reference/misc blog

Last update
2020-06-01 20:02:22

    One of the most important things I learned in my Language and the Law class is that law enforcement will intentionally misinterpret every type of statement asking for a lawyer as not asking for a lawyer. Even directly saying it like this “I will not speak to you without a lawyer” can be taken as a simple statement of fact rather than a request for a lawyer. You literally have to state “I am now invoking my right to a lawyer” and every time they try to proceed with an interrogation you have to answer every question with “I am invoking my right to have a lawyer present”. You can’t just tell them you won’t talk without a lawyer or that you want a lawyer. You have to state that you are invoking your rights. Otherwise they could just say “well they just said they wouldn’t speak without a lawyer present. That’s not invoking their rights to a lawyer. It’s just stating a fact.” even just stating your right to a lawyer doesn’t count!

    <>PLEASE share this addition. I am a lawyer who works in criminal defense, and this is one of the most avoidable things that people consistently get wrong about the Miranda rights.

    Here are some more “ambiguous” phrases which courts have fo<>und DO NOT invoke your right to a lawyer:

    “Maybe I should speak to my lawyer first.”

    “I might like a lawyer.”

    “I think I should have a lawyer present for this.”

    “Could I speak to my lawyer first?”

    “How long until my lawyer gets here?”

    And perhaps most egregiously – “Get me a lawyer, dawg – ‘cause this is not what’s up.”

    <>Here are the magic phrases which you need to know if you want to invoke your Miranda rights:

    <>1) “Am I free to leave?”

    It’s worth asking this even if the answer is obvious. Even if the officer does not let you leave, by forcing them to admit that you are not free to leave, you are creating a record which your attorney can use to prove that you were in custody. Miranda rights only apply if the interrogation is custodial, meaning that police officers will frequently claim that their suspects were “not in custody” to get around their Miranda rights.

    <>2) “I am invoking my right to remain silent.”

    Simply staying silent <>will not<> invoke your right to remain silent. As absurd as this is, you must explicitly say that you are invoking your right to remain silent in order to invoke that right.

    <>3) “I am invoking my right to an attorney.”

    As stated above, you must be not only clear and unambiguous, but clear and <>legally<> unambiguous. Don’t get cute. Don’t get sassy. And on the flip side, don’t get intimidated and use verbal ticks to minimize your request. Say the line with those words exactly – say it clearly, and say it once, <>and then say noth<>ing else.

    Because even after you’ve done all this, the police can still try to get you to talk. They’re not supposed to interrogate you, but they’re allowed to make casual conversation, and if that conversation just happens to circle back around to the thing they wanted to question you about, well, that’s really your fault for talking after you said you wouldn’t, isn’t it? Can’t possibly fault the poor officers when you initiated if you really wanted to have your rights respected, you wouldn’t have talked to them in the first place.

    The police know this, and they will mercilessly exploit this loophole. So, once you’ve successfully invoked your Miranda rights, any and all conversation you have with police officers will put those rights back into jeopardy. 

    <>Putting it all together:

    Ask: <>“Am I free to leave?”

    If they say no, say:<>“I am invoking my right to remain silent and I am invoking my right to an attorney.”

    And then shut up and <>do not say a single thing to them for any reason whatsoever until you have actually spoken to an attorney. Yes, even if it takes hours. Yes, even if they start talking to you about something else.

    <>Finally, a very important disclaimer:

    I may be a lawyer, but I’m not your lawyer, and I cannot guarantee that what I’ve just laid out here will always work for every situation. We didn’t get to this bizarre and absurd place overnight – we built this ridiculous system piecemeal, by deciding on a case-by-case basis that certain phrases were “too ambiguous” or certain types of questioning weren’t actually questioning at all. The law is still in flux, and is still fundamentally out to get you, and willing to bend plain meaning beyond all recognit<>ion to do it. Even if you invoke your rights perfectly, exactly as I have specified above, there’s a chance that your invocation of rights will be disqualified on some new technicality that no one’s even thought of yet – and that’s precisely the problem.

    Watch this video: “Don’t Talk To The Police”

    Internet Piracy 101

    because everything should be free anyway, so until it is, just steal what you want.

    Torrent Client

    torrenting is a way to share files from one computer to another without the need for a centralized server to hold everything. to start torrenting you need to get a torrent client. there are several different options for all operating systems but my favorite one that is compatible with Linux, OS X and Windows is called Transmission. you can download it from here:

    Torrent Tracker

    now that you have the application you need to download stuff, let’s find something to download. trackers come in two varieties: public and private. private trackers are beyond the scope of this post, but the main advantage to them is security. it’s much harder for your ISP to tell what you’re downloading, so you’re much less likely to get sent a copyright claim email if that’s something your ISP does (more on that later). they also typically have higher quality and more obscure content, and usually enforce seeding ratios so that files are always available. by their nature, private trackers are very strict about who they allow access to. there are more extensive guides online for how to gain access if you’re interested. i’m going to focus on public trackers for this post. these don’t require user registration but are susceptible to snooping by some ISPs and their contractors, which i will detail how to get around later in a couple paragraphs.

