Friday News: Banned Books! Suing Cosplayers! Marriage! Oh my.

This week’s sampler platter of news errs more on the pop cultural than usual, I admit, but they all met my main criteria for selection: Upon seeing each headline, I thought, Ooh, now that’s interesting. Let’s get to it, shall we?

A poster that reads "I like banned books and I cannot lie."
Courtesy of @jesspetrella

This week was Banned Books Week, where libraries and bookstores across the land celebrate the volumes that have once — somewhere, because of someone, often for ridiculous reasons — been banned. Usually this occurs within school districts, with all that “Think of the children!” rhetoric. Over at Powell’s, they’ve been celebrating these books on both their main site and their tumblr.

Speaking of books, Canadian writer David Gilmour has said some extraordinarily stupid things lately about women writers, and Mark Medley at The National Post decided to ask him about it. Then things get laughably sad and weird.

Writers Ed Skoog and J. Robert Lennon have some funny things to say about both interviews in their latest Lunch Box Podcast, among other topics.

In other weird news: Apparently carpet designers, of all people, are the ones who will get offended and litigious if you decide to cosplay their design. Yeah.

Hey, remember how last week I was surprised that Pope Francis didn’t want Catholics to focus on homosexuality and abortion above other matters? Apparently he’s still focusing on it enough to excommunicate an Australian priest for supporting marriage equality.

Dude. Come on.

Meanwhile, at least one conservative is coming around: Last week, former President George H.W. Bush served as official witness at the Maine wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thorgalsen.

In science news: WHAT. Some people’s digestive systems can get them accidentally drunk?! NPR has the story on Auto-Brewery Syndrome.

In science-tech: At least one group has demonstrated why they think Apple’s new biometric system, TouchID, is a dangerous idea.

Also, New York has a new statue: Serbian president unveils the Nikola Tesla monument outside Wardenclyffe laboratory in Long Island.

In news that may be only exciting to me: Christine McVie performed with Fleetwood Mac again during their London O2 Arena date. (She and I share the same birthday, albeit 40 years apart. G’wan, Christine!)

Finally, if you’ll allow me a little charitable promotion: a friend of mine, Guy Gondron, successfully went through cancer treatment, only to develop another serious condition. Then he got laid off. The state of Arizona’s medicare laws are extremely unfavorable to single people, so if you’re able to help out, do consider it. You can find his story and how to donate here.

Until next time!

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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