AwkSci Playlist 28.02.2015

Ahhh Saturday. Over here in Germany, the weather is perking up and spring is slowwwwly becoming reality. So after you watch the playlist, may I suggest a nice stroll outside? Even if it's snowy, windy, rainy, or apocalyptic - just take some time outside and appreciate that if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, soon you won't have to wear mittens and closed shoes.

As always, I recommend viewing this playlist with a cup of tea, and I'll have commentary for each video below - if you're not that into my commentary, ist egal, but please read the commentary for the seventh video, The Science of Anti-Vaccination, as there were specific responses to that video from autistic individuals that demand mention.

Without further ado: This Week's Playlist

1. VICE News, "Bomb-sniffing Elephants in South Africa: VICE News Capsule, February 27"
Let's start with some news from this week that you may not have heard of. Tragedy in Afghanistan due to snowfall, destruction of historical artifacts in Iraq, a drug tunnel between the USA and Mexico, and drug-sniffing elephants in South Africa.

2. WiseCrack's series Thug Notes with "The Color Purple"
Thug Notes are a classical literature summary and analysis videos using urban vernacular and they're great. Today is the last day of Black History Month, and Thug Notes has made particular use of classics written by Black authors for the entire month. Follow Sparky Sweets, PhD's advice and subscribe!

3. Idea Channel's "How is Ms. Marvel Changing Media for the Better?"
The product of PBS Digital Studies, Idea Channel is AMAZING. Every show makes you think until it hurts and that's a gift. This particular video is from April of last year, and since they post a video once a week, why exactly did I choose to include this one? Well, for one, this recent vandalism campaign regarding Islamophobic ads in San Francisco using the image of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel supports the idea that it is changing media, or at least the response to media, for the better. The video is over 11 minutes, long, but the main topic stops at 7:41 and the rest is reader comments from the previous episode.

4. NPR's "Talking While Female"
This video is part of a larger feature from NPR (National Public Radio in the USA), and I found it via that amazing podcast that I mentioned on Wednesday, Invisibilia. Both of the hosts of Invisibilia are women (and are featured in this video). I've been considering making a podcast for this blog, and while I haven't decided for sure yet, this video both makes me cautious about doing so, and encourages me to do so. I'm still on the fence.

5. Gato malo :: Thug Life
This is one of those videos where I don't have commentary, and if I did, it would simply be the sound of me giggling.

6. SciShow, "How Measles Made a Comeback"
All about the recent measles outbreak in the United States of America and a bit of a background on vaccinations and how they work. I always appreciate the candor that Hank uses in his shows, but it's important to remember that he consults with his teams on a script for SciShow.

7. CollegeHumor, "Horror Movie Daycare"
It seemed appropriate, since it is bookended by two videos about children. That, and we need some funny between these two serious science videos.

8. SciShow, "The Science of Anti-Vaccination"
SciShow has had a lot of positive mentions for this episode immediately dismissing the idea that vaccines can cause or trigger autism, and they deserve that. However, following the post of this video, Hank Green got quite a bit of fan-mail at his Tumblr page regarding his language in the video. This letter was sent to Hank and he posted this reply to it. The commentary that I want you to be aware of then, is that the dialogue surrounding autism is often derogative or dehumanizing, including some of it in this video. This is especially the case on how you describe an autistic person. Right there, I almost wrote "person with autism" but that is part of the problem, according to the Autism Self Advocacy Network. Autistics wish to be seen as people, obviously, but whereas a person with cancer would rather not be called a cancer patient, autism is not a terminal illness, it shapes who they are as a person and affects their daily life - they know no other way.  Hank addresses this issue in his response, provides an excuse for this video, and states that he is working on a video about autism. Hopefully that means consultation with autistic people on the script. When it is released, I'll make sure to post it.

9. melissahunter, "Adult Wednesday Addams: Job Interview"
This is part of a series, I encourage you to check it out! If Wednesday Addams can get a job, surely I can, right?

10. Gloomy Nights, "L├╝thian - Sara (Fleetwood Mac Cover)"
This song is dedicated to Carson, her love for the Mac knows no bounds. It is super cool.

And that's it, my friends. There will be a post tomorrow, but it will be really quick (a challenge I'm taking part in and am inviting you to try out). Enjoy your weekend and I'll see you tomorrow.


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