[syndicated profile] racewire_feed

Posted by Jamilah King

Oakland-based hip-hop group Los Rakas released a new album this week called, "El Negrito Dun Dun & Ricardo." It's the fifth album for the bilingual duo, and perhaps their most political work yet. This video for the single "Sueño Americano" takes direct aim at America's broken immigration system. The lyrics are in Spanish, but you can read a translation after the jump.

Known unknown

Apr. 16th, 2014 03:43 pm
[syndicated profile] democracyinamerica_feed

AMERICANS filed their income taxes yesterday, swearing that “under penalties of perjury...to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete.”

Former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has admitted that his return may be none of the above. Yesterday his office released (via Twitter) a letter to the Internal Revenue Service in which he says: “I have absolutely no idea whether our tax returns and our tax payments are accurate.” (See below.)

“The tax code is so complex and the forms are so complicated, that I know I cannot have any confidence that I know what is being requested and therefore I cannot and do not know, and I suspect a great many Americans cannot know, whether or not their tax returns are accurate,” Mr Rumsfeld wrote.

Mr Rumsfeld was wrong about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, but in this case he is clearly right. The American tax code is a "known unknown", in Rummiespeak. It is 70,000 pages long and might as well be written in Klingon. Few Americans have a clue whether they are complying with it. Some 90% of them (including Mr Rumsfeld) pay a tax accountant or use commercial software to help navigate it (see Economist articles 

Kobo Daily Deal – The Sky Below

Apr. 16th, 2014 03:28 pm
[syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed

Posted by Karen Oland

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The Sky Below ($2.99 Kindle, Kobo), by Stacey D’Erasmo [Houghton Mifflin Harcourt], is the Kobo Daily Deal, price matched on Kindle. Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Book Description
From a rising literary star “in the tradition of Carol Shields and A. S. Byatt” comes this luminous story of a contemporary man’s metamorphosis.

Andrea Barrett and Michael Cunningham have lauded Stacey D’Erasmo for the beauty of her language and her ability to create worlds that leave a lasting impression. In her new novel, D’Erasmo reaches back to Ovid for inspiration in this tale of how the mythic animates our everyday lives. At thirty-seven, Gabriel Collins works halfheartedly as an obituary writer at a fading newspaper in lower Manhattan, which, since 9/11, feels like a city of the dead. This once dreamy and appealing boy has turned from a rebellious adolescent to an adult who trades in petty crimes.

His wealthy, older boyfriend is indulgent of him—to a point. But after a brush with his own mortality, Gabriel must flee to Mexico in order to put himself back together. By novel’s end, we know all of Gabriel’s ratty little secrets, but by dint of D’Erasmo’s spectacular writing, we exult in the story of an imperfect man who—tested by a world that is often too much for him—rises to meet the challenge.

        
[syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed

Posted by Karen Oland


Today’s Audible Daily Deal is The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA ($9.55 Kindle, $19.95 $1.95 Audible), by James D. Watson, read by Grover Gardner and Roger Clark [Audible Studios]. Be sure to download the accompanying reference guide from the Audible page.

Book Description
By identifying the structure of DNA, the molecule of life, Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry and won themselves a Nobel Prize. At the time, Watson was only 24, a young scientist hungry to make his mark. His uncompromisingly honest account of the heady days of their thrilling sprint against other world-class researchers to solve one of science’s greatest mysteries gives a dazzlingly clear picture of a world of brilliant scientists with great gifts, very human ambitions, and bitter rivalries.

With humility unspoiled by false modesty, Watson relates his and Crick’s desperate efforts to beat Linus Pauling to the Holy Grail of life sciences: the identification of the basic building block of life. Never has a scientist been so truthful in capturing in words the flavor of his work.

Get the audiobook from Audible.

        

Room share at the Concourse

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:29 am
[personal profile] srhastings posting in [community profile] wiscon
I'm looking for one to three roommates to share my room at the Concourse for three nights starting Friday night. You may contact me at srhastings@msn.com with interest/questions. Thanks!
beable: (on the aurora with philias fogg)
[personal profile] beable
So last night I went to sleep thinking about the Giant's Causeway, because trip planning research.

