Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

Guest post: There is no longer much excuse for being uninformed on this

Jun 3rd, 2015 9:14 am | By

Originally a comment by Robert McLiam Wilson on Jennifer Cody Epstein’s letter to the anti-Charlie Hebdo faction.

Ophelia, You are right to warn generously about Frenchy Charlie’s overly literal translation of ‘con’. All such words are nightmarishly difficult to translate. The register of the same word can vary wildly depending on context. Might I amiably suggest that ‘jerks’ is a touch mild and that ‘assholes’ might be an even better solution.

I write for Charlie Hebdo. I am their only English speaking contributor. This whole episode has been painful and deeply dismaying. Thus, J Cody Epstein’s retraction is to be warmly welcomed. And I feel it is futile and unhelpful to see it as mealy mouthed or conditional. Apologising … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



So much more than beautiful women

Jun 3rd, 2015 8:21 am | By

Laverne Cox has thoughts on Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover photo and its reception.

[I]n a Tumblr post that went live shortly after midnight Tuesday, Cox warned the trans experience is much more than a dramatic physical transformation and only celebrating the women for their beauty can be inherently harmful to the trans cause.

“What I think [people praising Cox’s beauty] meant is that in certain lighting, at certain angles I am able to embody certain cisnormative beauty standards,” Cox wrote.

Cox hopes transgender role models like Jenner and herself can be seen as so much more than beautiful women.

Oh looky there – that was exactly my point.

“I love working a photo shoot and creating inspiring

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The first to admit

Jun 2nd, 2015 5:00 pm | By

Hey, looka this: the Guardian reports on Jennifer Cody Epstein’s letter.

[I]n a move praised by The Satanic Verses novelist Salman Rushdie, who has thrown his weight behind PEN and Charlie Hebdo since the start of the controversy, Epstein has asked for her name to be removed from the petition.

“The 1st protester to admit she was completely wrong,” tweeted Rushdie on Sunday. “Respect to Jennifer Cody Epstein for doing the honourable thing & admitting she made a mistake about #CharlieHebdo. Will others follow her?”

It’s true, he did.

He shared it on Facebook, too.

The Guardian again (Alison Flood is the reporter):

In a letter to her fellow signatories published in full by the writer Ophelia

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Corporations stealing public domain music to copyright it

Jun 2nd, 2015 4:43 pm | By

Originally a comment by Jafafa Hots on IS cannot destroy these.

They may not be able to destroy public domain art, but US corporations are sure trying.

I have put up YouTube videos backed with public domain music. Every one has had a copyright claim filed against it despite the music being pre-1923, all of it acquired by me from public domain archives. One had three separate entities attempt to claim ownership of it.

I currently have one appeal under review, has been for a couple of weeks, where a company is claiming the rights to a song, “I Didn’t Raise My Son to be a Soldier,” recorded by the Peerless Quartet in 1914 – over 100 years ago. … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Respecting the respected academics

Jun 2nd, 2015 12:58 pm | By

More on that all-male panel about women in comics, because it’s so absurd / grotesque / annoying. Jin Zhao reports:

“This is happening at #DCC2015. Let’s see how this ALL MALE panel about women in comics goes #noneofthismakesanysense,” an attendee, Christy, tweeted.

As the panel proceeded, she tweeted that the all male panel gave a “lecture” on early female characters in comics “in relation to men.” At some point, one of the panelist said “because girls get bored with comics easily,” she tweeted.

Comics are more of a guy thing.

Then there was the “it’s a historical panel” defense.

Comic Alliance‘s Janelle Asselin argued that the defense was a weak one.

“There are a lot of

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Hiding in plain sight

Jun 2nd, 2015 12:06 pm | By

How do you get more women in _______? Where are all the women in ________? I dunno, let’s discuss it. Let’s discuss it on a panel at a convention.