    there are many trackers out there. my favorite public tracker right now is called 1337x and can be accessed at one thing to keep in mind about trackers is that due to their legal-grey-area nature they often resort to sketchy shit to stay afloat, such as displaying ads for malware and scams, and dark patterns such as fake “Download” buttons which dont actually lead where you want. a good way to avoid those things is to install an adblocker like ublock origin. 

    using a tracker site is pretty self explanatory: search for what you want and hit download. if you have a torrent client installed, it should automatically come up and ask you to confirm the download. then you just wait until the download finishes, at which point you can open it. tada!

    each torrent on a tracker has a certain number of seeds and peers. these numbers indicate how many other people have copies of the files, and consequently determine how fast your download can finish. try to pick torrents with the higher number of seeds when you can.

    keeping the files in the same directory that your torrent client downloaded them to allows you to act as a seed. this means that when someone else wants the torrent, their torrent client will download some parts of the files directly from your computer. this is the basis for all peer-to-peer sharing and it’s encouraged to seed as much as you can, so that everyone can have consistent access.

    Evading Your ISP

    some ISPs in the US, such as Comcast, have automated systems in place that detect copyrighted material in torrent traffic. when they detect it, you get sent an automatic email that lets you know that they know what you’re doing and you’d better stop right now. in practice, legal action against torrenting is on shaky legal ground, since you can’t actually prove that just because something was downloaded from your connection, it was actually you who did it - after all, it could be a random person who broke into your wifi, or a guest, whatever. these kinds of emails are still scary, however, and i dont trust the courts to protect people forever, so i prefer to go the extra mile by paying for a VPN in those situations. i use mullvad which is $5 per month. again though, not all will ISPs require this; if you’re on a provider who doesn’t care, you don’t have to bother. 

    Torrent To A File Server

    you can torrent stuff directly to your computer but i like to keep all my torrented media on a file server on a network share, because then your files are accessible from any computer on your home network, and they’ll still be there if your computer breaks. there are many software projects that exist to facilitate this; i tend to just build these systems myself but i really like what FreedomBox is going for, so if you have a spare computer and time, i encourage you to play around with that.

    Soft skills for the apocalypse

    Let’s face it, if the world ends, so many of us will flee somewhere else for safety that we’ll end right back up in communities again. There’s going to be more to it than growing your own food and knitting handspun socks.

    I’m linking to resources, but a many of these skills, being interpersonal, are best taught in live trainings by professional instructors, where you can see and feel all the interpersonal dynamics going on in the room, and by experience, trying them out on real people in an educational setting.

    When the world ends, it will be helpful to be able to::

  • Run a meeting
  • Peacefully negotiate
  • De-escalate a potentially violent situation
  • Organize a community
  • Cope when you’re having a panic attack
  • Co-regulate to help a child keep calm
  • Identify community resources
  • Protest safely and peacefully
  • Even small local pieces of activism today, like organizing a protest march or lobbying your municipal government to make public spaces more accessible, have a double reward: There’s the work you’re doing, and the skills you learn when you do it.

    the assumption that people with violent killing skills should be given priority/power in a post-apocalyptic society is the reason it stays post-apocalyptic and doesn’t actually rebuild society

    the assumption that people with violent killing skills should be given priority/power in a post-apocalyptic society is the reason it stays post-apocalyptic and doesn’t actually rebuild society

    Mental Health Must Reads

    As promised, here’s a list of mental health must reads that I’ve  personally read and recommend. I read or listened to all of these books for FREE with my public library card and Libby App but linked to where you can buy these books from the aut<>hors.

    <>Abusive / Narcissistic Parents:

  • Children of the Aging Self Absorbed - Nina Brown - for adult children of narcissistic or abusive parents. Teaches practical yet powerful strategies for navigating the intense negative feelings that these parents can incite, as well as tips to protect yourself.
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed - Nina Brown - Similar to above.
  • Complex PTSD - Pete Walker - The author has CPTSD and wrote this book from the perspective of someone who has experienced a great reduction of symptoms over the years.
  • The Drama of the Gifted Child - Alice Miller - explores the serious if not dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere. One of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst.
  • For Your Own Good - Alice Miller - A challenge to the child-rearing practices of punishment and coercion.
  • Toxic Parents - Susan Forward - drawn on case histories and the real-life voices of adult children of toxic parents to help you free yourself from the frustrating patterns of your relationship with your parents.
  • Trapped in the Mirror - Elan Golomb - Adult children of narcissists and their struggle for self.
  • <>Addiction (haven’t read a lot on thi<>s):

  • In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts - Gabor Mat - Close encounters with addiction.
  • <>Anxiety & Stress:

