I just wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to a new service that I wanted to recommend: BillFixers.
It's two brothers who are really, really good at dealing with the maddening world of phone customer service. The service is really easy to use: I got in touch with them and included a pdf of my cell phone bill. They did some research, got back to me and after I added them as an authorized user to my account, were able to call up Verizon and save me almost $200 a year.
I'm actually now on a better (unpublished) plan that will be permanent. If they can't find anything like that, they'll get you a year-long discount. And if they can't find you any savings, there's no charge. Otherwise, it's half of the savings for one year.
If you decide to try it out, they do all kinds of bills, not just cell phone (TV, internet, satellite radio) use my name in the referral when you sign up and you should get a discount!
Hope everyone is having a great Labor Day Weekend, let's see what we have going on today.
First up, we're getting closer to a new generation of spray-on solar power.
An awesome post over at the Good Men Project about the parents of a trans man (or I guess boy, due to age).
You guys, there's an ACME movie in the works:
The Onion nails it on the head, like they always do - this time, about Ferguson.
This story got buried during everything going on in Ferguson, but a pastor cancelled a man's funeral after finding out he was gay, and called his mom to tell her that while she was at a viewing and next to his casket.
And we're getting closer to turning our sweat into a source of electricity with e-tattoos.
Research is still being done, but it looks like still-developing brains are not negatively affected by today's technology, at least in moderation.
The Good Men Project also takes a look at empathy. Which the more I think about it, is what we're missing the most of in today's world and would solve most of our problems. But how do you teach people to be empathetic? I can't figure that part out.
That's it for now, but I'll be back with more soon!
Quick update today, let's see what we have. First up, the perfect reaction to Westboro's planned protest of Robin Williams' funeral (NSFW):
Nate Green, the straightwashed country music star.
Amazing dragon backpack! It looks very confusing, but so cool!
Want to relive one of the best parts of The Guardians of the Galaxy? Of course you do, check out the Dancing Baby Groot!
Or, you can translate any website into Groot-speak.
Its like the new version of "free candy:"
DERP is a real thing, and helping out social scientists.
This is one of the reasons the Gay Games are awesome: a 99-year old (with her doctor's permission), competed!
There's a new Noah's Ark "amusement park" opening up, that's getting a massive amount of tax breaks: but they won't hire you if you're gay or aren't Christian. Yeah, that's messed up, and they should lose their tax breaks.
And also in gay related news, I always forget, technically, my organs could be rejected for donations, just because I'm gay, which is somehow tied into the gay-blood donation ban.
Pierce Brosnan and Jimmy Fallon play Goldeneye 64, really meta and awesome:
That's it, have a great one!
Let's see what we have today, first up, I learned that my favorite Smash Bros. character's full name is T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas. I'll probably name my next car that.
The Church of England is now facing a legal fight after rescinding a job offer to a married, gay priest. The way the English law works, they have marriage equality, but the CoE is specifically barred from performing them, for some reason. I blame the powdered wigs.
Yes. The perfect way to respond to blatant Twitter racism. So much yes.
The trailer for "Into the Woods" is here:
The Great Horror Campout is a thing. Read about one reporter's experience here.
Arrested Development is coming back for a fifth season!
This is a wonderful, fantastic ad. For whatever reason, the one million moms (all six of them) are in a tizzy because of the background music, so it's even sweeter that it's so good:
A really touching story about a deceased father, an old XBox, and ghost data from a racing game.
The inner monologues of the DirecTV puppets.
This is a thing, that can't really be described, so just enjoy it:
Alphabetical order seems pretty simple, right? Well, it takes over 27,000 words to code it correctly.
That's it for now, have a great one!
Why am I talking about Mississippi? I have zero desire to go (I don't really like heat and humidity to start with), but it's still one of the states in the United States, so we should pay attention. Recently, a new law went into effect where businesses can turn customers away based on religious beliefs.
AKA, "Don't serve the Gays."
We've seen religion used before to deny service to African Americans at lunch counters. We've seen religion used to justify denial of service to Irish immigrants. And as a society, we moved past this. Except for the LGBT community (and immigrants, which I will remind you, unless you're Native American, you're ancestors were immigrants too).
When you operate a business, you work in the public sphere and have to serve the entire public, not just the portions you choose. This is why the Civil Rights Act was so important, it stopped businesses from being able to say "No blacks," "No Irish." Putting a sign in your store window today that says "No Italians," or "No Women" in this day and age is abhorrent. But for the LGBT community, it's a reality.
For some reason, the courts are allowing those with "closely held religious beliefs" to discriminate however they want. But as Rob points out, when the logical inconsistency is brought up, the laws, as well as the bigotry falls apart:
Bigots hate to be seen as bigots, they just want to hate and discriminate without being noticed. But the above graphic shows exactly the logical conclusion of their bias.
And on the other side of the coin, the President signed an Executive Order making businesses that have federal contracts required to follow non-discrimination practices in hiring.
After a brief period of lying and saying they already had that policy in place, Exxon Mobile is finally being forced to not discriminate against the LGBT community: this is after 17 straight years of denying those workers any protections.
Allegheny County has non-discrimination policies in place. But like I've mentioned before, Pennsylvania does not, so outside of the county, I can legally be denied employment, housing and any public accommodation (retail), simply for being gay. We're the only state that has marriage equality without these other basic protections, and it's nerve-wracking at times.
ENDA (in all it's flaws and shortcomings) is stalled in the House (and no one is surprised), but until these inclusive bills are passed, we're still living and working in a system that is inherently unequal.
