effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
* There's a Great Delicious Migration spreadsheet on GoogleDocs - you insert a row where your name goes (they're using LJ user names as the default) and fill in your info (pinboard, tumblr, DW, etc) so folks know where to find you.

* For people migrating to Pinboard, there's user name mapper that helps you find people from your Delicious network. (thanks, Zan!)

* The OTW is asking for input on bookmarking at the Ao3.

* Diigo's setting a 'a high standard to public bookmarks' which means, amoung other things, that any bookmark 'containing bad/inappropriate words such as sex, porn, sexy in title/description/tag/annotation' is automatically made private. Thanks, Diigo!

In related news, Pinboard imported all my bookmarks in reverse chronological order, putting all the Bleach fic I saved back in '08 at the top of the list. I spent last night rediscovering the joys of Yumichika/Ikkaku and Yoruichi/Soi Fong <3.
effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
I've skipped a couple weeks and people keep posting things, so this is a long one. Fair warning!

* First out of the bag, #yesGayYA. For those who haven't read it, he original post by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith is here: Authors Say Agents Try to “Straighten” Gay Characters in YA. [personal profile] cleolinda has the best/most exhaustive coverage I've seen and [personal profile] coffeeandink has a good roundup of pertinent links.

* Related posts not mentioned above include [livejournal.com profile] swan_tower's Followup on "Say Yes to Gay YA" and [personal profile] bookshop's YA Publishing & the de-gaying of books.

* Speaking of co-written YA books, while I was typing this up Justine Larbalesteir and Sarah Rees Brennan announced one of their own! It's apparently about girls and female friendship and vampires and it's got a girl of color smack dab in the middle of the cover. I am excite.

Moving on:

Links about food )

Links about US politics )

Links about interesting things )

Pretty pictures )

ETA: For The Next Few Days, Portal Is Free! For the computer, and you have to sign up for Steam to get it, but still. Sweet beans.

effex: Working now (Working now)
Hey, look, it's a linkspam!

* [personal profile] forthwritten has excellent link round-ups for the London riots here and here.

* [tumblr.com profile] readnfight talks about 'the argument that people are destroying “their own neighborhood,” which has always come off to me as being steeped in a middle-class misunderstanding of other people’s poverty. Who owns the house they live in? In New Haven, almost all the houses in the POC neighborhoods are subdivided to be rented as separate floors. I literally know 3 couples in the city who own the house they live in; 2 of those couples are either my past or present landlords. If my block rioted, for the most part we would not be destroying our own property.'

* Via [personal profile] crossedwires - video and transcript from the BBC interview of Darcus Howe:
Reporter: Are you shocked by what you see now outside?

Darcus Howe: No. Not at all. I have been living in London for 50 years. There’s so many different moods and moments. But what I was certain about, listening to my grandson, and my son, is that something very very serious was going to take place in this country. Our political leaders have no idea. The police have no idea. But if you look at young Blacks, and young whites, with a discerning eye, and a careful hearing, they have been telling us and we would not listen, that what is happening in this country, to them, is— what is —

Warning for the BBC interviewer being a total asshat.

* Can't remember if I posted this earlier - Muslimah Media Watch's Obligatory Richard Dawkins Post

* [tumblr.com profile] korraspasm has video and a complete transcript of the SDCC 2011 Legend of Korra panel! <3 <3 <3

* [personal profile] yvi is putting together a non-native English celebration fest. See this post for details.

* In case you missed it - Ultimate!Peter Parker's mantle is being taken up by Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Latino teenager. People tend to stay dead in the Ultimate universe, so hopefully Miles will be around for a while.

* Happy Ramadan to those who are in the middle of it!

effex: Out of ideas (Out of ideas)
* I've finished Quentin Crisp's The Naked Civil Servant, James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son, and am halfway through Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Reviews of the first two will be along when my brain starts working again (I've been trying to write them since Thursday and have nothing but a blank, mocking GoogleDoc to show for it).

* I've also finished Season 2 of Parks and Recreation, which means I have no more excuses about starting my [community profile] scifi_fest fic (Parks and Rec IN SPAAAACE), and I'm caught up with Sanctuary (I still love this stupid show), Tiger & Bunny, and Blue Exorcist. The last couple episodes of S2 of Fringe and S1 of The Wire are waiting for me on my harddrive, but I've got a weird mental block about finishing both.

* Tiger & Bunny makes me sad - it's not a bad show but it's failed pretty hard in a couple of places and generally isn't living up to its potential. What happened to the show the first few episodes promised me?

* Blue Exorcist, on the other hand, is exactly the ridiculous shonen candy fest it introduced itself as. I adore it (and Rin - I love Rin so much).


In Other News: Richard Dawkins is a privileged ass. I mean, he's been a privileged ass for a long time, but the skeptic community has finally noticed. Sort of. No one seems to be pointing out his rampant Islamophobia ('a man known for defending women against religious oppression' my ass, holy shit) and the general tone is apologetic (not just on Bad Astronomy, either).

