Guy’s viral analogy nails exactly why Brett Kavanaugh is so triggering to women.

Writer A.R. Moxon uses an interesting analogy to explain a highly sensitive topic.

In many cases, the best way to bridge a gap between perspectives is through a concisely worded analogy. While there are plenty of empathetic men, and many male survivors of sexual assault, there is still an overtly gendered gap between how this week's confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh has affected women and men.

Even if you're on the same side politically, the visceral way Christine Blasey-Ford's personal testimony of sexual assault triggered female survivors across the country is very different than how it affected men who haven't experienced assault.

So, in a clever analogical effort to bridge the emotional gap of our current political hellscape, the writer A.R. Moxon wrote a thread that perfectly explained to other men how women feel about Kavanaugh.

He effectively reframed women's experiences with assault and sexual violence through the analogical lense of getting kicked in the nuts, which may sound silly upon first reading, but actually works as a strong parallel to women's experiences.

One of the strengths of this particular analogy is how deep it goes into the structure of rape culture. How everything from advertising to messages in church enforce the pattern of victim-blaming and shame.

The analogy also shines light on how deeply misguided and emotionally dense it is to be worried about “false accusations” amidst the rancid existence of rape culture. How, if the tables were turned, this concern would feel like such an obvious affront to men’s humanity.

He doubled down on the analogy when he brought in the issue of forced birth, and how limiting birth control and safe abortion options feed into the brutality of rape culture.

He ended the thread by pointing out how depressing it is that men, or anyone really, need analogies to understand why the past few weeks have been so triggering to women.

The thread sparked a lot of impassioned responses from both men and women echoing the trueness of the sentiment.

Hopefully, this in-depth explanation of rape culture will help a few more people understand why this is all so painful and terrifying.

joey grundl, pizza guy saves life, milwaukee heroes

Image from WITI Milwaukee YouTube.

Joey Grundy the delivery driver.

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

The delivery man was sent to a woman's house to deliver a pie when her ex-boyfriend, Dean Hoffman, opened the door. Grundl looked over his shoulder and saw a middle-aged woman with a black eye standing behind Hoffman. She appeared to be mouthing the words: "Call the police."

"I gave him his pizza and then I noticed behind him was his girlfriend," Grundl told WITI Milwaukee. "She pointed to a black eye that was quite visible. She mouthed the words, 'Call the police.'"

Image from WITI Milwaukee YouTube.

Dean Hoffman in his mugshot.

When Grundl got back to his delivery car, he called the police. When the police arrived at the home, Hoffmann tried to block the door, but eventually let the police into the woman's home.

After seeing the battered woman, Hoffmann was arrested and she was taken to the hospital for her wounds.

Earlier in the day, Hoffman arrived at the house without her permission and tried to convince her to get back into a relationship with him. He then punched her in the face and hog tied her with a vacuum power cord.

"If you love me, you will let me go," she plead, but he reportedly replied, "You know I can't do that." He also threatened to shoot both of them with a .22 caliber firearm he kept in his car. The woman later told authorities that she feared for her life.

Pizza Delivery Driver Saves Kidnapped Woman After She Mouths ‘Help Me!’

A day later, Grundl was seen on TV wearing a hoodie from Taylor Swift's "Reputation Tour" and her fans quickly jumped into action, tagging Swift in photos of the hero. Grundl already had tickets to go to an upcoming Swift concert in Arlington, Wisconsin, but when Swift learned of the story, she arranged to meet Grudl backstage.

"She … she knew who I was," Grundl jokingly tweeted after the concert. "I'm thoroughly convinced Taylor gave me a cold."

"This has been one of the most exciting weeks of my life," Grundl said. "I'm legitimately getting emotional and I almost never get like this. But as the likely most memorable week of my entire life comes to an end … I guess I can really say … I'm doing better than I ever was."

This article originally appeared on 08.19.19


5 ways everyday citizens can start holding police departments accountable

A journalist shares how anyone can use investigative reporting techniques to strengthen police accountability.

