According to a ProPublica investigation, foreign companies are increasingly helping students from China and other countries hack the US college application process with information and test answers acquired online. International students are being given direct answers to college entrance exams and even fully written applications and completed course work once they arrive on campus. The […]
Across the US, the number of women who are vulnerable to high-risk deliveries is rising, however doctors’ rarely warn patients of the potential for serious injuries and complications in vaginal birth, according to a report by Kiera Butler for Mother Jones. Women have a right to make informed decisions about their bodies and serious medical […]
The post Inadequate Information Leaves Women Vulnerable to Serious Birth-Related Injuries appeared first on Project Censored.
Initiative 732 failed to pass on the Washington ballot during the November 2016 election, reported Jonathan Marshall of Consortium News. Based on a similar, successful strategy implemented in British Columbia, the $2 billion carbon tax proposal encouraged citizens to seek alternative energy sources and claimed to stimulate Washington’s economy by gradually increasing taxes on every […]
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Early in 2016, a news story about dirty water in Flint, Michigan hit headlines. It wasn’t just the toxic drinking water that disturbed the public, it was the fact that drinking water with dangerously high levels of lead could be found in the United States. This was a shock, but what the establishment press under-reported […]
The post Lead Poisoning Worse Than Flint in Thousands of Communities across US appeared first on Project Censored.
On December 19, 2016, Reuters reported that nearly 3,000 cities across the United States have lead contaminated drinking water that was at least double the rates found in Flint, Michigan. President Obama declared a federal emergency when Flint, Michigan’s water contamination became known. With 3,000 cities facing rates at least double the contamination that Flint […]
The post Water Crises the New Normal for Americans in the Decade Ahead appeared first on Project Censored.
Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states in the United States, as it has been for the past 25 years. Yet from its conception to the present day, it remains a divisive issue, in no small part due to the largely unregulated environment in which it operates. The media has been largely silent on the […]
The post Think of the Children: Homeschooling Regulations Vary Considerably by State appeared first on Project Censored.
I think I sound sarcastic, but really I'm not. I went all the way through undergrad feeling like the only confused and incompetent and flailing person. I mean, my grades said that I was doing okay, but I assumed that this was pity and grade inflation, and it's only in retrospect that I can see that my pretty good grades were pretty good grades that I actually earned. (This is partly because I spent my sophomore year in Japan and thus went straight from 100-level classes to 400-level classes, straight from Intro to Korean Culture to Let's Talk About Semiotics and Postmodern Theory in Japanese Cinema. Flailing resulted.)
But we are in fact all in this together; we are all trying hard at things that are actually hard; and you have to realize that you can't actually be held to a standard of impossible perfection when so many of your classmates are smart and talented in different ways but not a single one is impossibly perfect.
(The impossibly perfect ones got into Iowa Writers' Workshop.)
The actually cool thing about this, though, is that when you stop thinking of yourself as confused and incompetent and flailing, you start thinking of yourself as somebody who can help out all the other people who are flailing just as much as you are.
This is what I see: ( behind cut to spare the uninterested. )
None of the Texan members of Congress want the wall. And other statistics.
A student-built website keeps EPA info safe.
Trauma-informed care changes a town. Less crime, lower school suspension rates.
Three steps to deal with hate and fear.
Water is life -- the story of Standing Rock won't go away.
What it takes to change minds and hearts.
How Twitter amplifies authoritarianism. I no longer read Twitter, haven't for a couple of years. Too many people yelling.
Grand Central Station in NYC gets rid of bar carts.
Saudi Arabia is destroying Yemen's ancient cultural heritage.
"It is alarming that in a series of catastrophic executive policy decisions -- the president's Muslim travel ban, his selection of Steve Bannon as his main political adviser, his short-lived appointment of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, his proposal to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem -- there seems to be a single common element: the stigmatization and provocation of Muslims. In rhetoric and action, the Trump administration has aggrandized 'radical Islamic terror' thus making what Madison called a 'favorable emergency' more likely." -- Timothy Snyder, 2017-02-26, "The Reichstag Warning"
Personally, if it were me, I'd want the card to frame, but maybe that happens later, if it happens. It doesn't happen onstage, at least.
And while the winnner is making the speech, the presenter goes offstage, still holding the card, which is probably back in its envelope.
Somewhere backstage is the representative of Price Waterhouse who is responsible for the security of the awards -- for making sure that the announcements are guarded until they are given out. Someone, somewhere, must have handed this person the old announcement -- that Emma Stone was to win Best Actress for La-La Land -- and it must have gotten into the stack somehow with the ones that weren't given out yet.
