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Ducks and the City: how birds thrive in urban spaces | CityMetric
In spite of how easy they are to observe, urban birds tend to be understudied compared to their rural cousins. The fact pigeons are so widespread means researchers often overlook them, but their ubiquity means that observing the birds can help scientists to track environmental changes and to compare cities that otherwise have little in common. Citizen science can help here – the bird tracking apps Birdtrack and eBird let anyone submit their bird sightings, and actually need more coverage of urban and suburban areas.

Thankfully, the idea of creating urban bird sanctuaries is now being taken seriously. Parks have a role to play, but many birds actually prefer the wild roughness of building sites and industrial land, where bare soil crawls with bugs and wildflowers grow gloriously high – ironically, brownfield sites can be as important to the ecosystem as pristine green belt. Perhaps the most spectacular example is the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. Just across the Thames from Hammersmith, this Victorian waterworks has been converted into marsh land and attracts huge flocks of water birds, many of which can’t be found anywhere else in London. In fact thanks to the reserve, a few birds such as the reed-dwelling bittern – which almost went extinct in the UK – are now easier to spot in London than in the countryside it.
essay 
15 hours ago by ineptshieldmaid
Queer History and the Holocaust – NOTCHES
Queer victims rarely feature in the historiography of the Holocaust. One of the reasons for this neglect is that they complicate the dominant categories of analysis: we usually regard persecuted homosexuals as gentiles and Jewish victims as heterosexual. The very idea that these two categories could intersect often provokes discomfort, rooted in a historic homophobic stance towards same-sex behavior in the concentration camps. This essay offers a historiographical discussion of this intersection: how queer history has been debated in Holocaust history, and how queer historians have approached Jewish and Holocaust history. Although histories of the Holocaust do not usually acknowledge the possibility of intersecting or multiple identities — say as Jews, homosexuals, or men or women—we can, in fact, find traces of queer Jewish Holocaust victims. Recognizing these multiple identities, I argue, and analyzing them in connection to one another, contributes to a better understanding of Holocaust history.
...
Overall, for women as for men, persecution often took place intersectionally – that is, same-sex sexuality was rarely the only factor. The repressive climate against female conduct in general, and queer women in particular, also played a role. Further, persecution for sexual orientation is usually recorded only in documents relating to men (for whom there was a specific paragraph), but not for women. Consequently, historians can normally only trace female stories when they already know that a woman engaged in same-sex sexual acts. And in the camps queer women were not identified with the pink triangle. Austrian women arrested for same-sex activity were usually marked as “criminal” or “asocial,” further complicating systematic research. By contrast, additional reasons for the arrests of queer men are often omitted by historians. I suspect this may have a more recent political function: gay historians who wished to create an imagined community of §175 victims – men who were arrested because they were gay and for no other reason. This kind of simplification distorts our understanding of historical persecution generally, and further marginalises the persecution of queer women specifically.
essay 
19 hours ago by ineptshieldmaid
Judith Butler: the backlash against “gender ideology” must stop
We are assigned a sex, treated in various ways that communicate expectations for living as one gender or another, and we are formed within institutions that reproduce our lives through gender norms. So, we are always “constructed” in ways that we do not choose. And yet we all seek to craft a life in a social world where conventions are changing, and where we struggle to find ourselves within existing and evolving conventions. This suggests that sex and gender are “constructed” in a way that is neither fully determined nor fully chosen but rather caught up in the recurrent tension between determinism and freedom.

