Weekly Round Up: Guns, Geeks, and Galaxies

First blog of 2014!  We’d like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and powerful new year.  Also a warm one—watch out for the polar vortex!


Latin Heat loved Diana Yanez in the Latina Christmas Special, which left audiences “dreaming of a Brown Christmas.”  After Ellen talks to Yanez about family and where she finds her funny, and she enlightens audiences and readers as to how Cubans may avoid alarming miscommunications with Mexicans.


Jessica Valenti rounds up her ten favorite feminist articles of 2013, replete with compelling excerpts for readers short on time.  On Melissa Harris-Perry, Valenti joins a panel discussing the merits of Beyoncé’s latest work, memorably commenting, “I’ve been calling this the album that is going to launch a thousand women’s studies papers.”


At io9Annalee Newitz, editor of She’s Such a Geek!, asks if, in 2014, the word “geek” retains any meaning.


Australian musician Chris Pugmire asks Kathleen Hanna some thoughtful questions at Mess and Noise, covering ground ranging from public receptivity to aging women’s narratives to Lyme disease treatments under the US healthcare system to the influence of poststructuralist feminist theory on her songwriting.


The Houston Chronicle and Merced Sun-Star look at illegal dumping in Houston, the same city and the same problem which inspired Dr. Robert Bullard’s work examining environmental racism in the 80s. He tells the press how more illegal waste gets dumped in areas populated with more residents of color.  In an op-ed, Dr. Bullard himself gives a retrospective on the past twenty years of the environmental justice movement since President Clinton signed the EJ Executive Order.


Richard Feldman writes at USA Today that the tragedy at Newtown was also a squandered opportunity to talk about our nation’s gun problems in a meaningful way.  Among the questions he poses and answers, “Did we examine how criminals obtain guns? About 500,000 are stolen annually. No.  Did we have the open discussion Vice President Biden promised about our failed drug policy and why it encourages gun violence? No.”  At the LA Times, in an unlikely alliance, he teams up with Bloomberg’s former gun policy advisor to brainstorm compromises to move gun policy forward, neatly summarized at Business Week.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review engages Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson about books and reading.  On StarTalk, he points to earth-like planets in the quest for life outside our galaxy.


Spencer Overton makes the cut of law professors of color whose works are featured on http://professorsofcolor.wordpress.com/