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Caryn Rivadeneira over at ThinkChristian talks about things that Christians can appreciate about the Slutwalk trend. She suggests that violence against women can occur no matter what a woman wears (and not as a result of it) and that ending said violence is a moral imperative that all Christians should advocate for. That's my kind of believer.

At the same time, John McWhorter over at The Root thinks people should stop using the Bible to justify homophobia. After all, he notes, it used to be used to justify racism, and we've managed to move on from that. (For the most part, in my opinion. At the very least, it's harder to get away with using the Bible in such a way in public. Privately, I think a lot of that kind of nonsense still goes on.)

After fifteen-plus years in production, Pixar is finally putting out a film with a female as the main protagonist. And about darn time, too. (Note: don't bother throwing Elastigirl, or Jessie, or Dory at me. I said "main" protagonist.)

The Art Newspaper explores the question of whether or not the release of Ai Weiwei means that the Chinese government is easing up on its policy against dissent. And the answer is no.

Wanna learn the history of English in ten minutes? It's a lot of fun. (Watch out for that guy with the axe!)

Linda Holmes breaks down the recent furor over the Oxford University PR department's decision to do away with the Oxford comma. Holmes does a really good job of explaining why the Oxford comma makes sentences so much cleaner and clearer by its presence, and also of embodying the silly attachment that all of us language nerds have to peculiar pieces of grammar while pointing out just how not silly attachment to Oxford commas is. I'm an Oxford comma girl, myself, you know. In fact, they can have my Oxford commas when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers. 'Nuff said.

Ezra Klein on Amazon's bad sales tax behavior. I imagine a lot of the fuss could be solved if states just got around to passing laws that imposed sales tax for products being purchases by people in their state. Let's see Amazon decide never to sell anything to California because they don't want to pay sales tax.

Evolutionary biologist Mark Chengizi thinks that the wrinkles that develop on wet hands are our body's natural attempt to increase grip capabilities in inclement weather.

Only in Japan will you see a tv commercial wherein businessman sing about the woes of summertime itchy-crotch syndrome.
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KaTe Bush's new album Director's Cut is out today, but NPR has more awesome music waiting in the wings. Listen to the new Death Cab for Cutie album, Codes and Keys, in its entirety until May 30th.

The Tesla Orchestra plays Lady Gaga and Girl Talk. A feast for the eyes and ears.

Ezra Klein on eBooks vs Books and how he keeps finds fewer and fewer reasons why Books are still better.

d r i f t g l a s s disects a Rapture-themed straw man argument about how evangelicals supposedly contribute more to charity than hot-tub loving atheists.

Krugman on the tendency of liberals to keep getting snookered by conservative cranks, and how that tendency is probably not going to end anytime soon. This town loves a winner, yo.

Arthur Rackham's illustrations for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. So, so beautiful.
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House Democrats are urging the appointment of Elizabeth Warren as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau during Congressional recess. This is because Republicans have vowed to block any nomination to the position unless the bureau's powers are weakened. Such an appointment might be seen as underhanded or hypocritical, but when you consider the stakes it seems like a worthwhile cause.

And it's not like the Republicans never stoop to underhanded or hypocritical tactics. Take their reversal of policy opinion during the hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu. In 2005, many Republican senators went on the warpath about the evils of denying a judge nomination through filibuster. In 2011, those same senators denied a judge nomination through filibuster. I hate politics.

Determining the value of assorted college degrees. Now in handy chart form.

The Angry Black Bitch gives us the lowdown on who she'd like to see get raptured. It comforts me to know that someone else in the world has been fantasizing about how awesome it would be if certain folks just up and disappeared after tomorrow.

But fantasizing isn't all The Rapture is good for, apparently. It's also good for tearing families apart. In classic parent vs. child sibling vs. sibling style, the believers and the non-believers have been clashing in a big way on the family stage ever since this nonsense got started. Belief in the Rapture generally just seems funny, but when you realize that there are children out there living with parents who tell them "Sorry, but you're not going to be saved. Have a fun end the world while I'm in heaven..." Somehow it doesn't seem that funny anymore.

May 2014

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