Saw this posted on my facebook this morning and just had to share. It continually amazes me how many people here on tumblr and elsewhere in the world continue to think the answer to racism is more racism…or that racism against white people is somehow “justified” or “doesn’t count as racism.”
Not only do white people think you’re full of shit, but so do your fellow POC.
Watch the video it is really good.
get outta here, birdie!!
My essay, "What Tumblr Taught Me About Writing" is in this week’s Publishers Weekly.
Medieval kids’ doodles on birch bark
Here’s something very special. In the 1950s archeologists made a great discovery near the city of Novgorod, Russia: they dug up hundreds of pieces of birch bark with all sorts of texts written on them. The 915 items are mostly letters, notes and receipts, all written between the 11th and 15th century. Among the more notable scraps is a marriage proposal from a man called Mikita to his beloved Anna: “marry me - I want you and you want me, and the witness to that is Ignat Moiseev” (item 377).
The most special items, however, are the ones shown above, which are from a medieval classroom. In the 13th century, young schoolboys learning to write filled these scraps with alphabets and short texts. Bark was ideal material for writing down things with such a short half-life. Then the pupils got bored and started to doodle, as kids do: crude drawings of individuals with big hands, as well as a figure with a raised sword standing next to a defeated beast (lower image). The last one was drawn by Onfim, who put his name next to the victorious warrior. The snippets provide a delightful and most unusual peek into a 13th-century classroom, with kids learning to read - and getting bored in the process.
More information - On the scraps in general, see here. Here is a full inventory, in Russian. On the excavation, see here and here. More kids’ doodles here and here. Some letters in this Flickr stream. The Leiden scholar Jos Schaeken published a book in Dutch on this material, which can be downloaded for free here (English translation to follow next year).
Oh my god this is the cutest thing ever
I can confirm this is an actual thing, my Indo-European Linguistics professor showed this to us. We get important data from these things. Data from doodles of kids proclaiming how badass they are at spearing things.
Piano notes made visible for the first time
Music is beautiful isn’t it? The team at CymaScope visualized the dynamic sounds of the piano’s first strike and the eventual plateau and decay phase of different notes. You can listen to the sounds here and watch as the geometric shapes come to life.
Here is a list of the geometric glyphs for each note
Cymascope - Sound Made Visible
Anything to knock junior-high students down a peg or two.
Kids really need to understand two things. 1.) The dangers of the Internet, and 2.) Once things are online THEY NEVER GO AWAY COMPLETELY EVER AGAIN. EVER. EVER EVER.
The Internet is an awesome place and I’ve met cool people through it, but you have to exercise caution online in everything you do, from photographs to the things you say. Photographs make you easy to find. Don’t forget that people can troll back through your posts. Not only can they see other tidbits you’ve left, but if they have a photograph of you to go off of, too, that makes things worse.
Sure, I guess the attention from posting pictures of yourself is cool (I wouldn’t know) but it’s not worth making yourself a target. Should we all be free to take selfies and have fun while we have confidence in ourselves? Sure! But that’s not how the world works. In reality, things like that can be used to your determent, and it’s not worth the risk you are taking to do it.
An addendum: It’s also not worth the risk you put to your families, your friends, and your peers. There are some sick ass people out there and you might THINK the site you’re on is ~safe and free of people like that~ BUT IT’S NOT. There is no place online that is safe from people like that. Why? Because it’s easy to pretend to be someone else online until you gain someone’s trust. It’s easy to blend in online with other people while you gather information on them.
The Internet is not a safe place for adults, let alone young teenagers. Something dumb like a photograph can be seen by millions of people. How many likes/reblogs does this have? But how many people SAW it and DIDN’T like/reblog—probably ten times the amount that hit the button. It’s something to think about. You’re not invincible. Be careful. Et cetera.
I hope some of the kids learn from this but I know how kids are. “It won’t happen to me.” Don’t ever think that. It can happen to anyone. And in the case of online stuff like this? It’s a helluva lot more likely to happen if you don’t take measures to make sure it doesn’t.
As an Hobbyist Internet Stalker(tm) I want to add a few things:
1) A picture is not, by itself, the most identifying thing you can release. That is, if you randomly put a picture of your face up (cleaned of all metadata tags) on 4chan that has never been put up on the internet before, the odds they will be able to find where you live is just about nil. Despite what TV shows tell you, image recognition is still kinda poop and it’s very difficult to search for someone by what their face looks like. Stalkers will not find you simply by knowing what your face looks like.
