If Earth Had Rings
First off, they would be really pretty to look at. They would also dominate the sky in both night and day at exactly the same place as they would never rise nor set. And at night you would see the Earth’s shadow swing across the rings, like in the 4th photo here.
However, life would be very different on Earth if this were the case. Nocturnal animals would have a hard time being nocturnal, as the light reflecting from the rings would illuminate the night.
Because we are closer to the Sun than Saturn is, the rings would be more rocky than ice, making them less bright but still pretty bright. In fact, you would see far less stars at night (living anywhere other than the equator or the arctic circle) because of the light pollution and not to mention ruin most meteor showers because of that.
During the day the rings would block sunlight in certain regions of the planet creating wild weather cycles and effecting plant life as well. So basically, they would be definitely pretty to look at but they would also make a whole lot of things screwy.
Illustrations by Ron Miller // io9
— Click the photos for captions
DANGIT EARTH! WHY YOU NO HAVE RINGS!
Not all “friends with benefits” (heretofore referred to as FWB) relationships are made equally — as one might expect when you “add sex and stir,” as some researchers have framed the 21st-century not-so-romantic setup. A cornerstone of the millennial generation’s “hookup culture,” FWB relationships may come off as straightforward sex-minus-dating arrangements, but as anyone who’s even flirted with FWBs knows, things can get complicated fast given how humans aren’t so keenly evolved toward cleanly separating sex with a consistent partner from feelings toward said consistent partner.
To better understand the complexities within FWBs, a 2011 study out of the University of Arizona identified seven (SEVEN!) varieties of FWB relationships. Based on interviews with heterosexual college students, they itemized the following FWB categories:
1) True friends: honest-to-goodness friends who established a platonic relationship long before they began fooling around together. Having sex actually is less common among these non-couples.
2) Network opportunism: often fueled by booze, these FWBs usually have friends in common, run into each other at social events, and go home together.
3) Just sex: need I explain further?
4) Successful transition: FWBs that turn into dating couples. Unlike what movies might like us to believe, this is a difficult transition to make, with only a 15 percent “success rate,” and half the time, it’s an unintentional romance.
5) Failed transition: FWBs that tried to date, but failed. A statistically likely outcome of an attempted FWB-to-dating move.
6) Unintentional transition: Oopsy dating! If FWB relationships turn into something more, this is usually how it happens — without anyone wishing and hoping from the outset that hookups will stoke genuine romance.
7) Transition out: Like FWBs in reverse. A couple breaks up, but continues sleeping together. Fun gender fact: men are more likely to report these kinds of setups, and researchers think it’s because they have a harder time ending relationships.
When was super depressed, I wasn’t working—I was always too depressed. Hemingway did his best work when he didn’t drink, then he drank himself to death and blew his head off with a shotgun. Someone asked John Cheever, “What’d you learn from Hemingway?” and he said “I learned not to blow my head off with a shotgun.” I remember going to the Michigan poetry festival, meeting Etheridge Knight there and Robert Creeley. Creeley was so drunk—he was reading and he only had one eye, of course, and had to hold his book like two inches from his face using his one good eye. But you look at somebody like George Saunders—I think he’s the best short story writer in English alive—that’s somebody who tries very hard to live a sane, alert life.
You’re present when you’re not drinking a fifth of Jack Daniel’s every day. It’s probably better for your writing career, you know? I think being tortured as a virtue is a kind of antiquated sense of what it is to be an artist.
In an interview with The Fix, Mary Karr debunks the toxic mythology that it is necessary to be damaged in order to be creative. My own vehement defiance to that mythology is what led me to choose Ray Bradbury – the ultimate epitome of creating from joy rather than suffering – as the subject of my contribution to The New York Times’ The Lives They Lived.
Pair with Karr on why writers write.
Aaaaaaand welcome to a new regular feature on this blog.
- Kummerspeck (German)
Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.
- Shemomedjamo (Georgian)
You know when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it?