So having gone to sleep on a mythological bent, I ended up with a fair bit of Patricia Wrede's short story about the frying pan of doom bouncing about the dream landscape, which was still the Giant's Causeway (but clearly where it borders the Enchanted Forest).

And then when I woke up my radio alarm was playing the song Call Me Maybe, which I ended up hearing/dreaming as the daleks version of the song as I went back into snooze land.

(I just met you, and this is a crazy! I'm a Dalek, ex-ter-mi-nate!)

- - -

Dreaming about Patricia's Wrede's story made me somewhat crave after battle triple chocolate helmet cake, even if mostly I was interviewing kitchen maids who kept being hidden princesses in disguise, but it turned out one of them could really cook so it was ok.

- - -

So one of the tours of the Giant's Causeway is actually the Game of Thrones tour of Northern Ireland. (There is a 1 day option, which is all I'd have time for). I am embarrassed by how tempting that is, and trying to justify it to myself as the "interesting historical scenery with an added geeky bonus" tour.

PyCon Open Thread

Apr. 16th, 2014 04:02 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Annalee

Were you at PyCon? Did you stop by the Geek Feminism Hackerspace? What did you think of the talks? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

What I'm reading, about to read

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:09 am
19_crows: (Default)
[personal profile] 19_crows
Watch the North Wind Rise, Robert Graves. A poet from our time (1949) is transported years into the future, which is now a peaceful, Goddess worshipping world culture where money, technology, and wars have been eliminated and people live in rural villages and in defined social groups. I love utopia/dystopia fiction, and part of what I love is being dropped into this alternate world and figuring out how things work. This one doesn’t have that because from when he arrives, everything is explained to him (and us.) I don’t believe for a second that this culture would work; I don’t have that much faith in humanity, but it’s interesting to speculate. What made it a page turner was the interactions between the protagonist and other characters including a troublesome woman from his past who has somehow appeared in the future with him. But that sort of fizzled out and it was ultimately kind of philosophical musing about Goddess culture and good and evil, which was okay (especially because of my acquaintance with the Goddess) but eh.

Now I'm reading The Round House by Louise Erdrich and really enjoying it. About a crime on a reservation in North Dakota and the narrator, the victim's son, reacting to it. There's a lot of great stuff about family and friendship, not to mention issues about crimes that happen to Indian people.

After that I'm going to read The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths, a mystery somebody recommended.

This is a job for A.E. Houseman

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:05 pm
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
[personal profile] dorothy1901
On Monday our crocuses were in full bloom, a beautiful display of purple, white and gold. Today they're dead under a layer of ice. **sorrow**
sahiya: (Default)
[personal profile] sahiya
Not dead, just busy. My personal life imploded when Friend J broke up with her boyfriend Friday night and needed a place to crash. She's on the futon in my living room now, and it looks like she'll be there until mid-June when the person subletting her place on campus (she was sharing a studio with the boyfriend) is going to vacate. This is totally fine, but I have a lot less time for myself and my fannish activities, but I'm trying to squeeze them in around everything else. And I've even been moderately successful! Reverse Big Bang is being beta'd and I'm working on the hockey/figure skating fic again.

I've also seen Captain America 2 twice now, and I found it . . . surprisingly deep, I guess? It's up there with the first Iron Man and The Avengers for me (and might be better than either of them, objectively speaking). The Russo brothers were a gutsy choice of director, and the political statement of the film is sort of shockingly radical for a big budget Hollywood superhero film. I found this Mother Jones article about the film very interesting (spoilery), as well as this Daily Kos essay about the real meaning of the phrase "winter soldier" during the Vietnam era (and again during the second Iraq war). I don't know that I expected the film to be as thought-provoking as I found it.

Sadly, genre expectations are probably going to prevent a lot of people from realizing what the film is actually saying. Still, I'm pleased with the franchise for going there.

