Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

It’s probably out of most people’s budgets, but Taschen has a new Ernst Haeckel book out.

Lindy West’s comic about feeling powerful and amazing in her fat body and Emily Flake’s comic about fandom’s place in her emotional development.

I Think, Therefore I Am Getting the Goddamed Epidural.

In her beatific appearance as a talking head in Ricki Lake’s documentary The Business of Being Born, Ina May describes the act of birthing without medical intervention as flipping on a light switch that takes you to the moon. That sounded pretty good! Plus, one of my Facebook friends posted a link to a very convincing blog post, by a lady who didn’t want an epidural, but then got strong-armed by the for-profit medical industry. It gave her permanent nerve damage. How badly did I want to risk permanent nerve damage — not to mention my baby basically coming out a zombie, already addicted to Real Housewives and Hot Pockets — just to avoid an intensely natural occurrence?

How much of auto-immune problems might start in the gut? This isn’t a new idea or a new article, but it’s something that hasn’t gotten a lot of traction in standard Western medicine.

A lengthy interview with Ursula LeGuin.

Evolution is a wonderful process of change — of differentiation and diversification and complication, endless and splendid; but I can’t say that any one of its products is “better than” or “superior to” any other in general terms. Only in specific ways. Rats are more intelligent and more adaptable than koala bears, and those two superiorities will keep rats going while the koalas die out. On the other hand, if there were nothing around to eat but eucalyptus, the rats would be gone in no time and the koalas would thrive. Humans can do all kinds of stuff bacteria can’t do, but if I had to bet on really long-term global survival, my money would go to the bacteria.

A recipe for those lucky souls who can still eat potatoes (and chocolate) (and cake).

The Last of the Iron Lungs.

Martha Lillard spends half of every day with her body encapsulated in a half-century old machine that forces her to breathe. Only her head sticks out of the end of the antique iron lung. On the other side, a motorized lever pulls the leather bellows, creating negative pressure that induces her lungs to suck in air.

In 2013, the Post-Polio Health International (PHI) organizations estimated that there were six to eight iron lung users in the United States. Now, PHI executive director Brian Tiburzi says he doesn’t know anyone alive still using the negative-pressure ventilators. This fall, I met three polio survivors who depend on iron lungs. They are among the last few, possibly the last three.

Eggs May Actively Select Certain Sperm.

The dual plagues of Lena Dunham and liberal racism.

Zinzi Clemmons is a writer, she is a woman of color, and she used to write for Lena Dunham’s magazine, Lenny Letter. She recently quit because of “hipster racism.” She quit because she knew Lena Dunham didn’t respect her, but wanted her words. Lena Dunham wanted Zinzi so she could be seen as the white savior who uplifts all women from all walks of life, but when it came time to defend a black actress against her friend, she made her intentions clear.

And this isn’t just a Lena Dunham issue, this is an attitude carried by many “progressives” who think because they aren’t blatantly racist that they can’t be racist. Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars last year made fun of Mahershala Ali’s name. Even when you’re winning the most prestigious award for an actor, you’ll still be made fun of because your name isn’t “American.” And that’s the fucking problem. Especially since Jimmy Kimmel had spent a considerable portion of his monologue taking Trump down for his racism. Jimmy Kimmel and the white liberals like him are so tragically blind sometimes.

A look at Christa Wolf’s book One Day A Year, in which Wolf recorded her thoughts and experiences of the day of September 27 for fifty-one years.

KU researchers doing good work.

…A research drive at the University of Kansas School of Engineering is working toward the design and marketing of a low-cost, easy-to-use device that would filter up to 99 percent of sulfites from wine when it’s poured from the bottle.

“Our idea is that you’d have a device like an aerator,” said Mark Shiflett, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering, who is leading the investigation. “You’d stick it on the top of the bottle — and as you pour a glass through the device, it removes the sulfites. And it would be inexpensive. When you’re at the cash register you’d have these devices for sale. They’d be a dollar or less.”

Karen Grierson’s new post about emotional growth, and how we all grow at different rates, in different ways, at from different starting points.

To The Men Who Are Not Responsible For My Problem.

