
One of the most troubling things about the AIDS epidemic is that it could have been stopped so easily by rolling out life-saving antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) early on. Not only do ARVs prevent HIV from developing into AIDS, they also reduce transmission rates and increase people’s willingness to get tested.
But Western pharmaceutical corporations have colluded in pricing these essential drugs way out of reach of the poor. When they were first introduced, patented ARVs cost up to $15,000 per yearly regimen. Generic producers were able to manufacture the same drugs for a mere fraction of the price, but the WTO outlawed this through the 1995 TRIPS agreement to protect Big Pharma’s monopoly.
It was not until 2003 that the WTO bowed to activist pressure and allowed southern Africa to import generics, but by then it was too late – HIV prevalence had already reached devastating proportions. In other words, much of the region’s AIDS burden can be directly attributed to the WTO’s rules and the corporations that defended them. And they are set to strike again: the WTO will cut patent exemptions for poor countries after 2016.
This dearth of basic drugs has gone hand in hand with the general collapse of public health institutions. Structural adjustment and WTO trade policies have forced states to cut spending on hospitals and staff in order to repay odious debts to the West. Swaziland, ground-zero in the world of AIDS, has been hit hard by these cuts. When I last visited I found that many once-bustling clinics are now empty and dilapidated. Neoliberalism has systematically destroyed the first line of defence against AIDS.
The point I want to drive home is that the policies that deny poor people access to life-saving drugs and destroy public healthcare come from the same institutions and interests that helped create the conditions for HIV transmission in the first place.
I was looking through the Digital Collections of the Mertz Library for something appropriate with which to celebrate Thanksgiving. Oddly, what kept popping up was seed and plant catalogs. So I peeked inside to see what they were up to.
Turns out, one of the selling points for a number of vegetables, fruits, and flowers has always been that you can grow a portion of your Thanksgiving dinner. Within these catalogs you will find promises of homegrown strawberries, tomatoes, squash, chrysanthemums, and more that will be ready for your feast day.
And while the descriptions of the plants are fun, it is the covers that always captivate me. So enjoy these beautiful and silly old graphics, and if you get tired of trying to string along conversation with your aunt visiting from Topeka, take a dive into our archives and enjoy a little time travel. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your imagination will wander! Happy Thanksgiving! ~Ann (AR) & Matt (MN)
The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.Natalie Portman, Enough with the ‘strong female characters’ already (via leepace)
This is great. Where has this been all my life?
Rufous hummingbird vs. calliope hummingbird (North America - Discovery Channnel)
'Vanity height,' according to the Council, refers to “the distance between a skyscraper's highest occupiable floor and its architectural top.” (via Revealed: the vainest skyscrapers in the world | PBS NewsHour)
A study on masculinity and aggression from the University of South Florida found that innocuous – yet feminine – tasks could produce profound anxiety in men. As part of the study, a group of men were asked to perform a stereotypically feminine act – braiding hair in this case - while a control group braided rope. Following the act, the men were given the option to either solve a puzzle or punch a heavy bag. Not surprisingly, the men who performed the task that threatened their masculinity were far more likely to punch the bag; again, violence serving as a way to reestablish their masculine identity. A follow-up had both groups punch the bag after braiding either hair or rope; the men who braided the hair punched the bag much harder. A third experiment, all the participants braided hair, but were split into two groups: those who got to punch the bag afterwards and those who didn’t. The men who were prevented from punching the bag started to show acute signs of anxiety and distress from not being able to reconfirm their masculinity.
Yo I go to this school how did I now know about this study.(via stfufauxminists)
One manager at the apartment complex where I worked while in college told me, repeatedly, that she knew I was “Okay” because my little Nissan was clean. That I had worn a Jones of New York suit to the interview really sealed the deal. She could call the suit by name because she asked me about the label in the interview. Another hiring manager at my first professional job looked me up and down in the waiting room, cataloging my outfit, and later told me that she had decided I was too classy to be on the call center floor. I was hired as a trainer instead. The difference meant no shift work, greater prestige, better pay and a baseline salary for all my future employment.
I have about a half dozen other stories like this. What is remarkable is not that this happened. There is empirical evidence that women and people of color are judged by appearances differently and more harshly than are white men. What is remarkable is that these gatekeepers told me the story. They wanted me to know how I had properly signaled that I was not a typical black or a typical woman, two identities that in combination are almost always conflated with being poor.
More snippets from this article about why people in poverty buy expensive products that they “can’t afford”. When it comes to upward mobility and standards of living, being able to own and wear status markers makes a HUGE difference.
Photo by: Patrick Hollingsworth
This is the bladder trap of an aquatic bladderwort under a microscope. Believe it or not, this is a modified leaf! It creates a vacuum inside the tiny balloon shaped leaf. The long guide hairs help swimming creatures find their way to the mouth, which is darker in this photo. When something approaches the mouth opens and the sides of the bladder pop out sucking the unfortunate victim in at 1/5000 of a second! It’s one of the fastest most complicated things in nature and it is still not clearly understood!
Like tiny, vegetative anglerfish, predatory plants on a microscopic level give their creature counterparts a run for their money. –MN
A 20-week abortion ban is moving to the Senate after being approved by the House. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is expected to introduce the bill today, which would ban all abortions after 20 weeks based on the medically unsound theory that fetuses can feel pain at that point. There may be some narrow exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the pregnant person.
Dana Weinstein, a mother of two, made the decision to have an abortion after discovering her baby’s brain was malformed and that her baby was not viable. Now she is speaking out against the ban.
As a mother, I didn’t want to bring this child into this world for her only to exist in immense pain and suffering. Being able to come to a decision that was right for us is really what’s important here, and that’s not for a legislator to decide.
This is a nation-wide ban on abortion. Please contact your senators and tell them to respect families and vote NO on the dishonestly-named Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.