Photo by ev on Unsplash

The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis has drawn historic levels of interest in police misconduct and drawn condemnation from law enforcement leaders nationwide.

As a reporter covering law enforcement for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and now in partnership with ProPublica's Local Reporting Network, I use investigative reporting techniques to strengthen police accountability. Other journalists do the same. But, in truth, any citizen can apply the same methods to ensure the law enforcement system they're funding is serving them well.

Police culture can be insular and tough to penetrate. But I've been surprised by how often it's possible, though time consuming, to expose important issues by requesting and examining records and data from police departments and other government agencies and engaging citizens and key leaders. So here are five techniques concerned citizens, journalists and policymakers can use to examine police conduct in their communities.

1. Understand the policies and laws that govern police conduct.

If you're alarmed by what you saw in Minneapolis, or other recent incidents of apparent police misconduct, the first step is to find out if the agency in question has a written policy on the use of force. Does the policy dictate when officers should or shouldn't use force? What tactics are they allowed to use? Is there any rule against choking a suspect?

It's important to know if the officers involved were following the policies and procedures that are supposed to guide their behavior. Police actions that strike an onlooker as inappropriate may actually be within a department's rules. It's possible the rules themselves are inconsistent with best practices elsewhere.

Ask the department for its policies on the practices that concern you, like restraining suspects or the use of pepper spray or Tasers. You may also need to request rules set by a county or state authority. Ask for written copies. You may be required to file a formal public records request, which I will describe below. And if there is no existing written policy, that might be something worth questioning itself.

If you're having trouble understanding a policy, try running it by an attorney, academic, elected official or a journalist in your community.

How I did it: I did a deep dive into policies about drug testing after a police captain was killed in a car crash in 2016, and I exposed that he was drunk and on drugs at the time. I spoke to his chief and learned their department didn't have a policy for random drug testing. I wondered why that was the case and looked to the state attorney general's office, which sets many police rules. The rules allowed departments to choose whether they wanted to do random testing, and my reporting identified more than 100 that did not. After our story, the state attorney general mandated random drug testing for cops across the state.

2. You are entitled to public records that can show whether rules are being followed. Get them.

Your tax dollars pay for just about everything a police department does, which includes generating tons of reports, dispatch logs, video recordings and data about what officers do every day. Any citizen is entitled to see those public records to understand how the government works.

The agency may say the public records law does not allow you to have access to some documents — information about confidential informants and medical records, for example. The laws that dictate what's considered public vary by state, so check out the national guide by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Information the agency considers off limits may also be redacted, and it may take time to get a response.

Even with the hassles and limitations, public records laws are empowering and I've been surprised by how much I can obtain. My policy is always to ask and make a records clerk explain why I can't have taxpayer-funded records. Follow up to ensure important requests aren't lost or ignored. Assume you should be able to see everything. Your state's public records law may even include a presumption that records are open and exemptions are an exception. You may run into roadblocks that you can't overcome on your own. In some cases, journalism organizations have had to sue to obtain public records. Your budget may not allow for an attorney, but some states have mediators that you can go to if you think your request is being wrongly denied.

It's striking how much information the government collects but then does not review. So you might be the first person to ask for a particular body of records and put them together to identify an important trend which you can share with leaders who weren't paying attention to the issue. Your local journalists may also be very interested in the information you have gathered.

Sometimes it's hard to even know which records exist. That's where documents commonly known as records retention schedules come in handy. Government agencies use these to track which records they keep and how long they hold onto them. Use the schedules to help you see what you might be able to obtain. These are available all over the country. Just for fun, I looked up the city of Los Angeles — they call them records disposition schedules and found them for agencies ranging from the Police Department to the zoo. The agency of interest to you might use a different name for the document, so call them and ask if they have a written guide that shows which records they maintain and for how long.

How I did it: I started investigating police car chases after I saw the government keeps summaries of those incidents, including how many people are arrested or injured. I saw I could add up those figures and see if the benefits of the chases outweighed the risks and harm. I discovered that chases in recent years usually didn't end with an arrest, and that lots of people get hurt, including cops and bystanders.

