Tag Archives: links roundup

The last day of the year

WordPress have done a spectacular New Year present: the fireworks of 2012, an animated annual report of each blogpost represented as a firework, with the splash it made represented by the number and duration of stars.

It’s not rocket science (this is rocket science) but yes, I did watch my entire year in blogging through fireworks… I hope they do this again next year.

On this day last year, I resolved that I was going to write a blogpost every day of 2012, and though I didn’t quite blog every day of the year, I did write (well over) 366 blog posts.
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The Mayan Apocalypse

Will the world come to an end on 21st December 2012?

It better not. I’m having my carpets cleaned that afternoon.

NorovirusWe could all die of plague! There’s one sweeping the land at this moment. (True, but not lethal, unless you are very old, very young, or otherwise very frail – and also very far from any hospital.)

God will smite usIreland is going to pass legislation that will give girls and women whose lives are threatened by pregnancy a clear if limited right to access abortion.
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Filed under Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff, Other stuff on the Internet I like

The Conservatives are interested in our views about the fairness of their benefit reforms!


The Conservatives - sorry, chaps!The Conservatives say:

We’re interested in what your[sic] think about benefits. That’s why we’re asking you whether or not you support two fundamental principles upon which our welfare policies are founded – many will say they don’t but many will also be in favour. Your responses will tell us what the majority think.

Go to their website, respond appropriately to their two leading questions (my answers were Yes and Yes because they so obviously want the answers No and No) and tell them what you think (300 characters maximum) in their open question:

  • How do you think we could make the benefits system fairer?

I wrote:

Mandate a living wage: end workfare & other anti-employment practices: build enough council houses for everyone to have somewhere to live: fund welfare programmes to support the unemployed, disabled, and ill – the basic infrastructure of a civilised state.

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Filed under Benefits, Economics

Creative Scotswomen

The Creative Scotland Gala Awards Ceremony will be held on Thursday 13th December 2012, at Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, from 6.30pm til late. All the judges are men.

Creative Scotland’s response on Twitter when asked why this should be: A broad range of arts & culture professionals were invited to form part of the judging panel. Female judges were selected but were unable to take part.

A discussion on Facebook includes Creative Scotland responses:

  • A broad range of arts, culture and media professionals were invited to form part of the judging panel. Invites were extended to those with specialist areas of knowledge across the cultural & media sector. Creative Scotland is committed to putting equality at the heart of its activity.
  • The majority of the seats will be allocated on a complementary basis to the finalists. The awards – a partnership between The Daily Record and Creative Scotland – are planned to offer an opportunity to celebrate a wide variety of cultural success stories during 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland. A limited number of seats are being made available to private sector organisations at a cost of £100 per head, which will go towards covering the cost of the event.
  • In response to a question by Mark Fisher Hi Mark, over a dozen female judges were approached to sit on the panel. Three were eventually confirmed but were unable to complete the process.

One of the judges, Sanjeev Kohli (‏@govindajeggy) said on Twitter: More seriously, I had to vote online in absentia & didn’t even notice the lack of females. Will bring it up. For clarity… as far as I’m aware the rest of the jury did deliberate in person. I couldn’t make it on the day.

This is an initial list that it would be great to expand on. Tagged #CreativeScotsWomen on Twitter, or add as a comment here. (The Women’s Room UK is doing a similar and much more broadly-scoped project to list women experts for the BBC and other media.)

If Creative Scotland asked even half of the women on this list and they were all unable to take part on that Thursday evening, I want to know what party they’re all invited to, because that would be the best evening out ever.

Update, 11am Friday 9th November

Question: If in about 24 hours, a handful of people on Twitter and Facebook could put together this kind of list (86 names so far), why did Creative Scotland only ask a dozen women and then give up, leaving their panel of judges men only?

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Filed under Equality, In The Media, Women

Art by food

If you ever wanted your lunch to look too good to eat, bento.

Bento box landscape and Starbucks green rice
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Filed under Cake, Chocolate, Fruit, J. R. R. Tolkien, Other stuff on the Internet I like

Monday of destruction

I am a fan of disaster movies. There’s nothing I like better than huge, improbable explosions, and roads crumpling up behind a moving car, giant waves pictured rolling in through canyons of steel, giant alien spaceships – or the sun – burning up cities – in fact all the best in CGI’d total destruction.

