Today was kids corner at the shop. A bunch of parents brought in their 4-7 year olds for me to read some kid comics to them. I love it. Besides Free Comic Book Day, kids corner is pretty awesome. My niece still begs me to take her out of school to attend.
Anyways today we did side walk chalk art of their favorite superheros, one of my coworkers dressed up like Spider-Man and I had my Batman mask on. A couple of my artist friends came in to volunteer time to do superhero face painting, it was a great afternoon. We all sat down to read a couple of comic books, they never let me read any of them in normal voices, I always have to do the most ridiculous voice overs. Superman has to be my best impression. I started reading over the comic, doing Batman’s part when Jason screams out, “You can’t be Batman! You’re a girl!” and immediately crossed his arms. Shelby, without missing a beat, stood up and said “UH HUH! AND I CAN BE BATMAN TOO!” and started pointing to her little Batman chuck taylors. Thus, chaos began.
I started settling the kids down, like a domino effect when one kid gets excited, they all get excited. This is why I always say if kids get infected first by Zombies, no one would survive. We would all be dead. They have the best strategic army in the world. I told Jason anybody can be Batman, doesn’t matter what they look like or who they are, anybody can be the dark knight. Just because you’re a boy doesn’t mean you have to like an only male hero. It’s completely cool to like a female hero because they’re pretty awesome as well. Robbie piped in, “I like Batgirl, she wears purple!” And just the same everybody started calling out who their favorite hero is. Boys liking Wonder Woman, girls liking Hulk. They felt like at that moment it was okay to have a different sex superhero as their favorite because nobody would tease them about it.
Kids are mean. Mean to each other. And nowadays even earlier. They’re color coded and segregated with pinks and blues and barbies and g.i.joes every day they walk into a toy store. When a kid goes against the stereotype, its hard continuing that course, especially when you get made fun of for it. I’m not saying when these kids go to school they’re going to embrace liking who they like with confidence. But if giving them 15 minutes to just be comfortable with it, it’s a win in my book. Because believe me, I can definitely be Batman.
“That’s how sex is presented to boys - it’s not intimacy; it’s not the loving, egalitarian [part] that we get something out of, it’s something we do to the other. We raise women to survive in a rape culture, because we raise women to know these things. We do nothing to talk to men about not raping. But we do talk to women about how to protect themselves, which is further why we place the blame on women when something happens. ‘Well didn’t you know not to do that? Didn’t you know not to wear that dress? Or didn’t you know not to walk down that street at that hour of the night?’”—Feminist Don McPherson, on rape culture and educating boys to not rape. (via misswallflower)
A little over 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav “Molai” Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India’s Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acre of jungle that Payeng planted single-handedly.
The Times of Indiarecently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape:
It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.
“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested,” says Payeng, now 47.
While it’s taken years for Payeng’s remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn’t take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell. The forest, called the Molai woods, now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deers, rhinos, tigers, and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss elsewhere.
Despite the conspicuousness of Payeng’s project, Forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 — and since then they’ve come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable, but perhaps not enough.
“We’re amazed at Payeng,” says Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia. “He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.”
This is absolutely phenomenal. Imagine the possibilities if everyone had the same dedication, passion, and kindness Payeng has toward the environment and the creatures that inhabit it.
“When it comes to customers, Apple is a bold innovator that leads the industry into new directions and forces others to follow. However, when it comes to the management of its supply chain and treatment of workers in the Chinese factories that make its products, it hides behind the constraints of prevailing industry practices. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that these practices are in violation of not only local and national laws, but also of Apple’s own voluntary self-imposed code of conduct. It is important to note that this voluntary code of conduct breaks no new ground. It is at best a modest attempt to ensure that workers will be treated fairly and provided with a safe work environment.”—
S. Prakash Sethi, Professor, Baruch College, and President, International Center for Corporate Accountability. Carnagie Council, Two Faces of Apple
Sethi writes that the Apple brand is divided with its hyperfocus on the finished product but lazy glance factory conditions.
iPhones, iPads, iMacs and Powerbooks are innovative works of wonder. Operations at suppliers like Foxconn? Lowest common denominator.
Sethi challenges Apple CEO Tim Cook to change the company’s split culture.
“This would call for Apple to play a leadership role and thereby solidify its reputation not only as a leading corporate innovator, but also as a leading socially responsible corporate citizen,” he writes.
“One hopes that Apple will once again astonish the world by showing a new approach to building better bridges between private profit and public good.”