Linkspam, 12/14/12 Edition

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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December 14, 2012

Adding a New Dimension to an Old Explosion: Officially known as 1E0102.2-7219, a supernova remnant in the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Adding a New Dimension to an Old Explosion

Linkspam is here to BLOW YOUR MIND.

Both me and Donna are interested in food justice and accessibility, so here are a few links on that subject:

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  1. Brie

    I don’t understand what happened with that BB101 post about original content either. I thought bloggers were the ones who should have been offended by it, given that the tone was more judgmental than helpful, especially coming from a blogger who has her own Blog Tour/Promotion service and has talked about how she started her blog as a marketing experiment. It’s your blog and you do what you want with it, right? Besides, there are so many blogs out there that if one doesn’t meet your particular tastes and needs, other sure will. But I doubt there was any malice behind that post, and it certainly wasn’t bullying (not to mention that she had a valid point). But then an author on twitter took offence of the word Demand, and the wank-fest started. That was also weird, because the whole post was about telling bloggers to be more original, so what’s wrong with asking the same of authors? Funny how that author takes offense of the word demand, but when his girlfriend has a very public, ridiculous author meltdown, he responds with a mild joke and nothing else. He was obviously saving the indignation for later.

    I’m off to read the links! Anna Cowan is awesome, right? I think my favorite post so far has been Cecilia Grant’s.

    • Natalie

      Yeah, that was part of what was so weird about the reaction on Twitter from the party you reference. Really bizarre.

      Cecilia Grant’s post was just amazingness.

  2. A. T. Greenblatt

    Oh man, I’m having way too much fun with this list. Thanks for putting it together Natalie.

    • Natalie

      You’re quite welcome! I really enjoy putting this post together each week–it’s the sort of thing I’d be reading anyhow, so it makes sense to share!

  3. donna

    You know, I have to tell you that I think that guy at Vorpal Bunny Ranch kind of misses the point about the SNAP thing. I get what he’s saying and all, but I wish he’d have thought about it a bit. I don’t disagree with the points he’s making about a sustained lack of access to food being an entirely different thing from a week, of course, because it is, but that’s not really the point of the challenge. The point of it is to draw attention to things that he’s pointing out so that we can rethink things like nutrition education and food accessibility. So in fact, Booker’s participation served its purpose.

    • Natalie

      I thought it was an interesting perspective. And I think the Vorpal Bunny Ranch person has a good point–there have been a number of high profile people who make a big deal about eating only what they can acquire with SNAP benefits in order to draw attention to the deficiencies of the program and then nothing changes. I have hope that Booker will actually use his position (and his huge amount of political capital) to push for the policy changes that are required in order for real improvement to happen.

    • donna

      I think nothing has changed because people are taking the wrong data from these challenges. Is eating a healthy diet on $30/week almost impossible? Yes, yes it is. However, the people who think anyone who needs assistance is some sort of moocher all point to people like Booker who do this and say “ploy to give the bums more $$.” THAT’S why nothing changes. Here’s the thing I took away from Booker’s comments myself–this is a well-educated man who is, in fact, a vegetarian. Who DOES have access to grocery stores. And he was struggling–he was hungry, he didn’t think his choices through, and he nearly ran out of food by the end of it. And Booker’s been making the rounds talking about his experience–how small, not costly changes in the way we educate people about food, nutrition, and budgeting could make enormous improvements, how the experience humbled him in so many ways. But until you convince the right wing of government that fixing food stability and access will fix about 15 other problems–and all for a relatively cheap investment–nothing will change.

      And I didn’t say the guy didn’t have valid points–just that I thought he missed the point of people like Booker doing the challenge. What I’d LIKE to see is Michelle Obama do it. And talk about it. More high profile people getting involved will help focus people on the issue’s important aspects and help stop the whole “moochers buying candy bars” stereotype.

  4. Rosary

    I live in Arkansas the state with the highest food insecurity rates, so anything that highlights the issue is good. However, yes more needs to be done…afterall ketchup is still classed as a vegetable here.

    • Natalie

      I used to not have a car and this was before the Wal-Mart half a mile away had its small frozen/refrigerated and shelf-stable foods grocery section (no produce or fresh meat), so I used to be in a food desert. And money was tight and I had to rely on someone else to take me to the store when she was in the mood to do so which happened once a month or so. I am so, so, so lucky that I was able to pull myself up out of that–and a lo tof people aren’t so lucky. Consequently, I feel very strongly about it and while it’s great that people like Booker are raising awareness there need to be changes in policy, too. And not just in term of providing more money via SNAP, but reliable and comprehensive public transit, designing our common spaces to be friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists, et cetera et cetera et cetera. It’s a quality of life issue that affects all of us in one way or another.

    • donna

      Fwiw–I spent a very embarrassing 4 months on SNAP when I was a grad student. It was that or go hungry. I was down to my last $20 and I didn’t get paid in the summers, and I had a very hard time finding a job. I got $20/week. I was not buying steaks on that, believe me. Natalie’s point about public transit and so forth below is a good one but I lived in a small mill town with no such animal. I walked everywhere because I couldn’t afford the gas for my car. If you live in a metropolitan area, your options are generally better. It’s the folks in rural areas especially who need assistance actually getting to the food.

  5. Selki

    Loved the Cecilia Grant interview and comments including “A light-and-fluffy romance is an unapologetic expression of hope, and therefore a good, gutsy thing to write or read”, “fools for love”, and more.
    Also enjoyed the Architrave idea and Scott Lynch smackdown. Enjoy is not the right word for Helen of Troy, incarceration, or Booker articles, but also good linkspam.

    • donna

      Isn’t the Architrave site an awesome idea? I wish I’d have thought of it.

  6. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    I completely missed the Twitter weirdness on the parajunkee post, who was getting mad about it? I kinda see her point honestly, since I mostly skip a lot of the posts in my feed since they just aren’t interesting anymore 🙁 Anyway, I’m a new follower, just found the blog 😀


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