In this thoughtful TEDx talk, Mars rover engineer Abbie Hutty argues that rather than trying to entice young people to STEM fields with gregarious, genius role models like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs, we need hardworking, introverted role models who demonstrate what most STEM professionals are actually like. Read the rest
Watch Joshua John Russell of Man About Cake craft a truly impressive octopus wedding cake using copper wire and modeling chocolate. Read the rest
Educator Delena D. Spann digs into the concept of money laundering a.k.a. “any process that ‘cleans’ illegally obtained funds of their ‘dirty’ criminal origins, allowing them to be used within the legal economy.” Read the rest
Jessica Vill of BehindTheBunzie uses 75- to 80-year-old makeup made in 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s to create a contemporary makeup look. And she shows off some cool vintage makeup ads along the way. Read the rest
The YouTube channel HooplaKidzLab demonstrates some awesome science experiments you can try with your kids this summer. Here’s another video from the channel about how to make a robotic arm out of popsicle sticks:
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It turns out lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars are the only species of cat that can roar. SciShow explains why in this new video. Read the rest
RuPaul’s Drag Race has morphed from cult reality TV show to mainstream phenomenon, and in this great new piece for Vox, Caroline Framke explores how much the show means specifically to teenagers. As she writes:
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When I went to the first DragCon, I was struck by how many of these screaming, sobbing teens — many of them the cis girl teens you might otherwise expect to fight for an autograph from a Harry Styles rather than a Naomi Smalls — swarmed the floor. I knew Drag Race was popular, but I didn’t realize how much it had traveled beyond its initial cult audience of queer men and women already ensconced in drag culture to reach this younger, hungry generation of fans.
The same held true — even more so — at 2017’s DragCon. Time and time again, I watched as kids with braces and fledgling attempts at facial contouring traded intel on which queens would be signing things where, swarmed a Teen Vogue panel (“Resistance in Trump’s America”), posed for pictures while their beaming parents stood by, and struggled to hold back rapturous tears in front of their favorite queens. When they did get the chance to actually ask a question, sure, some took the opportunity to show off their encyclopedic knowledge of which queen threw shade during which challenge, or to ask for the kind of behind-the-scenes gossip not even the infamous Drag Race subreddit might have.
But for the most part, these kids just wanted advice.
After RuPaul’s keynote (the final event of the con), one 19-year-old girl summoned the courage to go up in front of hundreds of fellow fans and ask her idol, through so many sobs we could barely understand her, “How do you wake up in the morning and tell yourself you’re beautiful?”
It was a startling moment, but one I’ve come to expect from Drag Race fans after watching, loving, and researching the show’s larger impact for years.
Slate is running a fun contest that asks people to distill the Declaration of Independence into a single witty tweet. As the site explains:
In 2010, back before Twitter had quote tweets and threads and daily diplomatic significance, Slate issued a challenge to our readers: Condense the Declaration of Independence into a single tweet.
We’re reviving that contest. The first version drew hundreds of entries, topped by a succinct bit of wit from our winner: “Bye George, we’ve got it.” Twitter is bigger and more competitive these days, and we expect an even better contest this time.
The concept remains the same. Thomas Jefferson took 17 days and 8,000 characters to write what the U.S. National Archives calls the America’s “most cherished symbol of liberty.” You’ll have three days and 140 characters to channel the declaration’s essence into one perfect tweet. And while Twitter has changed since 2010, the ideal tweet hasn’t. It still requires just the right mix of wit and eloquence.
The prize is basically just bragging rights and a mug from the National Archives. To enter, simply tweet as many entries as you like at the Slate Twitter account using the hashtag #TinyDeclaration. The contest is only open to U.S residents and runs through this Thursday, June 29th. You can read all the details on Slate. Read the rest
A frozen Independence Day treat that’s a whole lot healthier than a Bomb Pop.