  • Burnout - Emily Nagoski - explains why women experience burnout differently than men and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.
  • When the Body Says No - Gabor Mat - Understanding the stress-disease connection.
  • Doing Harm - Maya Dusenbery - How bad medicine and lazy science leave women dismissed, misdiagnosed, and sick.
  • Rage Becomes Her - Soraya Chemaly - The power of women’s anger.
  • The Tao of Fully Feeling - Pete Walker - Harvesting forgiveness out of blame.
  • The Gift Of Fear - Gavin de Becker - Survival signals that protect us from violence.
  • Emotional Intelligence - Daniel Goleman - insight into our “two minds”—the rational and the emotional.
  • <>Body Image & Disordered Eating:

  • The Body Is Not an Apology - Sonya Renee-Taylor - the power of radical self love.
  • Body Positive Power - Megan Crabbe - Memoir - Because Life Is Already Happening and You Don’t Need Flat Abs to Live It.
  • Dietland - Sarai Walker - Fiction
  • The Fuck It Diet - Caroline Dooner - Eating Should Be Easy
  • Health at Every Size - Linda Bacon - Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem.
  • Heavy - Kiese Laymon - Memoir
  • Hunger - Roxane Gay - “A Memoir Of (My) Body”
  • Intuitive Eating - Evelyn Tribole - The go-to book on rebuilding a healthy body image and making peace with food.
  • You Are Why You Eat - Dr. Ramani Durvasula - Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life
  • <>BPD:

  • The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath - Fiction/Memoir
  • Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen - Memoir
  • I Hate You - Don’t Leave Me - Jerold Kreisman - Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder
  • The Survivors - Adam Frankel - A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing
  • <>OCD:

  • Body Punishment - Maggie Simone - OCD, Addiction, & Finding the Courge to Heal
  • Brain Lock - Jeffrey Schwartz - Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  • Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts - Sally Winston - A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
  • Radical Acceptance - Tara Brach - Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
  • <>Sexual Assault / Abuse / Trauma:

  • Asking for It - Kate Harding - The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture-and What We Can Do about It
  • The Body Keeps The Score - Bessel van der Kolk - Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Come As You Are - Emily Nagoski - An essential exploration of why and how women’s sexuality works.
  • The Courage to Heal - Ellen Bass - A Guide for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Does She Call It Rape? - Lori Girshick - Woman on Woman Sexual Abuse
  • Know My Name - Chanel Miller - Memoir of an Emily Doe
  • Not That Bad - Roxane Gay - Essays of Dispatches from Rape Culture
  • Three Women - Lisa Taddeo - Memoir / Fiction
  • Why Does He Do That? - Lundy Bancroft - Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
  • <>Workbooks:

  • The Artist’s Way Workbook - Julia Cameron
  • The CBT Workbook
  • The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism
  • Come As You Are - Workbook
  • The Courage to Heal Workbook
  • The DBT Skills Workbook
  • The Intuitive Eating Workbook
  • The Self Love Workbook
  • Why we need masks for all

    Okay, I am going to put myself out here: we need masks for all. If you live in a country that doesn’t have widespread use of masks in public, this one is for you.


    Here is a graph of coronavirus trajectories by country. All those countries in blue have widespread public use of masks, in addition to other measures.

    Obviously I am not basing all of this on a few countries that have managed to slow the spread. Here is a link to a summary of 33 scientific papers that show that masks (even handmade ones, we’ll get to that<>) reduce spread of infection for the general population. Many of these studies are themselves meta-analyses of data. The evidence is mounting that public mask usage is an important strategy to reduce COVID-19 transmission. I want to highlight this paper in particular which modeled tha<>t public mask usage could slow or even stop the spread of an influenza pandemic.

    (The CDC and WHO still maintain that healthy people should not wear masks. Preserving them for healthcare workers is important, but that is a separate question from whether they work or not. It seems likely from the evidence presented above that they do help at least somewhat)

    Of course, there is a nationwide shortage of masks in most countries. Medical grade masks must be reserved for healthcare workers (if you have some, look for local ways to donate them, many hospitals are accepting donations). So where do we get the masks for the public? We follow the lead of the Czech Republic and Taiwan and <>make our own. Here is a great summary of how the Czech Republic went from 0 to 100% public mask usage, in less than two weeks.


    A person makes masks and a “mask tree” where neighbors could donate handmade masks to others. Note that masks (or anything really) can be effectively sterilized by heating above 70C (158F) either in the oven for paper masks or using regular cycle in your washer and dryer for cloth masks.

    Studies have shown even basic household materials like t-shirts can be effective at blocking droplets that contain viruses.


    Are they as good as n95 respirators? No. But outside of certain medical procedures, the disease mainly spreads through droplets, and these homemade masks are still pretty good (though not perfect) at blocking those. This goes both ways: the masks provide a layer of protection to protect you, but ALSO contain a lot of the droplets you could be spreading. Some people with the disease don’t have any symptoms at all, so wearing masks is also importan<>t to reduce the chance of infecting others.

    Masks, like social distancing, don’t have to be 100% effective in order to help flatten the curve.


    Here is a model from the Seattle area, which shows how small changes in social contacts can effect total case numbers. You can see that even reducing contacts 25% has a profound effect on case numbers after a few weeks. The same thing would be true if wearing masks reduced transmissions by just 25%.

