Must-read articles re: Steubenville

Henry Rollins comments on Steubenville rape verdict

Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment

Why are we supposed to have sympathy for rapists? (Contains links to lots of other relevant information as well.)

Sign this petition to tell the media directly that their coverage sympathizing with rapists is not okay. 

So you’re tired of hearing about “rape culture”?

Toxic Masculinity by the amazing Jaclyn Friedman

Prevent another Steubenville: what all mother’s must do for their sons


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A list of feminist TED Talks (besides TEDxWomen)

When I tried to find feminist TED Talks, my search proved more tedious than I had expected.  Of course there are videos from the wonderful TEDxWomen, an annual conference “highlighting leading-edge innovators and powerful ideas from women and girls around the world – and a few men too.”  But this conference has only happened twice and I thought surely there are feminist Talks from before TEDxWomen, as well as outside the conference. There certainly are. And there are localized TEDxWomen events. I encourage you to seek all these videos out. 

Here’s my list of feminist TED Talks. This list is not comprehensive and I may add to or alter it over time. There are, after all, so very many TED Talks and not nearly enough time to watch them all.  I enjoyed some of these videos more than others – I imagine you’ll have a similar experience – so they’re in a very rough order based on how highly I recommend them.  Have anything to add? Do let me know in the comments! 


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Your Brain on Books, as well as Worlds Apart article

Because pinterest couldn’t find a picture to pin with…silly pinterest.

  1. We make photos in our minds, even without being prompted:

    Reading books and other materials with vivid imagery is not only fun, it also allows us to create worlds in our own minds. But did you know that this happens even if you don’t mean it to? Researchers have found that visual imagery is simply automatic. Participants were able to identify photos of objects faster if they’d just read a sentence that described the object visually, suggesting that when we read a sentence, we automatically bring up pictures of objects in our minds.

  2. Spoken word can put your brain to work:

    Critics are quick to dismiss audiobooks as a sub-par reading experience, but research has shown that the act of listening to a story can light up your brain. When we’re told a story, not only are language processing parts of our brain activated, experiential parts of our brain come alive, too. Hear about food? Your sensory cortex lights up, while motion activates the motor cortex. And while you may think that this is limited only to audiobooks or reading, experts insist that our brains are exposed to narratives all day long. In fact, researcher Jeremy Hsu shares, “Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations.” So go ahead, listen to your coworker’s long and drawn out story about their vacation, tune in to talk radio, or listen to an audiobook in the car: it’s good exercise for your brain.

  3. Reading about experiences is almost the same as living it:

    Have your ever felt so connected to a story that it’s as if you experienced it in real life? There’s a good reason why: your brain actually believes that you have experienced it. When we read, the brain does not make a real distinction between reading about an experience and actually living it. Whether reading or experiencing it, the same neurological regions are stimulated. Novels are able to enter into our thoughts and feelings. While you can certainly hop into a VR game at the mall and have a great time, it seems that reading is the original virtual reality experience, at least for your brain.

  4. Different styles of reading create different patterns in the brain:

    Any kind of reading provides stimulation for your brain, but different types of reading give different experiences with varying benefits. Stanford University researchers have found that close literary reading in particular gives your brain a workout in multiple complex cognitive functions, while pleasure reading increases blood flow to different areas of the brain. They concluded that reading a novel closely for literary study and thinking about its value is an effective brain exercise, more effective than simple pleasure reading alone.

  5. New languages can grow your brain:

    Want to really give your brain a workout? Pick up a foreign language novel. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden tested students from the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, where intensive language learning is the norm, and medicine and cognitive science students at Umea University. Both groups underwent brain scans just prior to and right after a three-month period of intensive study. Amazingly, the language students experienced brain growth in both the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex, with different levels of brain growth according to the amount of effort and learning students experienced in that period of time.

  6. Your brain adapts to reading e-books in seven days:

    If you’re used to reading paper books, picking up an e-reader can feel very awkward at first. But experts insist that your brain can adopt the new technology quickly, no matter your age or how long you’ve been reading on paper. In fact, the human brain adapts to new technology, including e-reading, within seven days.

  7. E-books lack in spatial navigability:

    Although your brain can adapt to e-books quickly, that doesn’t mean they offer the same benefits as a paperback. Specifically, they lack what’s called “spatial navigability,” physical cues like the heft of pages left to read that give us a sense of location. Evolution has shaped our minds to rely on location cues to find our way around, and without them, we can be left feeling a little lost. Some e-books offer little in the way of spatial landmarks, giving a sense of an infinite page. However, with page numbers, percentage read, and other physical cues, e-books can come close to the same physical experience as a paper book.