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Introduce yourself, introduce your friends, and make sure you don’t talk about things that only interest you. Read the rest
It turns out a lot of the aesthetics of the 1980s can be traced back to an Italian design collective. As Vox explains in this new video created by Dion Lee:
[The] Memphis Design movement dominated the '80s with their crazy patterns and vibrant colors. Many designers and architects from all around the world contributed to the movement in order to escape from the strict rules of modernism. Although their designs didn't end up in people's homes, they inspired many designers working in different mediums. After their first show in Milan in 1981, everything from fashion to music videos became influenced by their visual vocabulary.
[via The A.V. Club] Read the rest
Recreate Diana’s iconic fishtail braid with this tutorial. Be warned, however, you might need arms of steel (or a friend) to make it happen.
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People with disabilities tend to be drastically underrepresented in both culture and journalism. And one website is hoping to change that. Disabled Writers is a simple resource to help editors connect with writers with disabilities. As the site explains:
We are concerned about the lack of disability representation in media and pop culture, particularly with respect to multiply marginalized disabled people, such as disabled women of color and the transgender disability community. This resource aims to eliminate the “I couldn’t find anyone” barrier to hiring disabled writers and speaking with disabled sources.
When disability coverage appears in the media, it’s often developed for nondisabled people, by nondisabled people. 20 percent of the population, which includes media consumers and creators, is disabled, and it is important to put disabled people in charge of their own narratives. Hiring disabled writers will improve the breadth and depth of your coverage, and talking to disabled people as sources for your stories will improve the quality of your reporting.
Disabled journalists and sources aren’t just focused on disability. Disabled Writers highlights the incredible diversity of interests in the disability community, from the law to feminism. If you’re seeking to increase the diversity of your storytelling—and who is telling those stories—we hope you find this sourcing tool useful.
While the website is designed first and foremost for editors looking for writers to hire, its collection of writer profiles also contains links to the writers’ social media accounts. So consider diversifying your Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and more with some of these voices. Read the rest
If, like me, you missed and/or avoided the Power Rangers movie from earlier this year, Honest Trailers cheekily breaks down its highs, lows, and weird obsession with Krispy Kreme. Read the rest
YouTube performers Peter Hollens and Whitney Avalon offer a catchy medley of the best songs that Disney villains have to offer. Read the rest
As the hilarious Star Trek: The Next Generation Tumblr “Fashion It So” points out, this dress from eShakti bears more than a passing resemblance to a Starfleet uniform, especially the ones worn during the Deep Space Nine and Voyager eras of the series. Here’s the dress:
And here’s a look at the DS9 and Voyager uniforms:
The dress also comes in grey and is offered in a couple different cuts.
The dresses are available from size XS to 36W and come with a whole bunch of customizable options in terms of size, length, sleeve style, and neckline. You can check out the Starfleet dress and more size-inclusive fashion on eShakti’s website. Read the rest
In this new ScreenCrush video, a group of trans actors discuss Hollywood’s lack of trans representation and why it matters. The video was written by Jen Richards, who expands on a lot of these ideas in her article for Logo’s New Now Next site about the pervasiveness of cis (i.e. non-trans) men playing trans women. As Richards writes:
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I was trapped in the same cycle many of my friends were: We dated straight men who were afraid other people would think they were gay because the public thinks transgender women are just men with good hair and makeup. And the public thinks that because the only trans people they know of are men with good hair and makeup in movies.
Despite hundreds of thousands of straight men all around the world consuming trans pornography in massive quantities, driving a high demand for trans sex workers, and crowding Craigslist with non-stop pleas for discreet hookups, every guy acts as if the trans women they’re seeing is somehow the rare exception. “You just feel like a woman,” I’ve heard a million times, “but you know, most trannies look like men.”
What they really mean is, “All my friends know is what they’ve seen in movies.”
It’s more than frustrating—it’s dangerous. Straight men’s fear that other straight men will think they’re gay because they’re with a trans women leads to violence against trans women. This image of male celebrities in drag is what leads to laws like HB2, which made it a crime for me to use a women’s room when I went home to see my family in North Carolina.