“There is a country where the leading cause of death of pregnant women is murder by a partner. In this same country, more than a million women were raped in 2008 and women are much more likely to live in poverty than men. Local laws don’t protect their right to bodily freedom and integrity; some rape laws even state that once a woman initially consents to sex, she doesn’t have the right to change her mind.
You may have caught on by now — yes, I’m talking about the United States.”
Jessica Valenti, in “Equality begins at home: U.S. lags pathetically behind other nations in some basic rights for women.”

19-year-old Britain’s Got Talent hopeful Michael Collings is practically a shoo-in to win the coveted title of “This Season’s Susan Boyle.”

(For some asinine reason all instances of this video on YouTube have had their embedding disabled, so you’ll have to watch at the source, but it’s well worth the click.)

RIP: 41-year-old British-born filmmaker and photojournalist Tim Hetherington, co-director of the Oscar-nominated Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo,was killed today when an RPG struck a group of journalists in the Libyan city of Misrata.

Three others were also injured in the attack: Pulitzer Prize-nominated Getty photographer Chris Hondros, Panos Agency photographer Guy Martin — both of whom are said to be in serious condition — and freelancer Michael Brown, who was slightly wounded.

In his final tweet, posted just hours before the attack, Hetherington wrote: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

(Above: Tim Hetherington (right), alongside fellow Restrepo director Sebastian Junger.)

People talk and talk about how unrealistic Barbie’s 39-18-33 measurements would be if she were a real live girl. Hamilton College student Galia Slayen took the talk a step further and actually built a real life-size Barbie.

Slayen, who dressed her 6-foot-tall Barbie doll in a size 00 skirt she wore during her battle with anorexia, says she created the model to get people taking about eating disorders, but doesn’t blame her illness on the plastic icon’s distorted proportions alone.

“She’s one small factor, an environmental factor,” Slayen told TODAY.com. “I’m blond and blue-eyed and I figured that was what I was supposed to look like. She was my idol. It impacted the way I looked at myself.”

Presidential Pirate of the Day: From a New York Times feature on President Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham: “Barack Obama with his mother in Hawaii.”

What would Harry do?

The Harry Potter Alliance is a charitable organization, an army of fans, who try to help fix the ills in the world. Their operations range from emergency help in areas like Haiti, trying to end starvation wages, societal acceptance of all sexual orientations, anti-bullying campaigns, body acceptance, and more.

You can help them out by buying shirts like this from their shop or by making a donation. Their recommended amount is a monthly donation of nine and three quarter dollars per month.

Printed on American Apparel.

8,000 Beer Bottle Caps form “Starry Night”

I have barely any information about this art piece, with the exception of a few notes by The Awesomer: “We can’t imagine how much “research” went into UVA students Ross Thomas and Elizabeth Farrell 8000 piece, 7′ x 9′ beer bottle cap rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.”

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