The past few years have seen a lot of discussion (and a lot of misogynist backlash) about improving women’s experience of “geek” spaces such as video gaming, sci-fi conventions, and comics. So it was especially puzzling to see that Denver ComicCon, one of the biggest comic conventions in the country, convened a panel called Women in Comics that had no actual women sitting onstage.

Let’s discuss that on a panel at a convention! One with no women on it!

Sometimes I wonder if women are … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



How difficult and expensive it is to be a certain kind of pretty

Jun 2nd, 2015 11:40 am | By

A friend drew this Comment is Free piece by Meredith Talusan to my attention.

When I heard that Caitlyn Jenner debuted her new name, her upcoming Vanity Fair cover and a new Twitter account, I went online to welcome her. Then I noticed a trend on my Twitter feed: people – including feminists, people of color, queers and transgender folk – commenting on how beautiful she looks. While I welcome all the positive affirmation of Caitlyn Jenner’s gender identity, it’s important to not forget how the forces of economic privilege and beauty standards affect most trans women. And, though all women are subject to conventional beauty standards, the ability and even necessity to adhere to them is rife with even

Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Bouquets for CFI

Jun 1st, 2015 12:03 pm | By

Ed has a post on what’s been going on with Taslima lately and who did what to help and what should happen in the future.

I am very happy to announce that Taslima Nasrin, whose life was threatened by the same people behind the brutal murder of at least three Bangladeshi bloggers in recent months, is now safely in the United States and out of harm’s way. I want to share with you how this happened because a lot of people need to be thanked and it provides a great example of humanists coming together to help someone in need.

On May 5th, the night before I was leading a civics/lobby day for CFI Michigan, I got an email from

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Better still if you brought yours back from the Holy Land

Jun 1st, 2015 11:06 am | By

Originally a comment by Charles Freeman on The Shroud of Turin continues to sell tickets.

The article has given rise to a lot of interest and outside the authenticists’ websites very positive. For those who read the original to the end, you will see I never argue that the Shroud was a fake. There were hundreds of thousands of painted linens around in the medieval period and they were widely used in churches, especially during Lent when opulent altars and statues were traditionally covered up.

If you were a forger hoping to get away with a burial shroud you would stick to the gospel sources and certainly not add images. The most successful shroud relics in the medieval period … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Jezebel can’t wait to see more

Jun 1st, 2015 10:20 am | By

What the hell is this about?

Jezebel on Facebook:

You look great, Caitlyn! Can’t wait to see more.

Then a glam photo of Jenner in a strapless dress with long flowing hair and tasteful makeup.

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair Cover Is Here, and She Looks Amazing

Caitlyn (née Bruce) Jenner has revealed her name (spelled with a C!) and her new look—photographed by Annie Leibovitz—on the cover of next month’s Vanity Fair.

So she looks great, so what? Isn’t Jezebel supposed to be at least nominally feminist? Isn’t feminism in large part about not reducing women to their looks? Why does that suddenly change when the subject is a trans woman? What am I missing here?… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



IS cannot destroy these

Jun 1st, 2015 9:30 am | By

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings shares a stash of public domain owl and osprey portraits.

Indian fish-owl

Burrowing owl… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The makers of rubble

Jun 1st, 2015 8:56 am | By

Taslima tweeted a cartoon:

Sums it up, doesn’t it. Creative people create beautiful things. All the tyrants of IS know how to do is smash all the beautiful things.… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



CFI gets the job done

Jun 1st, 2015 8:25 am | By

Here is the big news I’ve been sitting on for

  1. weeks
  2. the past several days

It’s a press release from CFI:

Amid Death Threats from Islamists, CFI Brings Secular Activist Taslima Nasrin to Safety in U.S.