All my best,
Alright, let's see what we have today. First up, Benedict Cumberbatch stars in the trailer for the Alan Turing movie. Turing is the man most responsible for the computer, as well as breaking the Nazi codes during WWII:
A new study shows that children who read Harry Potter are more welcoming to the gay and immigrant communities.
The Satanists are using the "Hobby Lobby" decision to ask restrictive abortion laws be stricken, as they violate their religion. Brilliant.
Seen on a t-shirt (in a window):
It can't be unseen, but the Good Men Project tackles Manternity photos in an awesome way:
Let’s be frank—Pregnant women are beautiful, but some of the photographs we take of them are HORRIFIC. Simply HORRIFIC. And I don’t mean that it’s awful that we see their uncovered pregnant forms or anything (remember, the ladies themselves are beautiful), but, lately, in the race to create the most Pinterest-friendly maternity photos, pregnant women have been subjected to a level of photographic flourishes and clichés that would make an Anne Geddes baby cringe. Props are involved, Photoshop is unleashed, hearts are painted on bellies—cuteness is MANUFACTURED and those manufactured photos can take the most natural thing in the world and make it feel surprisingly unnatural and forced.
Also see: Garfunkle and Oates, "Pregnant Women are Smug"
Nerdist covers the science of Tatooine.
A new Kickstarter campaign for a Sci-Fi movie that will punch you right in the feels:
And finally, Andrew Rannells is taking over for NPH as Hedwig, here's the promo shot:
First up today, want to be a judge? Slate has a cool tool where you can write your own marriage equality ruling. Check it out here.
So....this is a thing...somehow: the gummy bear wurst.
I'm so excited for this movie, here's a five minute look at Guardians of the Galaxy
And related, an economist looks at how inequality leads to less education, lower income and host of other problems.
The real state of the NRA in America:
The Church of England finally voted to allow women bishops.
The Burger King in San Francisco made a Proud Whopper:
President Obama recently signed an executive order to force equality in employment for federal contractors (basically ENDA), this is why it's needed.
The HObby Lobby decision was horrible for women, of course. But now it's being used to discriminate against the LGBT community in employment (see above), justifying discrimination and may affect the research of HIV/AIDS
In case you missed it, this amazing video from Weird Al:
The intro of Futurama recreated in 3d. And it looks amazing!
It's fan made, but this is a really good promo for the next season of American Horror Story!
And finally, the trailer for the final Hobbit movie
Have a great one!
AS the World Cup winds down, here's Ragan's list of the best and worst ads.
Gawker's new project is kind of like a meme Snopes. Check it out.
A great write-up of the music of Supernatural, which plays such a big role in the show. I'll hear a song they used, and get transported back to it instantly.
And also in music, the soundtrack for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1 looks great!
Hobby Lobby is having a big affect on the LGBT community, sadly. Companies are coming out of the woodwork asking for exemptions, on the same grounds (closely held religious believes) to discriminate in their hiring practices, other companies are looking to drop all coverage for HIV medication and now the major lobbying groups are revoking their support for ENDA since it doesn't go nearly far enough. Lots of fall out. I may expand this into a separate post just to go over everything.
And speaking of contraception, isn't it amazing that when you use science (testable, observable results) and not just screaming ignorance and fear, you see that access to contraception decreases the abortion rate significantly?
I love Kristin Wiig, and love Bill Hader, this looks amazing:
Nerd alert: The new edition of D&D (okay, keep judging, it's okay) actually has a great and geeky passage about gender/sexuality:
You don't need to be confined to binary notions of sex and gender," the new rules state. "You can play as a male or female character without gaining any special benefits or hindrances. Think about how your character does or does not conform to the broader culture's expectations of sex, gender and sexual behavior. For example, a male drow cleric defies the traditional gender divisions of drow society, which could be a reason for your character to leave that society and come to the surface."
And sometimes I forget how dumb people are. Some people are taking Steven Spielberg to task...for apparently hunting a triceratops.
Every. Campfire. Ever. Entirely accurate.
That's it for now, enjoy the weekend everybody!
Fairly quick update, let's see what we have today. First up, appropriate for Independence Day:
While I think people should be honest, especially about their flaws, before getting married, I think this new "shadow wedding" trend is a bit much. But hey, if it gets people into nature, maybe it's a good thing.
Stefon from SNL's Weekend Update was one of my favorite recurring characters. Here's a map of some of his more famous suggestions.
Now that a bunch of countries have pulled their foreign aid for Uganda due to their draconian anti-gay laws, their president now says accepting foreign aid is 'sinful.'
Ten lifehacks to know for summer:
Um, how stupid can a (Republican) politician be about climate change? That's a serious question, because I think he just gave me an aneurysm reading his absolutely moronic comments.
The final book of "The Magicians" trilogy hits shelves on August 5, and I can't wait (I'm rereading the books in anticipation). The trailer, featuring and fans and some really, really big names in literature, just dropped. Check it out.
That's it for now, have a great one!
Quick update, in case you haven't seen it, the second season of Orange is The New Black (which I'm almost done with), has an awesome extended trailer:
Amazing idea to help combat the anti-choice protesters.
I'm not this far in the books, but in Book 4 of A Song of Ice and Fire, there is a fictional board game, that a fan had 3D printed!
The National Center for Lesbian Rights launched a campaign to end ex-gay conversion "therapy" (read, torture), called #BornPerfect
Google has taken on Rift, through low-tech: cardboard:
That's it for now, have a great one!