In related Other News: I've cut PZ Myers' Pharyngula from my blogroll in response to, yes, rampant Islamophobia. This brings the number of atheist/skeptic blogs I read down to zero - good job, western atheist blogosphere.

(I keep asking this, but) Anyone know if a half-way decent atheist/skeptic blog has popped up in the last couple of months? There's a major void here.
effex: Featuring the (goddamn) Rainbow Batman (Featuring the (goddamn) Rainbow Batman)
* Same-sex marriage ('Or as I like to call it, 'marriage'') passed in New York, HELL YES. Colorlines, Boing Boing, and The Daily Beast all have picspams of the celebrations + Pride. As do most of the queer blogs on the internet, I'm pretty sure.

* I don't know who came up with this ice-cream ad, but bless them.

* On NPR: 'Being Elmo': Covering Raw Talent With Bright Red Fur

* Shelf-Pod is a house made out of bookcases Osaka prefecture, Japan, made to house the owner's collection of Islamic history books. It's beautiful.

* On Boing Boing: Tornadoes, climate change, and real scientific literacy

I've got a bunch of links re: Greece and another set re: podcasts to post, but that'll wait until later this week. Right now, have a puppy update:

They keep growing, like magic. )
effex: Super hero behavior (Super hero behavior)
* Amina, of A Gay Girl in Damascus, has been reported missing (possibly/probably abducted) on her blog. There's weird stuff re: her existence going around the blogosphere ([personal profile] glass_icarus has more on that), but I'm sticking to reserving judgment and hoping she makes it through okay.

* Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood: When I think of the poverty-stricken, sexually and physically abused, self-loathing Native American teenager that I was, I can only wish, immodestly, that I’d been given the opportunity to read “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.” Or Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak.” Or Chris Lynch’s “Inexusable.” Or any of the books that Ms. Gurdon believes to be irredeemable. I can’t speak for other writers, but I think I wrote my YA novel as a way of speaking to my younger, irredeemable self.

* On Colorlines: The Ultimate 21st Century People of Color Sci-Fi List

* The Andrew Loomis figure drawing books are back in print *____*

* Internet Archive becomes archive of physical books, too. The Internet Archive, alarmed to see that many libraries discard books after they are digitized, has decided to start collecting copies of every book ever published, cataloging and storing them in modified shipping containers that serve as long-term archival storage. The stored print-books are to serve as canonical references for the digitized editions.

* They've added two new elements to the periodic table!

* The first volume of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal is up on Kickstarter


* [community profile] ladiesbigbang is open for signups!

* [community profile] scifi_fest is also open for signups.


On X-men: First Class*:

* The Quintessential Mutants of America and Mutie Go Home by Ta-Nehisi Coates

* Race and Women in X-Men: First Class on The Mary Sue

* [personal profile] marina wrote an essay about Erik as a Holocaust survivor. She's also got links to two other great posts.

* ETA: the Racialicious roundtable

* Which I saw Tuesday night and, well. These essays made me care more about the movie than the movie did. ALSO: Armando/Alex 4EVAR. If comics!Armando can come back from the dead (like every other X-Men, ever), movie!Armando can do it too.

On the DCNu:

* The good - Static's getting his own title! Also John Stewart and Guy Gardner are getting a buddy book. I usually don't care about the Lanterns, but this could be amazing.

* The ambivalent - Jaime's getting his own book. Which is awesome! Except it's a reboot and the original was so fantastic (and so recent, DC, c'mon) that I'm worried this new version won't stand up.

* The bad - they're knocking Barbara Gordon back to Batgirl - no more Oracle, no more wheelchair and, while the Birds of Prey still exist, chances are good she's not in charge**. In fact, all the news coming out of Gotham (except maybe Batwoman) sounds messed up - [profile] musefool talks about it here better than I could.

** I'm holding out hope for a Babs who's PwD and Batgirl and secretly Oracle and in charge of All The Things, but I don't think DC likes happiness that much.

effex: Lazy daze (Lazy daze)
* [community profile] dark_agenda's got plans to host Kaleidoscope, a 'multimedia fanwork exchange for rare chromatic source fandoms', with nominations to start in July. It sounds fantastic!

* [community profile] scifi_fest is currently open for prompt claims! We've got a ton of great prompts in a variety of fandoms (and very low requirements for fanwork), you should come check them out.

* [community profile] kink_bingo is open for sign ups!

* I'm reccing Puella Magi Madoka Magica fanart on [community profile] fanart_recs this month.

