Saturday, August 22, 2015
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Photo by Jessica Ebelhar for The New York Times
MOREHEAD, Ky. — Nearly two months after the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, a county clerk’s office here — in defiance of a federal court order — turned away two gay couples seeking marriage licenses on Thursday, taking a stand that has infuriated gay rights advocates but buoyed Christian conservatives who insist their religious freedoms are being violated.
Kim Davis, the clerk in Rowan County, who says her Christian faith bars her from authorizing same-sex marriages, has refused to issue any licenses, either to same-sex or heterosexual couples. Her actions come in the wake of the historic ruling in June in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, despite a direct order from Gov. Steven L. Beshear, that she do so.
On Wednesday, Judge David L. Bunning of the United States District Court of Eastern Kentucky, ruling in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of four couples — two same-sex and two heterosexual — ordered Ms. Davis to resume issuing licenses. But lawyers for Ms. Davis immediately appealed, and Thursday morning, Ms. Davis did not show up at work.
“People are cruel, and this is wrong,” said David Ermold, 41, who with his partner, David Moore, 39, went to the clerk’s office here, where they were told that no licenses would be issued today. Roberta Early, a deputy clerk, said the matter was “still under litigation, and nothing has changed, and we still can’t issue them.”
Read more via the NYT
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
London awakes one morning to find itself besieged by a sky full of floating icebergs. Destroyed oil rigs, mysteriously reborn, clamber from the sea and onto the land, driven by an obscure but violent purpose. An anatomy student cuts open a cadaver to discover impossibly intricate designs carved into a corpse's bones—designs clearly present from birth, bearing mute testimony to…what?
Of such concepts and unforgettable images are made the twenty-eight stories in this collection—many published here for the first time. By turns speculative, satirical, and heart-wrenching, fresh in form and language, and featuring a cast of damaged yet hopeful seekers who come face-to-face with the deep weirdness of the world—and at times the deeper weirdness of themselves—Three Moments of an Explosion is a fitting showcase for one of our most original voices.
What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.
In the tradition of Paula Hawkins's instant New York Times bestseller The Girl On the Train and S. J. Watson’s riveting national sensation Before I Go To Sleep, this gripping literary debut from UK novelist Ruth Ware will leave you on the edge of your seat through the very last page.
Thomas Piketty ― whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century pushed inequality to the forefront of public debate ― wrote The Economics of Inequality as an introduction to the conceptual and factual background necessary for interpreting changes in economic inequality over time. This concise text has established itself as an indispensable guide for students and general readers in France, where it has been regularly updated and revised. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer, The Economics of Inequality now appears in English for the first time.
Piketty begins by explaining how inequality evolves and how economists measure it. In subsequent chapters, he explores variances in income and ownership of capital and the variety of policies used to reduce these gaps. Along the way, with characteristic clarity and precision, he introduces key ideas about the relationship between labor and capital, the effects of different systems of taxation, the distinction between “historical” and “political” time, the impact of education and technological change, the nature of capital markets, the role of unions, and apparent tensions between the pursuit of efficiency and the pursuit of fairness.
Succinct, accessible, and authoritative, this is the ideal place to start for those who want to understand the fundamental issues at the heart of one of the most pressing concerns in contemporary economics and politics.
In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. In the 160 years since Thoreau’s writings, warming temperatures have pushed blueberry flowering three weeks earlier, and in 2012, following a winter and spring of record-breaking warmth, blueberries began flowering on April 1 — six weeks earlier than in Thoreau’s time. The climate around Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond is changing, with visible ecological consequences.
In Walden Warming, Richard B. Primack uses Thoreau and Walden, icons of the conservation movement, to track the effects of a warming climate on Concord’s plants and animals. Under the attentive eyes of Primack, the notes that Thoreau made years ago are transformed from charming observations into scientific data sets. Primack finds that many wildflower species that Thoreau observed—including familiar groups such as irises, asters, and lilies—have declined in abundance or have disappeared from Concord. Primack also describes how warming temperatures have altered other aspects of Thoreau’s Concord, from the dates when ice departs from Walden Pond in late winter, to the arrival of birds in the spring, to the populations of fish, salamanders, and butterflies that live in the woodlands, river meadows, and ponds.
Primack demonstrates that climate change is already here, and it is affecting not just Walden Pond but many other places in Concord and the surrounding region. Although we need to continue pressuring our political leaders to take action, Primack urges us each to heed the advice Thoreau offers in Walden: to “live simply and wisely.” In the process, we can each minimize our own contributions to our warming climate.
When Noel Bostock—aged ten, no family—is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge — a thirty-six-year old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.
Noel’s mourning his godmother Mattie, a former suffragette. Wise beyond his years, raised with a disdain for authority and an eclectic attitude toward education, he has little in common with other children and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war’s provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs — and what she’s never had — is a cool head and the ability to make a plan.
On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.
Together, they cook up a scheme. Crisscrossing the bombed suburbs of London, Vee starts to make a profit and Noel begins to regain his interest in life. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war — and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all…
Upon it's initial release, the BBC banned the single Relax, though it continued to be played on some stations and eventually reached No. 2.
Here in the States, Relax was one of my favorite childhood songs. Even as a child, I wondered why the song was played on my country-bumpkin pop station out of Evansville, Indiana. And though I didn't have the words to describe what I knew, I knew the song was about something that I wanted and liked and knew.
I remember having a boyhood, unnameable crush on Paul Rutherford, and now seeing this version of the video, Holly Johnson was everything that I want to be - a clean cut looking perv.
Monday, August 10, 2015
My friend Jimmy and I went to Fandomfest in Louisville yesterday. I have another picture to post but first I need to buy the digital copy of it: it's of me and Eva Myles (Gwen Cooper) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones)! Both were very sweet and I had a very enjoyable time - temporary incarceration by members of the Empire notwithstanding.