‘The more ingenious and accurate our instruments, the more unsusceptible and inexpert become our organs: by assembling a heap of machinery about us, we find afterwards none in ourselves.’

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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The picture says it all really.

A Christian Florida hate group used the picture on the left to describe a couple that was allowed to adopt a family member’s child they had been fostering. FFPC says it was a ‘mistake’.

More Here , Here and Here

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The Australian government has issued what is likely the first gender neutral identification card, or Recognised Details Certificate (similar to a U.S. birth certificate).
Norrie, 48, was born in Scotland and was labeled male at birth. At age 23 Norrie commenced sex and gender conversion to female through hormone and construction of a vagina and was then issued with a gender recognition certificate as female.

But Norrie did not feel that this female identity was correct, so zie ceased hormone treatment and identified as neither male nor female, “resisting further female or male normalisation. In January 2010 doctors declared that they were unable to determine Norrie as either male or female as zie has no gonads, the hormonal system was atypically male or female, and Norrie’s psychological identity was (androgynous).”

For more, go Here, and Here

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 196 user reviews.

(Via Feministing)
Students at John Carroll University in Ohio protested during a school basketball game over the school’s unwillingness to include sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy.

From a student statement on YouTube:

John Carroll’s mission is to create people for others. That means support, protection, love, and understanding for all people without regard to color, creed, sexual preference, gender, age, or other personal factors. That’s the goal of a Jesuit institution.

By not explicitly voicing its support of LGBTQ students, faculty, and alumni, John Carroll’s administration is breaking those unspoken bonds of trust that make JCU a community.

Despite support from the faculty union to include sexual orientation in the policy, the school’s administration is holding firm. JCU President Robert Niehoff issued a statement saying that the policy wouldn’t be changed because it goes against “traditional Catholic moral teaching.”

The nondiscrimination policy is the university’s promise to employees and faculty that the institution will not discriminate based on gender, religion or race. In his message earlier this week, Niehoff issued a lengthy explanation of his views that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people should be welcomed and respected at the university. He stopped short of recommending that the policy be changed, however, instead offering a “community standards statement” as a supplement to the policy.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 215 user reviews.

Planning to overthrow the US Government?


If yes, and you live in South Carolina, you must pay a five-dollar subversive registration fee. (Via BoingBoing, Via The Agitator)

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Today I received an email inviting me to a webinar on OMEKA, a web based platform for all kinds of collections created by the Center For History & New Media. This sounds pretty great and I definitely am going to read up on this, if not try to watch the webinar (and I’m sorry to have already used the word webinar twice, you’ll have to suffer through it a couple more times I’m afraid)

Here is a blurb from the release for the webinar:

“Omeka is a free and open source collections-based, Web-based platform for scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, educators and cultural enthusiasts. Until now, scholars and cultural heritage professionals looking to publish collections-based research and online exhibitions required either extensive technical skills or considerable funding for outside vendors…

Omeka features a “five-minute setup” that makes launching an online exhibition as easy as launching a blog. Designed with non-IT specialists in mind, it allows users to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming. It brings Web 2.0 technologies and approaches to academic and cultural Web sites to foster user interaction and participation. It also makes top-shelf design easy with a simple and flexible operating system. Omeka’s robust open-source developer and user communities underwrite its stability and sustainability…

Webinar participation is free and open to all but advanced registration is required. This is the second webinar in the OCLC Research Technical Advances for Innovation in Cultural Heritage Institutions (TAI CHI) Webinar Series developed to highlight specific innovative applications, often locally developed, that libraries, museums and archives may find effective in their own environments, as well as to teach technical staff new technologies and skills.  We intend to make recordings of these webinars available on the OCLC Research Web site and in the iTunes Store.”

Imagine the uses for this if it’s as flexible as it seems! Not just for libraries, but “cultural enthusiasts”, and who isn’t a cultural enthusiast of some kind?

More info and advance registration link HERE

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 222 user reviews.

original story here

‘people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen’.

“According to an iReport by Chrisopher Pagan: “On November 14 the body of a gay 19 year old was found a few miles away from the town in which he was residing in called Caguas. He was a very well known person in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and very loved. He was found on the site of an isolated road in the city of Cayey, he was partially burned, decapitated, and dismembered, both arms, both legs, and the torso. This has caused a huge reaction from the gay community here, but its a difficult situation. Never in the history of Puerto Rico has a murder been classified as a hate crime. Even though we have to follow federal mandates and laws, many of the laws in which are passed in the USA such as Obama’s new bill, do not always directly get practiced in Puerto Rico. The police agent that is handling this case said on a public televised statement that ‘people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen’. As If the boy murdered Jorge Steven Lopez was asking to get killed…”

Jorge Here’s a report on the murder (in Spanish) from PrimeraHora.com. Said activist Pedro Julio Serrano: “It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt. We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendente Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice.” (my translation, please suggest a better one if you can).”

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 187 user reviews.

The Banned Librarian has put together a clear concise guide to both current issues surrounding the Patriot Act, and the sections that are scheduled to sunset in December of 2009.

It includes:


  • The PATRIOT Act Itself
  • Treatises on the Law
  • Helpful Articles
  • Oversight & Watchdog Reports
  • Prior Cases


  • Pending Bills to Reform
  • Outstanding Cases
  • Useful Websites for Staying Current

Download the pdf HERE

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For over a year a prison in Virginia segregated women they perceived as masculine or butch (those with short hair or ‘baggy clothes’), in order to separate them from their ‘girlfriends’. The Associated Press and civil rights advocates questioned the practice, with the warden stating that no such move was made, as that would be unconstitutional.


Trina O’Neal, left, and Casey Lynn Toney were two of the inmates placed in the so-called “Butch Wing” at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Troy, Va. “I have been gay all my life and never have I once felt as degraded, humiliated or questioned my own sexuality, the way I look, etc., until all of this happened, ” stated O’Neal, 33. “Women sent to wing 5D — also called the “little boys wing, ” “locker room wing, ” and “studs wing” — told the AP they were verbally harassed by staff there, and taken to the cafeteria first or last to keep them separated from other inmates. Three guards confirmed the charges.”

Read more HERE & HERE

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 257 user reviews.

I first heard this on NPR and then was reminded by the Provisions Library Blog (which is excellent).

The White House has created a new office, one of Social Innovation & Civic Participation, and has named Sonal Shah, who was in charge of global development at Google, as the lead. I haven’t heard as much about this as I’d like to, but apparently the office will identify “the most promising, results-oriented nonprofit programs” “that have had proven success in tackling social problems, such as homelessness and joblessness” and will fund them hopefully with a combination of  50, 000, 000 earmarked in the 2010 budget & matching funds from philantropists and large organizations. Ironically, the first hit under Google News on the new office  is from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, but only for subscribers..

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 233 user reviews.