Now, with the Community news outta the way:

* Racialicious: How you can help the victims of the Joplin and Alabama disasters

* Daily Kos: White Privilege Diary Series #1 - White Feminist Privilege in Organizations

* via [personal profile] cofax7, I'm pretty sure: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Ebook Piracy. So, you may not be convinced, but I am. Giving stuff away helps. Having it for easy sale also helps. In fact, despite all our “new media” chatter about publicity in the digital age, about blog tours and Twitter contests and Facebook pages, these two things seem to be the only two things that actually make a measurable impact on sales. Give stuff away to increase your customer base, and then have it for easy sale to sift money out of those who are eager to pay. That’s it.

* NYTimes: A City Prepares for a Warm Long-Term Forecast. Climate scientists have told city planners that based on current trends, Chicago will feel more like Baton Rouge than a Northern metropolis before the end of this century.

* In case you missed it: DC UNIVERSE Reboots in September

* On ColorLines: Where is Our Culture’s Racial Subconscious? In Comic Books

* NYTimes again: Fine Print Blurs Who’s in Control of Online Photos. World Entertainment News Network, a news and photo agency, announced this month that it had become the “exclusive photo agency partner” of Twitpic, a service with over 20 million registered users that allows people to upload images and link to them on Twitter. The deal allows the agency to sell images posted on Twitpic for publication, and to pursue legal action against those who use such images commercially without its permission, according to the agency.

* BoingBoing has a roundup of Terms & Conditions from various hosting services.

* via [personal profile] bossymarmalade: Their Islam and Ours. Always, it was so. Their Islam was always the Other for the West; whatever they imagined themselves to be, we must logically be the opposite. Read 19th century Orientalists on Islam; it is decried for being a sensual religion, Muslims are attacked for being lax on homosexuals, Muslims are too feminine … because 19th century westerners viewed themselves as being virtuous and a lack of virtue meant tolerance of homosexuality, sensuality and so on. Now, the West prides itself for being anti-sexist and gay friendly; so we must be the opposite. Always, it was so.

* This is the response Grand Rapids, MI, had to being named one of America's "dying cities."

I wasn't born in Michigan and I've never lived there, but Grand Rapids is where my parents are from and where most of my family's lived (and continues to live) for several generations. We go up there every couple of years for Thanksgiving, my grandma's always sending me stuff about new art exhibits and festivals and public transportation (it's like she's trying to tell me something). Which is the long way of saying this video made me cry like a baby.

* Lastly, some pretty )

In personal news, my sister was successfully bribed into picking up the cat (currently named Felicia) and taking her to the clinic. If everything checks out I might even have a home for her, so fingers crossed!

effex: TV has the fun (TV has the fun)
* Janelle Monae was amazing last night. SO AMAZING. And Bruno Mars is adorable.

* NPR's Monkey See blog has rundowns of the new shows airing in the fall: ABC, FOX, NBC Dramas, and NBC Comedies. CBS and the CW haven't put theirs up yet.

Awake (NBC), Grimm (NBC), Alcatraz (FOX), and Terra Nova (FOX) all have interesting premises (not that I'm predictable in my SFF love or anything) but the only one I have any hope for is Alcatraz (even though the premise is pretty silly) - Fringe has convinced me Abrams doesn't always disappoint.

...I'll probably try the Charlie's Angels (ABC) reboot, too. And Scandal (ABC).

* The Disappearing Face of New York - beautiful old store signs

* Silent Choices, a film that 'explores not only black women’s personal and political struggles around reproductive freedom, but also the complexities of abortion too often ignored by the mainstream media', is streaming free for today only. Haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but it looks good.

* This has been making the rounds, which makes sense because it's fantastic - Rosanne Barr on the Lack of Change in the TV Industry

* Super Obvious Secrets That I Wish They’d Teach In Art School. I need to print this out and put it by my desk. Maybe tattoo 'Draw Every Day' somewhere.

* Fannish fests about ladies: [livejournal.com profile] thelittlebang is open for prompts, the fandom poll for [community profile] femslash11 is also open, and the Female Character Trope Fest is indefinitely open for fanworks.

* The OTW is looking for anime/manga/manhua/manwha fans to help organize the Fanlore wiki

* [community profile] scifi_fest is still taking prompts (and will until the 29th)! The turn out's been great so far (so much better than I was expecting!) and the existing prompts are hella fun, you should come join us :D

effex: Gratuitous Janelle Monae icon (Gratuitous Janelle Monae icon)
* Food! I've been getting back into meal planning and healthy/cheap eats, helped along by Cheap Healthy Good's 1 Chicken, 17 Healthy Meals, $26 Bucks, No Mayo and 65 Cheap, Healthy, One-Dish Meals with Good Leftover Potential.

* [personal profile] cofax7 just linked to Breakfast on the Fly — and on the Cheap, which looks promising. These days I just pick up a box of Oat Revolution's Maple & Brown Sugar to make at work. Variety would be nice!

* While we're talking food, Latoya at Racialicious has a good post up about food cost, food stamps, and government regulation.

