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FEBRUARY 2014

 
 

FINDINGS


In trying to count her rings, marine geologists had accidentally killed a 507-year-old clam named Ming. Ocean acidification impairs digestion in green sea urchins and makes rockfish anxious. The head of the seahorse produces no wake before it. Sharks know you can see them. Cuttlefish remember when. The convened Acoustical Society of America heard that more young Californian men were ending their sentences with rising pitch. Peak happiness was observed at a per capita GDP of $36,000. Read Full Article.

 

GET THE APP THAT TOOK DOWN SEXISM DURING THE SUPER BOWL

In 2012, consumers responded to sexist ads during the Super Bowl on Twitter by using the hashtag "NotBuyingIt." The #NotBuyingIt campaign spread so rapidly that an app was developed by the Representation Project for this year's Super Bowl. The app allows users to upload images of media they deem offensive and tweet critically at companies airing the commercials. Using GPS, the app tracks engagement across communities as a tool to organize protests or express their opinions. The chief among these tweeters was @RepresentPledge, an account created by the Representation Project, seeking to push #NotBuyingIt beyond the Super Bowl. The account description reads: "Pledge to represent the change you want to see for women & girls. Take action daily and tweet w/ #MissRep #NotBuyingIt." Miss Representation, as the account is called, had some of her own points to make about the ads. This one about the Super Bowl's viewership about sums it up: Nearly half the viewers of the #SuperBowl are women and girls. Yet almost none of the ads feature or are about them. #NotBuyingIt Read More. . .
Download The App.

 

FIGHT BACK AGAINST NSA - FEB. 11

Feb. 11 has been dubbed "The Day We Fight Back Against The NSA" by a broad coalition of activist groups, companies, and online platforms who will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA's mass spying regime.  According to a press release: "The day of activism was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic passing of activist and technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest is both in his honor and in celebration of the victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago this month, which he helped spur." Members of the New York City Light Brigade, The Illuminator Art Collective and other allies turned the Verizon building in downtown New York into a large billboard to project the all seeing "NSA eye” along with text stating "you will never be alone", "our eye is on you", and "Wherever you go, whatever you do, you are under surveillance." The use of the Verizon building is significant because Verizon has been complicit with the NSA in spying on U.S citizens.  Read Full Article.

 

BEAUTY IN TRUTH

Pratibha Parmar's new documentary on Alice Walker called "Beauty in Truth" debuted on the PBS American Masters series. It's the first project of its kind to explore Walker's legacy as a pioneering black womanist writer, and it's just on time, as Walker celebrated her 70th birthday on February 9. Parmar told the Daily Beast why it's so important to capture Walker's legacy for younger audiences. There are many reasons why many young people don't know who Alice Walker is. There's a deliberate erasure of women history-makers, particularly woman who have been outspoken, and Alice has always been outspoken on so many different issues. There's also a shocking gender and racial bias in the teaching of history and literature, so that the white male literary canon is always at the top of the reading lists. Unless there are educators who have an awareness and commitment to ensuring that women and especially women of color are represented in their reading lists, the default will always be the white male canon. So far, the film has gotten great reviews, with the LA Times noting that, "the praise is more than due, and it isn't often we get to spend time with a person of such conviction under whose hands words bloom with both beauty and power. But then there really isn't another person like this. There's only Alice Walker." Read Colorlines. . .

 

TEN FACTS ABOUT THE WOODY ALLEN SEX ABUSE CASE

This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen's having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the second last fall, when she was 28, I feel obliged to set the record straight. As such, I have compiled the following list of undeniable facts: Read Maureen Orth's Vanity Fair Article. . Dylan Farrow writes: Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me -- but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life. His op-ed is the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years. He insists my mother brought criminal charges -- in fact, it was a pediatrician who reported the incident to the police based on my firsthand account. He suggests that no one complained of his misconduct prior to his assault on me -- court documents show that he was in treatment for what his own therapist described as “inappropriate” behavior with me from as early as 1991. He offers a carefully worded claim that he passed a lie detector test -- in fact, he refused to take the test administered by the state police (he hired someone to administer his own test, which authorities refused to accept as evidence). Read Full Statement. . If you remain unconvinced please read this: Allen v. Farrow Custody Ruling, June 7, 1993

 

PTSD PLAGUES AMERICA'S POOREST NEIGHBORHOODS

The media is filled with stories of the violence that plagues America's poorest black and brown neighborhoods, but a recent investigation by ProPublica's Lois Beckett highlights one of its longest lasting side effects: hundreds of thousands of untreated cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Here's Beckett: Studies show that, overall, about 8% of Americans suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives. But the rates appear to be much higher in communities - such as poor, largely African-American pockets of Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia - where high rates of violent crime have persisted despite a national decline.
Researchers in Atlanta interviewed more than 8,000 inner-city residents and found that about two-thirds said they had been violently attacked and that half knew someone who had been murdered. At least 1 in 3 of those interviewed experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD at some point in their lives - and that’s a "conservative estimate," said Dr. Kerry Ressler, the lead investigator on the project. "The rates of PTSD we see are as high or higher than Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam veterans," Ressler said. "We have a whole population who is traumatized." PTSD, particularly when it's untreated, can take a huge toll on relationships, parenting and finding a job.Read full article.

 

MAKING CONSENT COOL - HAPPY VALENTINES

In 1993, when Antioch College introduced its "ask first" policy — mandating that students solicit permission for every intimate advance, including kissing — the policy was widely derided. Once the stuff of "Saturday Night Live" parody, "consent" today is proudly emblazoned on T-shirts, underwear and condom wrappers. Through activism that happens as often on YouTube and Twitter as on the main green, foot soldiers in the consent movement are encouraging fellow classmates to ask first and ask often before engaging in sexual activity. Their mission is to make consent cooler than Antioch did. The movement's slogan: "Consent is sexy." It isn't always an easy sell. Today, as it was decades ago, the butt of the joke is the awkward formality of the ask. Sayda Morales co-founded All Students for Consent at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., last year. She hears from students: "Do I have to ask if I can move one inch closer? Do I have to ask if I can move my left hand one inch on their buttocks?" But it doesn’t have to take on the air of a contract signing, she tells them. When she stands in front of the freshman class, she tries to keep the conversation light. "Consent is necessary,” she says, "and it's fun."Read more

 

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