Tuesday 29th October 2013 @ 5:09 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :






Let me tell you a fucking thing about costume design. That’s some in depth, difficult shit to learn. And the fact that this goddess can ramble this shit off the cuff means she knows her shit. ELLE WOODS IS A GODAMNED GENIUS AND IT’s NOT A STRETCH TO BELIEVE SHE GOT INTO HARVARD LAW MMMK?


this movie is literally about an attractive woman who loves to party having to prove over and over again that she’s also intelligent and hard-working to those who judge her based on her looks (who also empowers and fights for other women, and fosters unlikely friendships instead of engaging in girl hate) and if you don’t think that’s some great feminist shit then I don’t know what your problem is

Let’s not forget that in the end when the guy wants her again, she turns him down because she knows she deserves better.

I just watched this movie again a few weeks ago and was reminded of its fabulosity.

Tuesday 29th October 2013 @ 2:11 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :


my entire life

Tuesday 29th October 2013 @ 2:00 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :




Great scene, and based on an actual historical incident in medieval Germany:

When King Conrad III defeated the Duke of Welf (in the year 1140) and placed Weinsberg under siege, the wives of the besieged castle negotiated a surrender which granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders. The king allowed them that much. Leaving everything else aside, each woman took her own husband on her shoulders and carried him out. When the king’s people saw what was happening, many of them said that that was not what had been meant and wanted to put a stop to it. But the king laughed and accepted the women’s clever trick. “A king” he said, “should always stand by his word.”

Medieval women were BAMFs.

This was always one of my favourite movie scenes as a child (if that’s not telling about how I grew up, I don’t know what is) but the fact that it actually happened makes it 100x better.

must see this movie.

Tuesday 29th October 2013 @ 12:41 am : Tumblr : 0 Comments :



On the Critique of Science in Film

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

“No one was more stunned than I over the media attention given to my flurry of tweets posted this past Sunday, each commenting on some aspect of the Bullock-Clooney film Gravity. Hundreds of references followed in blogs and news sources, including television’s Inside Edition the Today Show, and Brian Williams’s NBC Nightly News.

What few people recognize is that science experts don’t line up to critique Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or Man of Steel or Transformers or The Avengers. These films offer no premise of portraying a physical reality. Imagine the absurdity of me critiquing the Lion King: “Lions can’t talk. And if they could, they wouldn’t be speaking English. And Simba would have simply eaten Pumba early in the film.”

The converse is also true. If a film happens to portray an awesome bit of science when there’s otherwise no premise of scientific accuracy, then I’m first in line to notice. In Chicken Little, for example, the hexagonal sky tiles, each mirroring what lies beneath them, was brilliant. So too are the factory-made doors in Monsters, Inc. As portrayed, they’re, functional wormholes through the fabric of space-time. In A Bugs Life the surface tension of water, which makes it ball up in small volumes was accurately captured at the Bug Bar, and for the little fella’s makeshift telescope.

To “earn” the right to be criticized on a scientific level is a high compliment indeed. So when I saw a headline proclaim, based on my dozen or so tweets, “Astrophysicist says the film Gravity is Riddled with Errors”, I came to regret not first tweeting the hundred things the movie got right: 1) the 90 minute orbital time for objects at that altitude; 2) the re-entry trails of disintegrated satellites, hauntingly reminiscent of the Columbia Shuttle tragedy; 3) Clooney’s calm-under-stress character (I know dozens of astronauts like that); 4) the stunning images from orbit transitioning from day to twilight to nighttime; 5) the Aurorae (northern lights) visible in the distance over the polar regions; 6) the thinness of Earth’s atmosphere relative to Earth’s size; 7) the persistent conservation of angular and linear momentum; 8) the starry sky, though a bit trumped up, captured the range and balance of an actual night sky; 9) the speed of oncoming debris, if in fact it were to collide at orbital velocity; 10) the transition from silence to sound between an unpressurized and a pressurized airlock; … and 100) the brilliantly portrayed tears of Bullock, leaving her eyes, drifting afloat in the capsule.

So I will continue to offer observations of science in film — not as an expression of distaste or disgust but as a celebration of artists attempting to embrace all the forces of nature that surround us.”

Respectfully Submitted
Neil deGrasse Tyson
39,000 feet over Arizona

#cool people liking cool things in cool ways

Monday 28th October 2013 @ 4:29 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :







Did a group of mathematicians just sit around drawing lines before stumbling upon how some combination of the intersections could be used for multiplication?


I had to try this, and I am just sitting here awestruck. This is brilliant.

This is as mind-blowing as Misha’s shoe-tying lesson.

I will never understand how or why people come up with this stuff.


Monday 28th October 2013 @ 4:26 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :





Licia Ronzulli is one cool woman.