    I want to point out that as long as you don’t take risks you wouldn’t take otherwise and keep your hands off the mask, there is very little risk to doing this now as we wait for further scientific evidence. And the evidence is mounting that simple ma<>sks reduce risk <>and slow spread.

    In the Czech republic, they went from no one wearing masks to 100% (it is now mandatory in public) in about 10 days. While the mandatory order to cover your mouth and nose is only a week old, they have seen a slower growth of cases than the rest of Europe despite lots of testing.


    Basic masks can be made with just a t-shirt and scissors, no sewing required. This video shows you how, just wear your mask higher on your face than this guy. (Video is changed from original post to one that doesn’t require Facebook login)

    And a few more tutorials

  • DIY facemask with filter pocket from Maker’s Habitat (video)
  • Facemask with adjustable wire and filter pocket from Easy2Sew (video)
  • Craft Passion Face Mask Pattern (pattern & instructions)
  • A Dr Explains how to make a facemask from a HEPA filter (video)
  • image

    Simple mask that can be made with a sewing machine, from Craft Passion

    If you get good at making homemade masks, especially the ones with HEPA filters, some hospitals are now accepting donations of homemade masks as well. Check to see what is going on in your local area.

    If the papers cited above are correct, wearing a mask now when you need to leave the house for essential chores will reduce the time it takes to bring our cases down, and public use of masks could be invaluable in keeping cases low when people start to go back to work.

    <>We can change our culture from stigmatizing masks to expecting people wear them. It happened in the Czech Republic in less than two weeks. We can do it too.

    If you have the time, please watch this video. It was the thing that really made all of this click for me, and it has a ton of great information. Here is a shorter video from the Czech youtuber who started the movement in his country which I also recommend watching & sharing.

    Please reblog & add resouces, tutorials, or mask selfies! There are three main things you can do to help spread the word and normalize mask wearing: 1) share videos & other information on the topic; 2) take a selfie of you wearing a home-made mask; 3) spread the message, with hashtag #masks4all.

    March 30th updates:

    A lot has happened in the four days since I wrote the post. Some news:

  • Austria Requires Masks in Supermarkets
  • Bulgaria makes wearing a protective mask in public places compulsory
  • George Gao, director-general of the Chinese CDC, gave an interview about the biggest mistakes other countries are making:

    <>The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”

    President of Slovakia, Zuzana Chepalova has been matching her masks to her outfits this week. Slovakia has also made masks mandatory in public.


    A team of public health experts at American Enterprise Institute included public use of masks a key part of their strategy:

    There is emerging evidence that asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 is possible, which complicates efforts to pursue case-based interventions. <>To reduce this risk during Phase I, everyone, including people without symptoms, should be encouraged to wear nonmedical fabric face masks while in public

    (Link - it’s worth reading the whole section on masks if you are interested)

    US Senator Pat Toomey calls for the public to wear homemade masks to prevent the spread of covid-19.

    Not news, but important, here is the conclusion of a study that evaluated homemade masks against surgical and n95 respirators for protection against respiratory infection:

    <>Any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence, personal respirators providing most protection. Masks worn by patients may not offer as great a degree of protection against aerosol transmission.”

    A great new summary video to share, featuring experts from the Czech medical community and the Minister of Health of the Czech Republic:

    In addition to the t-shirt method in the original post, here are three more face-covering tutorials that do not require a sewing machine:

    This one is disposable!

    Here is how to turn a t-shirt into an impromptu face covering, no cutting or sewing required.

    5 more new sew styles. Could potentially be reinforced with a paper towel, or additional cloth.

    I want to end with a plea not to treat the masks as a substitute for quarantine, social distancing, hygiene etc. The biggest fear in recommending masks to the public is that people might get a false sense of security from them. <>If people use masks as an excuse to take these other precautions less seriously, it could undo any benefit they have and even make the situation worse. If you wear a mask, you MUST continue with all the social distancing and hygiene measures as before. Don’t think of the mask as permission to do risky things: think of it as a constant reminder of how careful we must be.

    Remember, mask or not: isolate yourself when sick, stay home as much as possible, keep a safe distance from others when you must go out, avoid touching your face, and wash your hands frequently and well! We need to do everything we can to get through this thing.

    In the czech republic the change was done exactly overnight. Coverage of mouth and nose was made mandatory by the government after closing schools and services, declaring the state of emergency and combined with the stay at home rule. Some people used store bought which they still had, hankies or scarfs and a few days later, almost everyone had home sewn ones.

    The masks are made of cotton or linen fabrics, shirts, bed sheets etc boiled and ironed, exchanged after every usage. They are an excellent option for the general public as the professional ones should be saved for medics and other critical service staff.

    Now a few czech companies are working on non woven filter fabrics that will be cut and inserted into these masks so the protection is even more effective.

    According to the epidemiologist Roman Prymula who runs the show, the mandatory usage of masks was significant in slowing the spread.

    We do not wear them because we don’t want to get infected, we wear them because we’re mindful of other people and groups at risk.The usage of masks lowers the spread of aerosol emission from your mouth by almost 80%.