I might've also had an Avengers 'verse plotbunny, like kind of a big one. It started from a conversation with [personal profile] yamx in which she asked me who I wished would run for president in two years, and I said, "Steve Rogers, duh." And then one thing led to another, as these things do, and suddenly I had the premise for a story in which Steve decides to run for president out of disgust with American electoral politics and convinces Tony to be his running mate, despite Tony's protests that he is entirely unelectable (which, let's face it, he is). And then they have epic fights about campaign finance reform. This fic needs to get in line, though, because I have Reverse Big Bang, and then I have the hockey/figure skating fic, and I still really want to write the OT4 follow-up.

Speaking of hockey, playoffs start Thursday. It looked like the Hawks were going to be facing off with the Avs in the first round, which spelled disaster since they haven't managed to beat them a single time all season, but now they're facing off with the Blues instead. That's going to be a brutal series, but they probably have a better chance of making it past the first round now at least. Roommate C has expressed cautious optimism.

I think they must have put an extra pump of sugar free caramel syrup in my coffee this morning. This is way sweeter than it usually is.

This morning's very serious problem

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:44 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Toby: "Uh-oh. By Saturday it's going to be DefCon Coffee around here."

Me: "Don't we both have Friday off this week? We can go shopping then."

Toby: "Good call. Crisis averted."










I do find it very odd that my employer gives Good Friday off, but not Easter Sunday. Not that I'm working Easter Sunday this year, but I've done it in years past.

More on sex, men, and sulking

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:30 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
David sulked when I didn't want to have sex. This is 1) common knowledge and 2) common practice. It is also 3) emotional blackmail and wrong.

I get being bummed because your dick isn't going to get polished. But sulking, sighing, giving someone the silent treatment, and refusing to look at the other person isn't being bummed. That's being an asshole.

So we're all on board with that.

I was googling passive-aggressive-tantrums about sex, because sulking is throwing a passive aggressive tantrum. Clear as day. It's punishing a partner because you aren't getting what you want.

What surprised me is the amount of articles that stated passive aggressive sexual behavior can only be when one partner REFUSES sex. None of the articles I read talked about passive aggressive behavior used to GET sex.

That's some bullshit right there.

But it did make me wonder - was I passive aggressive because I refused to have sex? It seems to the key point is that passive aggressive behavior is a way to NOT talk about the issue. A way to dance all around it.

Well, I rarely danced around the issue. I was always extremely clear about not wanting to have sex, why I didn't want to have sex, and that I wasn't going to have sex. Direct words and all.

But was I being passive aggressive with the ACTION of withholding sex, especially since a huge part of the reason I didn't want to have sex was because I didn't feel he'd earned it?

Is sex about EARNING sex?

Seriously, why is sex so fucking complicated?

(Also, why do people - men - feel that sulking is a way to get sex? It's basically training your girlfriend to have a Pavlovian response of resentment and disgust towards your dick. THIS WILL NOT GET YOU LAID.)
[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

My friend posted this doozy of a poem the other day:

“Fairy-tale Logic”

Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

–A.E. Stallings

It made me wonder what impossible things we’ve all done. When did you defeat the monster in its lair? When did you think something was going to be impossible, only to look up a year later and realize you’d done it already, you’d survived? WHAT ARE YOU KICKING ASS AT THESE DAYS? Tell us your proud moments, people.


(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:48 am
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
The point I'm at with my Chinese learning is a tough part -- if I want to read things, the volume of unknown vocabulary isn't overwhelming; but reading things is ridiculously, painfully slow. It's a problem of integrating and making automatic the knowledge I already have, more than a problem of learning new things.

I know how I got through this when I was learning Japanese. It was by reading tons of manga, and tons of Fujimi Orchestra novels.

But the kind of things that I want to read in Chinese -- manga, and cheesy romance novels, and fantasy novels -- are mostly in traditional characters, which are even more painfully slow for me to read than simplified characters. (And I suspect there are some mainland vs. Taiwan dialect differences that are causing me problems too.) And the materials aimed at Chinese learners are mostly too easy for me by this point.

I suspect this will probably work out for me similarly to how it worked out in Japanese, where I buy a lot of books I don't end up reading in the quest for something both interesting enough and easy enough, and eventually things get easier, bit by bit.

But I sure wish that the nearest really good Chinese bookstore wasn't all the way in Flushing. (The ones in Chinatown keep closing!)

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she of the remarkable biochemical capabilities!

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