Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

Not affiliated at all and found only through accident but damn these are gorgeous

Familiar Feelings Kickstarter. It’s so rare that I find out about a cool, affordable Kickstarter project before it ends!

Not a link, but if anyone in the St. Louis area (or anyplace, really) could share this information with people whose gravestones were damaged (beware auto-loading audio at the site, but this is the best story I could find). A friend of mine who used to work in insurance told me that homeowner’s insurance policies include grave marker coverage. Surviving next of kin can usually use the coverage for family members’ markers. It covers most of the same things your home is covered for: vandalism/theft, storm damage, etc. She says it’s worth a call to your insurance agent to find out the details of your policy.

Abba to ZZ Top in 14 steps. Boil the Frog might be the thing that convinces me to set up a Spotify account.

FTL Moda continues to be awesome at New York Fashion Week.

Social Justice Must Be Complicated Because Oppression Is Never Simple

..a black woman is not poor simply because she’s a woman and the patriarchy undervalues the role of women. She is also poor because her skin color and hair texture labels her as unprofessional, unreliable, volatile, unskilled, and unintelligent. She is poor because society sees her as someone from whom labor is to be taken, not compensated. She is also poor because she is more likely to be the sole caregiver of children in a system that locks away black men. Any efforts to address the poverty of women that do not address these issues will leave black women behind.

Just because the end result of oppression may get us in the same room, it does not mean that we got there via the same path. And if the causes of our oppression are the not the same, why would we imagine that the solutions would be?

A list of free online classes from Class Central and 28 free online classes focused on the Internet of Things. Download some geology books.

Seems obvious now, but I never thought about the fact that someone had to design the Peace Symbol.

I am not here for Caitlin Moran, and I side-eye blogs that rave about her, but this website has tons of feminist book reviews and recommended reading lists, including one for fans of True Crime (of which we have a decent showing in these parts, apparently!).

Observing my knee-jerk negative reaction to the statement “there is no such thing as an innocent question” was interesting, especially when I kept reading and though “oh, good point.”

“How are you?” We ask this question all the time. We all ask this all of the time. And most of the time all we really mean to say is hello.

Don’t ask someone how he or she is when what you really mean to do is offer a cursory greeting. And don’t ask that question while looking deeply into a loved one’s eyes unless you mean it. If you ask this question without really wanting to hear the answer, you’re likely to get a brushoff reply that’s possibly also a lie.

Some people are depressed. Some people are struggling through a bad relationship, life-sucking job, scary illness, et cetera. It would be nice if we could reserve asking each other how we’re doing for when we’re genuinely interested in the answer—even if it’s hard to hear.

Thanks to the person who sent this link, allowing me to open and close on a Too Witches note: A Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him: February 24th Mass Ritual.

This document has been making the rounds in a number of magical groups both secretive and public. It was allegedly created by a member of a private magical order who wishes to remain anonymous. I make no claims about its efficacy, and several people have noted it can be viewed as more of a mass art/consciousness-raising project (similar to the 1967 exorcism and levitation of the Pentagon), than an actual magical working. But many are clearly taking it very seriously.


66 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. Räven says:

    I am not an enamel pin person but I want these.

  2. littleinfinity says:

    Huh, I didn't know about Caitlin Moran, I guess I have been living under a rock :O I've never read anything by her but it sounds like that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    • CleverManka says:

      She's one of those that seemed really good out of the gate but wow did she head south fast. I mean, everybody's problematic, but there's yeesh and YIKES, ya know?

    • Heathered says:

      I read a novel by her that was very smart and funny, but have somehow missed all the problematics. But I'm often a friend of problematics & just try to keep my likes on the DL to avoid confrontation, too.

  3. jenavira says:

    I am SO HERE for this Link Roundup, from the pins to the true crime recs to the binding spell (which I just found out yesterday, but hell, I know what I'm doing tomorrow night).

  4. vladazhael says:

    Re: no such thing as an innocent question:

    Small talk annoys me. I almost never feel like "how are you?" is a question I can answer genuinely, either because the asker is not prepared for me to share anything genuine, or because I would rather not share anything personal with that person. In fact I've frequently had it or a rough equivalent asked in passing in such a way that answering would be more awkward than not. Like, what am I supposed to do? Yell the answer behind me as we pass each other in the hall? Stop it. Stop doing that.

    Unrelated: is Thursday morning just anxiety spike time? Is that what we're doing now, brain? Because I'm not digging it. My dog is doing well, which is great, and I had a nice, relaxing evening last night and fell asleep way early and slept well for a good long time. But this morning I am running at high revs and agonizing over decisions great and small (housing, what to do for the weekend, what to do for the evening) and I know that some of it is chemical and thus I can dismiss it intellectually and wait for it to pass, but some of it is real life stuff and I can't shrug it off so well. That feeling of invincibility can come back anytime now, thanks.

