Welcome to the first treasure box of 2017! This was a huge box, because, well, this has been a big month. In fact, the first entry is the Box itself:
◊ Vietnam used to be a matriarchy, and a religion based on Mother Goddesses has been recognized by the UN!
◊ 2016 was notoriously terrible not just for politics, but for the deaths of many famous people. One you might not have caught was Tyrus Wong, Chinese-American animator on Bambi.
◊ You might’ve heard about the Daisy Ridley-narrated documentary The Eagle Huntress, but while 13-year-old Aisholpan is the first eagle huntress to compete at the Golden Eagle Festival, she’s not the first Mongolian female eagle hunter period, as this fascinating article documents.
◊ Here’s a fun piece: “Did inadequate women’s healthcare destroy Star Wars’ Old Republic?”
◊ Mark Hamill reading Trump’s tweets as The Joker, and also Tara Strong as Kellyanne Conway as Harley Quinn.
◊ Interesting BBC 100 Women article about how sex-selective abortion has declined in South Korea.
◊ The bizarre history of turnspit dogs, which apparently used to be bred to run in wheels to turn meat.
◊ I loved this Dana Schwartz article about Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events–written in Sebald Code (!)
◊ Giant otters!
◊ Your third Atlas Obscura article of the month is a really interesting article about Japanese war bride schools in the 1950s.
◊ And here’s the fascinating backstory behind this video, which is pretty great by itself but also illuminating of the ultra-competitive nature of the Japanese pop industry.
◊ Article about how Victorian gender norms inaccurately shaped how scientists perceive animal sex (useful for the next time some PUA type uses “evo-psych” to justify his misogyny)
◊ Lunar New Year is still ongoing, so here’s a delightful Chinese New Year corgi!
◊ Park rangers have shown us this month how sexy science can be, so here’s Bill Nye talking about fashion at Vogue!
◊ I’ve more or less decided to retire the “serious” entries, because, well, these are serious times and EVERYTHING is serious now. So I’m going to close this month’s Box with two timely musical numbers. The first is a 1940s wartime cover of “American Idiot” by Robyn Adele Anderson (you may know her from Postmodern Jukebox).
And the second is a Les Mis rendition by Chinese feminist protesters. It was posted by Celeste P. on Twitter right before the Women’s March. Follow her or bookmark this Weebly–she offers invaluable advice on calling your reps, debunking misinformation.
It’s been a tough first month of 2017, and I hope some of these entries put a smile on your face or reminded you how fascinating the world is like they did to me. See you next month.