* Facebook outed as source of anti-Google PR smear campaign. I'm loling and facepalming at the same time.

* [personal profile] newredshoes has a post about mens' historical fashion. Amazing fashion.

* Apparently the Library of Congress has a public domain music archive.

* From photographer M. Sharkey: a series on queer youth.

Also, Janelle Monae and Bruno Mars (and Patrick Stump) are doing a show next week and I've got tickets, yes, precious.

Also x2, [personal profile] sitara and I've started watching The Wire and holy shit this show's amazing.

EDIT: Don't forget (like I almost did) - Prompts for [community profile] scifi_fest open on the 15th! TWO DAYS, YAY.
effex: default (Default)
* ProPublica has a bunch of articles up about bin Laden, including Your Weekend Wrap-up of the Doubts, Debates, and New Details of the Bin Laden Raid, Role of Torture in Finding Bin Laden: What We Actually Know, Revisiting the Very First, Very Wrong Reports on Bin Laden’s Death, and the Bin Laden Reading Guide: How to Cut Through the Coverage. Al Jazeera also has a comprehensive Spotlight up.

* [personal profile] cleolinda and Boing Boing both have post about tornado damage in the USian southeast and what you can do to help.

* Feminism FOR REAL explores what has led us to the existence of “feminism”, who gets to decide what it is, and why. With stories that make the walls of academia come tumbling down, it deals head-on with the conflicts of what feminism means in theory as opposed to real life, the frustrations of trying to relate to definitions of feminism that never fit no matter how much you try to change yourself to fit them, and the anger of changing a system while being in the system yourself. I can't wait until I've got the spare cash to buy it.

There's been some fail regarding it in the mainstream Feminist blogosphere, particularly at Feministe; Jessica Yee guest blogs about it on Racialicious.

* On Colorlines: Teen Moms Look for Support, But Find Only Shame.

* [personal profile] gyzym has a great essay up on bisexuality and the damaging myths surrounding it.

* Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day!!! NPR's Monkey See has a guide for the perplexed.

* If there's one thing Fringe has taught me (aside from 'SCIENCE, it's magic'), it's that Astrid Farnsworth is awesome.

* Never meet your (white, male, writer) heroes. Dammit, Moffat.

All the Community squee has me making pitiful want noises. I have got to catch up this weekend.
effex: default (Default)
Happy Friday, everyone! And wishes for a good Passover to those in the middle of it. And Good Friday, that's today too, right?

I'm heading home to spend Easter with my family - like most of our religious holidays it's evolved into a big family dinner followed by presents, pie and a movie. Only we have to hunt for the presents :D There's also an egg hunt, despite all three of us kids being over 20 and Grandma invariably forgetting where she hid the last egg.

Hope you folks have a good weekend however you spend it. Here, have some links:

* [personal profile] sitara and I need a third roommate by June for our apartment in Uptown Dallas. Details are back thataway if you or someone you know is interested!

* Boingboing: iOS devices (iPhone/Pod/Pad secretly log and retain record of every place you go, transfer to your PC and subsequent devices. WTF, Apple?

* Slacktivist: The 0.014 percent solution

Planned Parenthood — a major source of health care for working class women in this country — receives a portion of federal Title X grants, somewhere between a tenth and a fourth of that funding.

Title X grants last year totaled about $317 million. That’s about 0.0000917 0.00917 percent of the federal budget.

None of that fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of this funding went to provide abortions. The Hyde Amendment has been law for decades. (Oddly, the same members of Congress who vote to ensure that the Hyde Amendment remains law are the ones who love to pretend it doesn’t exist — railing against “federal funding for abortion” as though they didn’t realize no such funding exists because it would be illegal under the Hyde Amendment.)

Yet Congressional Republicans spent the week pretending two things that were not true: 1) That cutting Title X funding would make a significant difference in the federal budget, and 2) That this had something to do with abortion.

* Colorlines: The Casual Violence That Dehumanizing Language Breeds. Part of Colorline's campaign against labeling people 'illegal'.

* Sociological Images: Visual Overview of Inequality in the U.S.

* Colorlines: On Brooke-Lynn Pinklady and the Importance of Self-Definition

* Ta-Nehisi Coates: Lies Damn Near Everyone Told Me

If you had told me before I began this research that 30,000 blacks fought for the Confederacy, I would not have been surprised. That was me barely four years ago. People fight against what we perceive to be their own interest all the time, right? Even being black, even being skeptical, I really had no sense of how deeply the Confederacy was rooted in the explicit and outright domination of black people. Not some amorphous "people of color." Specifically black people.

* Boingboing: Why the weather is wacky

* Boingboing: Save Google Video before it goes dark!. I need to set up the script on my desktop when I get home, let it run over the weekend.

* Smithsonian Magazine: When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink?

* ProPublica: Unraveling the Spin on the Fight Over Hidden Debit Card Fees. Note to self: research ways to deal with banks as little as possible. There's gotta be a better, if less convenient, option.