1x) But on the other hand if you don’t understand what a metadata tag is, you have no business putting up pictures if you want to stay totally anonymous because under the wrong circumstances, that could contain information on exactly where on Planet Earth you took it.
2) However, depending on what a picture contains, it could do incredible damage. If you post nude pics on the internet, there is a good chance it will stay there forever—and that people who already know you personally will get ahold of it somehow.
2x) (And that anonymous dudes will jerk off to it.)
3) If you’re wary of stalkers, be careful with your personal information. As I said earlier, a picture without metadata tags is hard to match up to your identity. On the other hand, if someone knows your first and last name and your IP address, about 3 out of 5 times that can lead them straight to your home address. It’s very hard to casually surf the internet without leaking your IP address, so the takeaway from this is: if you want to be anonymous somewhere, absolutely protect your last name. Protect your first name too if it’s unusual, you live in a small town, or you live somewhere where there are incredible databases with personal information and it could be combined with information about how old you are or something like that. (Eg, Sweden)
3x) I once found an internet friend’s home address and phone number using only his first name and his town’s name. I also got a picture of his sister, too.
3xx) Also be careful when you transfer a file. Many files (such as word documents) contain data about the “author,” which you gave the program when you registered it.
That said, I think the greatest danger on the internet isn’t stalkers, who generally have no reason to care about you (or else just do this stuff for fun), but items you entrust to people you already know. The majority of Sad Stories About Kids On The Internet have to do with giving embarrassing or private images to people they trust. Unlike showing them your boobs in person, what you have is a record* of your boobs that can be disseminated very easily on a massive scale. If you dump your boyfriend he can’t share the memory of your boobs with all his buddies in revenge. But he can share a picture.
*(This includes live streams like video chats. These can be screenshotted.)
A bunch of my students are in biology, so I read a biology textbook and tried to come up with interesting writing ideas to go with it. I put thirty of them up on Teachers Pay Teachers. These are a few of those.
“Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilising some kind of ‘barrier method’ can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.”
All of which boil down to the tedious, “Boys are threatening louts, sex is awful when other people do it, and my daughter is a plastic doll whose destiny I control.”
Look, I love sex. It’s fun. And because I love my daughter, I want her to have all of the same delights in life that I do, and hopefully more. I don’t want to hear about the fine details because, heck, I don’t want those visuals any more than my daughter wants mine. But in the abstract, darling, go out and play.
Because consensual sex isn’t something that men take from you; it’s something you give. It doesn’t lessen you to give someone else pleasure. It doesn’t degrade you to have some of your own. And anyone who implies otherwise is a man who probably thinks very poorly of women underneath the surface.
Yes, all these boys and girls and genderqueers may break your heart, and that in turn will break mine. I’ve held you, sobbing, after your boyfriend cheated on you, and it tore me in two. But you know what would tear me in two even more? To see you in a glass cage, experiencing nothing but cold emptiness at your fingers, as Dear Old Dad ensured that you got to experience nothing until he decided what you should like.
You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall, to learn where the bandages are and to bind up your own cuts. I’ll help. I’ll be your consigliere when I can, the advisor, the person you come to when all seems lost. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness.
You’re your own person, and some of the things you’re going to love will strike me as insane, ugly, or unenjoyable. This is how large and wonderful the world is! Imagine if everyone loved the same thing; we’d all be battling for the same ten people. The miracle is how easily someone’s cast-offs become someone else’s beloved treasure. And I would be a sad, sad little man if I manipulated you into becoming a cookie-cutter clone of my desires. Love the music I hate, watch the movies I loathe, become a strong woman who knows where her bliss is and knows just what to do to get it.
Now, you’re going to get bruised by life. But I won’t tell you sex is bad, or that you’re bad for wanting it, or that other people are bad for wanting it from you if you’re willing to give it. I refuse to perpetuate, even through the plausible deniability of humor, the idea that the people my daughter is attracted to are my enemy.
I’m not the guard who locks you in the tower. Ideally, I am my daughter’s safe space, a garden to return to when the world has proved a little too cruel, a place where she can recuperate and reflect upon past mistakes and know that here, there is someone who loves her wholeheartedly and will hug her until the tears dry.
That’s what I want for you, sweetie. A bold life filled with big mistakes and bigger triumphs.
Now get out there and find all the things you fucking love, and vice versa.