If you're interested in scrutinizing the type of misconduct we saw in Minneapolis, you could request use of force reports. New Jersey made those public a few years ago, and Newark Star-Ledger journalistsused them to great effect. ProPublica has that data available here for a fee.

If I were investigating a case of violence by the police I'd ask for:

  • The use of force reports filed by the officers involved.
  • Related incident reports.
  • Computer-assisted dispatch reports.
  • 911 phone call recordings.
  • Body-worn and vehicle-mounted camera recordings.

I might also request policies that dictate how an agency handles complaints against officers. Some states consider substantiated complaints against individual officers to be public records, so you could request them, depending on where you live. WNYC has a helpful breakdown of where that information is public. If you're looking for video from police body cameras, the Reporters Committee has a guide that shows the places where those are considered public. If you want to obtain recordings of 911 calls, they have a guide for those, too.

You could also be more general and ask the relevant department for substantiated internal affairs complaints alleging excessive force in the past year or so, if those are public in your state. Departments might keep summary data on internal affairs complaints, so ask for the most recent copy of that, too.

Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplashblue bmw car in a dark room

3. Identify the power players and engage them.

Engaging law enforcement leaders is essential to understanding policing, and their involvement is key to fixing problems. My access and experience as a white man who works for a news organization may be different than someone else's experience. It also depends on who you talk to and their openness to criticism. But I think we stand the best chance of a good outcome if we deal with each other respectfully.

Many policing issues are handled at the local, county or state level. Part of your work will involve figuring out who is responsible for the issue you're concerned about.

"All policing is local," former Milwaukee police Chief Edward A. Flynn told me. Like many cities, Milwaukee is also experiencing unrest and criticism of the police. Flynn, a well-known law enforcement leader, encouraged conversations between citizens and cops, possibly aided by a neutral third party like a local faith leader.

"The key to changing policing is on the ground level," he said. He added that it helps for citizens to praise the good work they see from their officers. He encouraged the public to consider crime statistics when scrutinizing police tactics.

I have found that the police themselves are often open to talking to me about the problems in their profession. Many I have talked to feel bad when things go wrong.

How I did it: I've been amazed at who is willing to talk to me when I simply take the time to ask. As part of my investigation into police car chases, I talked to a former cop who lost her police officer husband when his vehicle was struck during a high-speed pursuit. I was touched by the way she took hours from her busy life to tell me some of her most painful memories and share her insights as a former cop.

I took my findings to the attorney general, the state's largest police union and to lawmakers who vowed action. "It appears to me there's a lot more harm done than good right now," one of them said about the high-speed incidents.

"If the community has an issue either positive or negative with their law enforcement, then they should definitely have a conversation with the mayor, council and police chief," said New Jersey Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, a former cop who has participated in community discussion about police issues.

Contact information for law enforcement leaders is often available online. They may regularly attend meetings that are open to the public.

4. Presenting findings in a fair and persuasive manner is a powerful way to spur reform.

Show police leaders the problem that concerns you, using specific examples and quantifying the damage broadly. Show them the harm. Be careful to be fair. Frame the violations by showing how they go against policies or laws or best practices. Back up what you're saying with the evidence you've acquired.

How I did it: To highlight the dangers of police car chases, I introduced readers to Eric Larson, a young father killed when his car was hit by a motorcyclist fleeing police. Then I quantified the harm based on the records I had obtained: "New Jersey police pursuits killed at least 55 people in the past decade and injured more than 2,500."

Remember that there's always a different view to your perspective. Integrate it into your presentation if it is legitimate. Acknowledging the counterpoints helps you focus and ask tougher questions. In the car chase story, I made sure to also note incidents in which police chased a suspected killer and men wanted in connection to a shooting. Sometimes police chase violent criminals, but is it worthwhile for cops to chase someone for a traffic violation?

Policing is tough work, and there are times when cops use justified force. Differentiate how the issue you identified deviates from what's appropriate.

