Mighty Life List
Aug 28 2014

Lewis’s Law

Brad: Have you watched this video on feminism and video games? It’s like 25 minutes long.
Me: No. Man, I don’t even know if I can do it. The sexism in video games is so rampant it’s too exhausting. Do you have it pulled up?
Brad: Yeah.
Me: How many times is she called a c**t in the comments? Are there any rape threats yet?
Brad: Comments are disabled.
Me: Yeah, of course they are. What’s her name?
Brad: Her user name is FeministFrequency.
Me: OK, so she published a feminist thing about gaming that’s getting attention. I’m Googling FeministFrequency and “rape threat.”… Bingo. Top result.

If you go to Feminist Frequency’s Twitter account @femfreq, you’ll see that things have escalated recently, someone threatened her life quite graphically and published her address. So that’s a delight.

Aug 27 2014

Set Foot in All Fifty States: Minnesota

When she was little, my mom met a man who said he’d “set foot in all fifty states,” and she was amazed by the idea. Since she told me, I thought how much I’d like to do the same.

I’m starting with Minnesota over at Go Mighty. I found this trophy in an antique store outside Minneapolis, and it still cracks me up.

Aug 25 2014

Nice News

We’re just back from a family road trip. I say family, because a few months back Brad and I got engaged.

We like this guy.

Aug 15 2014

Ferguson Updates

Thousands crowd Times Square in protest of Michael Brown's killing.

If you need to catch up:

Feguson outline from USA Today that touches on all the major events.

If you’d like ongoing, current information with a high signal-to-noise ratio:

Twitter list of Pro and am journalists on the ground in Ferguson will tell you what’s happening right now.
Reddit’s Ferguson live feed is often updated
Brittany Noble’s Instagram feed, she’s a local reporter
• Xeni Jardin of boing boing is tweeting and gathering articles

Michael Brown Killing NMOS14 DC.

If you’d like to help:

• Use social media platforms to share information using the hashtags #ferguson or #justiceformikebrown.
Furious About Ferguson? Here’s How You Can Help from Ebony Magazine
Here’s How You Can Help the Kids in Ferguson Who Don’t Have Food Now that School is Closed on the Huffington Post
Here are Ways to Help the People in Ferguson Right Now on Buzzfeed

Photo Source

“There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.” Statement from Michael Brown’s family and their attourney

A neighbor witnessed the shooting and live-tweeted it. (Distant photos of Michael Brown’s body and the officer standing over him are visible in this thread.)

“The Huffington Post’s Ryan J. Reilly tweeted Ferguson cops still weren’t wearing name tags on Friday and still refused to answer questions about their identification.” – Ron Johnson Addresses Ferguson Police Officers’ Failure To Identify Themselves

“The chief in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by police says the officer didn’t know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting.” –Associated Press

“The officer who shot Ferguson teen Michael Brown stopped Brown and another teen because they were walking in the street, not because of a robbery a few minutes earlier, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Friday afternoon.
Jackson said the officer was aware cigars had been taken in the robbery of a store nearby, but did not know when he encountered Brown and Dorian Johnson that they might be suspects. He stopped them because they were walking in the street, Jackson said.
But Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the officer, Darren Wilson, saw cigars in Brown’s hand and realized he might be the robber.” – St. Louis Post Dispatch

Michael Brown’s friend/acquaintance gives an emotional account of what happened with both the robbery and the shooting.

Aug 14 2014

Michael Brown Killed in Ferguson, Missouri

For now, this is a living post, updated as I gather things here.

Jessica Lussenhop

How to Help

• A List of the Michael Brown Vigils happening at August 14, 2014 at 7pm EST/4pm PT. The one for San Francisco is in Civic Center Plaza.
A Ferguson bail and legal fund for those arrested during the police-brutality demonstrations

“You didn’t have to shoot him eight times… You just shot all through my baby’s body.” -Michael Brown’s Mother, Leslie McSpadden (via Brittany_noble)

“It was just horrible to watch, and it hurt him a lot. I saw it in his eyes.” -Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Michael Brown when the 18-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer


Timeline from CBS Local in St. Louis”
August 11: “It is announced that the FBI is opening a parallel investigation to that of the St. Louis County Police Department concerning possible civil rights violations.”
Audio recap of early events in Ferguson from KMOV Reporter Brittany Noble
“Sunday night I saw lots of crowds of people, I saw police trying to work with those crowds and calm them down, but then the crowds became so violent, kicking the police cars and putting their hands surrounding the police and trying to intimidate them that police were almost leaving the area… It’s my understanding that the family is very disappointed with some of the violent reactions from the community.”
32 Powerful Images from Ferguson After the Death of Michael Brown, Buzzfeed
Detailed breakdown and analysis by Dara Lind on Vox. Ed: This is the most organized thing I’ve seen so far if you want details.