    • CleverManka says:

      I am very good at small talk (it's a cultivated skill, learned from my father, thanks, Daddy!) and let me tell you, "how are you?" is a terrible small talk question.

      • vladazhael says:

        I guess there are differences of opinions on what small talk means, too. I've always reflexively defined it as the annoying, meaningless stuff that people use to unnecessarily fill up silence and considered the cultivated skill stuff something else, but you're not the first person I've run into for whom small talk means the skill itself.

        • CleverManka says:

          Small talk for me is the communication we can use in social situations when engaging in light conversation eases the stress. Waiting in a long line, sitting in a conference room with someone before the meeting starts, etc. And part of the skill is being able to sense when the other person would appreciate breaking the silence. I don't like small-talking with people who just talk talk talk just to talk talk talk (it's exhausting but I can do it), but I actively enjoy being able to lighten the tension of an environment by picking up on cues to engage when it's appreciated.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        Online dating made me quite good at small talk as long as I'm not stressing myself out about it, like just chatting or meeting someone at a party or function or whatever. Now, if it's someone I want to impress or I really look up to or whatever? It all goes downhill.

        But yes, I hate silence filling blather when it's not really needed.

    • Xolandra says:


      This article, for me, marks a _total shift_ in the social contract. I have vivid memories of actually factually losing a new acquaintance in undergrad (say, 2000-ish) because he asked how i was and got a stream of invective rather than "o fine thanks, how are you?" He literally never greeted me again (until he became my brother in law, but that is a different story for another time).

      In 2006(ish?), a dear friend of mine who has moved to Germany came back to Canada to work for the summer. He related an anecdote of having to endure small talk with the cashier at The Bay and I was like "well of course, Herr Friend, this is Canada, we talk about the hockeyball here, and of course the cashier is going to ask after your wellbeing. It doesn't mean that they care about the answer". Herr Friend was like "this is so not what I am used to. In Germany, you don't ask how a person is if you don't expect to hear a Real Answer".

      In both of those situations, the person _refusing to engage_ in small talk was the weirdo, the person breaking social codes. This article seems to suggest a shift in the burden of mis-stepping onto the interlocutor. Which, like, yes, I totally get that, but it is a shift, and I don't think that the article does a good job of dissecting that shift, or even recognizing it as such.

      I wonder, too, how much of these "social codes" are sexism in action – like, how we engage "in public" are largely rules written for cis white men quite some time ago, so a non-response of "fine thanks and yourself?" could actually be code for "I'm good, my emotional labour is being done elsewhere"? Idk, I hafta think about that more.

      IT IS MY DECIDED OPINION that everyone should ask, and everyone should tell. I talk about weird/awkward/gross stuff _all of the time_ and it is amazing to me how often I am thanked for talking about something that other humans are like "I thought it was just me". OTOH, I get a lot of "TMI, Xolandra", which i usually just respond to with grins.

      • CleverManka says:

        Whenever people ask me how I'm doing, I respond "Oh, enough about me! What are you up to lately?" I mean, unless it's someone who knows my health history blah blah and is actually interested in how my road to recovery is going (and has half an hour to spare for the details).

        That said, I take enormous joy in hearing more people openly discussing menstrual problems in public since I don't have that topic at my disposal anymore.

      • littleinfinity says:

        until he became my brother in law

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      • Rillquiet says:

        There is a huge cultural component to phatic communication, which is usually what "how are you"-type enquiries are in the United States. Humans complicate our speech in all sorts of ways that aren't immediately apparent to us, although most of us learn them without realizing it. (In Mongolia, f'rinstance, "thank you" is generally reserved for expressing deeper gratitude, not necessarily when someone has handed you the salt.) Phatic communication is fascinating and certainly subject to change, but I agree that the writer doesn't lay out the underlying function of questions like "how's it going" as a way of expressing general "hey, I recognize you and wish to acknowledge you and indicate that I have some level of interest in your well-being, with the extent of that interest being inferred through our relationship, my tone of voice/expression, and our current context."

        • Xolandra says:

          Ooooooooo, I learned something new today, ty!!!

          I feel like I should re-iterate that I am not at all against this shift; I think it is nice that ppl want to reserve inquiries into another's well-being for those who deserve it.

          I should _also_ clarify that I _totally agree_ that reproductive questions =/= small talk. As a non-baby haver/wanter, sod right off with that question.

      • vladazhael says:

        IT IS MY DECIDED OPINION that everyone should ask, and everyone should tell.

        If they *want* to tell, anyway. The question should be an invitation to be open and honest, but not a demand. I will happily cross expected reticence boundaries on some things, but others (mostly pertaining to my emotional state) require an unusually high security clearance for access.

        • Xolandra says:

          110% of _course_. In this, as in sexxxy times, consent is necessary.

