Culture

Washington Post: Afghan sprinter Tahmina Kohistani’s 2012 Olympic Journey

Good piece on how meaningful and symbolic Tahmina Kohistani’s Olympic stint was for Afghanistan, and Muslim women:

“So she ran. And ran. Because no one could make her believe churning her legs as fast as she could possibly make them go was against Allah and the Muslim faith, which she remains so devoted to she refused to compete without the hijab, especially during the holy season of Ramadan.

‘There are a lot of bad comments about me in my country and there’s lots of people not ready to support me. But I think I will make the nation of Afghanistan proud of me and they are going to never forget me. I just opened a new window, a new door, for the next generation of my country.'”

Upworthy: 10 Most Viral Things from their first year

Just like seeing the beginnings of one of the hottest topics in content publishing in 2013, because of its fast rise and almost “scientific” headline-writing process.

1. Bully Calls News Anchor Fat, News Anchor Destroys Him On Live TV

Curated by Kaye Toal
4.19M views

2. Bullies Called Him Pork Chop. He Took That Pain With Him And Then Cooked It Into This.

Curated by Adam Mordecai
3.44M views

3. Mitt Romney Accidentally Confronts A Gay Veteran; Awesomeness Ensues

Curated by Mansur Gidfar
2.87M views

4. A Tea Partier Decided To Pick A Fight With A Foreign President. It Didn’t Go So Well.

Curated by Mansur Gidfar
1.97M views

5. Move Over, Barbie — You’re Obsolete

Curated by Edwardo Jackson
1.59M views

6. 9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact

Curated by Adam Mordecai
1.57M views

7. BOOM, ROASTED: Here’s Why You Don’t Ask A Feminist To Hawk Your Sexist Product

Curated by Rebecca Eisenberg
1.16M views

8. Some Strange Things Are Happening To Astronauts Returning To Earth

Curated by Adam Albright-Hanna
1.13M views

9. Elizabeth Warren Asks The Most Obvious Question Ever And Stumps A Bunch Of Bank Regulators

Curated by Adam Mordecai
1.13M views

10. If This Video Makes You Uncomfortable, Then You Make Me Uncomfortable

Curated by Rollie Williams
1.01M views

NPR.org: A cookbook that shows you how to eat well on (literally) a food stamp budget

NPR reports about a great Kickstarter idea from Leanne Brown, a master’s degree student in food studies, to bring better eating options to Americans on a food stamp budget.

“It really bothered me,” she says. “The 47 million people on food stamps — and that’s a big chunk of the population — don’t have the same choices everyone else does.”

Brown guessed that she could help people in SNAP, the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, find ways to cook filling, nourishing and flavorful meals. So she set out to write a cookbook full of recipes anyone could make on a budget of just $4 a day.

The result is Good and Cheap, which is free online and has been downloaded over 200,000 times since she posted it on her website in early June. A July Kickstartercampaign also helped Brown raise $145,000 to print copies for people without computer access.

The Washington Post: Occupational segments are shaping U.S. city neighborhoods

Map from “The Divided City: and the Shape of The New Metropolis”

The Washington Post reports about a new analysis on how the “creative” occupations appears to be the new ruling class, steering where everyone else can afford to live.

Professor and urbanist Richard Florida and fellow researchers from the Martin Prosperity Institute mapped the occupations of Americans, versus where they lived.  Florida is responsible for coining “the creative class” a decade ago.

Their analysis separates workers into three classes, derived from Florida’s research: the “creative class” of knowledge workers who make up about a third of the U.S. workforce (people in advertising, business, education, the arts, etc.); the “service class,” which makes up the largest and fastest growing sector of the economy (people in retail, food service, clerical jobs); and the “working class,” where blue-collar jobs in industries like manufacturing have been disappearing (this also includes construction and transportation).

…these maps show that those workers tend to cluster in the same communities. About three-quarters of the region’s “creative class” lives in a census tract where their neighbors are primarily creative-class workers, too. That means your lawyers, doctors, journalists and lobbyists live together in parts of town far from the people who pour their coffee.

This also means that their evolving preferences — to live downtown, or close to the red line, or around Rock Creek Park — shape the city for everyone else.

New York Map from “The Divided City…”

And from the report itself:

The study identifies four key location factors that shape the class divided city and metropolis, each of which turns on the locational imperatives of the creative class:

  • Urban Centers: The concentration of affluent creative class populations in and around central business districts and urban centers, especially in larger and more congested metro areas.
  • Transit: The clustering of more affluent creative class populations around transit hubs, subway, cable car and rail lines.
  • Knowledge Institutions: The clustering of the creative class around research universities and knowledge based institutions.
  • Natural Amenities: The clustering of creative class populations around areas of natural amenity, especially coastlines and waterfront locations.

