i likened it to someone as: it's like the difference between your old fuzzy broken-down CRT monitor and a Retina display monitor. only with the entire world. and not just because of the difference in prescription.
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When Brittney Griner, the first pick in this year’s WNBA draft, mentioned to SI.com last month that she’s a lesbian, it wasn’t a huge coming-out moment for anyone who knew her, because she’d been open about her sexuality since her freshman year of high school. It might have been a surprise to anyone who was only familiar with her college career, though, because she was on strict orders from Baylor University to keep quiet about it.
“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner said during an interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”
“I told Coach [Mulkey] when she was recruiting me. I was like, ‘I’m gay. I hope that’s not a problem,’ and she told me that it wasn’t,” Griner said. “I mean, my teammates knew, obviously, they all knew. Everybody knew about it.”
A private, Baptist university, Baylor has rules about “purity” and proper behavior and “sexual misconduct,” which clearly indicate that Griner’s extra-extracurricular activities during high school don’t fit in with their Good Christian Values.
Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm. Temptations to deviate from this norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior. It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.
They specify that “[m]isuse of God’s gift will be understood to include, but not be limited to, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, sexual assault, incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts.” Baylor says they will “strive to deal in a constructive and redemptive manner with all who fail to live up to this high standard,” which I’m guessing involves wind sprints or tip drills or something. (“Griner! Gay again?! You know the drill — ten laps!”)
So the university knew when they recruited Griner that she was a misuser of God’s gift. And they easily could have said, “What? Oh, sorry, no — we actually have a whole policy about that.” But instead, they said, “Wait, a 6’8″ dominating center with more blocked shots than any other high-school girl in the country? You could be useful to us! Just don’t make us look bad with all the, y’know, lesbianity. Here’s your scholarship; now shut up and post up, sinner.”
That’s damn impressive. Just one thing, those are supposed to be Black Widow’s sleeves and gloves but I think he should have added her Widow Bites because they’re super cool. (via Geekologie)
Judith Butler explains gender. With cats. Head to Geekosystem to see the whole thing.
I do, Grover, I do. (via Nerd Approved)
In advance of its premiere this Sunday, Netflix has released
four (Edit: One more!) five micro-clips of Arrested Development‘s fourth season. One of them is covered in bees. That one’s above; check out the other three behind the cut.
(Yeah, I just worked an Eddie Izzard reference into an Arrested Development post. What’re you gonna do?)
We were thrilled to report a mostly happy ending to the story that was high school student Kiera Wilmot being expelled and arrested for attempting a science experiment on school grounds. No formal charges were brought against the student and she and her sister will get a free ride to space camp soon, but to hear Wilmot tell the story in her own words brings the frightening reality of what almost happened back to life.
Wilmot wrote a full account of what happened for the American Civil Liberties Union and as a kid who rarely got in trouble at school, it brought back memories of how bad it actually felt when I did. Only, I don’t think I could ever imagine what it would be like being handcuffed at school for doing a science project.
The piece, titled “An Unexpected Reaction: Why a Science Experiment Gone Bad Doesn’t Make Me a Criminal,” broke down the whole experience, which began by choosing a biology, chemistry, or physics project for class.
Someone suggested to me to combine aluminum foil and toilet bowl cleaner in a water bottle to make a volcano.
That morning I was taking the experiment to be approved by my teacher. My friends and I were outside, and they wanted to see how it worked. Eventually they convinced me to try it. It did not react the way I expected it to. The lid popped off and smoke came out. If I could go back in time, I definitely wouldn’t have done it.
What followed wasn’t what Wilmot, or any of us, would have expected. She explained to school officials what had happened, they told her she made a bomb on school property. And then the police came.
They didn’t read me any rights. They arrested me after sitting in the office for a couple minutes. They handcuffed me. It cut my wrist, and really hurt sitting on my hands behind my back.
So it looks like Wilmot and her family have a pretty good case for a lawsuit. Wilmot explained how traumatic it was for her to then be brought to a juvenile assessment center and that even though her mother seemed disappointed, she’s not sure what she would have done without her there. “I would have dug a hole and sat there for the rest of my life,” she wrote.
Thankfully, the state decided not to formally charge Wilmot but at the time, she was extremely concerned about what a criminal record could do to her future hopes and dreams. “I want to go to college and get a degree in technology design and engineering,” she wrote. “I want a career building robots that can do tasks like surgeries or driving cars.”
Although she’s mostly out of the woods, and getting a sweet trip to space camp thanks to supporters, Wilmot is still having a tough time. She’s concerned about how her twin sister Kayla is handling the whole thing and wishes she could go back to her old school.
Right now I’m at Bill Duncan Opportunity Center, which is for students who were kicked out of school. People are teasing me and calling me a terrorist. And the school is actually quite easy. I’m not getting the challenge that I used to have. I don’t have homework. There is no German class, and there is no orchestra. I probably couldn’t even bring my cello because I was told the students would steal it.
For science, ladies and gentlmen, for science.
Take a few minutes and read Wilmot’s entire essay on the ACLU website.
Because really, there’s nothing minimalist about Capitol style, you’d probably be shunned. However, John Isorena makes it work. See which Hunger Games characters he gave a make-under to, and check out more minimalist characters on his DeviantArt page.
(via Chocolate and Cream Cake)
This looks an awful lot like the Google search results for “worst school mascots” doesn’t it? Actually, it’s a search I just made (in an incognito tab, because that’s where any blogger worth her salt does their investigatory Google fiddling) that does not include the word “worst” at all. Turns out, enough people out there still casually use “gay” as a blanket pejorative term for pretty much any kind of thing that Google’s algorithm also thinks that it’s a pejorative term. And Google doesn’t seem inclined to do anything about it.
After Buzzfeed pointed out this particular phenomenon of Google’s search results algorithm earlier this week, Google’s official response was this:
Google’s results, including when a search term is synonymized with another, are a reflection of content on the web and how people search. These results are determined by algorithms and we don’t manually correct this process, but we are always looking at how we can improve our algorithms.
I respect that Google works with some pretty significant systems of code, ones that I probably couldn’t hope to understand without years of study (somehow, I don’t think my hazy memories of Python 101 are going to get me very far). And as a company, it’s done some great work on the LGBTQ rights front. But Google has run into issues of language in its online products before. For example, when Google+ launched, the only part of your profile that could not be switched to private was your gender, and the only choices were male, female, and other. This was a problem if you didn’t identify as any of those labels, and also for a lot of women who didn’t want to advertise their gender for fear of judgement from a male dominated userbase. Quizzical users have also called into question the specific words that Google has disallowed from their instant search results. Nobody wants explicit material popping up on their screen because their search term shares a bunch of initial letters with the name of a porn movie or something. But shortly after instant search debuted, it was discovered that in addition to explicit words, Google also censored “lesbian” and “bisexual” even though a search for those terms doesn’t show porn on the first page.
Shortly after concerns were raised about G+’s gender identification problems, the company allowed users to switch their gender to private. It seemed the search giant might have allowed “bisexual” back into the light as well, last year, but it still displays a blank page. The fact is: Google can manually moderate its algorithms. Instant search and autofill won’t display anything that begins with “I hate “, and many searches about suicide methods instead serve up links for suicide hotlines. I think the company should really think about extending such manually curated search results to uncoupling “gay” from it’s all to common use as a general negative term. Ideally Google should be inferring the subtleties in our word choices in order to deliver better results, but I think this is one case where they shouldn’t.