Guns in America via the Huffington Post
from HuffPO Books:
Over a decade ago, Staceyann Chin burst onto the scene with Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry Jam” on Broadway. Sharing the stage with other prominent poets and hip-hop artists, she garnered a Tony Award for her performance.
Chin, known for candidly revealing her frustrating childhood in Jamaica — a country known for homophobia — said she became aware of a growing interest in her experience as a Jamaican lesbian immigrant. In 2010, she released her critically acclaimed memoir, The Other Side Of Paradise.
Chin, 40, a lover of “a good story,” is now working on a new book about motherhood and parenting. When she’s not writing, on stage or traveling the world, she’s hosting comrades for tea, wine, “crap TV,” or political talk. In the living room of her Brooklyn apartment, her daughter by her side, Chin chatted with HuffPost about homophobia, Jamaica, motherhood, and more.
"Republicans have a new strategy for 2016: Change the rules of presidential elections in order to swing the Electoral College in the GOP’s favor…"
Etheostoma Obama, Fish Named After The President, Is A Newly Discovered Freshwater Darter
"…The researchers decided to name each of the newfound darters after a U.S. president or vice president with environmental cred, and the first name on their list was Obama. Thus, the spangled darter — a 2-inch Tennessee native whose males have vivid orange, blue and green scales — will be Etheostoma obama from now on. As Layman and Mayden tell Scientific American, Obama earned the honor by taking a more holistic approach to ecological issues than most of his predecessors.
"We chose President Obama for his environmental leadership, particularly in the areas of clean energy and environmental protection, and because he is one of our first leaders to approach conservation and environmental protection from a more global vision," the researchers said. Aside from Obama, Layman and Mayden named the other darters after three presidents and a VP who are also known for making conservation a priority: Theodore Roosevelt (Etheostoma teddyroosevelt), Jimmy Carter (E. jimmycarter), Bill Clinton (E. clinton) and Al Gore (E. gore)…”
To Live And Die In America
HuffPo with a powerful statement on its front page. The NRA’s reaction to Newtown is below the “fold.”
Bushmaster: The weapon of choice for American men to hunt down and kill children and women…
"…Of the 62 mass shootings that have occurred in the United States since 1982, 61 have been committed by men. The average age of these men was 35, and 44 of the 61 male shooters were white, according to Mother Jones…”
Alan Turing Pardon? Stephen Hawking, Other Scientists Urge Forgiveness For Gay Computer Icon
“LONDON — Stephen Hawking and other eminent scientists called Friday for the British government to pardon computer pioneer Alan Turing, who helped win World War II but was later prosecuted for homosexuality … After the war, Turing was prosecuted for having sex with a man, stripped of his security clearance and forcibly treated with female hormones. He killed himself in 1954 at age 41 by eating an apple laced with cyanide.
Sex between men remained illegal in Britain until 1967.”
The villages of Bugarach in Southern France, where a UFO supposedly lies dormant in a mountain, and Şirince in Turkey are the current destinations of choice among believers who would prefer not die. This is presumably why one-way tickets searches to the South of France have increased 41 percent while one-way tickets searches to Turkey have surged by nearly a third.
The searches in question all involve flights arriving at their destinations within a week of the December 21 kablooey.
Mary Breastfeeding Jesus: Christmas’ Missing Icon By David Gibson
"…all the familiar scenes associated with the holy family today — creches and church pageants, postage stamps and holiday cards — are also missing an obvious element of the mother-child connection that modern Christians are apparently happy to do without: a breast-feeding infant.
Jesus certainly wasn’t a bottle baby. So what happened to Mary’s breasts? It’s a centuries-old story, but one that has a relatively brief answer: namely, the rise of the printing press in 15th-century Europe.
With the advent of movable type, historians say, came the ability to mass-market pornography, which promoted the sexualization of women’s bodies in the popular imagination. What’s more, the printing press enabled the wider circulation of anatomical drawings for medical purposes, which in turn contributed to the demystification of the body. Both undermined traditional views of the body as a reflection of the divine.
The other major consequence of this new technology, of course, was the mass-marketing of the Bible and the rise of a Protestantism that encouraged a focus on the text of the Scriptures and discouraged the use of images and “Catholic” practices like devotion to the Virgin Mary and the saints.
The cultural shift was so great that even Catholics soon came to regard the breast as an “inappropriate” image for churches. Instead, the sacrifice of the cross — the suffering Jesus — became the dominant motif of Christianity while the Nativity was sanitized into a Hallmark card…”
Long-Married Couple, Melvin And Doris Cornelson, Die Within Hours Of Each Other
The Aldwych tube station, which has been closed to passengers since the early 1990s, reopened to eager eyes over the weekend thanks to tours given by theLondon Transport Museum (future tours are already sold out.) Lucky guests got a chance to see first hand the station that was home to storage for the National Gallery during World War I and to the Elgin marbles during the Blitz.