Category Archives: linkage

Random Tidbits

1. The Hatchling used to pronounce her favorite movie trilogy “Stah Woahs,” which we enjoyed because it made her sound like Randy Newman. Now she’s (finally) getting her R’s she says it more like “Str Wrrrs,” which is less cute but equally funny.

2. In other Hatchling-speech related news, the kid has recently added another global region to her universe of accents. We used to call her The Swedish Chef because of how she pronounces her “U’s” (“Mama, wanna listen to some müüüsic?” “Mama, what are yüüü doing today?” “Mama, are yüüü coming outside tüüü?”). She still goes Swede on a regular basis, but recently, out of nowhere, she’s pronouncing her short “A’s” like she comes from upstate New York. “Dance” sounds like “dee-yance.” “Back” sounds like “bee-yak.” “Have” comes out “hee-yave.” Where, oh where does it come from? Neither of her parents is from upstate NY. Or Sweden, for that matter. What will be next? Hungarian? Portuguese? I’m hoping for Irish, myself.

3. In other Lucas-related news, we have recently realized that the Sprout, who has quite a husky voice for an eleven-month-old baby girl, sounds EXACTLY like an Ewok.

4. We found Mr. Squab’s old baby book the other day, and discovered that when he was ten months old, he weighed THIRTY ONE POUNDS. For those of you who are childless, this is an almost literally unbelievable amount for a ten month old to weigh. “I guess that’s where the kids get it,” he says. Sheesh. I guess! In totally unrelated news, my stepmother had to get her neck adjusted after our last visit, because she was holding the Sprout too much and IT THREW HER NECK OUT.

Here are some links that have been sitting in my browser forever:

  • This is an amazing article, both for the science itself and for the personality metaphor. Are you a dandelion or an orchid?
  • If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be Mr. Squab (who is a graphic designer), this comic will give you a pretty clear idea.
  • Everybody and their brother has already linked to this, but in case you haven’t seen it: Unhappy Hipsters, y’all.
  • Kate Harding wrote an excellent essay on the Kevin Smith/Southwest episode.
  • Save the Words!

Preventing sexual assault: Tips guaranteed to work!

Love this.

Please distribute this list. Put it up in your place of work, in your university’s library or wherever you think they might be read:

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behavior.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “on accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Via. (h/t to my mom)

Tab Dump

Some interesting stuff from around the interwebs, aka LazyBlogging:

This is the kind of thing I think the internet was designed for. Beautiful.

The Carnival of Feminist Parenting.

A beginning annotated bibliography of Doubt.

This is EXACTLY what I think about the Harry Potter movies.

Speaking of which, these are the best damn interviews with the Harry Potter cast EVER. So lovely.

This makes me so angry I could cry.

An online gallery for the British Library? Yes, please.

John Hughes’ teenage pen-pal recalls his correspondence.

The physics of porridge

This might be the best thing I’ve read on the internets all year:

The only way that the story can make sense is if, for some reason, the Mama Bear has the smallest portion of porridge. In which case, this is a story with a very different moral than the original– it’s a story about the oppression of the Mama Bear, either because the patriarchy is forcing her to eat only the scraps left behind after her husband and child have had their fill, or because the unhealthy woodland media culture has saddled her with a negative body image, leading to an eating disorder.

You really need to read the whole thing.

Tell it!

So, it’s Friday afternoon, and I’m sitting at the dining room table pumping out some extra milk while checking blogs, and I come across this post on babble which almost makes me stand up at the table and shout YESSS! only I don’t because that might wake up the baby and WE DO NOT WAKE UP THE BABY. Anyhoo, it’s this essay about breastfeeding and cultural attitudes thereon, and you really SHOULD read the whole thing, but the part that made me want to jump up and yell was this:

We tell women that breast is best, we tell them to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, we even tell them it will raise their kid’s IQ (and we should give that a rest), and then we send them home with formula samples, or with a baby whose throat is too sore to suckle, or a mom whose milk is delayed because of surgery, and we don’t teach technique, and we are offended when a woman breastfeeds in public, so we make her feel housebound, and we don’t give a mother and her partner paid leave, and we send her to go back to a workplace without on-site childcare, and so her only alternative to formula is to plug her nipples into a machine, and if she’s lucky she gets periodic breaks and a “non-bathroom lactation room” in which to pump, and if she’s not she gets a toilet, and so on and so forth.