Warren Beatty, who opened the envelope for Best Picture, would have been backstage when Emma won; he would not have known the contents of that envelope had been read less than 15 minutes earlier.
And nobody in the La-La Land group apparently looked at the names engraved on the Oscars -- which would be for the people from Moonlight.
All that aside, that was the most stunning public clusterfuck I have seen in decades. The Oscars show is probably the most over-choreographed and over-rehearsed production other than the coronation of British royalty; this is unprecedented.
It's going to be very interesting to see what gets changed for next year. I hope the person from Price Waterhouse keeps his job; I don't think whatever accidental sleight of hand produced thsi was entirely his fault.
But it does justify my effort to stay awake to the bitter end of the Oscars, year after year. Nobody could have predicted this. The look on the audience's face was a textbook illustration of 'flabbergasted' and 'gobsmacked'. As they say, that's entertainment.
ETA: In the past, the envelopes had big obvious gold seals on them, so it was obvious when they'd been opened. These did not. They were just plain red envelopes. They might want to go back to the earlier version.
ETA2: There were two sets of envelopes, one on each side of the stage. Warren grabbed the wrong one.
Once upon a time, I was president of CUHaGS, which has quite a large crossover with the Monarchist League. CUHaGS has a tradition that the annual dinner is held at the college of the president, so in my year it was held at Sidney.
People often get up and walk around outside between courses, so that they're sitting next to someone else for the next course. (I don't know whether that's just a Sidney thing.) And I began to overhear Monarchists saying things to one another like "I've just been for a leap", or "I fancy a leap. Want to come?"
Some background here. Despite being 400 years old, Sidney has produced approximately two famous people: Carol Voderman and Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell, as you probably know, killed King Charles I. At the restoration of the monarchy, Charles II had Cromwell's body dug up and hanged, and his head put on a spike. Then someone stole the head.
Centuries later, that person's descendant decided it was a bit creepy having a head around, and gave it to Sidney. The head was buried in the chapel, but its exact location remains a secret known only to the Master and a few Fellows. Otherwise there was a risk that monarchists would dig it up again and use it as a football.
Anyway, I investigated what the people going for a "leap" were up to. Of course the Monarchists hate Cromwell, because he killed a king. It turned out that they often hold dinners at Sidney, get drunk, and go to the chapel, and jump up and down on random parts of the floor in the hope that they're showing disrespect to Oliver Cromwell's head.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-01-21:
"It will take some time before the number of people watching on TV is revealed, but some viewers must have had that eerie feeling that a perverse revival of Dynasty was under way. The incoming president gave a speech livid with populist fury, an indictment of "the establishment" and yet, in his person, demeanour and in reality, he confirms that the establishment, the force of true power remains anchored in old white men with a comb-over and decades-younger wife." -- John Doyle, television critic, on the Trump inauguration.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
I went back and read the reviews it got when it was first published. So many were superior and casually dismissive. We could afford to be dismissive of dystopias, back then.
At any rate, it's a book that should be read, loved and wept over.
He stopped calling himself a libertarian, after an effort to run for office (governor of NY) on the Libertarian ticket that ended about as well as such things usually do. He somewhat reratted to conservatism, working as a stockbroker and writing bios of malefactors of great wealth (starting with Donald Trump). He never lost his distrust of the State, though, particularly on lifestyle issues. He wrote many books on many topics, though for me he never recaptured the greatness of It Usually Begins With Ayn Rand.
A Muslim woman stayed on after Obama left, to serve on the National Security Council. She left after 8 days.
Unelected Bannon admits cabinet dept. heads were chosen to destroy their departments.
The White House's cruel and thoughtless rollback of gender rights.
Oh, so now I'm supposed to take my passport on domestic flights? No, really?
Kicked out of briefing: CNN, the New York Times, BuzzFeed, the Los Angeles Times, the Hill, Politico, and the BBC. More on the theatre of access.
12 wins that could make history at the Oscars on Sunday.
Given research about EBV without a doctor's guidance thus far (urgh), it seems largely the virus gets reactivated by stress. But ... how much stress? One really bad day? A sinus infection? A constant low drone of stress? Furthermore, many people seem to do better at managing it (or curing, according to some anecdotal accounts, meh) on various clean/elimination diets plus daily vitamin supplements and/or occasional vitamin megadoses during active-virus time. And none of that is ever covered by insurance. So... if I quit my dayjob, would I need less expensive healthcare? Or would it only help for a short while, like with everything else I've ever tried, and the virus will just reactivate itself again for no clear reason?
( breaking it down )
So... very much a gamble. Could pay off, might blow up in my face.