          The question should be an invitation to be open and honest, but not a demand. ALL OF THE YES. More people need to learn to hear no and take it with grace, imo (my own damn self included). And more people need to learn to recognize and accept a hedge.

          • vladazhael says:

            And more people need to learn to recognize and accept a hedge.

            Hallelujah and amen! I think part of the reason I do gleefully overshare some things is to distract people from the things I don't want to share. The TMI Hedge: let me tell you all about my recent tubal ligation surgery but not the emotional devastation of my recent breakup.

          • Xolandra says:

            IT ME

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        This reminds me of how I refuse to participate in the , "Oh, how was your weekend?" Monday morning inquiry at work. Coworkers, you don't really care, and I can neither encompass what I did and the feeling of relief at not being at the dayjob nor fully express my feelings of betrayal at being back at work, so let's just not go there. I sum this up with, "It was nice."

        • Xolandra says:

          I think what I am learning about myself today is that the decision I took as a teen to behave in such a manner that, if my parents should have the cahones to ask, I should have the cahones to answer, is something that I apply to incredibly large swaths of my life.

          My coworkers (now) know better than to ask how my weekend was 😉

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I think that's a good policy. I tend to be a bit secretive with people I don't like/care about, so the coworkers get the bare minimum.

          • vladazhael says:

            Similarly, most people know better than to ask about my reproductive plans.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I'm sorry your brain chemistry is not cooperative. Your invincibility is only resting, not gone. It has retired to a hidden corner of your being that you cannot feel. It will move back to the fore soon.

      Until then, you may borrow the Rose Shield of Invincibility. I'll be needed it soon, but not today. I trust you to use it liberally and with confidence.

      Anxiety recognizes my shield and shrinks from its very shadow. Carrying the Rose Shield gives your muscles and cardio system a bit of resistance work to keep them from over-revving. Decision overload banks its fires in the presence of the Shield. Real Life does not run from the Shield, but it does pull up short and gives a respectful nod at a safe distance.

      You got this. ::Toasthugs::

      • vladazhael says:

        THANK YOU for this! So, so much! For the shield and for the reminder that my invincibility will come back. I'm honestly tearing up at my desk a little, which tells me a) I needed all of that and b) I also needed the Xanax I just took. I'll be over here behind the Rose Shield, calming my tits.

  5. Onymous says:

    As a person who's grown being asked 'whats wrong' when the asker meant 'act like other people' or 'perform happiness for me' and who's been made to elaborate on what 'not bad' means when asked how I'm doing by at least 6 managers…

    Yeah questions are guilty as fuck.

    • Xolandra says:

      YUP. especially when there is a power dynamic involved.

    • jenavira says:

      Ohhhhh this. I have one coworker who will randomly (as far as I can tell) look at me very seriously and ask, "Are you okay?" And it's like – look, it's not that I don't like you, but I am at work, if you really think I am not okay you would understand that this is not the time for me to go into detail about how not okay I am.

    • Onymous says:

      And as if on cue my yoga teacher just asked me how I was doing and despite my warmest friendliest 'not bad' she exaggerated my shrug and 'not bad?' back at me.

      She meant it well I'm sure, she's very nice, but there we go, people just casually don't accept me as proprietor of my state.

  6. Heathered says:

    Non-link related and be aware that I am a fan or least not a detractor of many folks who are pretty reviled hereabouts so I'm unreliable at best, BUT my last housemate mentioned a Katherine Ryan standup thing on Netflix and I was having a crap day yesterday so I checked it out and WOW. I laughed a lot, which is all I ask of comedy, and got some energy back. Feel like garbage again today, but that was a good hour and seven minutes.

  7. Xolandra says:

    O my goodness, that Ijeoma Oluo article! /runs to twitter to follow

    • CleverManka says:

      Ijeoma Oluo is amazing. I have a hard time not linking everything she writes.

      • Xolandra says:

        I keep seeing her tweets and being all "I should follow her!" But it turns out I am still weird about following strangers on Twitter? IN ANY EVENT, I have followed, ty!

    • vladazhael says:

      That and her article about deleting men's comments have both delighted me today. In place of our dark lord we should have her as queen.

      • Xolandra says:

        I read that article today too, and totally cackled.

      • dancingcorvid says:

        also her takedown of white silicon valley dudes attempting to find reasons for whatever the sitting president is up to when it can be mostly attributed to stupidity, indifference and indolence, with a liberal helping of malice.

  8. beaucoup1314 says:

    I always look forward to roundup links. I may not be drawn to read every one but there always some topic I want to pursue. Thank you. I am not sure if this belongs here, but I think it might. Whether you are Christian or not, Jesus wept. Sorry to be a downer, but I live very closely to a state Congressional district which sent David Duke to the state capitol. I grew up in a state that sent Huey P Long, populist dictator, onto the national stage.

  9. vladazhael says:


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