Tuesday, March 17, 2015

TWO items from the library

Ms. Magazine ~ Winter 2015 issue
This issue explores Angelina Jolie’s fight to end child marriage.  An estimated one-third of girls in developing countries will become brides before age 18. These child marriages not only force girls to give up on their dreams and drop out of school, but endanger their very lives when they’re expected to become young mothers.  It also features Black women at the forefront of a new civil rights movement, #BlackLivesMatter, which has emerged following the police killings of African American youth.  The blurb that first caught my attention, though, was the article by Barbara Kingsolver about climate change.
Few women graduated from the NYC police academy in December 2014.
Spread across the two pages exactly in the center of the magazine is this article: How to Defuse Police Violence | By Katherine Spillar. "One simple answer has been overlooked:  Hire more women officers."

Poseidon's Steed: The Story of Seahorses, From Myth to Reality ~ by Helen Scales, 2009, marine biology
Poseidon's Steed trails the seahorse through secluded waters across the globe in a kaleidoscopic history that mirrors our centuries-old fascination with the animal, sweeping from the reefs of Indonesia, through the back streets of Hong Kong, and back in time to ancient Greece and Rome.  Over time, seahorses have surfaced in some unlikely places.  We see them immortalized in the decorative arts; in tribal folklore, literature, and ancient myth; and even on the pages of the earliest medical texts, prescribed to treat everything from skin complaints to baldness to flagging libido.  Marine biologist Helen Scales eloquently shows that seahorses are indeed fish, though scientists have long puzzled over their exotic anatomy, and their very strange sex lives:  Male seahorses are the only males in the animal world that experience childbirth!  Our first seahorse imaginings appeared six thousand years ago on cave walls in Australia.  The ancient Greeks called the seahorse hippocampus (half-horse, half-fish) and sent it galloping through the oceans of mythology, pulling the sea god Poseidon's golden chariot.  The seahorse has even been the center of a modern-day international art scandal:  A two-thousand-year-old winged seahorse brooch was plundered by Turkish tomb raiders and sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
     When I returned a couple of books to the library last week, I (for once) didn't have any other books on hold to pick up.  Yet I still brought home these two items — from the library's sale shelves.  I was pleasantly surprised to get the current issue of Ms. for a mere quarter.

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