Photo by Ethan Wilkinson on Unsplashman in green and black stripe shirt wearing black hat

5. Follow up relentlessly until change is made.

Change is incremental and can take years. You will likely have to repeat yourself and persist in your efforts. But if you've found an issue of serious public importance — like the use of force incidents we've seen lately from the police — there may be ongoing examples you can point to as you make your case to decision-makers.

It may be worthwhile to reach out to local journalists with what you've found. News outlets often have a tip line you can call. Or, find a reporter who covers similar issues and call or email them with what you've found. I take calls like this frequently and look forward to them. Academics who study criminal justice may also be interested. You can look them up at your local college or university. When reaching out to reporters or academics, keep it brief and focus on the facts.

The wave of protests is hitting home for many people, including in my newsroom in New Jersey. On Monday, police arrested my Asbury Park Press colleague Gustavo Martínez Contreras after he filmed officers tackling two minors to the ground in Asbury Park.

I'm continuing to investigate police accountability problems in New Jersey this year in partnership with ProPublica's Local Reporting Network. If you have a tip for me, please share it.

If you have questions about applying the suggestions in this column, please email me at And if you find anything interesting as you start to investigate law enforcement practices, please let me know. I may want to follow up or promote your work online.

This article first appeared on ProPublica. You can read it here.

This article originally appeared on 04.20.21.


5 of Rory’s Favorite Books That Perfectly Explain Gilmore Girls

Rory Gilmore, a rolemodel for a generation of bookish young women, expressed herself best through literature.

Photo from Twitter.

The Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

Between the years of 2000 and 2007, Rory, the teenage daughter played by Alexis Bledel, was a best friend and a role model to a whole generation of young, bookish girls. We coveted her personal collection—rivaled only by the Library of Alexandria—and admired her encyclopedic knowledge of literature, even if it made some of her cultural references too heady for the average viewer.

The Gilmore Girls writers would have you believe that precocious Rory had read the entire Russian literary canon and the Nancy Drew series before the age of 12. And was it really hard to picture the dour-faced Gilmore girl clutching a copy of Dostoyevsky on the elementary-school playground?

Books, in fact, were one of the show’s best props. Was it not, after all, a dog-eared copy of Howl that first brought Jess and Rory together? Rory’s books functioned as sly metaphors for subplots and silently clued viewers in to inner turmoil she would never voice out loud. Below are five favorite literary references throughout the Gilmore Girls years.

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

–Rory & Dean

Very few among us—by us, I mean Generation Gilmore—were on Team Dean. Dean committed the most fatal mistakes a TV character could commit: He was boring and sported a terrible haircut. Dean, however, still somehow managed to connect with viewers when he bitingly referred to Anna Karenina, Rory’s favorite book, as “depressing.” It is depressing! But of course Rory loved it, because she loved any book that made her look impressive as she traipsed through Stars Hollow. Rory also identified with Anna, the title character stuck in a marriage of convenience to Count Karenin who engages in an illicit affair with the dashing young Count Vronsky. Rory’s a Count Vronsky kind of girl, and Dean was Count Karenin. No wonder they broke up by the end of the episode.

2. Howl by Allen Ginsberg

–Rory & Jess

I wouldn’t be surprised if paperback sales of Howl, Allen Ginsberg’s seminal work of poetry, suddenly spiked after this season-two episode aired. Didn’t we all want to impress a guy like Jess, a James Dean wannabe who accessorized with an interminable scowl? I imagine Jess, who favored the aggressive, hypermasculine compositions of Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, was in love with the idea of falling in love with a girl who had Howl on her bookshelf. Jess swiped the book off Rory’s bookshelf without asking and then returned it to her later, with notes in the margin. For a girl like Rory, this was the grandest of romantic gestures (she didn’t get out much).

3. Leaves of Grassby Walt Whitman

–Rory & Grandparents

Richard and Emily Gilmore were at times the best part of watching Gilmore Girls. Their relationships to each other, their daughter, and their granddaughter were often contentious. But at the end of the day, they were entirely loveable grandparents. When they came back from their second honeymoon, they brought Rory a 100-year-old copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass—in Latin. It’s a gift that signifies the aristocratic pretensions that had destroyed their relationship with their daughter, Lorelai, but enriches their relationship with Rory.

4. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

–Rory & Logan

Rory’s entire relationship with Logan was an outstanding exercise in magical thinking, the idea that one could will their desires into existence through sheer force of hope. On paper, Logan was an ideal boyfriend. His upper-class pedigree and Ivy League education appealed to the genteel sensibilities of her grandparents. But Rory always had a taste for self-destructive bad boys, and Logan’s mean streak and perpetual drunkenness fit the bill. It would never really work out for them, though not for lack of trying. Rory read this Didion classic on a Valentine’s Day trip to Martha’s Vineyard with Logan, Lorelai, and Luke. The weekend getaway ends in disaster when Logan’s father, Mitchum, barges in and demands Logan leave for a business trip to London.

5. The Children’s Hour, a play by Lillian Hellman

–Rory & Lorelai

Rory bought a copy of The Children’s Hour, a 1930s play by Lillian Hellman about two headmistresses of an all-girls school who are accused of being lesbians, for her mom. The play deals with a number of issues, chief among them the stringent conservatism of American social and political establishments. Of course, this play would strike a chord with Lorelai, whose relationship with her parents was nothing if not fraught with generational anxieties. Lorelai’s life had been defined by rebellion and social exclusion— she ran away from her parent’s home and the life she knew after getting pregnant with Rory. The play also has the added appeal of being relatively overlooked, and Rory and Lorelai have never met an obscure cultural reference they didn’t like.

This article originally appeared on 10.01.14


He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Henryk Ross was a Jewish sports photographer.

In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw.

Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

via Bild Bundesarchiv / Wikimedia Commons

Prisoners of the ghetto.

However, when the Nazis weren't looking, Ross stole film stock and surreptitiously took photos of the atrocities to "leave a historical record of our martyrdom."

Ross knew that if he was ever caught, he and his family would be tortured and killed.

Ross took photos of hangings, people lying in the street dying of starvation, and countless dead bodies in the morgue. He also managed to capture the day-to-day lives of the prisoners as they attempted to survive in squalor.

By the summer of 1944, over 45,000 people had died of starvation, disease, and murder in the ghetto, the vast majority of which were Jews, but some were Roma and Sinti. Tens of thousands were shipped off to concentration camps and murdered in gas vans at Chelmno.

Ross sensed that the end of the war may be near, so he buried over 6,000 negatives in the cold, hard Polish earth to leave a visual testimony of the Nazi atrocities.

On Jan. 19, 1945 the Soviet Army liberated the ghetto. Ross was among the 877 people who survived.

Two months later, Ross dug up his negatives. Most had been ruined by moisture but there were still hundreds that survived as evidence of the Nazi genocide.

Courtesy of Israel Government Press Office

Henryk Ross questioned during the Eichmann Trial.

In 1956, Ross and his wife immigrated to Israel. In 1961, he testified in the war crimes trial of the architect of Adolph Hitler's Final Solution, Adolf Eichmann. Some of Ross' photos were used as evidence.

Ross passed away in 1991 and his photographs were acquired by the Archive of Modern Conflict.

Here are just a few of Ross' chilling photographs taken at the Lodz Ghetto from 1941 to 1944.

Life in the Ghetto

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

The ruins of a synagogue on Wolborska Street demolished by Germans in 1939.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Execution by hanging in the ghetto.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Sorting through belongings left after deportation.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Men hauling the cart for bread distribution.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Children digging for potatoes

"The potatoes in the ghetto were always rotten, frozen - garbage. But perhaps it was still possible to find something edible in the trash? Hundreds, especially children, would come to burrow in the buried pile in the ground in the hours when the watch was not strict." — Henryk Ross

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Children sitting on the floor.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Cleaners in the ghetto.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Cook ladling soup into pails for captives.

