This is Maria Christian, my former cast director at the Michigan Renaissance Festival as her character, Princess Isaade M’boukou. Maria’s been designing and wearing African-Elizabethan fusion garb to MiRF for decades, so she has a few different gowns and headpieces in rotation. In addition to her duties keeping the stage acts organized, as Isaade she acts as an impresario at the feasts, talks about West African traditions and folklore, and is much needed and treasured PoC representation on the cast.
Argentina: doing it right. After passing a groundbreaking gender identity law on Wednesday, Argentina, which became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage, now leads the entire world when it comes to trans rights.
The new law, which was passed by 55-0 and is expected to be signed by president Cristina Fernandez, grants trans people the right to legally change their gender identity without having to get approval from doctors or judges–and, importantly, without having to change their bodies at all first. Not having a valid ID that matches your gender identity is a huge barrier to access to education, employment, health care, you name it. As Kalym Sori, an Argentinian trans man said, “This is why the law of identity is so important. It opens the door to the rest of our rights.”
Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.Brian Lord.org (via boysncroptops)
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example.
Identifying invisible privilege as a symptom of the racism virus is important because it demonstrates how people who seemingly do no harm can still contribute to a harmful system.
- If you’re not racist but you’re a racist apologist, you’re part of the problem.
- If you’re not racist but you’re racist tolerant, you’re part of the problem.
- If all of your social interactions occur within the bubble of invisible privilege, and you genuinely believe your advantages are purely the result of meritocracy, you’re not a racist… You’re a carrier.
Here’s my two favorite quotes about random variables. Actually, neither of them were meant to be quotes about random variables, but I interpret them as quotes about random variables.Statistics professor (via mathprofessorquotes)
This site! Laughing SO much!
"A new phase-changing material built from wax and foam developed by researchers at MIT is capable of switching between hard and soft states."
MIT researchers are trying to change the paradigm of your typical robot by mimicking organic substances. The idea is that the robot should be soft to conform to a particular environment, and interact with humans, though rigid enough to actually do a procedure. They can achieve this by applying heat at particular points to deform the object, then applying coolness to make the object rigid again.
"Robots built from this material would be able to operate more like biological systems with applications ranging from difficult search and rescue operations, squeezing through rubble looking for survivors, to deformable surgical robots that could move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way."