Welcome to July’s Treasure Box, in which I share some of the things that I found interesting or whatever last month.
Quill box by Odawa/Ojibwa craftswoman Yvonne Walker Keshick
♦ Since July was SDCC month, here’s…A Justice League of Their Own!
♦ And here’s a second Justice League item from Denver Comic-Con: THE ANIMATED SERIES CAST REUNION + READING!
♦ A full quarter of my treasure items this month is from Atlas Obscura: first up is a doozy of an article about a 19th-century Frenchman who tried to harness snail sex for long-distance communication (it pretty much has to be read to be understood.)
♦ And another fantastic piece, called “Why It Took Scientists So Long to Figure Out Where Babies Come From” (part of Sin Week!)
♦ I first read about Yellowstone’s “Zone of Death”–a 50 square mile area in which a legal loophole makes it possible to get away with murder–on Atlas Obscura as well, but Vox has more information.
♦ Yeah, Lana Del Rey thinkpieces are so 2012, but I really like this one, called “Lana Del Rey’s Apocalypse Lullabies.”
♦ Hey, speaking of which, I read some blog posts about creepy Icelandic lullabies. This one’s about a historical outlaw couple…the mother is singing this to her baby to lull it to sleep before throwing it into a waterfall to go on the run.
♦ Some deadly serious entries: I know there’s been a lot of shit this year, so much that stories about Bill Cosby and O.J. Simpson were just days in the news cycle, but please read this article, and then this one, about R. Kelly and how rape culture especially victimizes black girls.
♦ This deeply unpleasant article has a deeply unpleasant headline–“Alaskan Cops Defend Their ‘Right’ to Sexual Contact with Sex Workers Before Arresting Them“–but it’s worth a read because seriously WTF, I didn’t even know this was a thing.
♦ Alright, have a triumvirate of entries about Asian lady intrigue. First, here’s the jaw-dropping obituary of Olive Yang, a ‘lesbian/gender non-conforming Burmese princess turned opium warlord’. (My parents are from Myanmar so I had to ask my dad if he knew of her: his response was “Oh yeah, her nephew was a good friend of your Uncle George.”)
♦ And here’s a really interesting article about a period in Chinese history when it was normal for women to have two husbands. (It’s the late Qing Dynasty, when there was a shortage of women due to female infanticide–which is especially interesting to think about, considering the skewed sex ratio in China today due to sex-selective abortion.)
♦ Jason Porath alerted me to this one as well, but Atlas Obscura’s link had more info, so it evens out: you might’ve heard of the lone Japanese soldier who didn’t realize WWII was over till decades later, but you might not have heard of Anatahan, where 33 Japanese soldiers were cast ashore. There was only one woman, Kazuko Higa, the island’s ‘queen’–and reverse-Beguiled intrigue ensued.
♦ Last-minute addition to the Box that’s a good way to close out for the month: very good Twitter-er started a new account, A Moment’s Rest.
Get some much-deserved rest, fellow Internet travelers, and see you all next month.