- Tartle (Scots)
The nearly onomatopoeic word for that panicky hesitation just before you have to introduce someone whose name you can’t quite remember.
- Mamihlapinatapai (Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego)
This word captures that special look shared between two people, when both are wishing that the other would do something that they both want, but neither want to do.
- Backpfeifengesicht (German)
A face badly in need of a fist.
- Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet?
- Pelinti (Buli, Ghana)
Your friend bites into a piece of piping hot pizza, then opens his mouth and sort of tilts his head around while making an “aaaarrrahh” noise. The Ghanaians have a word for that. More specifically, it means “to move hot food around in your mouth.”
- Greng-jai (Thai)
That feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them.
- Mencolek (Indonesian)
You know that old trick where you tap someone lightly on the opposite shoulder from behind to fool them? The Indonesians have a word for it.
- Faamiti (Samoan)
To make a squeaking sound by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or child.
- Gigil (Filipino)
The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is irresistibly cute.
- Yuputka (Ulwa)
A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
- Zhaghzhagh (Persian)
The chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage.
- Vybafnout (Czech)
A word tailor-made for annoying older brothers—it means to jump out and say boo.
- Fremdschämen (German)
; Myötähäpeä (Finnish)
The kindler, gentler cousins of Schadenfreude, both these words mean something akin to “vicarious embarrassment.”
- Lagom (Swedish)
Maybe Goldilocks was Swedish? This slippery little word is hard to define, but means something like, “Not too much, and not too little, but juuuuust right.”
- Pålegg (Norweigian)
Sandwich Artists unite! The Norwegians have a non-specific descriptor for anything – ham, cheese, jam, Nutella, mustard, herring, pickles, Doritos, you name it – you might consider putting into a sandwich.
- Layogenic (Tagalog)
Remember in Clueless when Cher describes someone as “a full-on Monet…from far away, it’s OK, but up close it’s a big old mess”? That’s exactly what this word means.
- Bakku-shan (Japanese)
Or there this Japanese slang term, which describes the experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front.
- Seigneur-terraces (French)
Coffee shop dwellers who sit at tables a long time but spend little money.
- Ya’arburnee (Arabic)
This word is the hopeful declaration that you will die before someone you love deeply, because you cannot stand to live without them. Literally, may you bury me.
- Pana Po’o (Hawaiian)
“Hmm, now where did I leave those keys?” he said, pana po’oing. It means to scratch your head in order to help you remember something you’ve forgotten.
- Slampadato (Italian)
Addicted to the UV glow of tanning salons? This word describes you.
- Zeg (Georgian)
It means “the day after tomorrow.” OK, we do have “overmorrow” in English, but when was the last time someone used that?
- Cafune (Brazilian Portuguese)
Leave it to the Brazilians to come up with a word for “tenderly running your fingers through your lover’s hair.”
- Koi No Yokan (Japanese)
The sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall in love.
- Kaelling (Danish)
You know that woman who stands on her doorstep (or in line at the supermarket, or at the park, or in a restaurant)
cursing at her children? The Danes know her, too.
- Boketto (Japanese)
It’s nice to know that the Japanese think enough of the act of gazing vacantly into the distance without thinking to give it a name.
- L’esprit de l’escalier (French)
Literally, stairwell wit—a too-late retort thought of only after departure.
- Cotisuelto (Caribbean Spanish)
A word that would aptly describe the prevailing fashion trend among American men under 40, it means one who wears the shirt tail outside of his trousers.
- Packesel (German)
The packesel is the person who’s stuck carrying everyone else’s bags on a trip. Literally, a burro.
- Hygge (Danish)
Denmark’s mantra, hygge is the pleasant, genial, and intimate feeling associated with sitting around a fire in the winter with close friends.
- Cavoli Riscaldati (Italian)
The result of attempting to revive an unworkable relationship. Translates to “reheated cabbage.”
- Bilita Mpash (Bantu)
An amazing dream. Not just a “good” dream; the opposite of a nightmare.
- Litost (Czech)
Milan Kundera described the emotion as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.”