    Side note, the president of Slovakia is Zuzana Čaputová. Yes diacritic is important.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective - the Czech Republic is really an inspiration for so many other countries right now and we have so much to learn from you!

    It seems we are finally starting to catch up to you here in the USA. Today, April 3rd, the US CDC started recommending that we wear fabric masks or facial coverings when we go out in public.

    US friends, it is time to get to work making masks, educating friends & family, and setting a good example by wearing them for essential activities. The Czech Republic proved that it is possible to change the culture around masks. Now it’s our turn to change the culture here.

    <>Why you should never buy sex toys on Amazon.

    I see people on here all the time talking about buying sex toys on Amazon so it’s time to run through this again. I know it may seem like you’re saving money but when something seems too good to be true it usually is.

  • The main reason you shouldn’t buy sex toys on Amazon is that, unlike buying from reputable retailers<>, you have absolutely no garuntee that the product you’re buying hasn’t been used, returned, and resold. The sex you industy in America is almost completely unregulated so really can’t trust amazon to hold better business practices than legally required. People have found bodily fluid and pubic hair on toys purchased from Amazon.
  • The second biggest reason is that <>you’re more than likely buying an expensive knock off labeled as a brand name item. The way the amazon marketplace works is by sorting items with the same bar code name into the same catagory. So let’s say you want a wi vibe so you pay for one but what happens is that amazon doesn’t log a difference between a brand name Wi-vibe and a knock off from China. They’re both just labeled “wi-vibe” so you pay for a quality item and get a cheap knock off. So you may think you’re getting a high quality item for $50 but instead you’re getting a $10 look alike that will die and malfunction quickly. Imagine paying for a Lelo (the most luxury sex toy brand) and getting something nothing like that.
  • And lastly, <>it’s not safe for you! Because the chances of you getting a knock off are so high, it’s very likely that you’ll get something made out of harmful materials. A lot of the sex toys made cheaply in China and places like that have no body safe regulations on materials so not only could you pay for a brand name item and not get it <>, but you might actually get something that could make you sick or even poison you. Some toys will even leak oils and chemicals when exposed to water or fluids.
  • <>In summation, buying from Amazon is NOT safe for you, will most likely rip you off, and you could even be getting used products.

    Below I’m listing Dangerous Lily’s list of best places to buy. I recommend reading her reviews before purchasing anything expensive.

    Where to buy:


    Early to bed

    Smitten Kitten

    Good Vibes

    Come as you are

    Be vibrant


    And directly from the brand retailor like we-vibe, Lelo, body wand, etc.

    Apparently the sale of sex toys on amazon have spiked since everyone is stuck at home so I’m bringing this back as a PSA.

    PS: a LOT of third party sellers on Amazon have jumped onto the sex toy bandwagon and are offering “free” toys for reviewing - but the thing is they ask you for your Paypal so you can make an order, give them the order number, and then refund the amount thru Paypal.

    This is sales padding and it’s reportable to the FTC, they’re having you pose as an actual customer but refunding you behind the scenes so its “free”. It’s a scam to boost their numbers.

    If a company or online store wants you to review products for free, it will actually be 100% free and there will be no talk of placing orders and being refunded for them.

    I was forwarding these to a friend and figured it’d be worth sharing them all here too so enjoy some free books and essays and things in no particular order:

    Jeanette Winterson - Art Objects

    Does Your Daughter Know It’s Okay To Be Angry? - Soraya Chemaly

    Braiding Sweetgrass - Robin Wall Kimmerer

    Zami, Sister Outsider, Undersong - Audre Lorde

    Garments Against Women - Anne Boyer

    Laziness Does Not Exist - Devon Price

    Learn Socialism Resources

    Do Economists Actually Know What Wealth Is? - Nathan J. Robinson

    Love Dialogue: CÉLINE SCIAMMA on Portrait of a Lady on Fire - Carlos Augilar

    Teaching To Transgress - Bell Hooks

    Sexing the Cherry - Jeanette Winterson

    Sinister Wisdom Archives

    Why Pop Culture Links Women and Killer Plants - Amandas Ong

    How To Suppress Women’s Writing - Joanna Russ

    Women’s Voices Now

    The Life of Tove Jansson

    Unbearable Weight; Feminism, Western Culture and the Body - Susan Bordo

    ‘A Simple Favour’ and That Whole Lesbian Psycho Thing - Ciara Wardlow

    OUTWEEK Archives

    AirPods Are a Tragedy - Caroline Haskins

    Devotions - Mary Oliver

    Go Tell It On The Mountain - James Baldwin

    Nevertheless, She Feasted: Why Girls Get Hungry in Horror Movies - Francesca Fau

    Written on the Body - Jeanette Winterson

    Sula - Toni Morrison

    Not Vanishing - Chrystos

    The Fever - Wallace Shawn

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire director Céline Sciamma: ‘Ninety per cent of what we look at is the male gaze’ - Alexandra Pollard

