Link Roundup! -The Toast

Skip to the article, or search this site

Home: The Toast

This once was a very serviceable driver’s license. Then Sansa found it.

The situation with Zika infection is so scary and only getting worse:

Since the first reported case of Zika infection triggered by Aedes aegypti mosquito bites in Brazil in May, the virus has rapidly spread spread to 21 countries and territories in the Americas, with mosquito-borne cases as far north as Puerto Rico.

“Zika virus will continue to spread and will likely reach all countries and territories of the region where Aedes mosquitoes are found,” said the WHO statement.

In Brazil, where the mild flu-like virus has infected more than a million people, the disease has been linked to nearly 4,000 cases of severe brain birth defects in infants. Zika has also been linked to an earlier outbreak of Guillaume-Barre syndrome, a rare paralytic syndrome, in French Polynesia.

“The circumstantial evidence is suggestive and extremely worrisome,” WHO chief Margaret Chan told the executive board of the world public health organization.

Putting disability issues on the political agenda:

There are over 56 million Americans with disabilities. Tens of millions more are caregivers or family members of people with disabilities. In fact, pretty much everyone is at most one degree of separation from someone who is disabled. This is a large population that has all hallmarks of a powerful political constituency. Its members are diverse, stretching across the population; they are aware of their rights;  and they rely on government officials to enforce the ADA, fund programs like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and otherwise work to make American society more inclusive and accessible. Other well organized political groups, such as gun owners or the elderly, have long since found ways to push their issues into the national political dialogue, tapping wealthy donors and organizing interest groups like the NRA and AARP. Why not disabled Americans?

This woman is doing the Lord’s work.

I found the New Yorker‘s investigation of the Baby Doe case almost impossible to read, because it’s so sad, but it’s also very important, especially on the history of poverty, foster care, child abuse, and government oversight:

Programs for the poor are poor programs. And they are made poorer when they fail, and when they are needed most. Natural disasters like blizzards, earthquakes, and hurricanes drive reform and the allocation of resources, leading to improvements in public safety. The tragic but ordinary deaths of people in situations in which people are likely to die don’t usually change policy. When someone dies in an ambulance, that death is not generally followed by an investigation into the qualifications of E.M.T.s. “We don’t stop funding FEMA when the economy gets bad,” Maria Mossaides pointed out, when we met. Mossaides, an attorney, was hired by Michael Dukakis in 1977 and moved into child welfare soon after the Gallison disaster. Deval Patrick had hoped that Mossaides would be willing to serve as D.C.F. commissioner. Instead, she accepted Baker’s offer to become the state’s new director of the Office of the Child Advocate. One feature of a scandal-reform cycle—“Kids die and heads roll,” she says—is a policy pendulum. “The pendulum has swung at least four or five times in the last forty years,” Mossaides says. It swings between family preservation (keeping kids with their family of origin) and removal (removing kids from their homes and severing parental rights so that the kids can be adopted). “We inevitably have cases where we don’t get the safety assessment right,” Mossaides says. “Then you have the high-profile death, and the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction.” When Jeremiah Oliver was reported missing, the governor’s office was boasting that the number of children in the care of the state was down to seven thousand: family preservation was the priority. Two years later, that number has risen to ninety-two hundred, a record. “Pull every kid” is what Mossaides suspects D.C.F. workers are being told. “The only way that happens is social workers have become afraid to leave kids with their parents.”

I promise that this story is worth your time:

I don’t read enough short fiction, but this story in Catapult held me right from the start:

Wide World of Sports


As part of trying to be really good to myself this past weekend, I re-read Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy’s The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny (if you do not already own a blessed hard copy you can get it for your Kindle!), which is a perfect example of how the best kind of book to read is Books By Amateur Historians About The Weirdness Of The British Aristocracy That Reveal That The Amateur Historian In Question Is Also Pretty Weird, and then I read his memoir, and I will share with you just a few tidbits from each:

What to do if your Latvian servant takes ill, apparently:


When your dad is an A+++ doctor:


When your Uncle Eddie was actually one of Waugh’s inspirations (along with Stephen Tennant) for Miles Malpractice:


When nannies internalize the class structure that runs their lives:


So, I have made good strides on not being “haha this nimrod on the internet” because I do not think that is how I should interact with my fellow humans, but then Jess Zimmerman found this NYMag piece about a fella she saw on OKCupid (whose profile was as you might expect it to be) and then I HAD to share it (also, he and this unfortunate woman have split up, apparently):

Are you currently in a relationship? Is she smart?
The girl I am with right now is very intelligent, but she’s also Japanese, so there’s a language barrier. It gets challenging trying to discuss some concepts, including responsible non-monogamy, which doesn’t really exist for women in Japan. It’s under the table there, and accepted because men have needs but women just have to put up with it. It’s a double standard and I’m not a big fan of those. I’m happy for my girlfriend to sleep with other people. So we have a bit of an interpretation barrier. The biggest problems come when we discuss concepts. She can’t keep up with conversations, and that frustrates me.

And then one of Jess’s friends shared this old MeFi thread on a similarly delightful soul, and now I cannot go on:

Yet I have, in fact, approached (hundreds?) of women on subways and city streets (mostly in NYC) to tell them them they’re gorgeous, and ask them out on the spot – most are taken, it’s never proceeded past a coffee even if they’re single, but 99% were grinning a mile-wide even if they said “No.” (Perhaps I was too young? At its height, I was 20 or 21). Nevertheless, the abysmal success rate did do a number on my self-confidence. Fact is, I would very much like to meet a lovely lady or two in the flesh, while out on the town, and woo her by virtue of my own merits.

I just have no idea how. Help a man out.

Pros: I am, apparently, quite attractive – I regularly sport pinstripes and a fedora, and I’m informed that pictures of me prompt girly coos (which confuses no one more than me). I have a natural accent – I am often thought to be either British or Eastern European (having lived in both places), despite being born and raised in the States. I read everything I get my hands on, and have wacky tales of adventure to amuse and intrigue. I also tear up the dance floor at clubs.

Add a comment

Skip to the top of the page, search this site, or read the article again