Life as an Extreme Sport

Jazz Hands vs Clapping – One is Not the Other

Oh for the love of – there’s a news story going around saying that the University of Manchester Student Union “banned” clapping, because it’d disruptive for speakers and can cause issues for students with sensory issues, and told students to instead use “jazz hands” to convey applause, like sign language! … … … So in other words, the University of Manchester Student Union asked students to applaud, and folks who’ve never chatted with a deaf person or been exposed to a signed language assume jazz hands is just the same as sign language, because it…involves hands? Ah yes. Because they are so similar. (They are not similar at all.) I mean, if you want to talk about language constructing the world and Othering, here you go; you couldn’t ask for a better example. Because at best, the media coverage of this SHOULD read “clapping out, clapping in at university –

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BNN Strikes Again: Raped or Not?

A long, long time ago, I wrote about BNN’s controversial “decide who gets a kidney” reality TV show “The Great Donor Show.” In the end, rather than being one terminally ill person deciding who got her kidney, it was one actress “highlighting the plight” of the families who desperately needed kidney transplants, in an effort to push forward dialog on transplantation laws in the Netherlands. I remain skeptical of the efficacy of the concept, and firmly in the “that’s pretty damned tasteless” camp. Somehow, I think BNN’s latest is going to have a hard time even crawling out of the muck to “damned tasteless”: their new debate show, Raped or Not? This time around, the TV show is going to air re-enactments of rapes to male and female panelists, and will then ask them if they agree with whatever verdict was reached at trial. Producers say the alleged sex attacks

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voter suppression and voter obligation – patriotism beyond July 4th

As many people know, last week Kris Kobach sent a letter to all 50 states asking for a lot of “publicly available” information about registered voters: “full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas.” Pence and Kobach both feel that this information all falls under publicly available, but multiple states disagree, saying that they wouldn’t, for example, ever give out any part of someone’s social security number or birth date. (Sensible, really, from a basic identity theft protections standpoint.) For this and a litany of other reasons, 44 of the 50 states have so far said no, nope, not happening, nice try, go away now. (I’m paraphrasing.

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self-care and staying in your own lane

Normally, when we hear the phrase “stay in your own lane,” it’s a chastisement that you’re swimming outside the waters you know, and you need to get back into your area of expertise and let experts be experts without your meddling. It’s a phrase I’m guilty of using quite a bit when talking about the anti-bioethics sort that inhabit the harder sciences, and it’s in general a bit of a hard push back on folks who want to opine about everything regardless of pesky details like, I dunno, knowledge. So Chris Geidner’s tweet about voluntarily staying in his lane of expertise is one worth highlighting, underscoring, and otherwise supporting: Sometimes, staying in your own lane, your own area of expertise, isn’t one of “getting back” but knowing where to place your priorities and energies. And right now, in the current political climate, resistance fatigue, where people just roll their eyes

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Trump’s Telling Lies – Again. This Time, About Terrorists

On Friday, Trump signed an immoral (and almost certainly illegal) executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Section 1 states the purpose of this act: The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. While signing the executive order, Trump said, “We only want to admit those who will support our country and love deeply our people…We will never forget the lessons of 9/11, nor the heroes who lost their lives at the Pentagon.” Sadly for Trump, actions speak louder than words, and in this case, his

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