19th century animation

Not related, but gorgeous 19th century animation. From the Atlantic, click to see article.

It’s been a while. But here are things I’ve been reading and enjoying. There’s the story of a couple’s struggle to obtain an abortion in stridently anti-choice Oklahoma, the proposal to counteract terrorism through weddings, Uruguay’s plans for a government-run weed industry, and more. All below the break.

I’m Showing My Son Mercy

Irin Carmon of MSNBC looks at the story of a couple trying to get an abortion in Oklahoma, the state where it’s most difficult to do so. Informed by their doctors that their son would not even live one year after being born due to serious health issues, they decided to abort. But Oklahoma has made this impossible in all but a theoretical sense.

The lack of options sent them to Dallas, where protesters outside the clinic tried to hand Jessica a pair of baby socks. She told them to go to hell. She left the clinic with a death certificate, which she and Eric had asked for, and a footprint of the son they named Mark Gordon Scott Davis.

The funeral homes Jessica called for a “proper burial” laughed at her, or hung up “because I mentioned the word ‘termination,’” she said. The funeral homes told her she had an abortion. “I don’t look at it like that,” Jessica said. “I’m showing my son mercy.’”

The Davises, who are both unemployed and live on Jessica’s $700 a month in disability payments and food stamps, came home to unpaid bills. The electricity was slated to be turned off the next day. Eric sold off scrap metal he found to pay the bill, but there was no money left for gas and water.


In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

Drew Hinshaw, Wall Street Journal.

For five years, Nigeria’s army and an Islamic sect called Boko Haram have pounded each other, creating a cycle of terrorism and male unemployment in Nigeria’s north, and leaving what some here describe as a surfeit of single women. To help restore order, the Kano State Hizbah Board—a local bureau that implements Islamic law—is funding a spree of group weddings…

“That will assist very well toward eradicating these social vices,” said Nabahan Usman, deputy commander of special services at the Kano State Hizbah Board. “When you have a good wife, why should you think of going for terrorism?”

Creative thinking, but it’s unsure this will work. Read more here.


 Uruguay Government to Sell Supercheap Weed

Jacob Kastrenakes over at The Verge reports on the Uruguayan government’s plans to sell marijuana at $1/gram, to undercut the illegal organizations that benefit from the illicit industry. Looks interesting.


Speaking of The Verge, they just celebrated their 2-year anniversary by rounding up some of their best articles over that period. I remember wondering whether another technology site was needed when they opened, but they certainly have justified their existence. Apart from them and Wired, no-one produces articles of such scope, depth and importance on issues that aren’t focused narrowly on technology, but rightly on society as a whole. Check up their round-up here. Read about the people who are fighting depression in Palestine, how the military’s burn pits are making soldiers sick, a Five part series about America’s paranoid obsession with the end of days, and the unbelievable story of a face transplant (warning: the images might be too much).

All of those with top writing, and The Verge’s enthusiasm for exploring how the web can visually present stories in ways that print media can’t. Well worth your time.