I thought it was time to get caught up with Information Overload. I’m technically on spring break, which means that I don’t have to go to the one class I’m taking, but I still have to go to work every day like an adult. It’s definitely not the most exciting spring break, that’s for sure. Luckily I like my job, and I’m approaching this week with a spring break mentality anyway—relax, do something fun, and spend some time actually pampering myself (especially since last week was a week from hell). Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day, by the way. I had a margarita at Chili’s to celebrate.
Anyway, here’s some cool stuff from around the web today.
How to build your own cyclepunk chandelier out of bike parts and trash | TreeHugger
Andrew and I are so freakin’ excited to move but since we only have a little over a month, I’m trying to make a list of the DIY projects I want to complete before then. I plan on building my desk and my bookshelves, but I love this idea for a light. I’ll be replacing the light in my office and this might be just what I was looking for. Plus I love the word “cyclepunk!” I’m writing an article about the –punk subcultures for the sci-fi issue of Wildflower and look forward to exploring that one more.
Beyond Kony: 5 essential reads about child soldiers in Africa| Good.is
I’ve purposely kept my mouth shut about the whole Kony thing mostly because I’m trying to spend less time arguing with people on the internet, but oh well. This whole thing is frustrating, not because I don’t think that it’s great that Americans want to help people, but the people on the Kony bandwagon refuse to acknowledge when they are acting imperialistic or privileged. (Check the next article for more on that topic.) Also, few seem to care about what the Ugandans response is. I don’t see how encouraging more military action is going to help. We have to acknowledge that a huge reason that countries in Africa suffer is because of years of colonization by Europe and America. We’re not going to help anyone until we can admit to that. I support people of any race/ethnicity/background helping people around the world. But, there’s a lot of stuff happening in the world that people aren’t paying attention to—and since my mom works at a children’s shelter, it would be nice if some of America’s problems were tended to with the same enthusiasm.
Anyway, this is a good list of books, although I’ve only read A Long Way Gone. I have a ton of great books about colonization and these kinds of issues in African and Caribbean countries if anyone wants some recommendations.
Q&A: Does #Kony2012 do more harm than good? | Al Jazeera English
I love this interview because Manji says what no one else is saying. When we Americans want to jump in and “save” residents of African countries, we remove the agency of those residents. We make assumptions that they can’t help themselves, that they are powerless. Many countries inAfricaare run by extremely corrupt governments, and are ridden by illiteracy and poverty, so yes, their struggles are monumental. I think that providing people with tools is helpful, but we have to get over our savior complex.
“Letting people know about violations is clearly a good thing, but what this does is distort what is going on inUgandaand what the international response should be. This is a simplistic story fit for a four-year-old, but in presenting Ugandans as either children who are victims and adults who are demons, it plays into the Western construct and prejudice about Africa and Africans.”
We cannot continue to advocate for military action around the world. It will continue to do more harm than good. A friend of mine said recently, “A hand up is better than a hand out.”
Syria: The War Within | Al Jazeera English
This isn’t one article, but Al Jazeera’s coverage of the war in Syria is very thorough. Their journalism is excellent. I’ll never forget watching the footage of the Egyptian revolution last year on their website. Technology is amazing.
All Major News Outlets Cover Trayvon Martin Tragedy, Except Fox News | Think Progress
This is such a tragic event. But is it any surprise that Fox isn’t covering it? And who gives a shit if they do? When is Fox ever a reliable source of information?
BioWare responds to Mass Effect ending complaints as protest continues to grow | Ars Technica
I haven’t played ME3 yet but I keep hearing about how bad the ending was, so naturally I want to play it even more now. I can’t believe people are telling BioWare to change it. Gamers are allowed to make criticisms, but I usually just accept storylines as canon, even when I don’t like them (as in the case of movies, TV shows, games, etc.). It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I don’t think BioWare really owes it to anyone to change it, but they might due to the outcry. But what about people who liked the ending?