#5SmartReads - September 15, 2022
Hitha on junk science in unexpected places, the entirely preventable looming crisis, and the iconic Sheryl Lee Ralph
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘pseudoscience’?
Me? I think of fad diets and off-label medications that were promised to be cures for COVID. What I don’t think about? Police investigations or courtroom trials.
Eliza’s thread showed me that I really need to be thinking about it, because pseudoscientific norms in investigations like polygraphs, bite mark comparisons, and shoe prints or tire tracks are literally jailing innocent people.
So who stands to win with upholding these ineffective norms in our investigations?
We can - and must - do better when it comes to public safety. And it starts with educating ourselves.
For as honest as RRR was in showing how violent colonialism is, it also upholds some extremely problematic norms with regards to caste that I find important to educate myself about, and to share with you all as well.
Yes, art gets a little more flexibility when it comes to our expectations of accuracy. And while RRR is centered around two very real freedom fighters, Rama Raju and Komaram Bheem, Rajamouli also upheld the caste-based legacies of each of these men - and in doing so, wasted an opportunity to transcend the caste system in his interpretation of their stories (and to give Bheem the same recognition that Rama Raju has maintained in the annals of Indian history).
This is a really important piece that I learned quite a lot from, and I encourage you to read it (whether or not you watch RRR).
Voting rights and access to reproductive healthcare are certainly at the top of my priority list when it comes to voting. But so is long-overdue investments in our care economy, which employs millions of people in education, child and eldercare providers, house cleaners, etc.
Without them (and the unpaid labor of largely women), this country would not run.
The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act is long overdue and incredibly necessary, as it offers the protections and safety measures that we often take for granted in our own workplaces. And while 10 states have passed this important law, it’s something that I believe needs to be signed into law at the federal level (along with my other two priorities - voting rights and reproductive healthcare).
She’s an icon, she’s a legend, she IS the moment.
And now, Sheryl Lee Ralph is an Emmy award winning actress, thank you very much.
There is so much in this interview with Ralph that I adore and scribbled down to reference later - her advice on marriage and career and taking care of herself, the story of her first wedding (in a word - epic), and how the stars aligned for her to join Abbott Elementary - and why she did.
I’ll leave you with the advice that she would give to her younger self (who was incidentally honored by Glamour as their College Woman of the Year in 1975):
“The only thing you ever need to do is carry on through your own personal storms. Because when you have those rough times, it helps you appreciate the good times even more. And you will have a lot of good times.”
The energy tragedy was avoidable (Axios)
And here I was, thinking it was just the United States’ electrical grid.
It’s not. It’s the whole world’s, and now I’ll have another thing that keeps me up at night.
“As the world warms, it needs to invest massively in both renewable energy — to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels — and also in the electricity grid itself, so that power from a disparate set of sources and regions can be moved to where it's needed.”
It’s only going to get harder and more expensive the longer we wait, and I sincerely hope we stop waiting and start upgrading. For all our sakes.