waybackmachine save: https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.newstatesman.com/2019/01/judith-butler-backlash-against-gender-ideology-must-stop
gender  essay 
20 hours ago by ineptshieldmaid
“Never in the Presence of Any Woman”: Male Homoeroticism and Elite Education | History Workshop
Second, Warren’s story offers new insights into the history of male homosexuality in Britain and its connection with elite single-sex educational institutions. Historians, including myself, have previously emphasized the importance to the emergence of male homosexual identities of figures such as John Addington Symonds ,who promoted ideas about homoeroticism that de-emphasized sexual intercourse. But new research is showing that sex was more important to how early-twentieth-century elite men conceptualized and negotiated homoeroticism and homosexuality than has previously been supposed. In certain institutional contexts, among certain socioeconomic groups, and at certain moments in the life-cycle, homoeroticism and homosexuality in Britain have been, even if criminalized, also normal and normative. In spending his latter years living in rooms in an Oxford college while privately circulating writings defending a classicized conception of pedagogic eros, Warren was not so unusual as one might imagine. Furthermore, he found a home in an Oxford college because his reactionary and misogynistic views seemed more important to the administrators of that college than his potential to attract scandal.
essay 
21 hours ago by ineptshieldmaid
Gedanken Radsport
Warum spielt es eine Rolle dass lance armstrong Team Kapitän war. ist bspw. ein Wasserträger weniger großem Druck zu dopen ausgesetzt wie ein Kapitän auf dem ein noch größerer Erfolgsdruck laste...
Essay  Doping  from notes
2 days ago by digitalimmigrant
Gedanken Radsport
Warum haben überführte Doper (Beispiel Lance Armstrong) selten ein Unrechtsbewusstsein? Erklärungsansatz der Soziologie: Hier lässt sich auch ein Plädoyer für Erklärungsansätze der Soziologie ...
Essay  Doping  from notes
2 days ago by digitalimmigrant
Opinion | Time to Break the Silence on Palestine - The New York Times
Reading King’s speech at Riverside more than 50 years later, I am left with little doubt that his teachings and message require us to speak out passionately against the human rights crisis in Israel-Palestine, despite the risks and despite the complexity of the issues. King argued, when speaking of Vietnam, that even “when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict,” we must not be mesmerized by uncertainty. “We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”
essay  political 
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
I had to leave Australia to feel at ease on the beach for the first time | Omar Sakr | Australia news | The Guardian
I tolerate beaches, I do not love them. This is only one of many ways I sit outside the popular Home and Away-mythologising of Australia as a waterside paradise of fit white bodies becoming an acceptable shade of light brown.

Among my Lebanese family, I was alone in feeling this way. On Sundays we would often go on a long drive to Wollongong beach in a caravan of cars, to dive or be hurled into the ocean. I’m not sure why we went so far from our home in Liverpool, in Sydney’s south-west. All I know is I hated it: the amount of time it took to fill Eskies with food and drink, for everyone to get ready, the hours in traffic that felt like forever in the heat, the flies, the BO, squished and sweating in the back of a Holden Commodore with half a dozen cousins.

I hated it up until the moment water enveloped my body, and it seemed like any cost could be borne to feel this bliss.
essay 
2 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
The Pervocracy
In retrospect, there were some unhealthy things that drove me to have sex, often violent and risky, with several dozen people and post all about it on the public Internet.

Also in retrospect, this turned out to be a really good plan that vastly improved my life.

I don't think that's how this story is supposed to go. I'm supposed to say something like "I now realize I did these things because as a person who struggled with self-esteem and body image, I wanted to feel desirable," but my feeling is more along the lines of "I wanted to feel desirable, and fuck, it worked." It worked great. Made me feel like the sexiest fat little weirdo on Earth. 100% recommended. Just use a condom.

I wanted to silence some inner pain by blotting it out with physical sensation, and... that was a fine decision. It was a Band-Aid on the problem, which is a great metaphor because Band-Aids make you feel better and help you heal. Kink helped me wean off self-harm and it put me in touch with people who were knowledgeable about gender, sexuality, and mental health.

It was also a really fuckin' fantastic physical sensation. That's not a minor detail. Sex and kink are emotionally validating, sure, but I wasn't moaning and quivering with emotional validation.

I put it all online because I wanted attention, and again, that worked out fantastically. It turns out that the attention of random Internet strangers is actually really powerful and good for your self-esteem, and can open so many doors and lead to long-term friendships. Everywhere I've traveled, I've met fascinating people who knew me because of my decision to describe all the ins and outs (and ins and outs) of my sex life on the Internet, and it's led to all kinds of great experiences.

I've got regrets, but only the regular kind. I trusted some creeps, and alienated some actually-okay people. I said and wrote some stuff I shouldn't have. I got overly passionate about some teapot tempests. I didn't always take the best care of my body, but in a "that'll be sore" way, not a "ruined forever" way. I turned in some really mediocre articles and presentations because I'm terrible at working on a deadline. You know, the wages of sin.
essay 
3 days ago by ineptshieldmaid
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