Bloggerhood Etc. 6/8/15

Oh no, baby GODZILLA!

Photo: Jeff Wysaski.

Best Photoblog.Prankster Replaces Pet Names With New Labels In Local Pet Store” by Jeff Wysaski at Sad and Useless (via Obvious Plant Care).

Best Diagram.The Shape of Story” by Christina Wodtke at Elegant Hack.

Best Comic.Beer” at xkcd.

Best List.5 Steps Toward Making Friends Out of Enemies” by Benjamin J. Corey at Formerly Fundie.

Most Mind Bending. “The Moon Terminator Illusion” by VSauce (via YouTube).

Best Dad Post.Duck, Duck, Sloane” by Gary Mathews at Skipah’s Realm.

Best Special Needs PostHer Fight, Our Fight” by Laura Smith at SLP Mommy of Apraxia.

Best Request.Dear Donald Miller: Thank You, and Please Stop” by Emily A. Dause at Slivers of Hope.

 Most Tragic.Two Lanes to Accockeek” by Michael Graff at SB Nation.

Best Cover of a Cover.Mad World” by Peter Hollens via YouTube.

To catch up on all the great posts I’m reading online and to get a sneak preview of future candidates, check out my Around the Blogosphere board on Pinterest.

When a Photo Tells a Tragic Story

Two black kids hold "don't shoot" signs.

Photo via Anne Helen Petersen and MotherJones.com

I saw this image yesterday on Facebook and it left me speechless. I’ve not been able to find out who took it—even after a Google image search—but whoever the photographer was, he or she has captured the danger that African American children face every day.

This isn’t just Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, it’s America. And those of us who by the accidental privilege of our skin color don’t live the life these kids must face need to see them. We can’t shut our eyes any longer.

A new day has hopefully dawned in Ferguson, a new page in the story captured in this photo on Twitter this morning.

But how long until it happens again? Other black men have died violent deaths this week. We don’t know their names, or their circumstances, but we know that families and communities are morning them.

And in this way, all of America is Ferguson.

Five-Minute-Friday-4-300x300

Twenty-five Years Ago Today

This is how Washington Post staff writer Kathy Sawyer reported the Challenger disaster:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Jan. 28, 1986 — Awareness came slowly, not in a fiery burst, to those watching the shuttle launch from the better seats — the grandstands set up for families of the astronauts, dignitaries, the news media and a class of third graders with connections.

The chest-trembling, concussive roar of the liftoff, lagging behind the rising spaceship, had reached us. The spacecraft, clinging fly-fashion to the “wall” of tanks containing 3.8 million pounds of fuel, had been up about one minute.

We were gasping and cheering at the column of fire-topped smoke growing like a beanstalk into a cold, blue sky. As the rumbling sound (still trailing the visible scene) continued, a curious rooster tail seemed to form almost gently at the top, with glints of fire in it.

It took an age to realize that the column ended there.

It was one of those moments so shocking, so tragic, so overwhelming, that I don’t think anyone quite believed it when they saw it—or in my case heard about it.

I was in my second year of college, and I was in class that morning. When a friend of mine told me what happened, I thought he was joking.

“That’s a pretty sick joke,” I told him. “Even for you.”

Then after class, I walked over to a popular campus hangout. As soon as I walked in, I was struck by the silence. This place was never silent. I noticed everyone was looking at one of the TV monitors, so I looked up and saw the Challenger disintegrating.

Over and over again on a continuous loop.

I don’t remember much else that day, except for the stunned silence everywhere I went.

Christina

I’ve never been a fan of word clouds, but this one from the Guardian shows why the President’s speech last night in Tucson was so brilliant:

Word cloud

In the center is the name that held the whole speech together: Christina.

It is her name and her face that has haunted us these last five days. Not that we don’t mourn for the others who lost their lives. We do. Not that we don’t pray together with Congresswoman Giffords’ family for her full recovery. We do. But the loss of someone so young, someone who could be our daughter or our granddaughter, touches us all in a way no other loss can.

Last night, Barack Obama spoke as our President, but he also spoke as father who saw in Christina’s eyes what he sees in his daughters’ eyes; what I see in Anna’s eyes:

Hope, untouched by cynicism.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.

From one father to another, thank you President Obama.