Obviously, this is for the movies. Real life is usually not nearly as dramatic as CGI. (Though I could watch this video created of the explosive breach of Condit Dam forever.)
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Filed under Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff, Other stuff on the Internet I like, Travel

Dear Mehdi Hasan

In response to your latest column in the New Statesman.

Being “a lefty” has a vague definition. To Daily Mail readers, it may mean anyone leftwing of Kenneth Clarke: to Mitt Romney’s followers, David Cameron is an unacceptable lefty. But let’s suppose it means, more or less, that you consider “social equality” to be more important than individual profit. I put “social equality” inside inverted commas because I appreciate that this is itself a concept that people have a different understanding of: it’s not so long since LGBT people were not included in any lefty mainstream understanding of “social equality”, and as we see with the current support for restricting abortion rights, for Julian Assange’s “right” to dodge being questioned on a sexual assault charge, for the silence about Jimmy Savile’s sexual abuse for so many decades, it’s still uncertain whether many men think to include women in their ideal of “social equality”.
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Filed under European politics, Healthcare, Human Rights, Other stuff on the Internet I like, Women

Things That Look Like Other Things

This blogpost is dedicated to The Cake Girl, just because.

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival falls on 30th September this year: Pat’s Chung Ying on Leith Walk is selling gorgeous boxes of mooncakes. (I didn’t check to see if they also sell the ingredients, but if they do, here’s how to make your own.) There are multiple variations on the basic mooncake, the general theme being a cake to be divided and shared among family while viewing the full moon of autumn. But look: this is an actual thing. Mooncakes that look like mobile phones (via):
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Yes, Julian, because it’s all about you

Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack:

On Tuesday [11th September] night a group of extremists attacked the US consulate building in Benghazi, setting it on fire, and killing one US diplomatic officer.

On Tuesday the US state department confirmed that one of its employees had been killed by the mob that stormed the US mission in Benghazi, incensed by a US film that they deemed blasphemous to the prophet Muhammad. Libyan officials said Stevens and two security staff were in their car when gunmen fired rockets at it, Reuters reported. The official said the US military had sent a military plane to transport the bodies to Tripoli and to fly them back to the US.

One witness told the Guardian on Wednesday that a mob fired at least one rocket at the US consulate building in Benghazi and then stormed it, setting everything ablaze. “I was there about an hour ago. The place [consulate] is totally destroyed, the whole building is on fire.”

Apparently Julian Assange himself is curating the @Wikileaks account:

By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies round the world.

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Great dads and fail dads

Among the many books he edited, as a “first reader,” were all of mine, every single one. He was my biggest fan, and believed in me more than anyone I’ve ever known. He never disrespected the power of sexuality, erotic language, or the magnitude of sexual politics. He was so proud of me and his granddaughter, Aretha. His sense of social justice, and the power of poetry and language to change the world, has inspired me all my life. Susie Bright: Bill Bright, 8/13/28 – 10/15/06

This morning in quick succession I stumbled across two stories about fathers, Nils Pickert and Tom Smith. So today’s links-roundup is about fathers and children.

Nils Pickert:

My five year old son likes to wear dresses. In Berlin Kreuzberg that alone would be enough to get into conversation with other parents. Is it wise or ridiculous? “Neither one nor the other!“ I still want to shout back at them. But sadly they can’t hear me any more. Because by now I live in a small town in South Germany. Not even a hundred thousand inhabitants, very traditional, very religious. Plainly motherland. Here the partiality of my son are not only a subject for parents, they are a town wide issue. And I did my bit for that to happen…

Tom Smith, Republican candidate for Pennsylvania:

Pressed by a reporter on how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant as a result of rape, Smith said he had already “lived something similar to that” in his family.

“She chose life, and I commend her for that,” he said. “She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to … she chose the way I thought. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.”

When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar to becoming pregnant from rape, the candidate responded, “Having a baby out of wedlock.”

He added, “Put yourself in a father’s position. Yes, it is similar.”

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Filed under Children, Healthcare, Human Rights, LGBT Equality, Women