What I really want right now is to just get an EBV *reprieve*, even if just for a few months to a year. Then I can get my creative stuff off the ground and see whether or not I even *could* make enough $$ from it to quit my dayjob, and then I can make a plan to move from one to the other a bit less jarringly. Or the +ment bonus from having those projects work out could sustain me enough for the dayjob.
I think most ppl who would tell me to quit my job without much forethought probably have waaaay more health privelidge than I do. Meh.
An unconventional idea for disclosing Presidential tax returns.
Arizona's government doesn't like protesters. Organize or take part in a protest that turns violent -- and I would not trust Arizona cops to not turn a coffee break violent -- and you stand to lose your house, your property and everything you own. Fascism hits the Southwest. There are reasons we did not keep my mother-in-law's small bit of land in Phoenix.
The Wilderness Society's activist toolkit.
Bloomburg: Keeping America's doors open.
You need to know this: for deportation purposes, 100 miles from the border is still the border. Yes, that includes the majority of western NY state, and any other borderline or lakeside or oceanside state. Yes, NYCity and Philly and DC and San Francisco and coastal California and Seattle and more. 100 miles. This is insane. More on this here and here, considering Constitutional rights.
The working class now isn't largely construction or factory workers -- here are talks with working people outside those lines.
If what 45 thinks is true (doubtful), that the deportations are a military operation, that military operation is being carried out against civilians, which violates the Geneva conventions. And brings us to the brink of an uncivil war.
NY Gov. Cuomo: schools must protect transgender students.
The West Wing, what fragements there are of it, did not expect such splashback from the bigoted anti-Muslim travel ban. So they're revising and tightening and trying to make it impervious to everything. And not everyone agrees on it, there either.
As far as lying presidents go, we have been here before. Is compassion dead? Among Republican presidents, it appears so. There is no compassion in conservatism, just as there is none in stealing parents away from children and dumping them on the other side of a border.
And the environment will be damaged and streams destroyed because nobody in the White House understands the coal business, economics, ecology or the facts that more people are using natural gas. Oh, and the anthracite 'hard' coal is already gone, so what's left is bituminous, 'soft' coal, which produces soot, gases and other problems.
Humans in dark times, confronting violence.
The perfect shots of Oscars.
Tom Hanks on community college.
John Adams: portrait of a founder as a young schoolmaster.
The program opens with an update on the general strike of February 17, with organizer Michelle Rodino-Colocino (the program was recorded that day). A summary of recent underreported stories follows, then Caitlin Remmel speaks about Brand New Congress, a campaign intended to field citizen-responsive candidates in every House district in 2018. Next, the legendary organizer […]
The post Michelle Rodino-Colocino, Caitlin Remmel, Charlotte Hill O’Neill, and Alexander Reed Ross appeared first on Project Censored.
Fear-based immigration orders.
Harry Belafonte is turning 90 next week.
Tracing New York's lines of desire.
How to survive the next four years like a Frenchwoman. A little humor.
If you haven't seen the 1950s western 'High Noon', see it -- but read this first. And if you've seen it, watch it again for the references to the then-current McCarthyism and resistance. Or just because Gary Cooper was great and Grace Kelly was this unknown actress starting out.
More on cowards in office and the people they supposedly represent calling them to order.
If you have to rip back, rip back, carefully. Do it on a flat surface, gently, and the yarn might retain its shape enough to make it easier to pick up the stitches. If you pull at it too strongly, it'll deform and might loosen up further down than you want.
Pick up stitches with a smaller needle and transfer them after. I am working with a 40-inch metal #6 circular needle; I am picking up stitches with a #2 bamboo circular needle. The bamboo needle has very sharp points, good for picking up delicate thread. I pick up with that needle, knit them off onto the larger needle.
Crochet hooks are your friends! They're great at helping you pick up stitches, and reknit ones that laddered down a bit, or where the smaller needle split the yarn and you need the whole yarn for the stitch. Peruvian needles have hooks built into them, which makes them very sensible; those of us who don't have those need a few sizes of regular hooks. I have some in wood, some in metal, and they all work.
Big secret that will save you headaches: you do not have to pick up every stitch facing the right direction with the left side of the stitch hidden behind the needle.) It does not matter, as long as you didn't twist the stitch as you picked it up. As long as the needle you are knitting onto goes *into* the hole in the center of the stitch straight on, with the yarn in back, it's knitting. If you go into the stitch from behind the right-hand side, with the yarn in front, it's purling. Or you can certainly straighten out the stitches on the regular needle by picking them up off the smaller one and making sure they face the direction you want (right side forward, left side behind the needle.)
If you can't see the error, it makes no difference to the stitch count or pattern or final result, it doesn't matter.