Center for Inquiry Establishes New Emergency Fund for Freethought Writers Threatened by Radical Islamists

The Center for Inquiry has established an emergency fund to assist freethought activists whose lives are under threat by Islamic radicals linked to Al Qaeda in countries such as Bangladesh, where three secularist bloggers have been murdered since February. Outspoken human rights activist Taslima Nasrin, specifically named as an imminent target by the same extremists responsible for the murders of Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman, and Ananta Bijoy Das, arrived in

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The Shroud of Turin continues to sell tickets

May 31st, 2015 6:10 pm | By

Charles Freeman has an article in History Today about the Shroud of Turin. He tells me the subject is neglected by academics, and “the absurd ideas of the authenticists are given full and virtually unchallenged internet space.” He adds that National Geographic is especially bad on this, maintaining “the idea that there is something inherently mysterious about the Shroud when in fact an afternoon in a conservation lab – which would find the traces of gesso and paint – would probably sort things out.” He gave me carte blanche to use the article, so have a feast.

A RECTANGULAR linen cloth 4.37 metres long and 1.13 metres wide, the Turin Shroud, housed in that city’s cathedral since 1578, is famous

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Guest post: Sharia Police and Impunity: Will President Buhari Tackle Radical Islam in Northern Nigeria?

May 31st, 2015 11:54 am | By

Guest post by Leo Igwe.

Muhammadu Buhari promised to address, if elected to the office of the president, the widespread insecurity occasioned by Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. Now he has been elected and sworn in as the president of the country, will he do that? I want to quickly point out that it would be a grave mistake if Buhari reduces the problem of insecurity in Northern Nigeria to the Boko Haram uprising. No it is not. Insecurity in Northern Nigeria is more than the violent campaign of these Islamic militants. Boko Haram is an offshoot of a vicious ideology that is pervasive in the region – that is radical Islam. The violent attacks by this jihadist group … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



A Faustian pact with state power

May 31st, 2015 11:09 am | By

Alan Strathern wrote a backgrounder piece for the BBC on why Buddhist monks attack Muslims a couple of years ago.

Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?

This is happening in two countries separated by well over 1,000 miles of Indian Ocean – Burma and Sri Lanka. It is puzzling because neither country is facing an Islamist militant threat. Muslims in both places are a generally peaceable and small minority.

But there’s always something. There’s always some … Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Fierce Buddhism

May 31st, 2015 10:23 am | By

Buddhism is in many ways an exception among religions…but it’s not always as much of an exception as it could should would be. The BBC considers this unsurprising fact.

The principle of non-violence is central to Buddhist teachings, but in Sri Lanka some Buddhist monks are being accused of stirring up hostility towards other faiths and ethnic minorities. Their hard line is causing increasing concern.

Are they simply being accused of doing that, or are they in fact doing it? The second sentence seems to say they are.

[U]pstairs, a burly monk in a bright orange robe holds forth – for this is one of the main offices of a hard-line Buddhist organisation, the Bodu Bala Sena or Buddhist

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Pattern-detection

May 31st, 2015 9:57 am | By

I’ve seen a couple of ads for new or returning network tv shows recently, both on ABC. One is called The Astronaut Wives Club. The other is called Mistresses.

Um…… Read the rest

(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Locked in a room

May 30th, 2015 5:29 pm | By

Taslima tweeted an article in the Times of India: Bangladeshi blogger gets death threat on Facebook.

He will be ‘The Next’, Ananya Azad was warned on a social networking site. A day after ‘The Guardian’ broke the story of how the 25-year-old Bangladeshi blogger was living a life of fear, Ananya spoke exclusively to TOI on Friday.

Speaking from Dhaka, Ananya – who is on a hit list containing the names of 84 atheist bloggers – said: “I am no stranger to death threats and bloodshed.

“My father, author Humayun Azad, was attacked on the streets. But what shocked me was the nature of threat that I got on Facebook. It addressed my father as ‘Nastiker sardar’. It means

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



The half that talks

May 30th, 2015 5:09 pm | By

Not funny. Not “ironic.” Not meta. Just everyday sexism.

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)