Tell Congress To Pass ENDA

January 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm (LGBT, politics)

Tell your representatives in Congress to support an Employment Nondiscrimination Act protecting sexual orientation and gender identity. In many states it is legal to fire employees for being gay, bisexual, trans, or otherwise queer. This is wrong, and it largely hurts the members of our community who are already the most vulnerable.


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Mystery Roar From Space

January 8, 2009 at 5:45 pm (frightening things, neat things) ()

A group of astronomers looking for “faint signs of heat” from long-dead stars has found, instead, a booming sound of unknown origin.

Of course, sound waves can’t travel in a vacuum (which is what most of space is), or at least they can’t very efficiently. But radio waves can.

Radio waves are not sound waves, but they are still electromagnetic waves, situated on the low-frequency end of the light spectrum.

Many objects in the universe, including stars and quasars, emit radio waves. Even our home galaxy, the Milky Way, emits a static hiss (first detected in 1931 by physicist Karl Jansky). Other galaxies also send out a background radio hiss.

But the newly detected signal, described here today at the 213th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, is far louder than astronomers expected.

About six times louder, apparently.

Detailed analysis of the signal ruled out primordial stars or any known radio sources, including gas in the outermost halo of our own galaxy.

Other radio galaxies also can’t account for the noise – there just aren’t enough of them.

Certainly intriguing…

Via Boing Boing.

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Some stuff from around.

January 5, 2009 at 8:41 pm (art, environment, music)

Ice instruments by Terje Isungset.

Scientists see others’ thoughts–fuel for anti-surveillance paranoia.

Stitched art by Emily L. Eibel.

Computer-part art.

The environmental terror that is the synthetic beach.

Photos of animals preserved in formalin.

Poodles groomed to look like anything but poodles.

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Stacey Muhammad’s “I Am Sean Bell”

January 3, 2009 at 11:00 pm (amazing things, injustice, movies/video/clips, racism) ()

Check out this brief documentary: I Am Sean Bell: Black Boys Speak, in which black boys and black parents talk about the horrifying murder of Sean Bell by police officers. There is nothing I can add — just watch it.

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Julia Serano’s “Cocky”

January 3, 2009 at 3:02 pm (art, LGBT, movies/video/clips)

Via Alas, I highly recommend this video of Julia Serano giving a kick-ass performance. You can read the transcript here.

Fuck yeah!

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’90s Flashback #25

January 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm ('90s flashbacks, movies/video/clips, music)

“3 AM,” by Matchbox 20.

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Five Links That Are Actually Important, 1/1/09

January 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm (injustice, LGBT, racism, sexism)

Happy Gregorian New Year, everybody!

On a completely different note, here are a whole bunch of very serious and upsetting links.

1. Just after Katrina, a white militia formed and used the event as an excuse to happily kill as many black people as possible. Absolutely. Fucking. Sickening.

2. Intolerance of homosexuality increases queer teens’ risk of suicide.

3. A link round-up about the recent Israeli bombings of Gaza. More links in the thread.

4. Panel recommends reparations for people forcibly sterilized under state eugenics programs. Horrifyingly, North Carolina only ceased these sterilizations in the 1970s. This is the first time reparations have been suggested.

5. And over at Alas: We Know How To Stop Prisoner Rape.

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Photos Of Japanese Highways

December 31, 2008 at 9:54 am (amazing things, art, environment) ()

Take a look at these incredible images of Japanese highways, bridges, and other road-structures. They are mind-blowing, to put it plainly.

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Leah Evans’ Textiles

December 30, 2008 at 12:51 pm (amazing things, art) (, )

Via Craft, take a look at Leah Evans’ gorgeous textile art. Most of the pieces are maps. They’re all very beautiful.

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Make Your Own Squid

December 30, 2008 at 12:34 pm (neat things) ()

Emily told me about this awhile ago — it’s a fun little game where you can build your own squid and then set it free into the virtual seas. It’s pretty minimal, of course, but amusing. At the end you can play with your squid by dragging and dropping it around the screen, and you can come back later to check on it. Right now my squid has traveled zero kilometers, weighs one kilogram, and has had only one adventure (“hunting for shoes”?).

Presumably these things will change.

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