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JULY 2014

 
 

CAN YOU DESCRIBE OBSCURE SORROW IN ONE WORD?


Words can't describe* the joy I feel when I ran across Koenig's Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows website, which is dedicated to coining new words that define specific types of sadness. Like the pain of realizing that the plot of your life doesn't make sense to you anymore (nodus tollens), the frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype even if you never intended to (mimeomia), or an imaginary conversation with an old photo of yourself (daguerreologue). The first question people would ask when they run across one of Koenig's words is whether they are made up. The answer is simple: Yes, these are made up words - but they're carefully made up words. Koenig crafts his words carefully with proper etymology - things like word roots, prefixes, suffixes and so on. Koenig stated that each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language, to give a name to an emotion we all feel but haven't a word for. Read the article and watch the videos. *At least until Koenig starts another website, dedicated to coining new words describing specific types of joys.

 

EDEN FOODS SAYS BIRTH CONTROL "IMMORAL"

Eden Foods is the Hobby Lobby of the organic foods aisle. Boycott all Eden products and tell your store's management to stop buying Eden products for their shelves. Michael Potter, Eden’s CEO, claims, among other things, that contraception “almost always involve[s] immoral and unnatural practices.” That’s one of the reasons why he filed suit in 2013 against the mandate of the Affordable Care Act that classifies birth control as preventative healthcare for women. Over 80 companies have petitioned the courts for permission to use their owner’s religious beliefs to discriminate against women. After filing the suit, Potter went even further, saying that the government has “no right” to extend coverage for birth control. When the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision was announced, Potter said he was “grateful” for the court’s decision while calling President Obama a “dictator” who wants to take away Americans’ rights. Tell Eden Foods' CEO: I won’t buy Eden products until you stop playing politics with women and their potential children's health. Consumers: use your choice about whether you want to fund his religious beliefs. We may have little leverage against a company like Hobby Lobby; our power to go against Eden is strong. Sign on at CREDO Now. Also check out Media Matters piece on how Right-wing media are celebrating since the conservative justices of the Supreme Court have issued their unprecedented ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, with the Court adopting a number of conservative myths in the decision that allows sex discrimination in the name of corporate religion.

 

DON'T BUY LEGOS WITH SHELL BRANDING

For the past two years, Shell and LEGO have partnered on a global advertising campaign that includes co-branded toys, billboards, celebrity endorsements, videos, and a full-size LEGO Formula One car. More than 16 million Shell-branded LEGO sets have been sold at gas stations in 26 countries, including Brazil, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Australia. Using toys to advertise any kind of product to kids is wrong. But it’s particularly harmful to sell children on Shell, a company whose environmental record and plans to drill in the Arctic are rightfully incurring an international barrage of criticism and challenges. That’s why we’re partnering with Greenpeace USA to call for an end to this harmful partnership. As Greenpeace notes: “Shell is responsible for a significant amount of global carbon emissions. And Shell is now hunting for more oil in one of the world’s last remaining pristine regions: the Arctic. Sea ice in the far north is melting, but rather than see this as a warning sign, Shell sees it as an opportunity to drill for more of the oil that caused the melt in the first place.” Please tell LEGO to stop exploiting children by building brand loyalty to Shell.

 

THE 10 WORDS EVERY GIRL SHOULD LEARN:

"Stop interrupting me." "I just said that." "No explanation needed."

In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My brother, on the other hand, was considered the class comedian. We were very typically socialized as a "young lady" and a "boy being a boy." Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance. I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments (life) where men interrupt me. Now that I've decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it's quite amazing how often it happens. It's particularly pronounced when other men are around. This irksome reality goes along with another -- men who make no eye contact. For example, a waiter who only directs information and questions to men at a table, or the man last week who simply pretended I wasn't part of a circle of five people (I was the only woman). We'd never met before and barely exchanged 10 words, so it couldn't have been my not-so-shrinking-violet opinions. Read More.

 

AIR NEW ZEALAND PULLS SEXIST SAFETY VIDEO

Media Watch wrote letters and Change.org started a petition which 7,000 supported in hopes to convince Air New Zealand to drop their safety film that made many uncomfortable, including staff. A supporter of the campaign wrote: 'And it breaches people's freedom of choice. They are obliged to sit in front of it. They can't turn it off, or walk away. 'They can't shelter their children from it, because their children are also obliged to watch it.' They added: 'It objectifies women. It reduces women to stereotype of sexual availability, increasing a perception that women are available to be utilized as sexual gratification (visual or otherwise).' However, an Air New Zealand spokesman denied the airline had bowed to public pressure, saying the videos are scheduled, the Sport Illustrated video had reached the end of its run and was gradually being phased out of the aircrafts it was used on. We ask people to continue to contact the airline, as they seem to not understand the harm of their safety video. Watch it and Contact Air New Zealand about their contribution to rape culture, in hopes that in the future they will be more conscientious toward all viewers. airnz@custhelp.com and Afualo, Fa'afetai, faafetai.afualo@airnz.co.nz Watch their safety video Read more.

 

NAVY SONAR KILLING WHALES

The mass stranding of beaked whales in the Bahamas in 2000 set alarm bells ringing. What had happened? Why had a group of cetaceans that had lived in Grand Bahama Canyon for 30 million years become so disoriented that they fled into shallow water and died? Award-winning journalist Joshua Horwitz set off like a detective to find the answers. His guides are an ex-Navy sonar officer turned whale activist and a crusading environmental lawyer. As Horwitz takes the reader inside a landmark environmental lawsuit brought against the U.S. Navy, he uncovers top-secret underwater sonar programs; tracks down the Einstein of the oceans at a cottage in La Jolla, California; and shows that the mass stranding of whales is by no means a thing of the past. The title of your book is War of the Whales: A True Story. Can you briefly describe the battlefield? It's about a clash between two mission-driven groups that care deeply about whales and the oceans, though for completely different reasons: the generation of Americans who grew up falling in love with whales and dolphins from television, then in marine parks, then in the wilds—and the U.S. military. Read full article. We need your help. Please sign and help pass it on!

 

INTERNET'S OWN BOY: AARON SWARTZ

Opening with the news of Internet "hacktivist" Aaron Swartz's untimely death at the age of 26, the new documentary, "The Internet's Own Boy," traces the rise and fall of a tech industry prodigy. Interviews with his friends and loved ones paint a portrait of Swartz as a martyr of freedom of information and hail his fight for the public's right to access tax-funded academic and scientific research, culminating in a personally devastating two-year Federal lawsuit. Having developed RSS technology at the age of fourteen Swartz was embraced by tech leaders at the top of their fields including Cory Doctorow and Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig. Affable and baby-faced, Swartz was a frequent presenter at conferences and participated in academic pursuits at top-level universities throughout his teenage years. He established himself as a force to be reckoned with as co-founder of Reddit, one of the largest social media and news aggregator sites online to this day. Despite a profitable job offer at Conde Nast, Swartz rejected corporate culture in favor of pursuing a democratic Internet in the interest of information sharing over profit. An avid researcher who had previously accessed otherwise private databases, Swartz, acting "in the grand tradition of civil disobedience to declare... opposition to this private theft of public culture" used MIT computers to access tax-funded research that would otherwise be held privately by for-profit publishers, an incident many viewers may remember from national headlines just a few year ago. Though neither MIT nor the digital repository Swartz accessed pressed charges, a US Attorney stepped in and filed a 13-count felony charge against Swartz, threatening him with over $1 million in fines and up to 35 years of jail time. Watch full documentary online.

 

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