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Greetings

Greetings... this blog is a higgledy-piggledy pile of social-political stuff, pictures I like, and general ramblings.
I'm also involved in wangclub.tumblr.com
Apr 13 '14

fdelopera:

ellenkushner:

msfehrwight:

anastasiusfocht:

Shakespeare in its original 16th century accent

David Crystal, the sex symbol of linguistics!

Can’t reblog this too many times!

Apr 13 '14

misandry-mermaid:

lotsalipstick:

fats:

ted:

Do you feel vulnerable? You’re not alone. Don’t miss Brené Brown’s full talk on the power of vulnerability.

I love this ted talk.

still incredibly moved by this

One of the best TEDTalk’s of all time.

Feb 15 '14
"If you can only be tall because somebody’s on their knees, then you have a serious problem."
Toni Morrison (via heyfranhey)

(Source: sonofafieldnegro)

Jan 22 '14

ikickedpjliguori:

So you know how UKIP said that all the floods in the UK currently are because of gay marriage

well someone’s gone and made a twitter account called @UkipWeather and let me tell you this is pure gold 

image

imageand my personal favourite

image

Jan 2 '14
"All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up."

James Baldwin (via authorsofcolor)

this is what I want my philosophical writing to be like.

Dec 31 '13
neurosciencestuff:

Gene expression changes with meditation
With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.
The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.
"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice," says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs," says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.
The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.
The results show a down-regulation of genes that have been implicated in inflammation. The affected genes include the pro-inflammatory genes RIPK2 and COX2 as well as several histone deacetylase (HDAC) genes, which regulate the activity of other genes epigenetically by removing a type of chemical tag. What’s more, the extent to which some of those genes were downregulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test involving an impromptu speech and tasks requiring mental calculations performed in front of an audience and video camera.
Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.
However, it is important to note that the study was not designed to distinguish any effects of long-term meditation training from those of a single day of practice. Instead, the key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities — an outcome providing proof of principle that mindfulness practice can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome.
Previous studies in rodents and in people have shown dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli such as stress, diet, or exercise within just a few hours.
"Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression," Davidson says.
"The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions," Kaliman says. "Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions."

neurosciencestuff:

Gene expression changes with meditation

With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.

A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.

The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper that shows rapid alterations in gene expression within subjects associated with mindfulness meditation practice," says study author Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Most interestingly, the changes were observed in genes that are the current targets of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs," says Perla Kaliman, first author of the article and a researcher at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona, Spain (IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS), where the molecular analyses were conducted.

The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mindfulness-based trainings have shown beneficial effects on inflammatory disorders in prior clinical studies and are endorsed by the American Heart Association as a preventative intervention. The new results provide a possible biological mechanism for therapeutic effects.

The results show a down-regulation of genes that have been implicated in inflammation. The affected genes include the pro-inflammatory genes RIPK2 and COX2 as well as several histone deacetylase (HDAC) genes, which regulate the activity of other genes epigenetically by removing a type of chemical tag. What’s more, the extent to which some of those genes were downregulated was associated with faster cortisol recovery to a social stress test involving an impromptu speech and tasks requiring mental calculations performed in front of an audience and video camera.

Perhaps surprisingly, the researchers say, there was no difference in the tested genes between the two groups of people at the start of the study. The observed effects were seen only in the meditators following mindfulness practice. In addition, several other DNA-modifying genes showed no differences between groups, suggesting that the mindfulness practice specifically affected certain regulatory pathways.

However, it is important to note that the study was not designed to distinguish any effects of long-term meditation training from those of a single day of practice. Instead, the key result is that meditators experienced genetic changes following mindfulness practice that were not seen in the non-meditating group after other quiet activities — an outcome providing proof of principle that mindfulness practice can lead to epigenetic alterations of the genome.

Previous studies in rodents and in people have shown dynamic epigenetic responses to physical stimuli such as stress, diet, or exercise within just a few hours.

"Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression," Davidson says.

"The regulation of HDACs and inflammatory pathways may represent some of the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based interventions," Kaliman says. "Our findings set the foundation for future studies to further assess meditation strategies for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions."

Dec 30 '13
Dec 24 '13
"Assuming one’s criticality can be a way of not admitting one’s complicity. I think complicity is a starting point. We are implicated in the worlds that we critique; being critical does not suspend any such implication."
Dec 24 '13
"Critical sexism and critical racism is the sexism or racism reproduced by those who think of themselves as critical and thus not involved in the reproduction of sexism or racism."
Dec 16 '13
"All stories, simply in virtue of being stories, are not only inherently partial and intrinsically perspectival, but in addition must do a certain amount of violence to their subject matters. The mistake, however, is to assume or to allow oneself to be convinced that any of these facts undermines the legitimacy of telling metaphysical tales."
Brian Cantwell Smith, p. 89, On the origin of objects
Dec 12 '13

Intersectionality vs. Interlocking vs. Interaction

kawrage:

(quoted from ‘Talking Back’: Counter-Hegemonic Discourses of North American Arab and Muslim Women Artists)

[I]t has been argued that the language of ‘intersectionality’ is limited because it suggests that discrete systems are crossing at particular moments. As Razack contends, the term intersectionality does not reflect how “these systems are each other and they give content to each other” (2008, 62). Razack also proposes to adopt the idea of “interlocking” as an alternative. This alternative terminology, she argues, makes it possible to track “how multiple systems of oppression come into existence through each other” (Razack 2008, 62). 

