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Showing posts from May, 2006

Big Brother (Male) - If threats don't work, try bribery

The Soviet government is trying bribery, offering the equivilant of US $36,000 to any woman who has a second child. The cost of raising a child to seventeen is somewhere between $140,000 and $280,000, not including pre-high school expenses or loss of income if one parent stays home. I'm not saying I wouldn't reject the $36,000 check if someone offered it to me, but I do have a little hint for those governments who really want more children. It won't guarantee your country is chock-full of kids but might help make it easier for those who do decide to help out the state of the union by reproducing: try national good quality health care; universal preschool and college; increased equality, and respect for women's reproductive and political rights. If that doesn't convince folks to have children then, hey, maybe they just don't want to.

Source: Rachel Neumann at Alternet

Clitoridectomy in the 21st century

Alice Dreger, a medical humanities and bioethics professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, gave an eye-opener to a woman considering surgery because of her shame about the large size of her clitoris.

Most of the surgeons out there hacking away at different-than-average clits don't know much about clitoral geography. They've finally started confessing this in the medical meetings I attend. For example, the nerves turn out to be in different places than most of them thought. Oops! And most of them don't know that most women masturbate by rubbing the shaft of the clit—which is kind of like how most men masturbate, by rubbing the shaft of their penises. Meanwhile the shaft is what surgeons typically remove, thinking only the glans (the nubbin at the tip) is what's important. Oops again!

Sistah! A note of appreciation

Sistah! I was just thinking about you. I realise that I never appreciated this enough: that you are a 360° person. The fights, the fun, the laughter, the intensity, the games, the sleeping in the sun, the reading - all those things made for a 360° relationship. And when I think of the friends of yours that I liked, Linda, Richard, Lesley, Bridget - they were all people that could handle your 360°ness and the thing that I appreciated about them was their 360°ness. I was thinking this morning about how uni-dimensional one has to be in relationships in order that that other person doesn't walk away. In a way we are going to spend the rest of our lives pretending that we only have this 1° and hiding the 359°. It's like living in a state of perpetual blackmail. And instead of appreciating what you were teaching me I tried to pare you down. Sorry. Thinking about this has definitely put a different slant on things. Thanks.

(The fact that she is so radically there, allows you to be mo…

Douglas Adams Towel Day 2006

25 May (the day his memorial took place after his death on 11 May 2001). To recognise Adams' invaluable contribution to the fine art of interstellar travel and the necessity to make the towel ubiquitous to travelling.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value—you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if y…

Call for Papers: Contemporary African women's writing of resistance

The editors of a second anthology in the series Women Writing Resistance seek writing by African women regarding resistance to particular challenges or oppressions faced by women in Africa today. Of especial interest are personal narratives, testimony, interviews, short stories, poetry, short plays, folktales, and lyrics. Visual art considered. Topics may include HIV/AIDS; FGM; sharia law; poverty and lack of access to education, health care, credit, political power; armed conflict, rape as a weapon of war and displacement; challenges of emigration and exile, legal or illegal; polygamy, abuse and lack of power in heterosexual relationships; resistant sexualities; intergenerational conflict and resistance; tradition vs. modernity; more. Deadline has been extended.
Tayo Jolaosho
Cell 617.671.5402

"To educate man to be actional, preserving in all his relations his respect for the basic values that constitute a human world, is the prime task of him, who having tak…

Lali Sher requests submissions of poems or short stories for publication in South Africa

Would you like to tell your story? We are looking for poems, short stories, fragments. Choose from a list of themes on the following pages. A book will be published. Written by South African Women. Let the themes below be a guideline. Send in your stories to:

On the edge
6 Degrees of connection. Synchronicity. Transformation Soul-hunger. Healing relationships. Separation. Extreme. Betrayed. Exile. Danger. Shape Shifter. Medicine woman.

Living your myth
He remains all his life a child. Finding Honeycomb. Love Potion. Ceremony and Ritual. Rites of Passage. Symbols of yourdream. The still small voice. Intimacy. The First Time. Raging Bull. What the bleep do we know? The Unconceived. Essence. Heartspace. Your legacy. The Sweetness of Silence.

Walking the labyrinth. Slow Tango. The Stamp of Anger. Where in your life did you stop dancing? Dance of life. Mitake uye osin - we are all related. Eve? Eve Cohen? Guardians of the culture. The Zen of Synchron…

Internet access should be a universal human right - information is the lifeblood of modern economies

MWEB newsletter: On, a local ICT expert called on government to make broadband Internet access freely available in South Africa. He likened it to a basic human right – similar to electricity or water – and suggested that by enabling more people to work effectively from home, free broadband access could significantly reduce urban road traffic. A 10% reduction in traffic could save South Africa as much as R6,5 billion per annum in oil alone.

Later: Finland has identified internet access as a human right (Time Magazine)

Ugly websites work - they say they care more for the customer than for polish

Mark Daoust, internet commentator.
From The Surprising Truth about Ugly Websites
When I wrote this article, I had beautiful, CSS designed websites in mind. The idea of an ugly website could present a positive message never crossed my mind. Yet the fact is, ugly websites do have the ability to present the perfect marketing message. What is that message?

You can trust us. We are a family run business and do not employ a marketing team. Our website is simple, but functional. Most importantly, our goal is to serve our customers, not necessarily learn HTML.

The end of my communications with Ruplestilt

You were all waiting on tenterhooks to find out what the last word was in the debate between Ruplestilt and Froglet. Over the brief month or two that we communicated I suspended my disbelief that there was a man worth noticing out there, and of course, predictably, I realised I had wasted my time:

On 05 May 2006, at 11:22 AM, Ruplestilt wrote (to his boss, but mistakenly Replied All):

It is however interesting to note that Froglet and I subsequently entered into quite lengthy discussions about the whole titling issue, feminism, etc. etc. at a personal level and that a good rapport was established between us relating to the the whole sexist / gender issue. That said - I am no longer communicating with her ... primarily because of her fixed mindset and unreasonable (if not irrational) views on these issues.

In those conversations she acknowledged that she is indeed a gay feminist / activist ... I suspect that she has been hurt in some or other big way and has a huge log on her shoulder a…

Monopolies are good for video sales, says Cory Doctorow

What if it were more expensive to produce and more expensive to distribute. If the economic rationale for creating a monopoly is that without it we would never get investment, then we should only create monopolies for investments that are taking place.
Cory Doctorow, in response to a statement by an interviewer that: It is less expensive to produce and less expensive to distribute if you centralise operations in video distribution.