Videos go under a cut )

Finally, Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane adventures, died on Tuesday. i09 has a wonderful obituary.
effex: Love of SCIENCE (Love of SCIENCE)
Interesting things tend to cross my (virtual) desk on Monday mornings. New Wisconsin GOP shenanigans, for example:

* On Historiann: Bill Cronon’s Wisconsin e-mail FOIA’d, $hitstorm ensues

The two pieces that led to said $hitstorm:

* Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere? (Hint: It Didn’t Start Here)

* Wisconsin’s Radical Break

And a couple more open tabs:

* On Mother Jones: Why Do We Keep Falling For O'Keefe's Smear Jobs?

* [livejournal.com profile] halcyonjazz: may I have this derp (Sym-Bionic Titan)

* [personal profile] grey_bard: The Epic Fantasy No One Expected - My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

...I've watched 2 episodes of My Little Pony: FiM and 17 episodes Sym-Bionic Titan since I read these posts because, let's face it, ponies and robots and magic and aliens and beautiful animation. I never stood a chance. Will write up reviews eventually. Once I watch more ponies.

The SciFi fest (now titled The SciFi Fanfic Festival - alliteration ftw) is a thing that is happening! I've got [community profile] scifi_fest / [livejournal.com profile] scifi_fest up, though they're both empty a.t.m., a tentative date schedule (prompting starts May 15th, claiming May 30th, Posting June 15th), and a working description of SciFi (you'd think this part would be easy, but noooo): Science Fiction is the exploration of the future / an alternate now / an alternate past through the lens of technology and science (where ‘science’ is everything from astrophysics to biology to sociology). This is the first time I've done anything like run a fic challenge, hopefully I don't make a hash of it.

effex: Gratuitous Wendy Watson icon (Gratuitous Wendy Watson icon)
First off, a question: Do y'all think there'd be any interest in a Sci-fi fic fest? One open to any fandom, sci-fi or not, as long as the story explored sci-fi elements.

There is some cool fannish stuff this week:

*Sailor Moon and Codename: Sailor V mangas have been licensed for rerelease (or just plain release, in Sailor V's case) in the US! EEEEEEEEEEEE! We get the shiny anniversary editions and new translations and everything, it's a goddamn miracle. If you're only familiar with the US dub of the Sailor Moon anime, check out [livejournal.com profile] nevermore999's essay on why the manga is awesome.

* Showtime's picked up the script for a TV adaption of Chew! I don't know if I'd be able to watch it - I have a hard time just reading the comic - but I'm excited anyway.

* To go along with the maybe-someday Good Omens TV show, there's apparently a series about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in the works. CSI/Cop show style which, while potentially disastrous, is one of the coolest/geekiest TV show ideas ever.

And some not-cool fannish news: “AKIRA” adaptation courts white actors. And while we're at it: The Hunger Games: Racially Ambiguous? Perhaps Not. Fuck you, Hollywood.


* [livejournal.com profile] keeperofqkeys has some links re: the ongoing reactor situation at Fukushima. Zie says they're 'free of media bias, though somewhat heavy in technical jargon', which seems accurate.

* How people really behave during disasters

* The Republican Attack on Women’s Health Goes Global

* Backgrounder: Behind the Battle Over Hidden Debit Card Fees. Dry title but interesting reading. I remember my bank encouraging me to not use my pin # because it wasn't 'safe' and thinking it was about as stupid as the encouraging overdraft thing, now I know the reasoning. Hint: it wasn't to protect users.

* When “Big Pharma” Makes It Tough to be a Skeptic

* How to Do Space Science at Home: Q&A With Space Geek Ariel Waldman

* [community profile] politics. Seriously, everybody should be following this comm (does this count as a Follow Friday post? We'll say yes.)

effex: TV has the fun (TV has the fun)
A couple of links:

* Al Jazeera's 'Disaster in Japan' live blog for March 15th (previous days linked in the post)

* On Good.is: Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan: How to Help

* Nuclear energy 101: Inside the "black box" of power plants. Also, Fukushima Nuclear Accident – a simple and accurate explanation.

* Al Jazeera's spotlight on Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Egypt, and Algeria.


There's more - sweet baby bunnies, there's more - but I'm not in a good headspace for going over it right now. Let's talk about TV instead.

I've been faithfully watching Wandering Son (Hourou Musuko) since Crunchy Roll started airing it and folks, let me tell you, this show is amazing. Amazing. You should click on that link and watch it (it's free!).

Wandering Son's a lovely, slow, slice of life story about trans kids in Japan - growing up, struggling with identity, and love, and family, and friendship, and puberty. It's gorgeous, beautifully animated and acted and full of sympathetic characters and, just [flails].