Mason (2002) also attempts to work through this terminology. As she explains, feminist research introduced the notion of intersectionality as an ‘anti-essentialist tool,’ in order to posit how axes of identity such as race, gender and sexuality jointly constitute identity. However, she proposes the term ‘interaction,’ instead of ‘intersection,’ to attest to how regimes of difference interact in the making of subjectivity. She references Ahmed’s (1998) discussion of how racial and gendered identifications ‘collide,’ rather than simply ‘collude.’ Such an understanding challenges the assumption embedded in the notion of ‘intersectionality’ - that distinct regimes of difference operate separately and only come to intersect at particular moments or conjunctures. Speaking of ‘mutual constitution’ then leads to the recognition that regimes of difference form the privileged and the subjugated. Thus, to posit differences as mutually constituted, rather than independently structured illustrates the interactive relation between race, gender, and sexuality. Whether we privilege the term intersect, interlock, or interact, it is apparent that all of these concepts contain within them the notion of multiplicity, of various axes of identity coming together. The debate is about the process or the image if you will (how they come together). Do they meet at a particular point in space (intersect)? Are they inseparable (interlock)? Or do they act one upon another (interact)?

Dec 12 '13

queertone:

#copsoffcampus demo 11.12.13 ULU

Dec 12 '13
moonpin:

thegreenwolf:

tearun:

Ah yes
the majestic flapflaps…

Wait, are those breaching mantas?

no they are the majestic flapflaps

moonpin:

thegreenwolf:

tearun:

Ah yes

the majestic flapflaps…

Wait, are those breaching mantas?

no they are the majestic flapflaps

(Source: onceuponawildflower)

Dec 9 '13

Police brutality and racism - an example

makemymark:

I mentor excluded, marginalised, vulnerable teenagers in North London. I work for an organisation that enables them to achieve educational qualifications and provides pastoral care and support.

These teenagers encounter obstacle after obstacle in their development; abuse, neglect, poverty and systems that appear destined to fail them. I’ve worked as a mentor for three years and I have no doubt that in relation to young black males, the police are an equally obstructive obstacle.

My father was a victim of racist treatment by the police when he arrived in England from Lebanon in the 1970s. I will never forget the raw anger and emotion in his voice as he described his experiences. My parents lived through the Broadwater Farm riots in the 1980s and educated me on the wider context of police racism.

Read More

Dec 9 '13

Statement to #CopsoffCampus

piercepenniless:

Below is Goldsmiths Solidarity Network’s statement for #copsoffcampus. It’s very much worth reading in full, and, as ever, building active solidarity between this upsurge in militancy and organisations doing difficult and often widely ignored work on police violence and racism.

goldsmithssolidaritynetwork:

Last week, months of careful organization and mobilization came to a head as students at ten universities occupied their campuses in support of the HE strike. The last of these occupations, at Senate House in Bloomsbury, was met with violent repression: UoL management called in the police, and the results were appalling, if not surprising. Hundreds of us gathered the following day to defy police in Bloomsbury. We are intensely proud to be struggling alongside our fellow students, and we will continue to do so until we get the cops off all campuses. In addition to their brutal interventions this past week, they have been conducting racist stop-and-searches, arresting ULU activists, and arresting students active in the 3cosas campaign. We are proud to see students protecting one another and standing up to the police, to see the de-arrests and the passionate indignation, as well as the refusal to be divided into “good protesters” and “bad protesters”. We are proving ourselves capable of responding to police aggression and are ready to strike back.

We need to remember, however, that we (as students) are neither the first to suffer such attacks, nor bear the brunt of state violence. Since we are living and studying in South East London, the police’s ongoing campaign of violence and intimidation against working people, and people of colour in particular, is painfully clear to us. The sirens are a permanent feature of life — as are stories of young people locked up or beaten, roadblocks targeting Black drivers, the aggressive UKBA raids, or the constant, petty harassment and stop-and-searches. Not to mention the recent police raids brutally targeting sex workers in Soho this week [http://www.sexworkeropenuniversity.com/2/post/2013/12/press-release-swou-responds-to-the-soho-raids.html] which have also been passed over in silence. 

Now that a small measure of this violence has struck us too, we call on our fellow students to actively support the struggles of groups and organizations such as the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence, Newham Monitoring Project, and the United Friends and Families Campaign. The actions of the police last week in Bloomsbury have attracted more media attention than the far more brutal violence committed against people of colour daily, and mobilized more students on the street and the internet than past responses to appeals for solidarity from the UFFC or LCAPSV. It would be nothing short of a disgrace if we fail to point out that police violence is structural and a constant feature of life for hundreds of thousands of Londoners. It would be shameful if we fail to act in solidarity with others facing police violence. Our solidarity is an empty and self-absorbed gesture if we are incapable of extending it beyond our campuses.

In the short amount of time remaining before the national day of action, we call on all Student Unions, independent student networks, and organizing committees, to get in touch with local groups campaigning against police brutality and offer their practical solidarity. We firmly believe that the national day of action should provide a platform for these groups to voice their anger; under no circumstances should the day be reserved for students alone. The strength of our actions from the previous week is a consequence of our willingness to support the struggles of workers and to find common ground with the people with whom we share the universities. This national day of action is another opportunity to find common ground with our neighbours and friends with whom we share this city, but only if we are willing to cede centre stage and organize in a manner which acknowledges that this issue is bigger than cops on campuses. We cannot, and should not, attempt to lead a campaign; rather, we need to be intelligent and humble enough to learn from and support communities who have been struggling and fighting for years with dignity, creativity, and an inexhaustible patience in the face of institutional indifference and token media coverage.

Cops off every campus, and out of every neighbourhood!

Goldsmiths Solidarity Network