- Luftmensch (Yiddish)
There are several Yiddish words to describe social misfits. This one is for an impractical dreamer with no business sense.
The Feverfew // The Gift
This is the saddest song on my iPod, and the one I’m most likely to listen to after I’ve fucked up.
I hated myself as a kid. I started life as a normally-proportioned child, but my parents’, uh, “difficultiez” put me in a spot where I lived 3 hours from all of my friends without anything to do but watch TV and eat delicious, fresh baked cookies which were available all day, every day, against the better judgment of every adult around me.
Consequently, I put on weight. I really don’t know how much at first (maybe 40 or 50 pounds - at age 11), but I remember moving back home with tits, something I hadn’t had when I was playing baseball and basketball with my friends all day. When I tried to play sports again, I found it (unsurprisingly) difficult with the extra weight. I was disappointed that whatever athleticism I had when I was young was gone. I quit baseball and basketball to save myself the embarrassment.
One of my brothers found out that my little league coach was also a personal trainer, and suggested I work out with him. I started lifting weights right after my 13th birthday. I hated the work, but showed up diligently for years. I got strong but had little interest in cardio for a while, so I stayed somewhat overweight. I lost the weight in high school and gained it back when I got my first long-term girlfriend in college. I lost it again after that, and have mostly kept in shape for the last four or five years.
The self-hate resurfaced as a teenager. I was smart because I had grown up with much older siblings - 13, 16, and 17 years older than me - and learned quickly that if I wanted to be part of the conversation, I had to be smart AND funny. But I was awkward.
When I was 15, my class was assigned a long research paper meant to mimic the kind we’d see in college, and I chose to write about self-help programs. I downloaded 250++ hours of Norman Vincent Peele, Tony Robbins (I know - it was 10 years ago goddamnit let it go), Napoleon Hill, and other inspirational speakers/snake oil salespersons and listened to every single tape twice. Some more than that. It started as an experiment in outcomes: Could I make myself a person I could stand to be around?
So I started listening to self-help seminars, programs, and audiobooks and reading everything I could get my hands on. My research started in September of one year and wasn’t over until May of the following year. It was the rare assignment that I gave full effort to. I didn’t care about the grade. I really wanted to like myself. I wanted to be like the people around me that I thought so highly of. My brothers. My cousin, Dave. My sister’s boyfriend at the time, Joe. Anyone but myself.
I remember the desperation as I tried to fix all of the problems I saw with myself. I was impatient to change it all immediately.
I didn’t understand that change is not a lightbulb moment. It isn’t some new, mindblowing revelation that re-focuses your perspective on everything. Instead, it’s the small stuff - the busywork of trying to change. It’s being conscious of the decision you’re about to make, and choosing the option that hasn’t led to trouble before, even (/especially) if that’s the decision you’d prefer to make. As the Jesuits reminded us frequently, “We are what we do repeatedly. Excellence, therefore, is not a virtue, but a habit.”
I’m getting better. I’ve stopped trying to change so many things about myself, and become happier with what I have. I need to get better at keeping in touch with people. I need to make more ca$h. I need to take classes again. I need to see more of the city. But I know myself, and I know I’ll get around to all of it. For now, for once, I’m going to try to enjoy a little bit of the work I’ve done already, and be happy that I hear this song less and less for the wrong reason.
A healthy relationship means that both members of the couple are…
1. Communicating with each other: Talking about problems without screaming and shouting; listening to each other, and respecting their viewpoint; being willing to adapt and to sometimes change their mind.
2. Showing respect for one another: Valuing the other person’s culture, beliefs, viewpoints, opinions and boundaries. Also, treating each other in a kind and caring way.
3. Demonstrating and conveying trust: Each person is trustworthy and trusts the other person – because they have been shown that they are worthy of that trust.
4. Honest with each other: Both are open and honest – but are private as well; and they don’t demand the other person tells them everything.
