English teacher moonlighting as school newspaper coach. I like words. The picture below is of plants called succulents. I like that word: succulents.

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Something Wicked This Way Comes: Witches and Modern Women

The Geek Anthropologist

Two weeks ago, I published a piece on modern monsters and their meanings within contemporary pop culture. Though I dug through the remains of zombies, vampires and kaiju, I intentionally avoided analysis of witches—I wanted to devote an entire piece that would provide me with the space to unpack the cultural resurgence of witches this year. I’m not talking about Hogwarts students—I’m talking toil and trouble, dances with the Devil in the pale moonlight, bad bitches hex magic witches. American Horror Story’s third season, Coven (2013-2014), conjured up a cast of New Orleans witches grappling to manifest the Seven Wonders and subsequently catapulted witches into the pop culture limelight yet again. While I have argued that zombies and vampires speak to concerns about climate change, capitalism and germ warfare, these witches serve a very different cultural purpose. With new shows like Salem (2014) and Witches of East End (2013-) on…

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Documenting an Apricot Harvest

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I had the opportunity to work with LEHO a non-profit based in Leh documenting the Apricot Harvest and the building of various structures for drying apricots in the summer and growing vegetables in the winter. Takmachik is a beautiful village along the Indus river about 5 hours from Leh via local bus.

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This gallery contains 35 photos

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How Valuable is the Bechdel Test?

Victim to Charm

Think about the last movie you saw. Were there two or more female characters? Did they talk to each other about something besides men?

The Bechdel test, created by Alison Bechdel, examines female roles in movies by asking three questions:

  • Are there two or more women in the film?
  • Do they talk to each other?
  • Is their conversation about something other than a man?

alison bechdel, dykes to watch out for From Alison Bechdel’s comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” (1985).

The test seems simple—women talk to each other about things besides men all the time in real life—yet a surprisingly high number of movies fail to represent this basic activity.

5540832_origThe test is so basic because it’s a standard that should be easy to pass. The fact that so many movies fail to achieve one, two, or all three of the test’s clauses highlights the rampant misogyny of the film industry. If a movie can’t…

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Howard University Hospital Treating Patient with Ebola Symptoms

Black America Web

A patient with Ebola-like symptoms is being treated at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C., a hospital spokesperson confirmed late Friday morning. The patient had traveled to Nigeria recently, reports local news station NBC4.

That person has been admitted to the hospital in stable condition, and is being isolated and tested. The medical team is working with the CDC to determine whether the patient has Ebola.

“In an abundance of caution, we have activated the appropriate infection control protocols, including isolating the patient,” said hospital spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton in a statement. “Our medical team continues to evaluate and monitor progress in close collaboration with the CDC and the Department of Health.”

No further details were released about the patient, citing privacy reasons, but said the hospital will provide updates as warranted.

As previously reported, the first case of Ebola in the United States was diagnosed Wednesday. That patient, Thomas Eric…

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GOP: “You want evidence of voter fraud? By God, we’ll give you evidence!”

Later On

Trigger warning: This article describes dangerous levels of irony. A woman running for Attorney General of Arkansas on the GOP ticket turns out to be registered to vote in at least 3 states—and has voted there. Since her voter registration in Virginia precludes her voting in Arkansas, she also cannot run for Attorney General in Arkansas, where candidates for state office must be able to vote in state elections.

Oddly, the GOP is outraged—not that the woman committed voter fraud (she’s a Republican, and Republicans in general are okay with things that outrage them if done by Democrats), but that she is being removed as a valid candidate.

The GOP has taken “Win at any cost” way, way beyond any decent limit.

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