Let's move on to something I can talk about coherently, shall we? My roommate D and I spent Saturday afternoon burning through both seasons of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers and, well. Never have I seen that much Awesome and that much Fail packed into the same space.

The basics: LXD (for short) is a webseries that runs on Hulu. It's about dancers! There's a nominal plot, but mostly it's about showing off the work of some incredible artists.

The awesome: The vast majority of the characters are people of color - something like 13 out of 19 of the reoccuring characters (in the first season). Ditto for the background dancers (though I didn't go back and count, heh). Every single one of them is a fucking amazing dancer. We've got b-boying, we've got ballet, tricking, krumping, hip-hop, roboting, popping, tap... all integrated into the environment and the (again, nominal) plot. There's no special effect or wire work, everything's shot on location, the cinematography is beautiful. Also, there is Harry Shum, Jr.

The fail: The show is really, really, really bad with woman. Only 3 of the aforementioned repeating characters are female, only two of them are dancers (there are more in the background, but not many). All three are love interests/plot devices and, ugh. In the 7th episode of season 1 (S1Ep7), one of them literally has control of her body stolen by a dude in a sequence that should come with a trigger warning. The only all-female dance routine (S2Ep5) is all about how women seduce and kill men, good times. There's also some messed up race stuff (especially the Eaters in S2Ep3 - black demons, really?) and ablism (the psychiatric hospital scenes, especially in S2Ep8). There's also a weird weaponization of dance/art that I'm iffy about.

The neutral: The writing is terrible - they basically threw a bunch of Cool Stuff (chi chakra Ra! Secret organizations! Boarding schools! The occult! Love triangles! Etc!) at a wall to see what would stick. The end of season 2 is so hilariously bad it comes out into awesome. The acting's not great either, but most of these guys are dancers, not actors.

So. If you want to watch a bunch of amazing, often adorable and/or attractive dudes dance and can ignore the fail (and the plot), LXD's worth a look. If nothing else, you should catch Harry Shum, Jr's intro chapter (he shows up at 1:08, dancing starts at 2:20):

Why is there no fanfic for this, fandom? I am disappoint.

effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
* Signal Boost: [personal profile] delight needs help paying bills for hirself and hir family.

* I've recently added two news sources to my regular feeds - Colorlines and ProPublica. Colorlines covers 'race, culture, and organizing', Propublica does in depth investigative reporting. Both are fantastic.

* Remember the protests at the Toronto G20 Summit last year? The CBC's just released a report on the civil abuses/police violence that went on.

* On Racialicious - Support Planned Parenthood. Three reasons to stand with Planned Parenthood.

* On Tiger Beatdown - The War on Reproductive Rights: A Recap

* A week ago, 15 women and 2 men (all of them veterans or active duty servicemembers) brought a federal lawsuit against the Pentagon based on rampant sexual assault within the military. My sister was offered a spot at West Point when she graduated high school and we did our damndest to talk her out of it. This is one of the reasons why.

* Also on Racialicious - Paul Rudd Fondles Eva Mendes for Laughs; Rosario Dawson Fondles Paul Rudd for Feminism

* [livejournal.com profile] adsartha has been posting link roundups and first person reports of the protests in Wisconsin.

* When Fangirls Attack has a massive roundup of Dwayne McDuffie memorial posts.

* In honor of MCDuffie, Project: Rooftop is holding a redesign contest for Static. I like [livejournal.com profile] oxboxer's concept a lot (but I always like [livejournal.com profile] oxboxer's concepts).

* On Colorlines: A Food Crisis Is Coming, But Urban America Already Has It Solved

* Sady Doyle has a Tumblr piece up on Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network, West Wing, and general douchiness.

* Ta-Nehisi Coates has a literary crush on Jane Austin and it's awesome. I've never read her books (I tried P&P once, but it was too dry for 12yr old me), but this makes me want to.

* The Slacktivist blog is moving to Patheos. I love the Slacktivist, he reminds me that all Christians aren't horrible and/or uninformed about their own religion (bitter ex-Christian right here, oh yes). He's been doing a series of posts on Hell that I've particularly enjoyed. I also highly recommend his ongoing dissection of the Left Behind series (which I read in it's entirety as a preteen, joy).

* From Terry Pratchett's blog: There has been one hell of a lot of rumours regarding a Good Omens adaptation over the past few weeks, mostly started by me at the SFX Weekender. So, ladies and gentleman, I can hereby exclusively reveal that - YES - Neil and myself have shaken hands and received groats from Rod Brown sealing a TV deal. At least it's not a movie?

* Check it: Donald Glover as Spiderman. This would have been the best thing ever, Donald, you will always be my Spiderman.

* Speaking of Donald, did you know Troy and the rest of the Community crew have Twitter accounts?

* Comics types, you know about the Super Dictionary, right? Then you'll understand why this made me choke on my oatmeal this morning.