Don't torture the yarn. Knitting is supposed to have some stretch in it, some ability to bend. If you feel as if you're knitting something that feels starched when it's not? You're holding the yarn too tightly. There are numerous ways to wrap it around your hand and get control of tension; play with them until you get something you like. I use my mother's method, which wraps around the last one or two fingers, pver the back of the hand and around the index finger. I modify this depending on what I"m working on -- but it doesn't cramp my hand and the yarn flows reasonably.
If you think you need stitch markers, you need stitch markers. Markers are a lot cheaper than ripping back and redoing your work. I have used regular markers, twist ties, earrings, rubber bands, anything that is handy, but the bits of plastic sold as markers work fine and don't catch on the yarn. The pattern I am doing calls for four markers, two at each end of the working area -- but I am adding about 20 more, to get better control of the repeating pattern in the middle. Who the hell makes a 14-stitch repeating lace pattern? This pattern's maker, apparently. Adding the markers made it bearable, and easier to track what went wrong when the count didn't work. Not adding markers because the pattern doesn't mention them and getting confused does not make you macha, but you can end up spending far too much time trying to figure out why that slipped stitch isn't where it's supposed to be or the interesting K2PS (slip a stitch, knit two together, put the slipped stitch over the top, a decrease of two stitches overall) is not working out.
My eyes are not what they used to be. I wear bifocals. If I knit for too long, without looking up, my eyes 'set' at that distance, which is not good. So I turn on whatever is on TV, generally movies, so I have something to look up at that is more than two feet from my eyes. It helps immensely.
Make sure you have enough light to see very well.
Work with yarn that feels good on your fingers and tools that suit you. I love circular needles - but I strongly dislike the expensive sets of them where you have 40 sizes of needle end and long cable to fasten together, because the yarn tends to get stuck at the join. So I have tons of different sizes of needles, a number of duplicates, plus my mother's collection of aluminum or plastic or bone straight needles from the past 60 years. Some I use, some I don't. I tend not to knit with the straight long needles because they put a lot of strain on my wrists, which isn't good. But they're good to hold long amounts of stitches if you're working around, say, a neckline. Do what works for you and don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. I also use the best yarn I can afford that suits a project, because working with cheap nasty stuff is no fun and I won't like the result. But I also spin wool and knit with that sometimes, too. It's all about what works for you.
And if it's not fun, and you don't like the process, and you don't like the result, go do something you like instead. There is no law that says YOU MUST KNIT OR DO NEEDLEWORK TO BE A PROPER FEMALE. Actually, I learned a lot about turning sock heels from my large and macho male cousin, who grew up knitting socks to send to the troops in WWII. So don't make assumptions, either. :)
The Occupation has rescinded the access to appropriate bathrooms that Obama guaranteed for transgender people.
Standing Rock camp closes.
The five Trump administrations -- entertainment, cleanup, crazy, GOP, and essential -- and the perils of Potemkin democracy. And let's not forget poorly thought out economics.
The folly of abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts.
What Facebook owes to journalism -- and what it could do to support good reporting with 1% of its profits.
Protesters jeer at cowardly Congressmen who don't have the guts to face their constituents. And a woman whose husband is dying confronts her Congressman: “And you want to stand there with him at home, expect us to be calm, cool, and collected? Well what kind of insurance do you have?” And that was only the start.
Democratic Senators introduce legislation to stop the deportations.
The British Parliament votes no to a state visit from Trump. The vote is emphatic but nonbinding -- he can still visit, but it won't be the whole formal deal that other presidents received.
This is the page in Congress.gov for House Bill 610, which takes away free lunches from children who need them, and turns money for public schools into vouchers for private schools, as a way to destroy public education in America. Read it. Write your Congresspeople about it. Tell them to defeat it.
US libraries become sanctuary spaces, in resistance.
This past weekend was Katsucon, so I have a stack of new manga. Most were recommended by "Year's Best Manga" lists on various sites, but one was something that looked intriguing when Great Big South American River brought it up in response to something else I was buying. As might be expected, I'm finding them a mixed bag.
Nichijou (Nichijou - My Ordinary Life) by Keiichi Arawi, vols. 1 and 2
Um, no. This comedy + slice-of-life high school series was billed as whimsical and surrealistic. It has a blocky, primitive drawing style that I'm presuming is deliberate. This does mean, however, that some of the surrealistic events have to be called out by the characters, or you wouldn't know what was up. When a wooden hand falls from the sky onto someone's head, for instance, it looks just as realistic as any of the characters' hands. And when the school principal tangles with a deer outside a character's classroom window, the student gazes at the spectacle with the same blank look she gives to just about anything.
