Melissa Harris-Perry describes herself as “cis” (via “MSNBC Talks To And About Trans People For An Hour, Doesn’t F*ck It Up” on autostraddle)
A recent report from progressive watchdog organization Media Matters found that despite the hot-button nature of Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, cable news networks in America have seriously lagged in covering the legislation. In November, for example, the viral music video for “Gangnam Style” by South Korean rapper Psy received more coverage on CNN and Fox News than Uganda’s attempt to kill LGBT people. In fact, Fox didn’t cover the legislation at all. Notably, MSNBC devoted twice as much airtime to covering the “Kill the Gays” bill as it did to discussing “Gangnam Style.” (via The Advocate)
We need to talk about why we’re not talking about Uganda.
Psychologists call this phenomenon hedonic adaptation. The idea is that no matter how good something makes us feel (or, for the record, how bad), most of the time we drift back to where we started, emotionally speaking. One often-cited study famously showed that despite their initial euphoria, lottery winners were no happier than non-winners 18 months later. The same tendency to return to “baseline” has been shown to occur after marriage, voluntary job changes, and promotions — the kinds of things we usually expect to change our happiness and well-being for the better in a permanent way.
Why can’t we make the happiness last? Psychologists (and renown happiness experts) Kennon Sheldon and Sonja Lyubomirsky argue in a recent paper that our hedonic adaption occurs for two reasons.
When a positive change first occurs (say, you move into a great new house), there are usually lots of positive events happening as a result. You get to break in that new six-burner range, take a long bath in your first soaking tub, and appreciate the roominess of your new garage. But over time, there are fewer positive events to experience, because you get used to all the home’s features, and after a while you just don’t notice them anymore. With fewer positive events, and thus fewer positive emotions (excitement, pride, happiness), your newfound well-being can’t be sustained.
The second reason happiness fades is that even when positive events continue — if, for instance, your fitness and healthy eating habits leave you looking great, and this results in lots of new opportunities for romance on a regular basis — the change begins to simply be seen as the “new normal.” And as a result, your aspiration level shifts — you feel like you need to look even better. Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has referred to this process as a kind of “satisfaction treadmill.” Because we continuously shift our standards upward once we’ve reached them, we’ve got to keep running in order to feel satisfied again.
As Jian Ghomeshi tweeted: “It’s both interesting and disturbing that CNN keeps feeling the need to point out that Sikhs are not Muslims.”
Even some Sikh commentators found a need to make it clear that that they are peaceful people, which had a disturbing undertone of differentiating themselves from the bad, warring Muslims.
This is a good learning moment for the American people of all religions, and especially for the American media. Yes, Sikhs are not Muslims and Sikhs are not Hindus, but jumping to clarify difference leaves the unfortunate, if unintentional, perception that there is something wrong with those “others.”
I am reminded of the run up to the election four years ago when the Obama campaign kept on emphasizing that the candidate was not a Muslim. Only Colin Powell had the guts to stand up and say the obvious: The fact that Obama isn’t a Muslim should not be the focus of the campaign, rather we should all remind ourselves that it shouldn’t matter if Obama were a Muslim.
Sikhs from all walks of life have clarified to me over the last 24 hours that the most important outcome from this horrible tragedy would be for Americans to become more familiar with the Sikh faith and to understand that they are a beautiful part of the fabric of American spiritual practice.
Sikhs are not interested in being identified as “not Muslim.” American Sikhs would rather their tradition be understood for what it is, rather than what it is not."
Your daily reminder that there are people in political positions of power who are sincerely fucked in the head.
“No. I am not Mom enough.
Not as TIME magazine seems to define it on their outrageous cover today. The one showing the willowy bombshell of a mother, staring defiantly at the camera, while her 3-year-old son stands on a chair next to her, the better to suckle at her exposed breast.
I am not Mom enough to take the bait. To accept TIME’s deliberate provocation and either get mad at this woman for what I think I know about her from this photo, or to feel inferior, or superior, or defensive, or guilty — or anything at all, if it means I am comparing myself to other mothers.
I am not Mom enough to think that the debate over how to feed our youngest children — an important and nuanced conversation about nutrition, and workplace policy, and government responsibility, and gender relationships — can be boiled down to a simplistic, unrepresentative, staged photograph.
The breastfeeding conversation is not titillating. The TIME cover is.”"
Okay, I found the source for this map. It’s from here. That’s it in PDF,
This makes me feel ill.
Well doesn’t this just explain everything
AND… that just ruined my dinner.
How collective memory saved lives during Japan’s tsunamis: When the tsunami struck Miyatojima island, a story passed down through generations meant residents knew what to do and kept many safe.
A millennium ago, the residents of Murohama, knowing they were going to be inundated, had sought safety on the village’s closest hill. But they had entered into a deadly trap. A second wave, which had reached the interior of the island through an inlet, was speeding over the rice paddies from the opposite direction. The waves collided at the hill and killed those who had taken refuge there. To signify their grief and to advise future generations, the survivors erected a shrine.
… Some 50 generations later, on March 11, 2011, the Murohama tsunami warning tower — which was supposed to sound an alarm — was silent, toppled by the temblor. Still, without the benefit of an official warning system supported by modern science, the locals relied on the lesson that had been transmitted generation to generation for 1,000 years. “We all know the story about the two tsunami waves that collided at the shrine,” I was told.
Photo: Evacuees from Futaba, a town near the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, arrive to an evacuation shelter near Tokyo. Credit: Eugene Hoshiko / Associated Press
How many are you guilty of? It’s not looking too good for HuffPost NYC HQ.
Getting remarried after divorce… oh hey Newt Gingrich!
Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in East Limestone, Ala., on March 2.
After an understandable uproar over a mandatory procedure that federal law would consider rape, Virginia legislators have opted to forgo the invasive and most definitely uncomfortable procedure for women seeking abortions. On top of a big invasion of privacy for all women, the legislation could have re-traumatized women who sought abortions because of rapes. A meeting last night led legislators to reconsider the vagina wand provision, reaching a compromise that would make the procedure voluntary, but not mandatory, reports The Washington Post. We’re not sure what woman might choose to have an ultrasound used in this way, but, now they get a choice. And with that, the never-ending reproduction debates continue.
By A Nearly 2 To 1 Margin, Cable Networks Call On Men Over Women To Comment On Birth Control — ThinkProgress.
Washington’s Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a gay marriage bill into law at a ceremony Monday, meaning same-sex couples will likely be able to get married there beginning June 7. “We’re here to make history,” she said at a signing event. Washington will now be the seventh state to have legalized gay marriage.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
Led by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), seven Democratic senators and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are appealing to backers on all of their websites to sign on to the “One Million Strong For Women” in hopes of harnessing the energy displayed in the backlash against Komen.
“The strong public outcry in response to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood last week — which they later reversed — shows how powerful we can be when we come together,” says an email expected to be sent Wednesday by Gillibrand’s office and obtained by The Huffington Post.
“Our right-wing opponents continue to launch attack after attack against women’s rights, women’s health, and women’s economic security — and we’ve got to fight back every single day,” the appeal argues.
A British woman who served with the Royal Air Force for the last two months of World War I was the last known veteran of the war when she died in her sleep Saturday night. Florence Green joined the RAF at the age of 17 and died just before her 111th birthday, which would have been Feb. 19. She had been a mess steward with the air force, the BBC reported, serving in two U.K. air bases after she joined up on Sept. 13 1918.
[Image: BBC News]