    Minimalism Is Just Another Boring Product Wealthy People Can Buy - Chelsea Fagan

    AIDS, Art and Activism: Remembering Gran Fury - John d’Addario

    In the Day of the Postman - Rebecca Solnit

    Blood and Guts in Highschool - Kathy Acker

    Mark My Words: The Subversive History of Women Using Thread as Ink - Rosalind Jana

    Exploring Frida Kahlo’s Relationship With Her Body - Rebecca Fulleylove

    Ravens have paranoid, abstract thoughts about other minds - Emily Reynolds

    The Lady in the Looking Glass - Virginia Woolf

    Angela Carter talks beauties and beasts with Terry Jones

    A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing - Eimear McBride

    Why Female Cannibals Frighten and Fascinate - Kate Robertson

    Lesbian Herstory Archives


    Guggenheim Books

    We Are Lisa Simpson: 30 Years with the Smartest and Saddest Kid in Grade Two - Sara David

    On Beauty - Zadie Smith

    Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado

    How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation - Anne Helen Petersen

    Why the Popular Phrase ‘Women and Femmes’ Makes No Sense - Kesiena Boom

    Ask No Man Pardon: The Philosophical Significance of Being Lesbian - Elsa Gidlow

    Taking Care - Callista Buchen

    Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives (1977) - Mariposa Films

    Why you should give money directly and unconditionally to homeless people - Matt Broomfield

    Yo Soy Así (2010) - Jodi Savitz

    Liuzhou “Luosifen”: Slurpy, Spicy, and Absolutely Satisfying | Liziqi Channel

    Root intelligence: Plants can think, feel and learn - Anil Ananthaswamy

    East Bloc Love (2011) - Logan Mucha

    Why Do Rich Kids Do Better Than Poor Kids in School? It’s Not the “Word Gap.”  - Molly McManus

    They Shut Me Up In Prose - Emily Dickinson

    The Importance of Friends with Similar Disabilities -  Elizabeth Mazur, Ph.D.

    The Lesbian Archives at the Glasgow Women’s Library

    A Poetry Handbook - Mary Oliver

    Teaching Community. A pedagogy of Hope - Bell Hooks

    Working Class History

    Why don’t doctors trust women? Because they don’t know much about us - Gabrielle Jackson

    In Our Brutal Modern World, Science Shows Our Brains Need Craft More Than Ever - Susan Luckman

    Why were the lives of ordinary 16th and 17th century women largely undocumented? | Suzannah Lipscomb

    Caliban And The Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation  - Silvia Federici

    Mother’s Touch (엄마의 손길) -  Jane Yeon and Audris Park

    Gene Wilder Was Right: Gilda Radner Didn’t Have To Die, And We Need To Talk About Why She Did - Abby Norman

    Why 1984 Was a Vital Year for British Gay Culture: An interview with Paul Flynn - Hanna Hanra

    R&B Legend Jackie Shane On Growing Up Trans in the South - Zackery Drucker

    The Journey - Mary Oliver

    The Fictional Spinster Classification Index - Daniel Mallory Ortberg

    What kind of country have we become? Try asking a disabled person - Frances Ryan

    The poetry and brief life of a Foxconn worker: Xu Lizhi (1990-2014)

    I need to try this for trips I only bring a carry-on to.

    I use to do this all the time in the military. Just forgot how to over time o.o

    I wish I’d known about this when I was homeless.

    I could’ve taught it to all the other ladies at the shelter and Darlene couldve sucked a sour one because she never would have been able to bitch at us for “having too many clothes.”

    reblogging this to have it forever because holy god damn

    This, and then put it into a large ziploc bag, squeeze the air out and seal. Waterproof.

    ok kids repeat after me

    vinegar and bleach makes chlorine gas, which is highly toxic

    ammonia and bleach makes chloramine, which is highly toxic

    rubbing alcohol and bleach makes chloroform, which is highly toxic

    hydrogen peroxide and vinegar makes peracetic/peroxyacetic acid, which can be highly corrosive

    be careful about your cleaning products and dont get yourself injured or potentially killed ok


    why it so dangerous to be clean


    As someone who’s job is to handle chemicals like this, I need to state that this information is IMPORTANT. Plenty of people have accidentally injured or killed themselves at home because they didn’t know what kind of reaction certain substances have with one another. Play it safe and don’t mix chemicals.

    Also don’t use bleach to clean up urine it’ll create chloramine bc of the ammonia in it and you can give yourself chemical pnemonia that way

    Every time I see “helpful” posts telling people to mix these things while cleaning I cringe with my entire body.

    Rubbing alcohol + bleach not only creates chloroform - dangerous enough - but when that chloroform is exposed to air+sunlight, it creates phosgene, an even more dangerously toxic gas which can<> kill you with very little warning up to 48 hours after exposure.<>

    If you forget about this warning until you realise you’ve accidentally created phosgene, you need to leave the area immediately and call emergency services. (999 in many places/911 in the US) and tell them exactly what happened.

    Phosgene smells like newly mown hay or green corn, but the scent is mild and you may not notice it.