The killer for me, however, was the treatment of the one character I found sympathetic, a robot schoolgirl who just wants to be a normal human being. Her creator, a child mad scientist, delights in tormenting her creation by refusing to remove the large windup key on the robot's back. She seems to have created the robot for just this purpose, plus some light housework. The whole thing left a bad taste in my brain. This one is going straight into the give-away pile.
Haikyū!! by Haruichi Furudate, vols. 1-3
On the other hand, I pretty much inhaled the first volumes of this shounen sports manga. While short, hyperactive Shōyō Hinata was in middle school, he saw a televised volleyball game featuring a player who was called the "Little Giant" for the way he dominated the game despite his small stature. Shōyō is inspired to nag and cajole his way to the creation of a boys' volleyball team at his own school. Despite their complete lack of a bench or any real experience or coaching, the team manages to avoid completely embarrassing themselves in their first and only real tournament, in which Shōyō encounters cerebral, athletically talented Tobio Kageyama.
In his mind, Shōyō paints Tobio as his nemesis, but when they both start high school, they find they're rookies on the same team. Not only that, but when their contrasting skills are put together, they become something special. At this point the story line kicks in for real as the remaining players on the team are introduced, along with their genial faculty sponsor who knows nothing about volleyball (and thus serves as the viewpoint character for similarly naive readers) and their coolly elegant manager, the only female character to make an appearance thus far. I especially enjoy the sweet senior player who has exiled himself from the team because, after freezing and woofing a key shot in a tournament, he feels he can't support his team mates properly (all the feels, Asahi!). This is probably nothing more than a typical example of its genre, but I'm enjoying the characters and their interactions.
Back in the 60s there were a lot of alleged problems like gaysex, dirty books, comedians using the F-word on stage, and dope smoking that people were supposed to be arrested for. Some of us filthy hippies thought that the government should mind its own business. Then there was an Asian war for which the same solution applied, and I started wondering how much it generalized.
In the 70s Robert Nozick wrote a great book called Anarchy, State, & Utopia. I remember that after The Times reviewed it, they got an angry loc saying that the very existence of the book proved that we’re going to Hell in a handbasket because it would make it acceptable to consider politics an imposition on the life of the individual. Since that’s how I feel, I thought it was nifty. (It wasn’t quite Area Teen Is the Only Libertarian in the World, but I did feel outnumbered. And in my more lucid moments I realize that I am extreme, and I have compared my feeling about the need for politics to that of the unfortunate souls who are horrified and disgusted that the survival of the species requires that icky business with pee-pees and hoo-hahs. But as Uncle Sigmund said about paranoids in general, I am not entirely mistaken.) And he did make libertarianism academically respectable.
Nozick did not say, as some of his enemies and some of his supporters maintain, that any State intervention in the economy puts us on the road to gulags. What he said was that the more government we have, the more it controls our private lives and the more it is open to the abuses of totalitarianism, and that the tipping point is likely to come when we decide that a just distribution of everything is the state’s business (which Richard Rorty said is the defining quality of the Left). I agree.
But Nozick reratted to liberalism, and so did I. Libertarianism doesn’t work, and Scott Alexander has a thorough discussion of why it doesn’t.
Now there’s another one. Milo Yiannopoulos, having spewed enough hatred for POC, Jews, Muslims, women, and Trans* people that decent human beings would have nothing to do with him, suddenly lost millions of others by coming out in favor of adult/teen sex (and specifically adult/teen gaysex, which presumably is even worse), saying it worked for him when he was 14. He lost a book contract and a couple of jobs, and now we’re hearing that what’s wrong with Lord Dampnut and his lovable sidekick Bannon Boy is that they have Milo cooties.
Thanx to twistedchick
But a whole lot of it is you all. You, who read what I put here and pass it along and comment intelligently. (Do you have any clue how rare intelligent comments are?) And you write fanfic about characters I care about -- you tell the truth aslant by putting it in the mouths of characters and making it real -- and record it so I can listen to it in the truck, and come up with alternate universes and ways to show me new worlds at an angle.
If I could, I'd buy you all coffee, or good wine, or sing you all a song I wrote about friends. (No, it's not on YouTube, and it won't be; it'll be some time before my voice is back to singing well.) I do what I can, which is to hold this space, to put things in it that I hope are helpful and that I hope aren't going to drive you to despair, and I try to put in some cheerful or offbeat things also. (I purely love the woman who stood off an intruder with a broadsword, for instance. SCA and similar for the win!)
What I am saying is this: if you weren't there, I wouldn't be here doing this.