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Sansa is sulking because we don’t let her eat the baby’s socks.

Not only is this THE MOST INTERESTING THING (DESERT MOTHERS!), check out the dope illos by our own Matt Lubchansky:

It is in this environment that Christian women began to use the vow of chastity as both an act of devotion and an excellent legal loophole. Virginity became a movement, the ultimate hack. As a consecrated virgin, a woman suddenly became free of many of the empire’s gender laws, free to preach and to lead in their community, free to model themselves after the apostles. The majority of the virgins were women in the cities who formed their own network of house churches. They flaunted their independence from men, refusing to hide away or to veil themselves, rubbing their ethical superiority in married couples’ faces. They dressed to make a statement, sometimes adopting men’s clothing and hairstyles (some sheared their heads entirely), and preached in the streets in drag. Women of all social strata, in a move that evokes the late-1960s hippie exodus from the American suburbs, were abandoning their parents and husbands and homes to follow Christian prophets who claimed to offer a starker, truer interpretation of the gospel, and a chaste life as equals alongside equally devout men. Together, they would transcend the mundane world.

This life outside of social convention would not last. Toward the end of the third century, the emperor Diocletian ordered widespread attacks on chaste Christian women. All partner-less women who refused to marry were to be raped or prostituted. 1,000 widows were martyred in Antioch; 2,000 virgins were martyred in Ancyra.

Kate Winslet on Alan Rickman

Ari Ne’eman on two new books about autism (one of which is Steve Silberman’s excellent NeuroTribes, which was really important to me this year, and the other being In a Different Key, which is very parent-focused and has a lot of issues):

A decade ago, when the autistic self-advocacy movement was just beginning to enter the realm of politics, many of the early autistic activists and bloggers organized around the sense that parent leaders were writing us out of our own stories.

At the time, autism parent advocacy was particularly brutal. In 2003, the head of the Autism Society of Canada testified to the Canadian Senate, “Autism is worse than cancer in many ways, because the person with autism has a normal lifespan. The problem is with you for a lifetime.”

THE PROBLEM. Good grief. Steve Silberman also has a good piece on NPR about Asperger and the Nazis.

GOOD GRIEF do not take this to HR:

Dear Prudence,
Three months ago I got a new boss. She thinks highly of my work, but she has a habit that drives me up the wall: She will use a relatively common word and then immediately supply the definition. The annoying part is that they are words that any high school senior would know. For example: “I don’t mind a little frivolity in meetings,” followed by “That means I don’t care if everyone gets a little silly.” At first I ignored it, then gave cold replies (“I see …”), then tried sarcasm. Nothing seems to work. I have spoken with co-workers and the reply is generally something like “Oh yeah, that’s just X being X.” If I bring this up with HR I’m worried I will sound petty (that means my complaint won’t seem very important. See how annoying this is?). Help!

Check out her timeline stat:

A man and his bedbugs (NOPE NOPE NOPE):

Dogs claim to be “man’s best friend,” but tell that to James Behan, a New Yorker who’s seemingly so attached to his bedbugs that he refused the services of an exterminator and let the infestation in his apartment persist to the point that his landlord filed a lawsuit.

This piece in GUTS on a decision to watch only movies by women on Netflix reminded me I have only ever walked out of one movie, and it happened to be the first Sin City, because of this same thing:

The summer of 2014 saw me attend Sin City 2 in theatres with my partner. When the movie ended, I walked out of the building to sit down on the curb and sob for twenty minutes at having seen so many dead naked women, naked women rendered precarious by men posturing at each other, asserting dominance in the face of threats to their masculinity. Women who die because they are uncooperative or don’t otherwise fit into a patriarchal entity or institution’s plans.

This AHP piece on Robert De Niro is very good, but the COMMENTS by his STANS are AMAZING:

That’s a common theme to De Niro’s missteps. All the right ingredients, a solid recipe, and bland or inedible results. A director you’ve admired, someone you’ve wanted to work with, a killer script: films that sound amazing. It’s there in all of De Niro’s most recent flops:What Just Happened (2008), for example, has Barry Levinson directing; Sean Penn, Robin Wright, Catherine Keener, and Stanley Tucci co-starring; in a script adapted from a successful memoir from a Hollywood producer.

It grossed $6.7 million.

I feel like we’ll be linking to something terrible about the situation in Flint every day for a long time:

The lead exposure persisted for 17 months, despite repeated complaints from residents of this majority-black city. It is in no small part thanks to Walters, a no-nonsense stay-at-home mom with a husband in the Navy, that the Flint situation is now a full-blown national scandal complete with a class-action lawsuit, a federal investigation, National Guard troops, and many—including Bernie Sanders—calling for the resignation of Gov. Rick Snyder. “Without [Walters] we would be nowhere,” Mona Hanna-Attisha, the head of pediatrics at Flint’s Hurley Medical Center, told me. “She’s the crux of all of this.”

Kate Aurthur went to the set of The Magicians and returned with all the info:

Nevertheless, London, Gamble, and McNamara decided to talk with Syfy. One executive at the meeting told them that the channel was determined to set history right, and get to where Syfy should have gone after its Battlestar Galactica run from 2004 to 2009, when the critically adored, geek-worshiped drama had brought the channel both respect and business success. “We should have done The Walking Dead; we should have done Game of Thrones,” McNamara recalled the executive saying. “We were the leader in genre. We won the Peabody Award for a cable science fiction show. We turned that opportunity into dreck. He said to us directly, ‘We took what was filling the halls at Comic-Con and turned them into empty rooms.’”

Gamble hadn’t even noticed Syfy’s faded place until that meeting. “But then I realized I was a huge genre fan and wasn’t really watching much of their stuff,” she said.

“We just left the room saying, ‘At least we know one thing: We’re going to work people who are self-aware and honest,’” McNamara said. “’Are we going to get the biggest budget? No. Are we necessarily going to fit their corporate identity? I don’t know.’” But the idea of being an important part a rebuilding brand had its appeal: They sold The Magicians to Syfy, which made the pilot in December 2014, and then ordered it to series in May of last year.

SUPER COOL interview with a weightlifting Muslim woman:

At a time when women are representing countries never before represented by females in the Olympics, Pakistani-American Kulsoom Abdullah is doing her part to forward the cause of Muslim women in sports. Kulsoom Abdullah is like many readers of Breaking Muscle in that she is a weightlifting enthusiast and sometime CrossFitter. She is perhaps different from some readers in that she is also Muslim and wears a traditional head scarf, or hijab, as part of her religious expression. When I had the opportunity to interview Kulsoom, however, I discovered the differences are not all that pronounced. In fact, Kulsoom’s experiences “lifting covered,” which is also the name of her website, reflect the experiences many of us have as athletes and thoughtful people, Muslim or otherwise. Ironically, it is the very clothing of her religion that is now becoming the center of conflict in her life as an athlete in the United States.

This happened after I finished my roundup, but our friend Doug was killed in an avalanche yesterday. We got a call from a friend who had heard he was involved, then we called his cell phone and his girlfriend answered. It was terrible. If you are religious, I would so appreciate your prayers today, and if you are not, I would welcome your good vibes and thoughts. Steve just drove to his house to be present with the people who loved him, and although I do personally believe he is in a better place, I grieve terribly for his family and friends, and it is hard to accept his loss. Please embrace the people who care for you.

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