    If you’re concerned you might not remember these warnings, try writing them down on a card or sheet of paper and keeping it where you’ll see it when you get out your cleaning products (for instance, taped to the inside of your cupboard door or to your cleaning caddy). Make it visually clear at a glance that they aren’t recipes for good products, but warnings.

    Why "doing something relaxing” does not help your anxiety

    A lot of the time when people give advice intended to relieve anxiety, they suggest doing “relaxing” things like drawing, painting, knitting, taking a bubble bath, coloring in one of those zen coloring books, or watching glitter settle to the bottom of a jar.

    This advice is always well-intentioned, and I’m not here to diss people who either give it or who benefit from it. But it has never, ever done shit for me, and this is because it goes about resolving anxiety in the completely wrong way.  

    THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO when suffering from anxiety is to do a “relaxing” thing that just enables your mind to dwell and obsess more on the thing that’s bothering you. You need to ESCAPE from the dwelling and the obsession in order to experience relief.

    You can drive to a quiet farm, drive to the beach, drive to a park, or anywhere else, but as someone who has tried it all many, many times, trust me–it’s a waste of gas. You will just end up still sad and stressed, only with sand on your bu<>tt. You can’t physically escape your sadness. Your sadness is inside of you. To escape, you need to give your brain something to play with for a while until you can approach the issue with a healthier frame of mind. 

    People who have anxiety do not need more time to contemplate, because we will use it to contemplate how much we suck.

    In fact, you could say that’s what anxiety is–hyper-contemplating. When we let our minds run free, they run straight into the thorn bushes. Our minds are already running, and they need to be controlled. They need to be given something to do, or they’ll destroy everything, just like an overactive husky dog ripping up all the furniture. 

    Therefore, I present to you: 


    –Go on a walk

    –Watch a sunset, watch fish in an aquarium, watch glitter, etc.

    –Go anywhere where the main activity is sitting and watching

    –Draw, color, do anything that occupies the hands and not the mind

    –Do yoga, jog, go fishing, or anything that lets you mentally drift 

    –Do literally ANYTHING that gives you great amounts of mental space to obsess and dwell on things.


    –Do a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or any other mind teaser game. Crosswords are the best.

    –Write something. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. Write the Top 10 Best Restaurants in My City. Rank celebrities according to Best Smile. Write some dumb Legolas fanfiction and rip it up when you’re done. It’s not for publication, it’s a relief exercise that only you will see. 

    –Read something, watch TV, or watch a movie–as long as it’s engrossing. Don’t watch anything which you can run as background noise (like, off the top of my head, Say Yes to The Dress.) As weird as it seems, American Horror Story actually helps me a lot, because it sucks me in. 

    –Masturbate. Yes, I’m serious. Your mind has to concentrate on the mini-movie it’s running. It can’t run Sexy Titillating Things and All The Things That are Bothering Me at the same time. (…I hope. If it can, then…ignore this one.) 

    –Do math problems—literally, google “algebra problems worksheet” and solve them. If you haven’t done math since 7th grade this will really help you. I don’t mean with math, I mean with the anxiety. 

    –Play a game or a sport with someone that requires great mental concentration. Working with 5 people to get a ball over a net is a challenge which will require your brain to turn off the Sadness Channel. 

    –Play a video game, as long as it’s not something like candy crush or Tetris that’s mindless. 


    –List the capitals of all the U.S. states

    –List the capitals of all the European countries

    –List all the shapes you can see. Or all the colors. 

    –List all the blonde celebrities you can think of.

    –Pull up a random block of text and count all the As in it, or Es or whatever.  

    Now obviously, I am not a doctor. I am just an anxious person who has tried almost everything to help myself.  I’ve finally realized that the stuff people recomme<>nd never works because this is a disorder that thrives on free time and free mental space. When I do the stuff I listed above, I can breathe again. And I hope it helps someone here too. 

    (Now this shouldn’t have to be said but if the “do nots” work for you then by all means do them. They’ve just never worked for me.)

    This would’ve been great an hour ago

    This is good advice for anxious peeps and peeps with anxious friends. Seems obvious now but I hadn’t thought about it this way before.

    intro to lit theory

    these are about 2/3 of the readings for my intro to lit theory course, if you’ve ever wondered what one studies on such courses, the links lead to free pdfs  

    Had a doc appt (just my yearly checkup) a couple days ago and I asked her about checking to see if my measles vaccine from when I was a kid was still good, since I’d heard it could lose effectiveness over time. She nodded and had a lab done and turned out I was NOT still immune to measles, so got my booster today.

    Get your vaccines, folks!

    “I have a question about a vaccine,” I say, and the look of ‘god fuckin dammnit not again’ that flashed across this poor doctor’s face, followed by abject relief when I said “I’ve heard that the measles vaccine can lose effectiveness over time and I’d like to make sure mine is still good.” says everything really. 

    “Oh thank god,” she literally said. “Yes of course. That’s true, and we can do a blood test and see. If you don’t still have antibodies we can get you a booster scheduled.” 