Licia Ronzulli, member of the European Parliament, has been taking her daughter Vittoria to the Parliament sessions for two years now.

I reblog that every time i see it.

That little girl is going to get to high school and take government/history classes and know more than the teacher

Monday 28th October 2013 @ 4:25 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :










Monday 28th October 2013 @ 4:14 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :




Presented without comment


So, detractors, lemme see if I’ve got this straight. Patrick Troughton wanted this. Peter Davison wants this. Colin Baker wants this. Carole Ann Ford wants this. Louise Jameson wants this. Freema Agyeman wants this. Matt Smith wants this. Karen Gillan wants this. And now we have word that Sydney Newman, attributed with giving the show its lead’s name and basic mode of transport—the same man, I remind you, who hired a female showrunner in nineteen sixty-fucking-three—wanted this.

And somehow demanding a female Doctor is appropriation.



Here’s the original source for that fun fact. What I find most interesting is not just that Sydney Newman wanted the Doctor to be a woman, but that he wasn’t interested in making the female Doctor a gimmick. His letter says:

At a later stage Doctor Who should be metamorphosed into a woman. This requires some considerable thought – mainly because I want to avoid a flashy, Hollywood Wonder Women because this kind of heroine with no flaws is a bore. Given more time than I have now, I can create such a character.

Newman wanted a strong female character in every sense. He wanted her to be interesting, he wanted her to be complex, and he wanted her to be flawed.

So for all of you naysayers who think that a female Doctor would never be more than a ratings gimmick:

Sunday 27th October 2013 @ 5:56 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :


Do u know how fucking cool James Rhodes is

He spent months looking for his bff in the desert after he was kidnapped

He saved the president of the united states from psycho practically-invincible super soldiers armed only with a .45 and a green polo shirt

He basically only needs the war machine/iron patriot armor in order to get places faster

His password for super-secret government comm satellites is WARMACHINEROX

If u don’t think Rhodey is the fucking coolest we can’t be friends

Thursday 24th October 2013 @ 5:32 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

Thursday 24th October 2013 @ 5:25 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :




This year’s STARS posters.

i like this because it highlights a few things. like how distorted these caricatures are; the feelings it causes in the community it disrespects, and how cool we people of color are just being chill and ourselves. oh, and how ridiiiiiiculous these white folks look doing this. that’s one of the best parts of this ad. 

These are even better than last year’s.

Thursday 24th October 2013 @ 5:13 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :


Shoutout to fellow feminists, it’s our duty to care about ALL our sisters… and to listen to what they say about themselves, not what anyone else says about them.

Tuesday 22nd October 2013 @ 4:35 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :


“Another reason we thought it was men all along… ‘[M]ale archaeologists were doing the work,” Snow said, and it’s possible thathad something to do with it.’”

This is exciting both in its own right, and as an example of how science can be improved by elimination of patriarchal values that attribute works to one gender or another based on assumption, rather than evidence.

In other words, it is exciting to see that so many early artists were women, and equally exciting to see scientists breaking through conditioned patriarchal thinking in order to reach better conclusions.


Monday 21st October 2013 @ 7:17 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

Monday 21st October 2013 @ 7:14 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

there is a huge difference between genuinely liking someone and liking the attention they give you and it took me a long time to realise that

Monday 21st October 2013 @ 7:14 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :



Monday 21st October 2013 @ 7:13 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :



Monday 21st October 2013 @ 2:32 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :





Hello Queen of Genovia


All hail the Queen.

Sunday 20th October 2013 @ 6:58 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :

Nearly twenty years ago (it’s a shock to me to write that, because it still seems quite a recent occurrence) I became a single parent. Like the vast majority of single parents, this had not been my plan. My much-wanted daughter had been conceived and born while I was married, but the failure of that relationship saw me living shortly afterwards on state benefits in the coldest winter Scotland had seen in quite a few years. I had been living in sunny Portugal prior to my return to the UK and the snow was merely the first shock to my system.

I had imagined that I would be back at work fast. Indeed, it was because I expected to be employed outside of the home again that I was working so hard to finish the children’s novel I never told anyone I was writing (not wishing to be told that I was deluded). As it turned out, my belief I would shortly be back in paid work turned out to be a much bigger delusion than the hope that the novel might be published.

I was a graduate and I had been in full-time employment all my life; I did not want my daughter to grow up in poverty, but my district health visitor told me that I would never get state-funded childcare ‘because you’re coping too well’; free nursery places for very young children were reserved at that time for children deemed ‘at risk’. I can’t argue with the prioritisation of children whose mothers weren’t coping, but I had nobody else to look after my daughter. My sister worked full time, my mother was dead, I was in a strange city: where was my daughter supposed to go while I earned a living?

