Links: Monday, July 14th

July 14, 2014 Links 1

Side-by-side images of an Asian man with black hair. In the left pic he is unsmiling and his eyes are fully open. In the right pic he has a faint, closed-mouth smile and is "squinching" his eyes to just short of a squint.Always Be Squinching And Other Tricks From A Portrait Photographer

  • The Problem With Buzzfeed Books – Ceilidh goes in on BuzzFeed Books and why it disappoints her. I’m pretty bored with the whole site, myself.

    Buzzfeed has massive influence over internet discourse, and yet they seem to be taking that potential and pushing it to the side while they pander to a false idea that thoughtless regurgitation equals positivity. It’s disappointing but it’s not the be all and end all of book blogging. Opinions seldom vary, if there are any opinions at all, and the voices of the writers are indistinguishable. It’s a section void of charm, of personality or any distinctive term beyond relentlessly and blandly optimistic. As a result of this, there’s very little space given over to one of the driving debates in the book blogging community – diversity. Fitzgerald claims to understand what drives bloggers and book lovers, yet this very obvious omission betrays that. Sites like The Rumpus, The Toast and The Hairpin bring new and diverse voices to the forefront that open up intersectional discourse with some much needed variety and analytical thought.

  • Imagining a New Way to Read, One 3D-Printed Book at a Time – This sounds interesting, but I’d be curious to hear from blind readers about how feeling the outlines of an illustration works for them.

    Blind and visually impaired children will now be able to experience classic picture books like Goodnight Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon with the help of 3D printing technology.

    Researchers at the University of Colorado have created a new project that can convert standard picture books into 3D-printed pages, letting children with visual impairments follow the raised illustrations by touch as the stories are read aloud.

    Tom Yeh, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Computer Science who directed the project, said the goal of The Tactile Picture Books Project is to use computer science to better people’s lives.

    “I realized we could do something meaningful by interpreting pictures from these children’s books using mathematical diagrams,” he said. “This project is much more difficult than I envisioned, but it also is much more rewarding.”

  • ‘Constantine’ team on why NBC character isn’t bisexual, smoking cigarettes – This week in bi-erasure brings us this tortured bit of straightwashing logic.

    Ever since NBC announced it was taking on DC Comics’ character of snarky John Constantine, aka Hellblazer, some fans have wondered: Will the broadcast TV version played by Matt Ryan this fall be bisexual like in the comics? When asked about this at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour Sunday, executive producer Daniel Cerone ran down the various editions of the character that have existed since the demon fighter was introduced in 1985 to suggest his sexuality is not a crucial aspect of the character (nearly all of the character’s relationships in the comics have been with women). “In those comic books, John Constantine aged in real time,” he said. “Within this tome of three decades [of comics] there might have been one or two issues where he’s seen getting out of bed with a man. So [maybe] 20 years from now? But there are no immediate plans.”

  • Heathcliff, For Why? – If you’re at all familiar with the syndicated comic strip Heathcliff, you may enjoy this blog that tries to make sense of what happens in the strip.

    We have another update to the Heathcliff Helmet Canon: the HEY helmet.

    I have many things to say about this.

    Why is he wearing the helmet in this scenario? Heathcliff normally wears a helmet when he’s about to attack something. This helmet seems inconsistent with his agenda of socializing with people at the party. Also, who are these people at the party? The Nutmegs don’t seem to have that many young friends. And why is grandpa a waiter at his own party?

    Pat, a friend of mine, pointed out that Heathcliff probably just told a racist joke. He’s probably not wrong. Also: are there any non-white people in Westfinster?

  • Making Warrior Accountable: A social media campaign – If any of you are in the market for soccer, lacrosse or hockey gear, here’s your reminder that Warrior is disgustingly misogynist and unapologetic about it.

    #Seriously? Warrior has clearly tapped into the shallow well of “sex sells”. But #CrossTheLine and “there’s more than one way to score” is crossing over from the land of generic objectification to overt promotion of rape culture. It’s not clever. It’s not provocative. It’s just plain misogynistic.

  • Why You Should Tip More Than You Do Now – I always tip generously, but I don’t like the suggestion that everyone should because people are underpaid. Employers should stop paying starvation wages and government should raise minimum wage to something people working full-time can live on without needing food stamps.

    Small gestures can make a cumulative big difference. Take an average housekeeper who earns $9 an hour before taxes. If 10 guests each left that housekeeper a $5 tip, her earnings (and it is usually a woman) would increase by more than 50 percent, or significantly above the poverty line for full-time work.

    The same is true in any number of situations we all encounter. Think about buying a meal at a fast food restaurant. Imagine that you regularly left a tip of 50 cents or $1, and 100 other customers did the same each day. Even splitting that total of $50 to $100 between two or three workers at a given restaurant would significantly increase each of their incomes.

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An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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One Response to “Links: Monday, July 14th”

  1. Meoskop

    To me tipping is a holdover of our class system. Every worker deserves a living wage, well adjusted for inflation. I overtip everywhere but I hate it.