Twitter Feed Highlights the Shocking Number of Black People Killed by Police
collecting images, stories and artifacts to bring to the media-rich classroom
Twitter Feed Highlights the Shocking Number of Black People Killed by Police
Jack Kerouac on whether writers are born or made and the crucial difference between genius and talent, applicable to all creative fields
We never say that all men deserve to feel beautiful. We never say that each man is beautiful in his own way. We don’t have huge campaigns aimed at young boys trying to convince them that they’re attractive, probably because we very rarely correlate a man’s worth with his appearance. The problem is that a woman’s value in this world is still very much attached to her appearance, and telling her that she should or deserves to feel beautiful does more to promote that than negate it. Telling women that they “deserve” to feel pretty plays right in to the idea that prettiness should be important to them. And having books and movies aimed at young women where every female protagonist turns out to be beautiful (whereas many of the antagonists are described in much less flattering terms) reinforces the message that beauty has some kind of morality attached to it, and that all heroines are somehow pretty.
"I think there are two primary jobs that a jacket has to do: It has to represent a text and it has to sell it. In a way, a book jacket … is sort of like a title that an author comes up with. It’s one thing that has to speak to a big aggregate thing, which is the book itself. And it has to be compelling in some way such that you’re interested enough to pick it up — and perhaps buy it. … It’s like a billboard or an advertisement or a movie trailer or a teaser. …
I think of a book jacket as being sort of like a visual reminder of the book, but … it’s also a souvenir of the reading experience. Reading takes place in this nebulous kind of realm, and in a way, the jacket is part of the thing that you bring back from that experience. It’s the thing that you hold on to.”
- Peter Mendelsund, book jacket designer
Don’t want to read detailed description filled with coding and lingo about why laying out text for ebooks is still difficult? I know me too. This video does a very good job for the layman - and they have British accents. ~ eP
Have you ever eagerly downloaded an e-book only to find that it’s a hideously formatted mess that irritates you at every page turn? Of course you have (especially if you favor free or cheap e-books). This video explains why those insults to typesetting occur.
The problem boils down to the choice of algorithm that’s used to render the text. While fancy software exists to typeset beautifully, your Kindle favors a lazy layout instead, because it uses something far more efficient in order to save resources. In other words, a Kindle’s typesetting is kind to its battery—but not, necessarily, your eyes.
Adam Gopnik on the way that images provoke terror in the post-9/11 era:
"We are at once inured to the undifferentiated imagery of horror and deeply vulnerable to specific images, to images of people like us alive and helpless in the face of death. The three elements—alive, helpless, like us—seem essential to provoking terror through imagery. The fear of the living moves us in ways that the bodies of the dead do not."
Illustration by Wesley Allsbrook
New York Times reporter James Risen, via Twitter.
James Risen recently won the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award for excellence in journalism.
The Pulitzer Prize winning national security reporter has long been hounded by the US Justice Department to disclose his confidential sources from his 2006 book State of War.
As the Washington Post wrote back in August, “Prosecutors want Mr. Risen’s testimony in their case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official who is accused of leaking details of a failed operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Risen properly has refused to identify his source, at the risk of imprisonment. Such confidential sources are a pillar of how journalists obtain information. If Mr. Risen is forced to reveal the identity of a source, it will damage the ability of journalists to promise confidentiality to sources and to probe government behavior.”
While accepting the Lovejoy Award, Risen had this to say:
The conventional wisdom of our day is the belief that we have had to change the nature of our society to accommodate the global war on terror. Incrementally over the last thirteen years, Americans have easily accepted a transformation of their way of life because they have been told that it is necessary to keep them safe. Americans now slip off their shoes on command at airports, have accepted the secret targeted killings of other Americans without due process, have accepted the use of torture and the creation of secret offshore prisons, have accepted mass surveillance of their personal communications, and accepted the longest continual period of war in American history. Meanwhile, the government has eagerly prosecuted whistleblowers who try to bring any of the government’s actions to light.
Americans have accepted this new reality with hardly a murmur. Today, the basic prerequisite to being taken seriously in American politics is to accept the legitimacy of the new national security state that has been created since 9/11. The new basic American assumption is that there really is a need for a global war on terror. Anyone who doesn’t accept that basic assumption is considered dangerous and maybe even a traitor.
Today, the U.S. government treats whistleblowers as criminals, much like Elijah Lovejoy, because they want to reveal uncomfortable truths about the government’s actions. And the public and the mainstream press often accept and champion the government’s approach, viewing whistleblowers as dangerous fringe characters because they are not willing to follow orders and remain silent.
The crackdown on leaks by first the Bush administration and more aggressively by the Obama administration, targeting both whistleblowers and journalists, has been designed to suppress the truth about the war on terror. This government campaign of censorship has come with the veneer of the law. Instead of mobs throwing printing presses in the Mississippi River, instead of the creation of the kind of “enemies lists” that President Richard Nixon kept, the Bush and Obama administrations have used the Department of Justice to do their bidding. But the effect is the same — the attorney general of the United States has been turned into the nation’s chief censorship officer. Whenever the White House or the intelligence community get angry about a story in the press, they turn to the Justice Department and the FBI and get them to start a criminal leak investigation, to make sure everybody shuts up.
What the White House wants is to establish limits on accepted reporting on national security and on the war on terror. By launching criminal investigations of stories that are outside the mainstream coverage, they are trying to, in effect, build a pathway on which journalism can be conducted. Stay on the interstate highway of conventional wisdom with your journalism, and you will have no problems. Try to get off and challenge basic assumptions, and you will face punishment.
Journalists have no choice but to fight back, because if they don’t they will become irrelevant.
Bonus: The NSA and Me, James Bamford’s account of covering the agency over the last 30 years, via The Intercept.
Double Bonus: Elijah Parish Lovejoy was a minister in the first half of the 19th century who edited an abolitionist paper called the St. Louis Observer. He was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837. More via Wikipedia.
Images: Selected tweets via James Risen.
By using words such as “girly” or “manly” we inadvertently buy into gender stereotyping. We play with toys designed for our gender, we play different sports based on gender, we often go to segregated schools… If we want equality, it will take more effort than paying women the same as men, or giving women equal opportunities. We must all make an active decision to change our language. We must stop pressuring each other to fit stereotypes which more often than not leaves us feeling repressed and unable to express ourselves. We must not let gender define us.
By using words such as “girly” or “manly” we inadvertently buy into gender stereotyping. We play with toys designed for our gender, we play different sports based on gender, we often go to segregated schools…
If we want equality, it will take more effort than paying women the same as men, or giving women equal opportunities. We must all make an active decision to change our language. We must stop pressuring each other to fit stereotypes which more often than not leaves us feeling repressed and unable to express ourselves. We must not let gender define us.
Three decades earlier, Susan Sontag spoke beautifully to this limiting power of gender stereotypes.(via explore-blog)
Last year, 22-time Emmy award-winning reporter John Stofflet posted this news video he created for KING-TV in 2004, featuring Paul Smith and his artistic talents.
Joshua Rothman on “Kafkaesque” elements of the the online world:
“Facebook has become a dream space of judgment—a place where people you may know only in the most casual way suddenly reveal themselves to be players in a pervasive system of discipline. The site is an accusation…