In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Susannah Bartlow, Stephanie Gilmore, and Duchess Harris have launched a new intersectional feminist forum at The Feminist Wire called "Beyond Critique." The introduction to the series is here, and click through to the main page to find individual entries.

[Content Note: Terrorism; guns; explosives; Islamophobia] Late last month, the FBI "arrested a man who allegedly was plotting to use C-4 explosives and weapons to kill police officers, rob banks and armored cars, and blow up government buildings and mosques. ...After setting up a Facebook page called American Insurgent Movement (AIM), Talbot allegedly sought to recruit five or six like-minded people who wanted 'to restore America Pre-Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.'" Somehow, this story has not gotten widespread mainstream media coverage. I'm sure it has nothing (everything) to do with the fact that Talbot is a white conservative.

[CN: Misogyny] Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden says that the "Senate intelligence committee's landmark report on torture and coercive interrogations was not objective because [committee chair Dianne] Feinstein, a California Democrat, was too 'emotional.'" Well, you know how those ladies are.

[CN: Disaster; death] There are now 34 confirmed deaths from the Washington landslide. The search and rescue/recovery continues, as there are still unaccounted-for people from the area.

An absolutely amazing experiment done by a team of researchers at the University of Louisville and the University of California-Los Angeles, with the participation of four paralyzed patients, has resulted in all four of those patients having some of their mobility restored: "By coursing an electrical current through the four men's spines, the research team, which included scientists from the Pavlov Institute of Physiology in Russia, appears to have 'dialed up' signals between the brain and legs that were believed to have been completely lost. All four men, after being paralyzed for two to four years, can lift their legs, flex their ankles, and support their own weight while standing, though only when the device embedded under their skin is turned on. In a response that shocked researchers, all four have regained bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and the ability to regulate their blood pressure and body temperature—even when the epidural stimulation device is not running." Extraordinary. Further research will be done, and it will be quite a long while before this treatment could become widely available. Right now, it's the promise that's exciting.

Sheryl Sandberg wants to ban the word "bossy," because of course she does. And even though she "has learned to talk fluently about race and class: 'women of colour' is now part of her lexicon" (OMG), she apparently hasn't gotten the memo that "bossy" does not mean the same thing to all women.

[CN: Guns; violence] Oscar Pistorius broke down on the stand while testifying about killing Reeva Steenkamp. Reading his account, I just cannot relate to this guy's thinking at all. Like, the first time he considered it might be her in the bathroom was after he'd fired four shots into there? Even if that's true, it's incomprehensible to me to not do everything in your power to establish it isn't your partner before you start shooting. This fucking guy.

[CN: Transphobia; trans* appropriation; ciscentrism] Eleven writes a great piece on cis actors playing trans* roles: "Cis people are represented in every facet of media and culture and society, while trans people are erased from most conversations. So when the opportunity arises to depict a trans person, it's important that we showcase that trans people are real, that trans people are living, breathing human beings and not just exotic novelties that only exist in the imagination. I want people to see beyond a cinematically constructed entity to a real person behind that character."

[CN: Drones; killing] The international rights group Reprieve has placed in a Pakistani field a large portrait of a girl reportedly killed by a drone strike "as part of an effort to communicate directly with Predator drone operators and humanize innocent victims of American strikes, activists say. The picture laid out in a field in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region 10 days ago is of a girl who activists say lost her parents in a drone strike. It is part of a campaign entitled #NotABugSplat, which draws its name from the slang term 'bug splats,' which Predator drone operators sometimes use to denote direct kills."

[CN: Fat bias] Today in Blame the Fat Parents: "A child born to an obese father has nearly double the risk for a condition within the autism spectrum." Wow, that does sound terrible! "Overall, a child born to an obese father had a .27 percent risk of developing ASD, while a child born to a normal-weight father had a .15 percent risk." Um. "[Dr. Pål Surén, lead researcher and professor of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo] told that it's possible that the fathers' obesity has some direct effect—by altering sperm quality, for instance. But for now, that's all speculation." FAT SPERM! Sounds good. Let's irresponsibly publicly speculate about it A LOT!

Microsoft will stop providing support for XP, so, if you're still using XP, it's about to get even shittier.

Here is a video of a French bulldog puppy arguing about bedtime. Oh em gee.

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