It’s no wonder women are ready to burn their nursing bras.

But it’s not that these public health recommendations are grounded in some return-to-the-1950s conspiracy, as Rosin suggests; they’re grounded in physiology. And science is validating the physiology of the mother-baby dyad — that is, both are healthier when they remain close to each other during the first several months postpartum. It’s not simply the milk that’s inimitable; it’s the mothering. (Indeed, “We actually don’t know if feeding infants human milk has the same benefits as breastfeeding,” says Labbok.) And mothering is something that our culture does not value enough to support. It is this dissonance between physiology and culture that has women so frustrated, and feminists like Rosin grasping at the bottle as a proxy for equality.

But is that really what we want? Powder rather than real power? In a brilliant New Yorker piece about the rise of the breast pump, Jill Lepore questions the direction of breastfeeding advocacy, which seems to be settling on the pump as a compromise to this conflict, with tax incentives for businesses with “Mother’s Rooms” in which babies are explicitly not welcome (“pump stations,” Lepore calls them) and Baby-Friendly hospitals sending women home with manual plastic pumps, and the president of the National Organization for Women calling for more “corporate lactation” programs. “It appears no longer within the realm of the imaginable that . . . ‘breastfeeding-friendly’ could mean making it possible for women and their babies to be together,” writes Lepore. “When did ‘women’s rights’ turn into ‘the right to work’?”

What a great question. Why did American feminism evolve in such a way that we think of biology as destiny, and that destiny as a prison? Why are we so willing to surrender the parts and processes that makes us female rather than demanding that society support them? We’ve broken down doors and cracked glass ceilings, when what we need to do is redesign the building.

YEEEEESSSSSSSSSS. How can we get policy makers to hear this and understand it? How can we get the medical establishment to give breastfeeding and mothering in general more than just verbal support? (Did anyone ever mention to me that my c-sections were likely the reason my milk took so long to come in? No. And have I told you about the crazy night nurse who told me I shouldn’t breastfeed my baby or hold it for too long?!!?) Breast is best: OK. We get it. But it’s also goddamnmotherfucking HARD for a whole lot of us, for a whole host of reasons. Maybe it’s time for the people pushing the breast-is-best message to stop using it to make mothers feel guilty and start using it to push for social changes that will actually enable families to breastfeed if they can or find optimal alternatives if they can’t. For chrissakes.

Oh, and on the same topic – this post has some interesting information, too.

Happy Earth Day

Three things:

1. Not to harsh your enviro-buzz, but check out this post by Kevin Drum. Really puts all that recycling you’re so committed to in perspective, don’t it? (Not that I’m going to quit recycling or anything. But perhaps some legislative oversight is in order, no?)

2. This is a damn good op-ed.

3. Go look at this blog, and crack up. I can SOOOO see the Hatchling doing something like this.

Now go do something tree-huggy.

Friday Link Dump

Trying to get rid of some of my open tabs …

Don’t get me wrong, I want higher safety standards for US toys … but leave it to congress to enact regulations that will pretty much ban small handcrafted (and safe) toys from the market. Oy.

Did you hear that Oprah’s gained weight again? This is the best possible response to that – and to anyone else who’s stuck in the lose/gain cycle.

I can’t say I’m fluent in any foreign language; nevertheless, translation – esp. of fiction and poetry – is one of my favorite literary activities (and something I have a bit of a knack for, I have been told). It’s an underappreciated art form, with many pitfalls – as the case of Elfriede Jelinek demonstrates.

The best book covers of 2008 – because some of us do, indeed, judge a book by its cover.

Enjoy.