I ended up working a few hours a week at a local church, where I overhauled the filing system and did a bit of typing. The (female) minister let me bring Jessica with me. I was paid, deliberately, exactly that amount that I could keep without losing benefits: £15. For all of this, I was immensely grateful.

My overriding memory of that time is the slowly evaporating sense of self-esteem, not because I was filing or typing – there was dignity in earning money, however I was doing it – but because it was slowly dawning on me that I was now defined, in the eyes of many, by something I had never chosen. I was a Single Parent, and a Single Parent On Benefits to boot. Patronage was almost as hard to bear as stigmatisation. I remember the woman who visited the church one day when I was working there who kept referring to me, in my hearing, as The Unmarried Mother. I was half annoyed, half amused: unmarried mother? Ought I to be allowed in a church at all? Did she see me in terms of some Victorian painting: The Fallen Woman, Filing, perhaps?

Single parents were not popular in certain sectors of the establishment or media in the mid-nineties. I could not raise a smile over the government minister of the time singing a merry ditty about ‘young ladies who get pregnant just to jump the housing queue.’ Newspaper articles discussed single mothers in terms of broken families and anti-social teenagers. However defiant I might feel about the jobs I was doing round the clock (full-time mother, part-time worker, secret novelist), constant bombardment with words like ‘scrounger’ has a deeply corrosive effect. Assumptions made about your morals, your motives for bringing your child into the world or your fitness to raise that child cut to the core of who you are.

Then, in a sudden, seismic and wholly unexpected shift, I found myself in the newspapers.

There was still no escaping the Single Parent tag; it followed me to financial stability and fame just as it had clung to me in poverty and obscurity. I became Single Parent Writes Award-Winning Children’s Book/Earns Record American Advance/Gets Film Deal. One of the first journalists to interview me asked me whether I hadn’t felt I ought to be out looking for a job rather than ‘sitting at home writing a novel.’ By some miracle I resisted the almost overwhelming temptation to punch him and subsequently decided to channel my frustration a little more positively by becoming a Patron of what was then called the National Council for One Parent Families (now Gingerbread).

In spite of the fact that I became a Married Mother again in 2001, I remain President of Gingerbread, a superb campaigning organisation for single parents and their children. Unfortunately, their work is as necessary as ever today, in a recession much worse than the one I faced when I returned to the UK in the 90s.

According to a Gingerbread survey in 2011, 87% of single parents think there is a stigma around single parenthood that needs to be challenged and one in three say that they have personally experienced it. I find the language of ‘skivers versus strivers’ particularly offensive when it comes to single parents, who are already working around the clock to care for their children. Such rhetoric drains confidence and self-esteem from those who desperately want, as I did, to get back into the job market.

A statement by a government minister late last year that ‘people who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks – they’ve got least to lose’ speaks to a profound disconnect with people struggling to keep their heads above water. In some cases – and I was once one of those cases – what you might lose is enough food to eat, a roof over your head: the fundamentals of life and existence, magnified a million-fold when it is your child’s health and security you stand to lose.

In the midst of all this, a further uncertainty is looming large for families already on the brink: the spectre of universal credit, the government’s flagship reform of the welfare system. Already Gingerbread is highlighting serious concerns. It’s all in the detail: the gaps in childcare provision for many of the poorest families, single parents under 25 to lose vital support for their children, the harsh truth that more single parent families will lose than gain under the new system – including many who work. This detail becomes hugely important if it’s the difference between eating three meals a day or going without.

Meanwhile the government mantra that work is the best route out of poverty is ringing increasingly hollow, with nearly 1 in 3 children whose single parent works part-time still growing up in poverty. Rather than focusing on ever more ‘austerity measures’, it’s investment in single parent employment that will allow single parents to work their own way out of poverty and secure real savings from the welfare bill. Nothing outlandish: affordable childcare , decent training, employers embracing flexible hours, and a long, hard look at low pay. I certainly identify with the results of a survey among single parents conducted last year which revealed that childcare costs remain the biggest barrier to work, closely followed by a shortage of flexible jobs: exactly the problems I faced when Jessica was young.

Government has the potential to change the lives, not just of single parents, but of a generation of children whose ambition and potential must not be allowed to dissipate in poverty. In the meantime, I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life. Yes, I got off benefits and wrote the first four Harry Potter books as a single mother, but nothing makes me prouder than what Jessica told me recently about the first five years of her life: ‘I never knew we were poor. I just remember being happy.’

JK Rowling writing for Gingerbread (via simplyjkrowling)

Sunday 20th October 2013 @ 6:55 pm : Tumblr : 0 Comments :


why is it

“no boy will want you if you keep on with that feminist rubbish”

and not

“no girl will want you if you keep on being a misogynistic piece of shit”