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mai 2014

The Phone Call

Beth Teliho

kids

I press number three to play the message. His voice jumps through the phone and squeezes my heart so hard I have to sit down. He’s singing to me.

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, dear Bethie. Happy birthday to you.

I close my eyes and press play again. His voice sounds so pure. So…absolutely him it takes my breath away. I can reach out and touch the memories it’s conjuring. Us climbing trees. Exploring creeks. Getting in trouble for eating all the Debbie Snack Cakes Mom just bought for our school lunches. Dissolving in laughter at his dark wit and ridiculously awful impressions. The time he needed stitches after using the weed eater for the first time. And of course the fights. There’s nothing quite as vicious as a sibling fight.

Play.

Happy birthday to you….

Heart Squeeze.

The voice I’m hearing is just him. True him. At the core. Not…

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Publicités

Dress Coded: An Education on (unnecessary) Sexualization

Sophieologie

dress-coded-1

When one Illinois middle school cluelessly decided to ban leggings & yoga pants because they were « distracting to the boys », they probably didn’t have any idea it would be the catalyst to a national conversation about dress codes in school.

I mean, dress codes are like, so un-controversial. Until now.

Now, all sorts of interesting stories are surfacing. Girls wearing the same regulation gym outfits, but the curvier ones are getting dress-coded. Tall girls getting dress-coded for short garments, even though they’re finger-tip length, while short girls seem to not draw the same leg-bearing ire. One girl getting sent home from prom for wearing pants. Another girl was sent home from her homeschool prom because male chaperons said her dress was « causing impure thoughts »…for the teenage boys, of course.

So… Many interesting stories indeed.

The leggings ban irked me immediately for two reasons. The first…

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Dear Forbes: This Is Why Iggy Azalea Doesn’t « Run » Hip-Hop

Olivia A. Cole

Image

The Internet is currently on fire following a piece on Forbes that was initially titled “Hip Hop Is Run By A White, Blonde, Australian Woman” but was changed after the backlash forced Forbes to realize what an absurd claim they were making. The new title is “Hip Hop’s Unlikely New Star: A White, Blonde, Australian Woman.”

I’m annoyed for multiple reasons. Let’s discuss them, shall we?

First off, I wouldn’t go to an Iggy Azalea concert if it were happening on my front porch. While I understand (somewhat confusedly) that she does have something of a fan base, anyone who has any love for hip-hop is currently decrying the notion that this woman “runs” hip-hop. Or anything at all, really. But that’s why the article title was changed, right? Because it (as the update reads) “did not accurately reflect the content of the piece.” Nor does it…

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24 Things To Do In Front Of The Buzzfeed Offices

It Seems To Me...

Buzzfeed has changed the way all of us look at lists.  No longer do lists come in nice round numbers like a top ten, or the hundred best – no, lists can be of 37 things or 49 things or 17 ½ things with a bonus.  Buzzfeed listicles permeate our very existence now providing us with lists from the important to the inane to remind us how many things there can be lists of that we did not know that we absolutely needed to know (because we do.)  Here is our tribute to Buzzfeed for taking away so many productive hours from our lives, and we thank them for it.

1) Recreate the Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil Pose

Yes, it was originally done by monkeys.  But we read somewhere we are 98% the same as monkeys anyway.  We’re not sure where we read it, but it was probably on a Buzzfeed list.

Yes, it was originally done by monkeys.  But we read somewhere we are 98% the same as monkeys anyway.  We’re not sure where we read it, but…

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Dark, dingy but full of hope

shabnamphoto

Ride a local train in Mumbai and you can see the best and worst of living conditions in the city at one go. The spanking glass and concrete high rises contrast with the old crumbly Mumbai in a haphazard tapestry of modern shapes and makeshift rooftops. At least that’s what I was thinking on my way to the Yusuf Meherally Vidyalaya, a school run by a charitable trust by the same name. The much touted skyline of our city may show the face of a new India being rebuilt, but also has within its innards, the hunger, greed, lust and ambition of its slum dwellers, eager to cash in on its continuously rising real estate prices.

I was on a volunteering job for Yusuf Meherally Centre when I reached this sprawling school compound in the prime locality of Tardeo in South Mumbai. As I gathered from the secretary of the…

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Writing for free.

Calle Nine

Help

Poverty and literature have always been emaciated bedfellows. The trouble writing spawns can take the form of anything from wasted years with miserable, underpaid day jobs to fatal doses of hubris and sleep deprivation. Perversely, real misery is often thought to be an integral rite of passage for serious artists, which can be a lethal misconception. If it’s any good it must be suffered for, or so the fable goes. Here’s Melville at sea, Rimbaud the vagabond, Kafka the clerk, Joyce the cheat, Faulkner the postman, Bolaño the drifter. All of them illustrious masculine myths: the stories certain writers tell themselves when they doubt the mundane sacrifices they choose to inflict upon themselves.

The digital realm has certainly complicated the ritual of this self-infliction. A recent article in the Guardian highlights the dwindling advances paid by publishers struggling in the ebook era with a predictable gasp of apocalypticism. Meanwhile…

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Yes, we’re in a tech bubble. Here’s how I know it

Return of the Philopogonians

The Consecrated Eminence

Philopogonian Don Carlos Taft Philopogonian Don Carlos Taft

2014 marks the 162nd anniversary of the graduation of the Class of 1852. I wish there were a nice name for a 162nd anniversary — perhaps somebody can concoct one. In the meantime, the consolation I offer is that their septaquintaquinquecentennial is only 13 years away. Mark your calendars.

This blog has featured the Class of 1852 before – they are the Philopogonians. In addition to that entertaining bit of history, the class also left us a nice photographic record of their presence in the form of a composite daguerreotype showing 42 daguerreotypes as well as the 42 individual, well-identified daguerreotypes shown in the composite.

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How to Talk to an Archaeologist

It's Always Something

IMG_1294

Like many archaeologists I spend 1/4 of my year in a hole in the ground.

This is the kind of thing that happens to me because I’m an archaeologist. I call Visa to put a travel alert on my credit card. I’m on hold. Enya “Sail Away”* is playing. I’m irritated because I’m on hold, but if I must be on hold, yeah, I’ll listen to “Sail Away.” Good choice Visa.

Visa representative: “Hi thank you for holding. My name is Rubin. Could you state your name please?”

Me: “Annelia Alex.”

Rubin: “And how can I help you today Ms. Alex.”

Me: “I need to put a travel alert on my credit card.”

Rubin: “Okay we can do that for you today Ms. Alex. And tell me where and when will you be traveling?”

Me: “Okay I’m already in Israel, but from February 14- 18 I’ll be in Armenia, then…

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