  8. Story structure encourages our brains to think in sequence, expanding our attention spans:

    Stories have a beginning, middle, and end, and that’s a good thing for your brain. With this structure, our brains are encouraged to think in sequence, linking cause and effect. The more you read, the more your brain is able to adapt to this line of thinking. Neuroscientists encourage parents to take this knowledge and use it for children, reading to kids as much as possible. In doing so, you’ll be instilling story structure in young minds while the brain has more plasticity, and the capacity to expand their attention span.

  9. Reading changes your brain structure (in a good way):

    Not everyone is a natural reader. Poor readers may not truly understand the joy of literature, but they can be trained to become better readers. And in this training, their brains actually change. In a six-month daily reading program from Carnegie Mellon, scientists discovered that the volume of white matter in the language area of the brain actually increased. Further, they showed that brain structure can be improved with this training, making it more important than ever to adopt a healthy love of reading.

  10. Deep reading makes us more empathetic:

    It feels great to lose yourself in a book, and doing so can even physically change your brain. As we let go of the emotional and mental chatter found in the real world, we enjoy deep reading that allows us to feel what the characters in a story feel. And this in turn makes us more empathetic to people in real life, becoming more aware and alert to the lives of others.


Link to Worlds Apart: One City, Two Libraries, and 10 Years of Watching Inequalities Grow —

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Notes: Feed Your Brain – Vegetarian Times March 2013

How to preserve memory, now and forever:

– Low saturated fat!

– No trans fat (hydrogenated/partially)

– Just right amount of iron: beans, green leafy veges include non-heme iron which is more absorb-able when your body needs it and less so when it doesn’t. Cast iron can give unnecessarily.

Copper: three servings of veggies per day.

Vitamin E: spinach, mangoes, sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds. 8 mg/day, which can be found in 1.5 oz almonds. helps neutralize free radicals

Folate, B12/6: chickpeas, bananas, potatoes. knock out toxin homocysteine

Berries: dark pigments helpful

– Sleep enough 🙂

EXERCISE: 40 minutes, 3 times/week. step/spin class, brisk walk, dance, sports, 

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An Assortment of Articles

Because I have way too many tabs open in my browser at any given time, I’m going to collect their contents here:

Yes, that and more was all open and ready to be read. It’ll have to wait until another day.

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Dreaming / “Bucket List”

I’ve decided to start a bucket list of sorts. I never really have before, not officially. Just jotting down some things I want to do or see or feel…


– Cleveland. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (have been)

– Columbus. COSI. Museum of Art. Wexner Center. Old Man’s Cave/Hawking Hills. (currently live)

– San Francisco. Maybe other cities in CA.

– Chicago. (have been)

– NYC.

– Boston. Salem. around Halloween time. (have been)

– Denver/Boulder.

– Portland. Seattle.

– Maybes: Detroit. Austin.

– Outside our box: Peru. Germany. Spain. Italy. India. Canada: Quebec, Ontario, Toronto?


– history, geography, political science, literature, grammar, philosophy, religion, language(s) (which?), sign language, feminism, study for the GRE (brush up on/relearn math).

– cook. crochet/knit. meditate. yoga. be in shape, healthy.

– rubix cube.

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Election Results Round-Up

Women in the Senate

A new record was set in the November 6, 2012 election with 20% of the U.S. Senate now comprised of women leaders (the previous record was 18%). The year 2010 saw the first net loss of women Senators since 1976, but they’re on the rise again. It’s important to see women in these positions because it will only encourage and inspire more to run for office. Here’s a list of the women Senators; click their names to learn about them.

  • Mazie Hirono (D-HI) new elect
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) new elect
  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) new elect
  • Deb Fischer (R-NE) new elect
  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) new elect. first openly gay senator.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  • Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Kay Hagan (D-NC)
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Also, as of the election, New Hampshire is represented in the U.S. Congress only by women. They also have a woman governor.

Legal Status of Same-Sex Marriage

Four states (Maine, Minnesota, Washington, Maryland) voted to legalize love. In other words, same-sex marriage is now allowed in a total of eight states and D.C. Click here to find an interactive map with some history of same-sex marriage since 1990. Highlights:

  • Between 1996-97, 22 states banned it by statute.
  • An Alaskan judge was the first to legalize it in Feb. 1998; by Nov. a constitutional amendment overturned that.
  • Massachusetts legalized in 2004.
  • The same year in Nov, 12 states made marriage and/or civil unions illegal under the constitution. Seven more did the same in 2006.
  • 2009 saw a lot of activity: IA, VT, and CT legalized, several others gave some or all civil union rights.

And the current standings:

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