Hello, unicorns! I’ve been full of piss and vinegar regarding the GOP and anti-choice activists this week, but there are lots of science and entertainment stories I’d like to cover here too. Let’s get started:
First, the House of Representatives took a vote to federally defund Planned Parenthood, and it passed.
Luckily, that’s why our legislative process exists — so no one group has all the power. On Thursday, the Senate shot down that particular bill. [auto-playing video]
If you need support for your argument that women can’t just “go somewhere else” if Planned Parenthood no longer existed, according to new analysis:
Planned Parenthood exists in many places where other family planning clinics don’t: a new analysis from the Guttmacher Institute estimates that there are 103 counties in the United States where Planned Parenthood is the only provider of publicly funded contraceptives.
Not that it’s a particular good argument to win, women being shorted healthcare, but oh do I need some levity, and penguins will help.
On Twitter, women started using #ShoutYourAbortion as a way to destigmatize the procedure. Trolls and anti-choicers tried barge in, predictably.
And Now For Something Complete Different:
UK Prime Minister David Cameron may or may not have “put a private part of his anatomy” into a dead pig while he was a student at Oxford — So claims a new biography by Lord Ashbury.
Predictably, Twitter became quite fun when this story broke:
— punyweakling (@punyweakling) September 22, 2015
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) September 21, 2015
Especially all the people who had seen the first episode of Black Mirror:
Just to clear it up: nope, I’d never heard anything about Cameron and a pig when coming up with that story. So this weirds me out.
— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) September 20, 2015
It became real easy to see who was a Tory in your timeline too:
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) September 21, 2015
The Obama Administration had a press conference where they called the GOP a bunch of racists. Either they act outwardly racist, or they are complicit in racism by not calling out the behavior of their party.
Speaking of the Republicans, Scott Walker is out of the Presidential race. Good riddance.
The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that patients have the right to doctor-assisted suicide, which overturns the 1993 ban.
With recently relaxed travel rules now in effect, here is what Americans need to know about visiting Cuba.
Okay, correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but I’m sharing this anyway: “Psychoticism, Immature Defense Mechanisms and a Fearful Attachment Style are Associated with a Higher Homophobic Attitude.”
Asshole of the Week: You probably heard all about the hedge fund dude who raised the price of an AIDS drug by 5000%. The price is coming down, but the dude made sure to make some douchy comments about that too.
Same dude was a silent partner in a punk rock record label. Was, motherfucker!
A new study shows that teens on the antidepressant Paxil are at an increased suicide risk.
New dinosaur species found in Montana! Say hello to “Ava,” everyone.
(Some) Neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: The self is ever-changing.
(Related Buddhism note: Apparently, the Dalai Lama doesn’t see the point of unattractive women? Oh, come on, dude. We want to like you.)
Microsoft gave Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school, a whole bunch of gifts.
In Other News:
Speaking of Bisexual Awareness Week: Here’s an infographic highlighting the stigma and disparities bisexuals face compared to their lesbian and gay acronym-counterparts.
Shadi Petosky, a transgender woman trying to make her flight at the Orlando airport, was detained by TSA because of an “anomaly” in her scan. The anomaly was a part of her anatomy. And the treatment got worse from there.
The Pope is visiting the U.S. this week, and it’s all over the news. I find it a little weird that he was addressing Congress, what with all that pesky “separation of church and state” we’re supposed to have, but okay. [auto-loading video]
And as progressive as the current Pope is on many issues (compared to previous Popes), he still sainted a guy who helped bring about the genocide of Native Americans.
The song “Happy Birthday” is now considered public domain, in case you didn’t know that it wasn’t previously.
The Primetime Emmy Awards were held last Sunday, with Viola Davis becoming the first black woman to win Best Actress – Drama.
By the way:
Previous black Lead Actress in Drama series nominees: Debbie Allen, Alfre Woodard, Regina Taylor, Cicely Tyson, Kerry Washington #Emmys2015
— Shadow and Act (@shadowandact) September 21, 2015
That’s it. You can fit them all in a tweet.
That didn’t prevent a soap actress Nancy Lee Grahn from getting pissy about Davis’ (excellent) speech:
Grahn later apologized, and thankfully not in a “I’m sorry you were offended” way.
Jenna Coleman is leaving Doctor Who at the end of this season. She’s one of the longest-serving companions, and though I liked her fine, I’ll be interested to see someone new.
Adventures to last me a lifetime. Thank you @bbcdoctorwho. But as they say 'It ain't over till it's over'
— Jenna Coleman (@Jenna_Coleman_) September 18, 2015
Also, the BBC will offer a streaming service in the U.S. next year. (To capture all of us who use Hola to view their iPlayer instead, I bet.)
And finally, this week we all identified with the littlest creature who could: Pizza Rat.
Until next time, friends.