5. Equals: They make joint decisions and treat each other well. No person calls the shots or determines all the rules.
6. Able to enjoy their own personal space: As well as spending time together, they spend time on their own. They’re respect the fact they’re different, and they need their own life, too.
7. Decisions about sex are discussed, and are consensual: They discuss sex together, including birth control. There’s no one individual sets the rules and standards here.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship
An unhealthy relationship develops where one, or both, of the partners is…
1. Failing to communicate: Problems are ignored, or not talked about at all. One or both don’t really listen, and they rarely compromise.
2. Acting in ways that are disrespectful: One or both are inconsiderate toward the other person; and they don’t behave in ways that send the message that they care.
3. Refusing to trust the other person: One or both is suspicion of their partner’s loyalty. Hence, they make false accusations, or won’t believe the truth.
4. Acting in a way that is dishonest: One or both is deceptive, or they lie and hide the truth.
5. Acting in a controlling way: One person thinks that they should set the one who rules, controls the other person, and say how things should be.
6. Beginning to feel squashed and smothered / cutting themselves off from friends and family: One partner is possessive, or feels threatened and upset, when the other’s with their family or spends time with their friends.
7. Attempting to pressurise the other into sexual activity / refusing to talk openly about birth control: One partner wants the other to participate in sex, or to engage in different practices against that’s person’s will. Or, one of the partners stops using birth control, or expects the other person to “take care of all that.”
Signs of an abusive relationship
An abusive relationship develops when one of the parties…
1. Starts to communicate in ways that are abusive: When arguments occur, one of the partners screams and cusses, or they verbally threaten or attack the other person.
2. Shows disrespect through acting in abusive ways: This is where one of the partners abuse, harms or threatens the physical safety of the other individual.
3. Wrongly accuses their partner of flirting or cheating: One of the partners is convinced – with no real grounds – that their partner is cheating or having an affair. Thus, they lash out verbally, or hurt, the accused partner.
4. Refuses to accept responsibility for the abuse: When they fly into a rage or act in ways that are abusive, they miminise their actions and refuse to accept blame. They may even blame their partner for “causing the abuse.”
5. Starts to control the other partner: One partner has no say as the other sets the rules – and arguing against that simply leads to more abuse.
6. Does what they can to isolate their partner: One partner has control of who the other person sees, the way they spend their time – and, even, clothes they buy and wear. Thus, they start to lose their confidence and personality.
7. Forces sexual activity: The frequency, type and circumstances for sex are determined by one partner – and the other must comply. If they don’t acquiesce it leads to violence or abuse. Also, sometimes violence is included in the sex.
Do you always give in, or let other people choose, or hide what you think, or never ask to have your way? Perhaps you fear disapproval or disappointing others, and the last thing you want is to make somebody mad. If this profile describes you then you may be a people pleaser … and maybe it is time to stand up for yourself. Below are some tips that can help you with this:
1. Think of five occasions when you’ve said or done something that didn’t really match up with your own wants and needs – but you ignored those in order to please somebody else. Now, take the time to think through what else you could have done to get what you wanted, instead of caving in. Ask yourself “What is the worst thing that could possibly have happened? What were my worst fears, and were they realistic fears?”
2. Examine your fears in a balanced way. Would it really be so awful if a friend got annoyed? Do you need that type of person? What if they walk away? There are lots of other people who won’t demand compliance but will accept and respect you for who, and what, you are.
3. Look at your ability to set boundaries. Ask yourself, “What requests and behaviours are unacceptable to me?” Can you separate what’s normal from what’s unreasonable? Do you know what it feels like to be treated with respect? Are you able to say “no” and enforce good boundaries?
4. Look at your background and your family life. A lot of people pleasers were raised in families that expected full compliance – so their needs were not considered. Instead, they were expected to join in, to keep their feelings to themselves, to do what others wanted, and not ask for anything.
5. Don’t look to others for your self-esteem. It is good to be kind and to think of other people – but you must do that out of choice not a need for approval. And if you let other people determine your self-worth then you’ll never be free to a unique individual.
