Quickies

Quickies: How Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Protesters, the End of Net Neutrality, and the Myth of Colonial Calves

  • New Trends in Getting Mad Online – “Just to reiterate, with his actual, biological son seemingly unwilling to take part in his lame dad’s flame wars, Michael Rapaport enlisted his assistant to pose as his son in order to own the trolls online, going so far as to roleplay parenting his fake son on Twitter.”
  • Were Colonial Men Obsessed With Their Calves? – “In a world where the current U.S. president has spent his life defending the size of his hands, it’s both amusing and humbling to consider that giants of history might have had their own now-ridiculous sticking point. There’s just one problem: it’s probably not true. Or at least, not as true as people seem to want it to be.”
  • 5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Protesters – “You, in your quest to keep the system from changing, can now reframe the issue not as oppressors vs. the oppressed but as citizens vs. criminals — supporting their cause means supporting violence. The TV will be full of images of burning convenience stores and looted storefronts, at which point the majority will then smirkingly say, ‘I would never protest government oppression by mindlessly destroying someone’s private property!’ “
  • A machine that used to be considered punishment is now a $1.4 billion fitness industry – “The changes started by the Industrial Revolution took root in the 20th century, which paved the way for treadmills to become machines meant for privilege instead of punishment. In the 1920s, photos of beautiful Gatsby-era women in high heels standing on wooden treadmills portrayed the machine as fashionable and luxurious.”
  • How I Am Not Your Negro Is a Reminder of Hollywood’s Power to Lie – “It’s impossible to view early black-and-white film propaganda—under the backdrop of Baldwin’s encapsulations of white power, guilt and forgiveness of their sins—and not consider its relevance to the ongoing diversity debate in Hollywood. In dwelling on history, Peck and Baldwin outline the reasons the push for inclusion in movies is still so strong and why it requires such frequent audits. As Peck lets Baldwin explain, white filmmakers not only controlled but fabricated a world as they saw it, in disgustingly warped fashion. And even now, in stories centered around black people, white creators largely steer the narrative.”
  • Is Fancy Butter Actually Better for Baking? – “French- or European-style butter is considered the highest quality; it contains a bit more fat, thus less water than what we Americans call ‘regular’ butter and often made from cultured cream, which may make it taste divine. Home bakers, intent on using the best ingredients, may assume swapping “better” butter for regular butter will produce better baking results. That’s not necessarily true.”
  • This Sure Feels Like the Beginning of the End of Net Neutrality – “Though the way the FCC has chosen to phrase their position may sound good on the face—exploiting the popularity of ‘free data’ with ‘low-income Americans,’ for example—a cursory look at what else the FCC’s done today eliminates any possibility that they actually care about low-income Americans accessing the internet.”
  • The big lesson of Trump’s first 2 weeks: resistance works – “Trump is getting things done, but all presidents do that. Look at what he’s not getting done. A Republican-controlled Congress bowed to public outrage over an attempt to water down an ethics office. Trump dramatically downscaled his own executive order barring entry to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries. He’s having unprecedented difficulty getting his Cabinet nominees confirmed even though the Senate’s rules have changed to make confirmations easier than ever. Conservatives in Congress have put their big plans to privatize Medicare and public lands on hold. And the drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act is running into very big trouble.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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