Round-ups and Deportations to Killing Centers

Jews from the Lodz Ghetto were deported from Lodz via vans and cattle cars to death camps in Chelmno nad Nerem and Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

"Evacuation of the sick" (and aged, by horse-drawn cart).

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Boy walking to deportation in a group, wearing cap, satchel and backpack.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Mass deportation.

Jewish policemen are catching deportees trying to escape from the hospital at 36 Lagiewnicka Street, which was an assembly point for deportees. The photograph was taken on September 10, 1942." — Henryk Ross

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Deportation from the hospital

Death in the Ghetto.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

A young ghetto victim in the morgue.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

A dead boy labeled number 59.

Gift from Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

Corpses and body parts in the morgue.

For more information, please visit The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross.

This article originally appeared on 08.20.19

In 1825, at the approximate age of 8, Jordan Anderson (sometimes spelled “Jordon") was sold into slavery and would live as a servant of the Anderson family for 39 years. In 1864, the Union Army camped out on the Anderson plantation and he and his wife, Amanda, were liberated. The couple eventually made it safely to Dayton, Ohio, where, in July 1865, Jordan received a letter from his former owner, Colonel P.H. Anderson. The letter kindly asked Jordan to return to work on the plantation because it had fallen into disarray during the war.

On Aug. 7, 1865, Jordan dictated his response through his new boss, Valentine Winters, and it was published in the Cincinnati Commercial. The letter, entitled “Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master," was not only hilarious, but it showed compassion, defiance, and dignity. That year, the letter would be republished in theNew York Daily Tribune and Lydia Marie Child's “The Freedman's Book."

The letter mentions a “Miss Mary" (Col. Anderson's Wife), “Martha" (Col. Anderson's daughter), Henry (most likely Col. Anderson's son), and George Carter (a local carpenter).

Dayton, Ohio,
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee

"Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jordon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance."

"I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy, — the folks call her Mrs. Anderson, — and the children — Milly, Jane, and Grundy — go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again."

"As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars."

"Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire."

"In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve — and die, if it come to that — than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits."

"Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me."
From your old servant,
Jordon Anderson

Learn more about Jordan Anderson here.

This article originally appeared on 11.03.17


Dogs can recognize a bad person and there’s science to prove it

Science confirms that dogs can recognize a bad person.

Dogs can smell fear, but can they sniff out the truth? Your dog might actually be smarter than you're giving it credit for.

It turns out, dogs are pretty good at picking up on human behavior. Science says so. A team led by Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University in Japan conducted a study which found out that dogs actually know if you're to be believed or not.

The study involved tricking dogs in the name of science. Humans have known for a long time that if you point at an object, a dog will run to it. Researchers utilized this information in their study. During the experiment, they pointed at a container that was filled with hidden food. Sure enough, the dog ran towards the container. Then, they pointed at a container that was empty. The dogs ran towards it, but found that it had no food.

Photo by Toshi on Unsplash

This doggo has some concerns.

The third time the researchers pointed at a container with food, the dogs refused to go to the container. They knew the person pointing wasn't reliable based off their previous experience. 34 dogs were used in the experiment, and every single dog wouldn't go towards the container the third time. This experiment either proves that dogs can spot a liar or that dogs have major trust issues.

Photo by James Barker on Unsplash

Ready to eat.

In other words, if you lie to your dog, your dog forms the opinion that your word isn't good and will behave accordingly. "Dogs have more sophisticated social intelligence than we thought. This social intelligence evolved selectively in their long life history with humans," said Takaoka, who was also surprised that dogs were quick when they “devalued the reliability of a human."

John Bradshaw of the University of Bristol in the UK, who wasn't involved in this study, says that the results indicate that dogs prefer predictability. When gestures are inconsistent, dogs tend to become nervous and stressed.

The researchers have plans to repeat the experiment swapping out the dogs with wolves because wolves are closely related to dogs. The point of this isn't to get bitten by wolves, but rather, to see the "profound effects of domestication" on dogs.

This article originally appeared on 06.06.19


Mythbusting: What Gay Men Really Do In Bed

A study hopes to propose a more nuanced picture of what gay men actually do in bed.