6. Learn to say “no” without explaining yourself. Don’t think of explanations, or justify yourself, or explain your different reasons, or ask to be excused. You’ll be surprised to discover people rarely take offense - and the people who do are not the ones you want to please!
7. Start to ask for what you want. Start to share your opinions, desires and ideas. Begin to make some requests, and to disagree with others. We’re all individuals with different preferences and healthy relationships are based on give and take.
It reminds me of that famous Margaret Atwood quote: “Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” It also reminds me of something written by one of the mods of Sex Worker Problems: “Misandry irritates. Misogyny kills.”
Prison Labor Exposed: From Starbucks to Microsoft - A sampling of what US prisoners make & for whom
May 21, 2013
Tens of thousands of US inmates are paid from pennies to minimum wage—minus fines and victim compensation—for everything from grunt work to firefighting to specialized labor.
The breaded chicken patty your child bites into at school may have been made by a worker earning twenty cents an hour, not in a faraway country, but by a member of an invisible American workforce: prisoners. At the UnionCorrectional Facility, a maximum security prison in Florida, inmates from a nearby lower-security prison manufacture tons of processed beef, chicken and pork for Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises (PRIDE), a privately held non-profit corporation that operates the state’s forty-one work programs. In addition to processed food, PRIDE’s website reveals an array of products for sale through contracts with private companies, from eyeglasses to office furniture, to be shipped from a distribution center in Florida to businesses across the US. PRIDE boasts that its work programs are “designed to provide vocational training, to improve prison security, to reduce the cost of state government, and to promote the rehabilitation of the state inmates.”
And Each month, California inmates process more than 680,000 pounds of beef, 400,000 pounds of chicken products, 450,000 gallons of milk, 280,000 loaves of bread, and 2.9 million eggs (from 160,000 inmate-raised hens).Starbucks subcontractor Signature Packaging Solutions has hired Washington prisoners to package holiday coffees (as well as Nintendo Game Boys). Confronted by a reporter in 2001, a Starbucks rep called the setup “entirely consistent with our mission statement.”
Texas inmates produce brooms and brushes, bedding and mattresses, toilets, sinks, showers, and bullwhips.
In Texas, prisoners make officers’ duty belts, handcuff cases, and prison-cell accessories. California convicts make gun containers, creepers (to peek under vehicles), and human-silhouette targets.
A stitch in time: California inmates sew their own garb. In the 1990s, subcontractor Third Generation hired 35 female South Carolina inmates to sew lingerie and leisure wear for Victoria’s Secret and JCPenney. In 1997, a California prison put two men in solitary for telling journalists they were ordered to replace “Made in Honduras” labels on garments with “Made in the usa.”
Open wide: At California’s prison dental laboratory, inmates produce a complete prosthesis selection, including custom trays, try-ins, bite blocks, and dentures.
Constructive criticism: Prisoners in for burglary, battery, drug and gun charges, and escape helped build a Wal-Mart distribution center in Wisconsin in 2005, until community uproar halted the program. (Company policy says, “Forced or prison labor will not be tolerated by Wal-Mart.”)
On call: Its inmate call centers are the “best kept secret in outsourcing,” Unicor boasts. In 1994, a contractor for GOP congressional hopeful Jack Metcalf hired Washington state prisoners to call and remind voters he was pro-death penalty. Metcalf, who prevailed, said he never knew.
Federal Prison Industries, a.k.a. Unicor, says that in addition to soldiers’ uniforms, bedding, shoes, helmets, and flak vests, inmates have “produced missile cables (including those used on the Patriot missiles during the Gulf War)” and “wiring harnesses for jets and tanks.” In 1997, according to Prison Legal News, Boeing subcontractor MicroJet had prisoners cutting airplane components, paying $7 an hour for work that paid union wages of $30 on the outside.
THE WAR ON DRUGS
CAN FUCKING BURN FOREVER
FOR FUCKING EVER
I’ve said it before, and this reaffirms my concerns, the war on drugs is a modern day slave trade.