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Interesting Things I’ve Read Recently 3/31

March 31, 2015

Why We Need Ruth Bader Ginger Ice Cream (NPR blog)

Of course, ice cream flavor names aren’t exactly political mandates or awards for lifetime achievement. As McCall acknowledges, flavor-name parity won’t close the gender pay gap or elect more women to office. But calling attention to gender disparities of this kind is valuable precisely because such disparities so easily go unnoticed. A string of female flavors would seem anomalous (Ruth Bader Ginger, Coco-nut Chanel, Angelina Jolie Rancher, Jane Austen Cream Pie…), yet in many domains, it takes a stunt like McCall’s for most of us to notice a trend of female absence.

The above piece, and the blog post it references from BuzzFeed do an excellent job of setting up an important conversation, and arguing how urgently it’s needed… through ice cream flavor puns.

What Happens To a Book After You Donate It to the Library? (BookRiot)

When the volunteers are done pricing, the books have to be stored until it’s time for the next big book sale. Some libraries are lucky to have large staging areas like obsolete garages that can store a whole lot of books. Other Friends of the Library groups have to dip into their coffers to pay for off-site storage. Still other libraries have spaces for small used book stores that are open year-round and staffed by volunteers, with the pricier books getting listed on Amazon.

Not sure if the NYPL even takes donations anymore, so not sure if this applies, but it’s still a fun read.

My childhood friends and I were avid readers, trading paperbacks and poring over the Scholastic catalog together. Now, even in 2015, children’s publishing has a diversity problem. But this was back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and so nearly 100 percent of the books I read were about white, straight, able-bodied kids. I didn’t think to question it; I yearned to read about kids who looked like me, but if I hadn’t read the books that were out there, I wouldn’t have read anything at all. I started writing fiction when I was seven years old, and even my own books at the time featured exclusively white characters because I just assumed people didn’t publish contemporary books about black kids.
The biggest art heists of the 20th century  (Independent) includes the Mona Lisa, a massive theft in Boston that remains unsolved 25 years later, and a Rembrandt painting that has been stolen 4 (!!) times from the same museum. But at least they have a sense of humor about it.
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