I'm happy to announce that my review of Joseph A. Amato's Buoyancies: A Ballast Master's Log (Crossings & Spoon River Poetry Press, 2014) appears in the latest print edition of The Rain Taxi Review of Books. Don't worry: My article's short. (Plus, if you get bored of my writing, you can literally turn the page and read an interview with Beat poet Diane di Prima).
By now, I'm sure your Facebook feed has been overrun with videos of friends and people-you forgot-were-friends participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. According to their own estimates, as of September 8, 2014, the ALS Association's raised over $111 million dollars, which is more than four times their annual budget. That's pretty awesome and it's going to do a lot of good. Much like a straight-to-DVD film with a title practically indistinguishable from a summer blockbuster, though, (I'm looking at you Transmorphers), the ALSA's success has not escaped imitation. It's unlikely you'll see your school president participating in any of the following, but they're worth suggesting. Here are the other charity challenges that didn't quite catch on.
After my father died, growing up, my family depended on entitlement programs like WIC, free school lunch, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Hardly the mystical "Welfare Queens" conservatives imagine, we were just a low-income, single-parent household. You know, like a lot of families who rely upon these programs. By not worrying about where my … Continue reading How not to report the news: Food stamp fraud edition
Today the Supreme Court ruled in Hobby Lobby that private corporations can exercise their religious freedom by denying women access to particular forms of birth control. First, I'd like to begin with a few words on religious freedom and the regulation of business. ...
Who's to Blame? Years ago, when I was a freshman in college, I remember having a conversation with a young Republican. I can't remember the context or how the subject came up, but we were discussing the blameworthiness of those implicated in the escalation of the Vietnam War. "It all began with Kennedy," he claimed … Continue reading The Virus of the Mind: Imperialism, Syria, and Selective Accountability
Recently the 2011 Nebula Awards were announced by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which was only brought to my attention because a Doctor Who episode written by Neil Gaiman won the Bradbury Award. While sifting through some of the winners to get a feel for what constitutes some of the top Sci-Fi … Continue reading “The Paper Menagerie”, winner of the Nebula Award.
Recently Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' request for input on what the Wikipedia community should do in response to the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, which I am sorry to say was supported by both of Minnesota's senators and has only recently lost traction given the Obama Administration's opposition to it, and even though there is division within … Continue reading Wikipedia joins internet blackout; watch out for the Research Works Act
As you may or may not know, Facebook will be switching over its 800 million+ profiles to a new "Timeline" format that will, frankly, make it a hell of a lot more easier stalking so-and-so while giving you the ability to add a banner that will (9 times out of 10) become a free pass for … Continue reading Facebook Timeline: Your Brand Identity Used for Brand Endorsement
Just as I was writing about the fact that the conservative talking point of "abortion causes mental illness is wrong (but the associated stigma has consequences)", some anti-abortion advocates were out publishing papers in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggesting the exact opposite. The following is quoted from blogger PZ Myers who has an excellent … Continue reading They just don’t learn, do they? Abortion still doesn’t cause mental illness.
I'll admit that at times it can be hard to defend the Humanities without launching into esotericism or dramatic monologue, were it not for literature, art and philosophy where would we be? Even as science allows us to understand what is it leaves us grasping for what ought. The Humanities are the structures hidden before … Continue reading Believe it or not, the Humanities matter