It is a tremendous relief to know who the good ones are. But it is always terrifying and disappointing to learn about the others, those who expressed anger and frustration at being asked, too publicly and on a Friday, to acknowledge and repudiate rape culture. I knew I was taking a risk by asking men publicly, directly, to help me name and shame a creep in our midst. I knew asking my former bosses and current colleagues to take a moment to speak out against rape culture could backfire.

It did. Some of the responses were not good. I don’t know this guy, why should I say anything to him? Or, He’s always like this. Or, I’m busy and this isn’t important to me. In short: This is not my problem.

Oh, my friends. I know it is not your problem. I know more deeply and fully than you ever will that this is not your problem. I feel the sting of this being my problem every day. I carry the weight of this being my problem along with me everywhere I go. It is not your problem. It is, in ways you will never be able to comprehend, my problem.

Emily Wilson is the first woman to publish an English translation of The Odyssey.

With the holiday-driven season of buying in full swing, perhaps take a look at DoneGood, a website that makes it easy to shop from companies that are eco-friendly, support diversity, are free from animal cruelty, use organic products, empower workers, etc.

21 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. RoseCamelia says:

    Wow, so many open tabs now. Manka, you are responsible for some of my undone chores today. (Nah, I choose to read and read and read and read.) And you're responsible for so much more of my personal growth. Thank you for these links and for growing my emotional maturity.

  2. RoseCamelia says:

    "Are you getting weary of being honored and lionized?

    "Always remember, you’re talking to a woman. And for a woman, any literary award, honors, notice of any sort has been an uphill climb. And if she insists upon flouting convention and writing SF and fantasy and indescribable stuff, it’s even harder."

    Ursula K Le Guin, writer, flouter of convention, woman, hero

    • jenavira says:

      I love Ursula K Le Guin (the fact that she was writer in residence at my alma mater before I was even born will never stop feeling unfair to me) but I always feel like I need to be really prepared before I read an interview with her because I know I am gonna get some Serious Wisdom handed to me.

  3. RoseCamelia says:

    My claustrophobia was triggered just reading a description of the iron lung from the patient's perspective. I tried to gut it out, to continue reading, but could not. Damn. Good writing. Terrifying disease. And renewed anger at Wakefield for the current crop of unvaccinated children of the chronically fearful.

  4. Alluvial_Fan says:

    Potatoes in cake–now my baking project for the weekend!

  5. jenavira says:

    I am so excited to read Emily Wilson's Odyssey.

    (I took a class in college on The Odyssey in all its forms. We had to listen to a truly terrible opera based on it, and an even worse rock concept album. I used to play "Good Dog Argus" out my windows to get drunks on the quad to shut up. Our final exam was to break into small groups and perform one act of a play someone had written, based on the Odyssey, which for some reason had the Slaying of the Suitors happen twice, once in Odysseus's imagination, and then again for real. We used Nerf guns. We got an A+.)

  6. Xolandra says:

    Augh! So many interesting links! I also found this today, and am looking forward to reading through its archives. It's like the Beaverton, but by and for indigenous folks! https://walkingeaglenews.com/page/3/

  7. Kazoogrrl says:

    This is the antidote to one of those shitty "you're doing self-care wrong" essays I stupidly read this morning. I wish I had more time today (stupid power outage making today twice as hard).

  8. jenavira says:

    Also, if you live in a red state, please call your senators and give them holy hell today. They are planning on voting for this tax bill tonight and it's…it's bad.

  9. vladazhael says:

    I really wanted to find fault with the epidural article, coming as I do from the perspective that modern obstetrics is tainted by its sexist, classist, racist beginnings and is too quick to dismiss unassisted birth as a thing people do, but I'm also super jaded about a certain breed of granola-type women who earnestly refer to their yonis and have enough privilege to ignore fact that medical intervention is a really fucking handy thing to have when you need it. So that was a really solid and delightfully snarky balance.

    • littleinfinity says:

      I agree, it was a good balance between, on one hand, skepticism of the medical handling of birth with its tendency to end in cascading interventions, and on the other hand, a realistic take on the fact that birth is almost never some magical painfree experience and you don't know what to expect till you get there. I have zero babies so far but I definitely related to this article. Huge fan of the concept of midwifery and home births as opposed to the L&D unit and dickish male doctors… I think it's a great idea to use whatever natural means are available to make birth easier, like squatting, massage, etc… but also, not above some sweet 21st century drugs if it comes to that.

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