Friday, June 10, 2011

My Mother Was No White Dove

My Mother Was No White Dove

by Reginald Shepherd 

no dove at all, coo-rooing through the dusk
and foraging for small seeds
My mother was the clouded-over night
a moon swims through, the dark against which stars
switch themselves on, so many already dead
by now (stars switch themselves off
and are my mother, she was never
so celestial, so clearly seen)

My mother was the murderous flight of crows
stilled, black plumage gleaming
among black branches, taken
for nocturnal leaves, the difference
between two darks:

a cacophony of needs
in the bare tree silhouette,
a flight of feathers, scattering
black. She was the night
streetlights oppose (perch
for the crows, their purchase on sight),
obscure bruise across the sky
making up names for rain

My mother always falling
was never snow, no kind
of bird, pigeon or crow

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Permanence (Thanks xkcd)

Equal Pay Act

"This act represents many years of effort… to call attention to the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job. This measure adds to our laws another structure basic to democracy. It will add protection at the working place to the women, the same rights at the working place in a sense that they have enjoyed at the polling place."

- President John F. Kennedy, remarks upon signing the Equal Pay Act of 1963

On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act, a law intended to end gender-based pay discrimination. At the time, women were earning, on average, only 59 cents for every dollar earned, on average, by men. Companies were posting the same jobs on men's and women's help wanted pages -- with different salaries. Discrimination was rampant and overt; it was still legal to pay unfairly. The Equal Pay Act was intended to be a key first step toward changing the way America did business, for the better.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Human Poverty Index (from 2008)

Ranking↓ Country↓ HPI-2↓ Probability at birth of not surviving to age 60 (%)↓ People lacking functional literacy skills (%)↓ Long-term unemployment (%)↓ Population below 50% of median income (%)↓
1 Sweden 6.3 6.7 7.5 1.1 6.5
2 Norway 6.8 7.9 7.9 0.5 6.4
3 Netherlands 8.1 8.3 10.5 1.8 7.3
4 Finland 8.1 9.4 10.4 1.8 5.4
5 Denmark 8.2 10.3 9.6 0.8 5.6
6 Germany 10.3 8.6 14.4 5.8 8.4
7 Switzerland 10.7 7.2 15.9 1.5 7.6
8 Canada 10.9 8.1 14.6 0.5 11.4
9 Luxembourg 11.1 9.2 - 1.2 6.0
10 Austria 11.1 8.8 - 1.3 7.7
11 France 11.2 8.9

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Ages by xkcd

Fat Cats want more fat kittens

The Washington Post reports that House Republicans have decided to slash away at public health measures designed to combat obesity, especially those aimed at children. On Tuesday, a House appropriations committee decided to do away with the first new upgrade of federal nutritional standards for public school meals in 15 years. Making the meals lower in fat and sugar and adding in more fruits and veggies, they concluded, simply cost too much.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

ai weiwei exhibit

ai weiwei
profile of duchamp, sunflower seeds, 1983
from new york photographs, 1983-1993
c-print, 20 x 28,5 cm
© ai weiwei

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Grand Rapids Michigan is not dying. Here is why.

. . .