* Mutatos - The Mutato-Archive is a collection of non-standard fruits, roots and vegetables, displaying a dazzling variety of forms, colours and textures, that only reveal themselves when lawfully enforced standards cease to exist.

* How far away is the moon?

* This is just cool - Tiny Spheres Turn Regular Microscopes Into Nanoscopes. The Future, we're living it.
effex: Working now (Working now)
* If you want to keep on top of the protests in Africa & the Middle East, the quake in New Zealand, and the Union Strikes in Wisconsin, [community profile] politics is the place to be (I'm assuming you already know about Al Jazeera and The Guardian). The folks over there are fantastic.

* Mother Jones continues in it's excellent current events primer series with What's Happening in Wisconsin Explained and What's Happening in Libya Explained.

* Dwayne McDuffie, founder of Milestone Comics, writer, and creator of beloved canons, has died. Comics (and the world) is poorer for the loss.

And a couple videos off my Google Reader:

Janelle gets to be outside the cut. )

effex: I don't *think* so (I don't *think* so)
Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Spring is in the air, love is all around us, and the US House of Representatives is hard at work restricting women's access to health care. Let's talk about that.


Before we start: I am not interested in debating the ethics of abortion or contraception. This is a pro-choice and pro-women's health space, please proceed accordingly.


What's going on?

There are currently three pieces of anti-women’s health legislation going through the US House of Representatives: the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217), the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3), and the “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358). There's always anti-women’s health legislation going through the US congress, but the shiny new Republican majority + lack of public awareness makes these three particularly dangerous.

So what would these bills do, exactly?

The "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” (H.R. 217) 'would strip federal family planning funding from health care providers that also provide abortion care with private funds'. Excludes abortions for pregnancies that are the result of rape and/or incest or fatally endanger the woman.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) 'Seeks to prohibit even indirect funding streams that may potentially come in contact with abortion services. For example, it would deny tax credits to companies that offer health plans that cover abortions and it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds'. This is also the bill that tried to redefine rape, although that has since been dropped.

* From rhrealitycheck.org: No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion? A New Bill With An Old Face. In addition to the bill's ban on abortion coverage, [H.R. 3] imposes over-reaching tax penalties upon Americans and small businesses whose health plans cover abortion care for its female employees. This bill would ensure that millions of women are permanently prevented from accessing abortion care: from lower income women using Medicaid as their insurance coverage, to women with private insurance coverage who would be penalized for needing or wanting abortion coverage, to businesses offering insurance coverage with abortion care, to federal employees who are prohibited from having abortions covered in their insurance plans, to women (and their dependents) who serve bravely in our military (and male soldiers' dependents) and have no access to insurance coverage if they are in need of an abortion, to Native American and Pacific Islander women who seek services from Indian Health Services.

The “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358) would prohibit federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services. 'Focuses on restricting access to abortion coverage in the health care reform law passed last year, in addition to beefing up refusal clauses for providers. The most heinous piece of the legislation would seem to allow providers to refuse to do procedures even in emergency situations in which the woman’s life is at risk'.

As a bonus, the House Majority has also resolved to eliminate the Title X family planning program altogether. Because it's not like we actually need affordable access to preventative health care and family planning services.

* From the Huffington Post: Don't Let Them Kill Family Planning!. The Title X Family Planning -program, which Nixon signed into law in 1970, is one of this country's great achievements in public health and social justice. Clinics funded through Title X now prevent nearly a million unintended pregnancies every year. They save women's lives through cancer screening, immunization and blood-pressure testing. Publicly supported family planning even saves the government money -- $3.74 for every dollar invested..

Why does this matter?

For millions of people, Planned Parenthood and the organizations like it are the only affordable source of pap smears, screenings for cervical cancer, breast exams, testing for STIs and HIV, contraceptives, and other forms of reproductive health care. Reproductive health care that saves lives (and vastly improves the quality thereof). Reproductive health care that's often the only access to any kind of health care people have. Plus information about, you know. How bodies work. How contraception works. How you can protect yourself while having a healthy sex life.

These bills aren't about preventing taxpayer money from being spent on abortion services; those restrictions already exist. They're sure as fuck not about protecting women or children. This is about punishing women and health care services for providing abortion at all. It's about control.

The good news is that there are things you can do! Contact your State Representative (yeah, yeah, I can hear the groans in the back. This is just an email form, it's easy). Volunteer and/or donate to your local Planned Parenthood or family planning organization. If you're in Texas, Planned Parenthood is doing a Lobby Day in March. Make your voice heard.

