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Hello, babies. …

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.

Kannon, Bodhisattva of Compassion.

So I was talking with my roommate E​ the other day about principles — about the idea that it’s better to figure out reasonably consistent guiding principles and apply them to situations, rather than make case-by-case judgments.

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Blog round-up: Friend Spotlight

A necklace for many many friends to share.

If you’re anything like me, you have a long list of blogs or sites you’re following so that you always have something to read on your phone on the bus. Many of my favorites are listed in my blogroll in the sidebar here, and I’ve made specific recs a few times. Here are a few more!

Magpie and Whale: For thoughts on journalism, Chicago, and truly quality linkspams, I always turn to my friend Esther.

I promised everyone I’d dance in the streets if Chicago made it to 50 whole degrees, and holy cats, on Monday we hit 56. So, off I went with my camera in just a sweatshirt and tennis shoes, although rain boots probably would have been a better plan, considering that all our snow and ice is now melting into gigantic pools of standing water, much of which is congregating on sidewalks and at street crossings.

Of course, it’s supposed to dump more snow on us again this week, which makes Chicago Magazine‘s musings about whether the City That Works is too cold to compete with the sunny South particularly apropos. But I assume you’re not here for me to endlessly talk about the weather. (In my hometown, you didn’t start conversations with remarks on the weather, you filled dead air with a comment on the height of the Hocking River.) I could ramble abouttreadmill desks or Amtrak’s actually sort of scummy terms and conditions for their writing residency, but let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

In the Lyme Light Blog-a-Thon: My old friend Kat is using March to run a blog-a-thon about her life with lyme. Her first post is very heavy stuff (with a trigger warning for discussion of suicide), discussing mortality and the realities of living with chronic illness; heavy and honest. She encourages questions and suggestions for essay topics, so if there’s something you’d like to know, by all means leave her a comment and engage with the topic!

See, after my health stopped me from updating http://www.lifewithlyme.net for several years, I’m able to write on it again. I’m revamping the layout and writing regularly, and a great deal. I’m also beyond broke and in debt, hence the blogathon helping from all angles! Here’s how it works, and the three ways you can help out:

Way #1: Comment Here with Questions About Lyme, Being Sick, Etc.
Whether you want to sponsor me out not, comment here with anything you want to know about Lyme, connections, the treatment for them, and how having them had affected my life. Every single one will be answered in an essay in its own post.; I really want to answer the questions you actually HAVE–and enough people have said things that I know they do have questions–so please, do ask,.

This Blog Is Better In Vinyl: Ernie, my fellow Alaskan-kid-who-did-magic-tricks-on-the-Tonight-Show, is currently blogging about teaching in Turkey with characteristic hilarity and depth.

It was so damn quiet. There were three (again, corgi) street dogs. They were slow. They wandered into puddles and got their paws muddy. “Maybe,” Jari said, “maybe there is a brood mother somewhere in these hills.”

“A corgi brood mother.”

“Yeah. Spawning corgis. Or there’s like a corgi dominant gene.”

“They are planning for world domination.”

“The children of the broodmother will consume the whole world.”

I’m doing my best to transcribe this sort of conversation you understand because I want to convey to you how mind-alteringly slow time passes in the village. We sat on rocks next to our packs in the village center, a confluence of three dirt roads, watching dogs walk back and forth and listening to three old men talk about something in another language. When the bus came by the first time, it was going the opposite way, and both of us wanted to get on just for something to do. It was quiet, though, and quiet was pretty nice. We waited for the bus to come back around.

Feeling Elephants: Jessica is not only one of the smartest people I know, but one of the most compassionate, well-informed, and busy people I know. She also tops my list of Friends Most Likely To Be President One Day. Actually, she may be the only person on my list of Friends Most Likely To Be President One Day. Dickinson-Goodman 2026!

Like any good social justice worker, I do my civil rights head count every time I walk into a room or presented with a list of names. (how many women, how many men; how many people of color, how many white people; how many young people, how many older; how many low-income people, how many middle-class, how many wealthy; rinse, repeat).

So when I got an RNC presidential straw poll in my email this morning–because I subscribe to campaign and major candidate emails from both parties–I did my count.

The result was embarrassing: 5 female candidates of 31 options. That’s 16%, a full 3 points lower than the also-mortifying 19% currently serving in Congress.

Incrementalism

Lupita Nyong'o at the Oscars.Alfonso Cuaron is the first Latino director to win Best Director — in fact, as far as I can tell, he’s [Correction:] the first non-white person one of two non-white artists to win Best Director (the other being Ang Lee, who has won twice; thanks to Piper for noting my commission), in 86 years of the Academy Awards. Lupita Nyong’o is the first black African to win an Oscar. Steve McQueen is one of three black men ever nominated for Best Director, and black screenwriter John Ridley of 12 Years A Slave took home Best Adapted Screenplay. Robert Lopez is the first Filipino American to win an Oscar. Sunday’s show contained a significant portion of the awards taken home by non-white artists in the Academy Awards’ 86 year history.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Pope Francis says that the Catholic Church could support some kinds of same-sex civil unions, and even though Vatican spokespeople promptly tried to walk his remarks back, the fact remains that the head of the Church didn’t straight-up condemn some kind of official recognition of same-sex relationships.

Not that there’s not a long way to go.

Lammily, a Barbie-style doll modeled on the average body type of American teenage girls with the specific goal of promoting realistic beauty standards in young girls, has gone viral. Nickolay Lamm, the designer and artist, has already raised twice his fundraising goal for putting Lammily into production.

There’s a long way to go, but that’s a damn good first step.