Relationships are nuanced.

In the popular discussion of gay sexuality, anal sex looms large. It is invoked to deny gay people equal rights. It is used to categorically ban them from donating blood. Gay men are labeled by type based on whether they prefer to give or receive it. A new study hopes to propose a more nuanced picture of what gay men actually do in bed.

In the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers from Indiana University and George Mason University surveyed nearly 25,000 gay and bisexual men in an effort to better understand how they experience sex. The study hopes to combat "the almost exclusive focus" on HIV in most academic research on gay male sexual behavior, as well as to increase understanding of the "diversity and complexity of these men’s sexual lives." To do that, they asked gay and bisexual-identified men ages 18 to 87 to chart their most recent sexual experience. Did it involve kissing, cuddling, masturbation, oral sex, anal sex? Did it happen with a boyfriend, spouse, stranger, or sex worker? Was it in a car, a home, a club? Were condoms used?

The results: Despite the popular perception, "sexual behaviors involving the anus were least common," researchers found. Around 75 percent of participants reported kissing their partners, giving oral sex, and/or receiving oral sex in their most recent sexual encounters. By contrast, only 36 percent of men reporting receiving anal sex and 34 percent of men reporting giving it. Half of participants who engaged in anal sex employed a condom. The most common series of activities in the encounter—reported by 16 percent of men—involved "holding their partner romantically, kissing partner on mouth, solo masturbation, masturbating partner, masturbation by partner, and genital–genital contact."

When blood screeners ask men if they've ever had sex with another man, what do they mean? Though the U.K. draws a distinction between engaging in oral, anal, or manual sex, the United States bans gay men from donating blood for life if they've ever engaged in sex with another man. "Sex" is undefined. This study suggests that many gay men are not even regularly engaging in anal sex, the sexual activity that puts them at greatest risk of disease transmission. When they are, many of them use protection. At the same time, almost half of straight women today will engage in anal sex. If they do it with a man who also sleeps with men, they'll only be barred from donating blood for one year.

Gay rights advocate Peter Tatchell has argued that blood donors ought to be treated as individuals, not sexualities. He suggests that eligibility questionnaires "be made more detailed for men who've had sex with men, in order to more accurately identify the degree of risk." Hopefully, studies like these can help foster accuracy on a cultural level, too. The more we know about the way people really have sex, the harder it is to file straight and gay people into easy categories: one safe, the other risky; one natural, the other dirty; one in this hole, one in the other.

Article originally appeared on 10.21.11

Teachers may be educating the future of America, but they are often underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked.

Julie Marburger, a sixth-grade teacher at Cedar Creek Intermediate School in Texas, went viral after she aired her frustrations with students, parents, and administrators on Facebook. The post was later deleted.

"I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don't know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do...teach kids."

"I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there. Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or I purchased myself, because I have NO classroom budget. I have finally had enough of the disregard for personal and school property and am drawing a line in the sand on a myriad of behaviors that I am through tolerating. Unfortunately, one parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son."

Marburger included these photos of her classroom in disarray, including torn up text books, broken bookshelves, and a piece of chewed-up gum stuck to a window.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Disarrayed bookshelf.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Trash out of the trash bin.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Damage to the rooms supplies.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Books are not respected.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

A dirty classroom with trash on the floor.

via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Tearing up books.

Leaving expensive educational tools on the floor.

"Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8-10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven't seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted."

"But now I'm probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid. My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I've done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more. I am expecting this, because it is what has happened at the end of every other term thus far."

Marburger explained that it was her dream to be a teacher, but in just two short years, the job has beaten her down so much that she is ready to call it quits.

In the end, Marburger offered a little advice to parents:

"People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children. It's a problem that's going to spread through our society like wildfire. It's not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life."

"Many will say I shouldn't be posting such things on social media...that I should promote education and be positive. But I don't care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP."

Before it was deleted, Marburger's Facebook post was shared over 350,000 times, and garnered tons of support from fellow educators who sympathize with her position.