Mashable: Facebook and Apple Reward Employees for Freezing Their Ovary Eggs

Mashable talks about how Apple followed Facebook’s lead in covering up to $20,000 worth of health benefits, should a female employee choose to go through the egg-freezing procedure.

This news is inherently…intriguing.

It:

a) sounds funny when you hear it,

b) is ultimately useful and practical,

c) is played up by the media as positive, but

d) makes you think about the cultural and biological realities of how women need to undergo procedures just to “have it all”.

i.e. the personal goals and ambition that this generation of women have go against the body’s natural fertility.

It’s a “good thing”, that’s a solution to a tough choice.  Money & personal passion VS Growing your own family.

A question this also brings up is: even if you could freeze your eggs, would you and your husband want to have a 20 year-old eldest child at 55?  Implying that if you had a second child at 38, you would then have a generation of 58 year-olds putting kids through college.

Apple and Facebook are adding a new perk for female employees: Free egg freezing that would let them delay parenting for a few years.

Facebook started offering the service on Jan. 1. Apple plans to begin in January 2015, according to NBC News

Like IVF, egg freezing is typically not covered by an employer’s health insurance. Egg freezing currently costs about $10,000 plus up to $1,000 a year for maintenance. (Facebook and Apple are both covering costs of egg freezing up to $20,000.) McCarthy says the success rates from a frozen egg match those of a fresh egg.

In other words, if you freeze your eggs at age 27 and then wait until age 35 to try in vitro fertilization, the egg will behave like a 27-year-old’s.

NY Times: U.S. School Lunch as Political Battleground

The New York Times article speaks about the power of attentiveness and “human” treatment.

“but Matz, wry and impish even in his late 60s, lavished the lunch ladies with the kind of respect they didn’t always get in school cafeterias…

“He would tell everybody: ‘You are a much better lobbyist than I am. You are how we get things done,’ ” said Dorothy Caldwell, who served a term as the association’s president in the early 1990s. “And people liked that.”

Matz often told the lunch ladies they were front-line warriors in the battle for better eating, and they liked that too…Few workers, inside the government or out, did more to shape the health of children.

Last summer, the School Nutrition Association dumped Matz…Even as they claim to support the act, the lunch ladies have become the shock troops in a sometimes absurdly complex battle to roll back the Obama’s administration’s anti-obesity agenda.”

And the food wars behind federal school lunches:

“…plates had to have fewer “starchy vegetables,” obvious code words for French fries.

The starchy-vegetable lobby was quick to take offense. “We didn’t find favor with efforts to paint certain vegetables as, for unspecified reasons, less healthy than other vegetables,” was how Kraig R. Naasz, the head of the American Frozen Food Institute, which represents about 500 makers of frozen foods and vegetables, explained it…

Matz was not only lobbying for the lunch ladies, who wanted to abolish the mandatory fruit-and-vegetable requirement, but he also was general counsel to the fresh-produce trade association, which loved the requirement.

Kraig Naasz, the frozen-food advocate, was also impressed. “I’m supposed to explain in seven to 10 seconds how many ounces of tomato paste should get credited when it comes as a paste,” Naasz told me. “And Margo gets to say, ‘Congress thinks pizza is a vegetable.’ ”

Businessweek: Sarah Silverman Launches a Salary (Gender) Equality Campaign

Curious, but exciting choice for the voice of closing the gender gap regarding salary.

Who do you think set up the partnership — Sarah Silverman or Droga5?

Businessweek reports that the campaign is a partnership between the comedienne and the agency:

“Are you a woman? Congratulations: Sarah Silverman wants to give you $435,000. That’s roughly the amount of money you’re expected to lose, on average, over the course of your working career solely because you’re, as Silverman so gently puts it, “a vagina owner.” Silverman and New York advertising firm Droga5 have teamed up to close the estimated 78¢ gender pay gap (as determined by a 2013 U.S. Census Bureau study) by just writing checks to the 69 million working women to cover their loss. And she needs only $29,811,746,430,000 to do it.”

Yay for Empowering Holidays in June! Official days for “Making” and “Women in Engineering”

They might be fueled by propaganda or PR, but I love the thought of these two new holidays.

Barack Obama just declared June 18 as the United States’ National Day of Making.

Presidential Proclamation    National Day of Making  2014   The White House

 

 

The Guardian featured the twitter accounts of six engineers with brains and a sense of humor for the United Kingdom’s National Women in Engineering Day.

National Women in Engineering Day  six Twitter accounts to follow   Women in Leadership   Guardian Professional