* From Tiger Beatdown: #DearJohn: On Rape Culture and a Culture of Reproductive Violence. We live in a culture of reproductive violence against anyone who can get pregnant. And so, so much of the violence is invisible, even to the people who experience it, because it’s normalized. When my boyfriends tried to pressure and coerce me not to use birth control, it was a form of violence. When I was raised, as a devout Catholic, without any reliable or scientifically accurate information about abortion and birth control — when I was encouraged throughout my own life to value my health less than I valued fetuses — it was a form of violence. When condoms broke, or guys “accidentally” had sex with me without condoms, and I was treated with hostility and shamed for being upset about it, it was a form of violence. When I wasn’t given information about how Plan B worked, when I was told it was “a form of abortion,” when information proving that wrong wasn’t widely accessible to me, it was a form of violence. Having to go 45 minutes away to get it? Violence. Not being taught, as an essential part of self-care, where to access it? Violence. I should have been told “it is a normal part of self-care to brush your teeth, shower frequently, use tampons or pads, always use birth control and to know that Planned Parenthood will give you emergency contraception for $15,” ALL of those messages should have been TOTALLY NORMAL AND WIDESPREAD throughout my adult life, but they weren’t.


Cut for more linkage )

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* The big news: Hosni Mubarak has resigned as Egypt's president. Fuck yes, Egypt! If you haven't been following along at home, Al Jazeera has a timeline of events.

Don't stop paying attention to Africa and the Middle East - this'll have major impact on the protests in other countries.

* On Good.is: Americans Have No Idea How Much Welfare They're Getting. The rise of the anti-big government Tea Party movement in America has also seen a rise in the number of citizens publicly decrying both taxes and the social welfare programs for which those taxes provide. A recent study shows, however, that many Americans actually have no idea that they're on the dole, calling into question the validity of their attacks on government handouts.

* On BoingBoing: StartingPage now returns Google search results, privately. Google and other search engines track what users search; over time, the data collected can be pretty revealing, so much so that the DOJ wants access. For the most part, privacy policies are only as good as the lawyers backing them, and "law of the land" can trump anything. And all of that adds up to worrisome prospects for all of us.

* [personal profile] the_future_modernes has been doing info roundups on anonymous vs. private security firms/Bank of America/US chamber of congress/lots of people. Informative and entertaining!

* I found this article on death on Mt. Everest both interesting and deeply disturbing - WARNING FOR GRAPHIC PHOTOS.

Moving on...

* Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dinosaur Sex

* [livejournal.com profile] pollums has posted a bunch of beautiful, sensual, turn of the century ads for men's Interwoven Socks. They are amazing. [livejournal.com profile] pollums regularly posts vintage illustrations and is an amazing artist in her own right, you should check out her journal.

* We're going to get new Avatar comics!

* The owners of Project:Messiah, an industrial grade 3D animation program, are trying an experiment - they're offering the entry version for $10 (regularly $499) and the whole package for $40 (regularly $1195). Everyone needs a chance to show what they can do. That chance is more often limited by money; maybe that's you, maybe that's someone you know; a parent, a friend, some students of yours. We got a chance to prove what we could do starting out, and now we're giving one to you. I'm a little stunned.

* Boingboing again: Mike Mignola talks setting and architecture.

* Google recently launched Art Project, virtual tours of some of the world's best art museums. Shiny!

* [community profile] build_a_world's February/March challenge is 'Create and Use a Conlang'. Even if you're not participating, the resource post is worth raiding.
effex: Holy keyboard Batman! (Holy keyboard Batman!)
A quick one today, for I am ill and also swamped at work (hurray).

* There are major protests going on in Egypt and Yemen and smaller ones going on in Libya, Jordan, Algeria, and other North African and Middle Eastern countries. There have been several protester deaths in Egypt and the Egyption government is attempting to shut down internet access and restrict information...and the twitter feed I'm following (@SultanAlQassemi, an Op Ed writer for The National) says army vehicles are moving into Cairo. This is a big deal, folks. Al Jazeera has a spotlight on Egypt, BBC News - Middle East has general coverage. Mother Jones has 'What's going on in Egypt, explained.'

* [personal profile] colorblue has a followup/link roundup to the last round of Book!Pirates: piracy & literary festivals

* Speaking of book pirating, History is a weapon has the entirety of Howard Zinn's 'A People's History of the United States' online. Fellow USians (and anyone else who's interested), if you haven't read this yet you need to. Know your history.

* The first Potluck food carnival, as hosted by [personal profile] glass_icarus, is live! YUM.

* [community profile] notgreenorblue, a characters of color in comics fest, is open for prompt claiming! I snagged 'Jaime Reyes, an a/u in which Jaime Reyes is part of the Young Avengers' because I am incredibly predictable.

* Porn Battle XI is up and running until Feb. 3rd!

* [livejournal.com profile] bb_shousetsu is still taking signups for their all-women Bang*Bang Special #1.

* [community profile] purimgifts is open for signups

* [community profile] festivids has gone live! Sweet, sweet vidding goodness. I'm especially fond of Space Oddity (Community).

* [personal profile] talitha78 has a roundup of three incredible non-festivids vids.

* [personal profile] the_future_modernes has a post up about pretty, pretty dreadlocked dolls.


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