Current Information
• The Ferguson tag on Twitter
Twitter List of Professional and Amateur Journalists in Ferguson
Reddit Live Feed
Ferguson coverage on Boing Boing

Jeff Roberson/AP

“Part of the reason we’re seeing so many black men killed is that police officers are now best understood less as members of communities, dedicated to keeping peace within them, than as domestic soldiers.”
America is Not Safe for Black People by Greg Howard

Mario Anzuoni for Reuters

“Police forces usually fall into one of two categories, though there some grey situations between the two. You either protect the rule of law and the population, or you’re the type of police force that’s there to protect the regime. What’s happening in Ferguson is what regime protection forces do, not what rule of law police do.”
“They have the toys, and they just want to play with them, to put it bluntly. They look like guys playing army.”
– Jason Fritz, an Iraq war vet and specialist on policing in conflict zones on Vox

New York Times Graphics

Child uses a rag to shield his face from tear gas. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

“[In Ferguson] three police officers out of 53 are black. Brown’s shooting was the first homicide recorded in Ferguson this year.” – Zachary Wilcha in Untied Mag

Reporter hit with tear gas in Ferguson
Orginal raw video without reporter voiceover is here

Jeff Roberson for AP

From What I saw in Ferguson by Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker:
“There’s not a tradition of unrest in St. Louis. Even in the sixties, when the rest of the country was exploding, you didn’t have that kind of thing here. And if there was some kind of problem it almost never lasted more than a day.” – Activist Etefia Umana
“The people who live in Canfield Green, the apartment complex where Brown was shot while on his way to visit his grandmother, not only witnessed his death but were subjected to an undignified wake: his prone figure sprawled on the street for four hours in the unforgiving August sun, with blood on the asphalt—an indignity in sharp contrast with the quick departure of the officer from the scene.”

Social Media

Ryan J. Reilly, reporter arrested in McDonald who says an officer slammed his head against a vending machine.
Ferguson board on Pinterest by Jenifer Ancona
• The alleged name of Michael Brown’s shooter is reported on Twitter by Anonymous, and the account is suspended:

“Unfortunately, Mike Brown is but the latest in a series of disturbing events regarding police behavior against people of color. New York City’s “stop and frisk” policy is but a minor example of the micro-aggressions black men face on a daily basis. Many black people I know have their own stories about being followed in a store or stopped for “driving while black”, or other encounters in racial bias. But too often, this bias turns violent. Just this summer, an Arizona professor was thrown to the ground by a police officer for “jaywalking” to avoid street construction at the crosswalk . . . at the same time groups of white people can be seen crossing behind the altercation in the dashcam video. A few weeks ago, a grandmother was jaywalking and a highway patrol officer took her to the ground and brutally beat her, punching her in the face repeatedly – which was caught on tape by a stunned stranger. Earlier this month another man was stopped by police for selling cigarettes and was put into a choke hold and killed.” – Kristen Howerton, Racial Bias, Police Brutality, and the Dangerous Act of Being Black

“I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing a story of some unarmed black person gunned down or otherwise killed, and being horrified, but even more horrifically, not all that surprised.” – Karen Walrond, Affected

Aug 7 2014

Bone Records

I first heard about Bone Records at a Pop-Up Magazine event, and the idea made me a little teary.

From the 1930s-60s, vinyl was too expensive in the Soviet Union, so bootleggers began using X-ray plates to print records. The useless X-rays could be purchased from hospitals for very little, and were thick enough to retain an impression that could be played on a phonograph.

The quality wasn’t great, but the price was right, and these presses let people in the Soviet Union hear banned music, like Jazz and early Rock ‘n’ Roll. Romantic.

More images and information over on Fastcodesign.com. I looked for listings on eBay, but didn’t find anything. Any collectors know where you’d go to procure one of these?

Aug 6 2014

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead is a friend, she came to one of our Mighty Summits. I know someone at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop probably already told you this Maggie, but hell you can write.

A few of my favorite parts of Astonish Me:

He kissed her once, just before he left for college. it had been the kind of kiss that asks for something enormous.

For the first time she can remember, she is not afraid of failing, and the relief feels like joy.

One of Jacob’s greatest fears was that his life will not appear intentional.

She fears the slow, corrosive trickle of reality into his adulation.

She feels his love grow less dense around her, like a fog lifting.

She prefers Elaine to remain fixed in her old life like an obsolete weather instrument gathering data no one ever sees.

He felt like a sparkling silver parachute had opened around him, delicate as the billow of a jellyfish.

“I hate the city in the summer,” she said. “It’s like living inside a dog’s mouth.”