Links + Things: Justin Timberlake! The Calming Manatee! Plagiarism (Ugh)! Sexism (Double Ugh)! Libraries! General Interestingness!

Links + Things: Justin Timberlake! The Calming Manatee! Plagiarism (Ugh)! Sexism (Double Ugh)! Libraries! General Interestingness!

You guys, it's been slow around these parts because I kind of lost the plot with my reading and nearly every book I've read in March isn't out until May or June. Obviously, I would be a jerk if I started reviewing things that weren't out for months--on a number of levels. 

However! I have many links of interestingness, including a Very Special Section devoted to the one and only Justin Timberlake. I have had The 20/20 Experience on repeat since Tuesday and I am in love--especially with Pusher Love Girl, which is Swoon City, USA.  

Links + Things: Justin Timberlake! The Calming Manatee! Plagiarism (Ugh)! Libraries! General Interestingness! - On Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

This Week's Video of Awesome

This is a fantastic speculative ad for Durex--it's brilliant and actually tells you want you need to know about the product.

Interestingness

Jane Goodall, the primatologist celebrated for her meticulous studies of chimps in the wild, is releasing a book next month on the plant world that contains at least a dozen passages borrowed without attribution, or footnotes, from a variety of Web sites.

The borrowings in “Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants” range from phrases to an entire paragraph from Web sites such as Wikipedia and others that focus on astrology, tobacco, beer, nature and organic tea.

Well, this is disappointing news to say the least. I'm getting so weary of one plagiarism story after another. I realize there are so many pressures to publish, publish, publish, but it's at the point I'm no longer all that surprised by each week's plagiarism story. What worries me the most is the desensitizing--I have had a number of students in their 20s who have been surprised by my anti-plagiarism spiel because it's the first time they've had someone explicitly address the issue of plagiarism and what it precisely means. 

But whereas Shaq was hailed for being big, bold, different, Griner is sometimes viewed in a harsher light, with skepticism bordering on suspicion. When people called Shaq a freak of nature, it was a compliment; when directed at Griner, the term often carries a cruel edge, punctuated with the refrain of "She's a dude!"

Such wary appraisals are not unique to Griner, of course. This is what Joe Fan does to any female athlete who doesn't fit neatly into one of two boxes: the cool, tough-talking guy's gal (see: Ronda Rousey, Lindsey Vonn) or the unattainable beauty (see: Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova).

Brittney Griner is an absolutely remarkable athlete, but, sadly the public response to her has been quite disturbing over the years. This ESPN columnist hits the nail on the head with regard to the root of many people's incredibly sexist response to Griner's success. Even if you're not a sports fan, this is an important subject, and this piece is really worth reading.

But libraries, as we know, do not exist for free. They cost their communities—whether composed of taxpayers, tuition-payers, donors, or a combination—a substantial amount of money. It’s well-intentioned to emphasize that libraries provide materials and services without exacting immediate payment from users for each transaction. But today it is at best a mistake and at worst self-destructive to underrepresent the considerable ongoing investment that the members of a community make to have library collections, technology, personnel, and facilities available to them.

My two pennies on this subject: As a recovering public sector employee who worked on public finance elections, I agree 100% that positioning any public service as “free” is a bad, bad idea—the public devalues that which they see as “free.” Rather, communicating the public value of accessible services such as libraries, parks and other facilities is much more effective in helping the public understand the importance of these entities. 

You threw Jane Doe under the bus. You threw all of us under the bus.

I try to imagine you solemnly expressing these sympathies for two young murderers of a 16-year-old girl. Would you say how sad it is to see their lives ruined by imprisonment? Or would you use words like “heinous,” “disgusting” and “unthinkable” to describe their crimes?

Alas, when a young boy rapes a girl, it’s a “misstep.” He’s still learning the boundaries. He doesn’t know what he’s doing is rape. I hate to be the one to break the news (ha!), but the boundaries are simple. Everything outside of a “yes” and/or enthusiastic consent is outside the boundaries.

I know many of you, like me, were incredibly disturbed by the press coverage of the aftermath of the Steubenville rape trial. Chelsea Levinson's moving and important person response gets to the heart of the matter. 

Further Reading

Links About Justin Timberlake

(Yes, in honor of JT's first album in seven years, he gets his own category this week.)

Cover Art

It seems like there were a ton of covers revealed this week, but three definitely stuck out. The first is David Levithan's Two Boys Kissing, which is pretty groundbreaking. The always-brilliant Malinda Lo has some insightful thoughts on this one. I adore every single thing about the cover of Leila Sales' new book, This Song Will Save Your Life: the headphones, the glasses, the hot pink, the typography. Everything. The cover of Jon Skovron's Man Made Boy is pretty badass, right?

Books That Are Cheap

Question: Do you like these deals included with this links post, or would it be more helpful to have them separate? When I first started including them, my links posts were shorter, so I don't know if I'm heading to information overload territory or not... Anyway, I've got three ebook deals for you this week--enjoy!

  • Julie James fabulous Something About You is only $2 for Kindle and Nook right now (I believe it's only good for this week). I've really enjoyed all of her books and highly recommend them to folks who usually avoid romance.
  • So many people I know adore Courtney Milan's novels and novellas, and while I'm not a historical reader, I have read one of hers and enjoyed it. Right now, The Governess Affair is a free e-novella on all platforms.
  • A number of people have recommended Brodi Ashton's Everneath to me me, but I've shied away because of the flowy dress and decapitation situation on the cover. However, at $3 for the Kindle ebook (price matched at BN), it's pretty cheap-o, so I'll give it a whirl,

Have a fabulous weekend, y'all!

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