Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New York: Bastion of Clean Energy!

Since the Climate March and because of Climate Week, there's been - thankfully - a lot of announcements about new clean energy initiatives and deals. In New York, two especially significant deals were announced. By NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to reduce emissions in the city by 80% of 2005 levels by 2050, and (more practically) $100 million in funding new solar projects in New York state that will increase the total solar output by 68%. That's a lot of percent!

Isn't it nice to read some good news every once and a while?

Read more about both events at ThinkProgress.

Garfunkel and Oates: You're Such a Loser (and that's good!)

Garfunkel and Oates had their first season finale over at IFC last week. They really went out with a bang - at least if you consider a tribute to failure and why that's ok a bang, which I do, which is why I said it.

See? Being a loser means you tried, and that's a great thing. Even when you fail a lot. A solid and adorably-animated reminder for all of us losers out there.

OMG: Outlander Wedding = Outlander Hotness

If you haven't been watching Outlander, I don't blame you - it's hard to get access to Starz without a cable subscription and a very understanding significant other or roommate. But however you can swing it, get ye-self to an Outlander-y, because this show is too good to miss. I haven't watched the mid-season finale (!) yet because I'm too depressed that it's not coming back until April instead of January like we had all hoped, but last week's episode, "The Wedding" was everything a modern gal could hope and dream of in terms of sexy times on TV. Super sexy dude? Check. Multiple rounds of sexy times? Check. Plenty of story so the sexy times have a solid emotional background? Check. Female gaze? Check out the wazoo!

In case you're wondering what you missed, there are some fun recaps here (the Jezebel comments are in and of themselves very entertaining), here, and here.

Also, this:

People's Climate March: A Resounding Success!

My brother and I went to the People's Climate March in New York last Sunday. It was incredible. 400,000 people? After walking through it - I believe it. It was truly amazing to see all kinds of people from all walks of life (not just aging hippies and naive college students!) come together and support a cause we can all support. This is the defining issue of our time, and it's about time we started acting like it!

SO Happy that "The Mindy Project" is Back!

Mostly because of this (ugh I can't embed it but go to the link and watch Danny Castellano's SUPER HOT stripper dance!). Here's a sneak peek:

Um. Yes. Please. Thank you.

Also the rest of the show is super great. Great jokes. Great character stuff. Great, great, great.

Back to Danny dancing!!

Need Something to Read?

Try out some of the movers and shakers in new media from Mallory Ortberg's (herself a fabulous writer) A List of One's Own at The Toast. These writers (who, in case you didn't get the Woolf reference, are women) are doing all kinds of interesting, innovating work. Check 'em out!

"Harry Potter" Helps Teen Readers Empathize

In case you needed another reason re-read Harry Potter or gift them to your little cousins or nieces and nephews, a new study suggests reading the HP books increases your ability to empathize with different people, particularly "out groups" vs "in groups".  From the Scientific American article on the study:

For decades it's been known that an effective means of improving negative attitudes and prejudices between differing groups of people is through intergroup contact – particularly through contact between “in-groups,” or a social group to which someone identifies, and “out-groups,” or a group they don’t identify with or perceive as threatening. Even reading short stories about friendship between in- and out-group characters is enough to improve attitudes toward stigmatized groups in children. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that reading the Harry Potter books in particular has similar effects, likely in part because Potter is continually in contact with stigmatized groups. The “muggles” get no respect in the wizarding world as they lack any magical ability. The “half-bloods,” or “mud-bloods” – wizards and witches descended from only one magical parent – don’t fare much better, while the Lord Voldemort character believes that power should only be held by “pure-blood” wizards. He’s Hitler in a cloak.
Intuitively, this feels right, but it's good to know it's backed by science and not just the innate yearnings of my heart.