    “That question goes poorly a lot, doesn’t it,” I say. 

    “You have no idea.”

    I had mine checked last year - it’s really simple to do to make sure you’re still vaccinated and safe. Ask your doc to add this to your physical this year!

    I had mine checked and turns out the mumps part didn’t take so I got the whole shot again. A+ do recommend

    In Canada there’s a gap generation where they thought only one dose was needed, not two, for the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine. I got my booster last year because I’m in the gap generation. If you were born between 1970 and 1996, check to see if you should get a booster.

    When I started University I had to provide my shot record. It was “up to date” but I asked the doctor the same question about effectiveness. Especially, since I had chicken pox as a kid and I’m also in a weird age group. Instead of opting for the blood test, I got boosters anyway.

    Even though my 2 siblings both have had shingles, the doctor says my insurance will not cover the shingles vaccine. Once I stop breastfeeding the doctor is willing to talk about if I really need it, and pay for it out of pocket.

    Vaccines are important, even as adults.

    Simple mutual aid ideas

    Many people are demotivated from providing mutual aid to their community because they assume it’ll be expensive, complicated, and/or illegal. Not so! You can make a big difference in your neighbors’ lives just by sharing what you have and building solidarity with them (Note: Your local public library, community garden, or makerspace may be happy to host one or more of these if you get in touch with them!)

    <>Connect on social media: A good first step is to start a group message, Facebook group, Discord server, email list, or anything else that allows people to talk to each other consistently. From here you can start to build solidarity and discuss what unmet needs your community has and how to address them

    <>Bartering, time banking, and free stores: From there it’s easy enough to start the conversation about how to provide each other with material aid. Poor communities often have needs and the ability to meet those needs right next to each other, but they are never matched together just because people don’t have enough pieces of paper to give each other. A way around that is to start trading with each other - a jar of jam for an old unused bike, car repairs for fresh honey, 2 hours of guitar lessons for 2 hours helping repaint your deck, etc. This doesn’t have to be formalized and kept precise track of - “I’ll owe you one”s or just a general culture of “homies help homies, always” are a great way to build up trust and a sense of community

    <>Buying coop: Buying wholesale can save a lot of money, but a lot of people never have enough money at one time to take advantage of that (besides not needing an entire pallet of dish soap). A buying coop lets a group of people pool their money to buy wholesale instead, saving everyone money in the process

    <>Food sharing: Food waste/excess and food insecurity are a perfect match, and as such there have been plenty of ideas for bringing them together. Community pantries can pool and hold nonperishables inside something like an apartment building; a simple veggie share can be built and set up outside for communities with a lot of gardeners/farmers; a people’s fridge can hold perishable items if you can get a hold of the appliance itself and space/power for it; a setup like MIT’s FoodCam can connect hungry people to unwanted leftovers; and Food Not Bombs collects commercial food waste to share with communities all across the world (your city might very well have one already - look it up!)

    <>Tool share/library of things: There are a lot of things that you use once or twice a year at most and then let sit in your attic the rest of the time. Post hole diggers, Batman-shaped cake molds, 3D printers, turkey basters, etc. Not only do these sit around unused for a majority of the time, but worse, if someone in your community needs one, they’ll likely go out and buy a whole new one. Instead, try finding a community area where you can put a lending library. That way, everyone in your community can pool their scarcely-used resources, and rather than owning 20 hammers altogether, everyone can share 2

    <>Little free seed library: Little free libraries are a fairly well-known way to informally share resources with your neighbors, but if you live in an area with a lot of gardeners, or hopeful gardeners, saving seeds can be another way to use the same design. Just set aside the seeds from your harvest, or your groceries, then put them in reused envelopes from your junk mail and leave them in the box to be picked up by your neighbors. You can also share cuttings and clones from your garden!

    <>Community composting: Composting is a dead simple process for turning food scraps and other organic waste into rich fertilizer - saving any gardeners in your neighborhood money (and keeping harmful pollutants out of the environment) with no ongoing investment needed. Personal setups require specific inputs in specific quantities for best results, but in large enough piles those rules can be largely ignored and still give great compost. If you get enough people involved, then, your composter can be as simple as a large box on the side of the road. ShareWaste can connect you to people with food scraps, whether you have a personal or community composter

    <>Bike/car sharing: People aren’t moving around at all hours, meaning a majority of the time their transportation is sitting in garages or driveways unused. Starting a bike share can be a fairly easy, low-cost way to address this and improve people’s mobility. A car share can be a lot more involved, but worth it for all the money and carbon it can save (especially for areas with little or no public transit)

    Feel free to share other ideas below!


    Another idea: a Really Really Free Market! Since we live in a world with an abundance of stuff, it’s perfectly feasible to have a market space where everything donated is completely free to take by anyone who needs it. I’ve been to this particular market before and it’s really cool because everybody gets the necessities they need without worrying if they have the money for it.


    I just found out about Freecycle Network and the Buy Nothing Project, both surprisingly widespread and definitely worth checking out!