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Passover

Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, Katherine Johnson and other historic women are being made into Barbie dolls.

We are isolating ourselves online and it’s making us politically dumb.

How a democracy dies.

One man’s story about the time that his father fought the CIA’s secret war in Laos.

10 things to know about artist Suzanne Valadon.

The religious right isn’t doing much for religion.

A white mother went to Alabama to fight for civil rights. The Klan killed her for it.

Palestinians stand up to Israel. Will the world follow suit?

Botcheck.me is a browser plugin that predicts whether a Twitter user is a bot.

1984 quotes that are horrifyingly relevant today.

Why it’s time to cut ties with the digital oligarchs and rewire the web by ordinary people instead of corporations.

Why this brown woman is breaking up with the Democratic Party.

You can reuse old resistors as jewelry charms.

The Koch brothers are the cities’ new obstacles to building broadband.

Why the lost kingdom of Patagonia is a live issue for Chile’s Mapuche people.

A conservative estimate on how many animals have died for the sake of Damian Hirst’s art.

E.T. stars in an adorable new picture book and he’s never looked cuter.

What both sides are missing about Net Neutrality.

19 YouTube comments you’ll see on every music video.

10+ translation fails that will have you rolling on the floor laughing.

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This February was probably the worst February for me in recent memory. It was like everything that could have gone wrong for me did.

First I learned that my ex-husband had stopped sending me alimony payments. I knew it was going to run out at some point but I always thought that it would be sometime in June (when it would’ve been the anniversary of the judge handing down the decision that the divorce was final) but my ex decided to stop sending further payments after late December. Of course he didn’t notify me of this. In fact he has pretty much avoided speaking to me as much as possible since the day he walked out on me back in late 2011, which has made the entire divorce process far worse than it was. (Ideally I would’ve loved for the two of us to meet together somewhere in person to hammer out a few things and communicate about such things as payment schedules and similar matters but, with him, everything can only be done via email or text—and that is only if he feels like responding.) As a result I only learned about this when the alimony check has stopped arriving. I sent a polite email asking about the payments while stating that I have had a run of bad luck (which I’ll get into in a bit). I didn’t resort to name calling or making accusations. It was basically a short polite email where I asked about the payments while explaining my current situation. I even expressed my sympathy for the death of his father back in October. He responded with this businesslike tone where he said that he had fulfilled his obligations and thanked me for my kind words regarding his father. The whole thing had the tone of a business transaction instead of two people who used to be married to each other.

Unfortunately consulting a lawyer was out of the question because I really can’t afford to launch any kind of lawsuits at the moment due to extremely tight finances. On top of it, my original divorce lawyer passed away back in 2016 so I would have to hire a brand new lawyer if I wanted to launch any kind of legal challenges regarding the original separation and divorce agreement.

Then there was that church service that I attended on the last Sunday in January, where I ended up experiencing raw emotions that carried through February. Here’s some background. When I was still married my husband and I used to attend that church together. When we separated, I tried attending Sunday service only to see my estranged husband there and I found it to be a major distraction and I couldn’t focus on any part of the Sunday service. I stopped attending church for a while because I just couldn’t stand attending with my ex. There were times when I arrived at church only to see his car parked there and I would immediately turn around and drive back home. I even contemplated quitting church altogether or switching to a different church, which wouldn’t be unusual because over the years I’ve seen other members’ marriages or longterm relationships end and one or both former partners would end up quitting. I had members of my support group for people who are separated or divorced tell me that they ended up either switching churches or stop attending in order to avoid seeing their ex on a weekly basis.

But then I had friends from my church tell me that my ex had eventually stopped going to Sunday service so I felt comfortable enough to attend on my own. I attended one service on the last Sunday in January where I didn’t even look up what the topic of the service was. It was also the same Sunday where I was scheduled to attend the 90th birthday party of a fellow church member that was held at a retirement community near my church so it made sense for me to go to church then go to the birthday party afterwards. It turned out that it was a lay-led service where it was being put on by members of the Men’s Group at our congregation. I found out that my ex was not only involved in the Men’s Group but he was among the speakers.

But then it got worse. My ex mentioned at the beginning of his speech “My marriage fell apart…” That had me livid because that statement implied that either I had left him or our marriage had broken down over a long period of time because we were arguing and not getting along so we both made the mutual decision to separate. In reality he didn’t even let on that he was the least bit unhappy until one night, three days after Christmas (and three months after I underwent hip surgery), he came home, announced that he was moving out, left behind two handwritten letters and the first alimony check, then bolted out the door. In fact, I wrote this post on the night he abruptly left indicating my hope that he would return soon. The following month I learned from friends that he had hooked up with a friend of ours who has long been suffering from severe mental health issues and he married her just two months after our divorce was final. For him to say “My marriage fell apart…” implying that it was something that happened to him is totally disingenuous and dishonest. If he had simply said “I got divorced” I probably would not have been as angry and upset.

I’m the one who had more right to say “My marriage fell apart…” than he did because he was the one who left me for a woman with severe mental health problems, insisted on a divorce, refused to consider marriage counseling, demanded that we separate all of our finances according to this schedule that he worked out in his head or else he would sue me, got engaged to the other woman eight months after he left me (while he was still legally married to me), sent divorce papers in a .pdf format that was attached to an email that was sent on Christmas Eve, and married the other woman just two months after our divorce was final.

As it turned out I ended up tuning out the rest of the service because I was fuming and I focused on perusing Facebook on my smartphone instead. I bolted out of the church as soon as I could, headed to a Starbucks that’s located inside of a Target that’s located near the venue where the birthday party was scheduled to be held, and just sat there drinking a soda I had purchased until it was time for the party to begin.

My biggest lesson is that from now on I’m going to look up the topic of a Sunday service before going to church. That way I can avoid hearing any future talks from my ex-husband.

On top of that there is my ongoing job search for a new day job. I’ve gone to various networking events and job search seminars and job fairs only to come up empty. I could write a separate post about how broken the job search process has become—complete with emailing resumes to various websites with no responses, people not returning phone calls when I did follow-up calls on job applications and left messages, and things like that. Even temp agencies have gotten completely dysfunctional where recruiters now tell you to go to their website, look at all of the jobs that are posted there and if you see a job that you like, you should send a resume and if the recruiters think you’re qualified, they will call you. Years ago I used to be able to easily find work through temp agencies simply by calling for an appointment and taking a series of tests (which measured typing speed, the ability to solve simple math problems, and knowledge of basic English grammar) but now most of them no longer give any kind of tests and they aren’t even into seeing you in person any more. I can’t even recommend temp agencies to anyone. And I’m not the only one. I have a friend who was let go from her job, which she had originally gotten after working there as a temp. She tried the temp agencies herself and she has gotten the same runaround as I did.

My car brakes started to make a grinding noise every time I used the brake pedal, which freaked me out. I initially decided not to drive the car to any place that was more than 10 miles away from home. Then the grinding noise got worse and I became too afraid to even drive my car because I was scared of not having any brakes at all. I couldn’t afford to get them repaired because of my money situation so I was left with no other alternative other than to leave my car parked while running the engine for a few minutes once a week so the car engine wouldn’t deteriorate from disuse. (I’ve know someone whose car stopped working after she didn’t use it at all for about a month or longer so she had to get it towed and repaired.) I started walking or using public transportation, which definitely put a crimp in my job search because I was limited to applying only to places that I could get to by Metrobus or Metrorail or some other form of public transportation.

I had to call my own mother telling her about my car situation while telling her that I didn’t know when I would ever be able to visit her in person again because she lives in a part of the state that has no public transportation whatsoever.

My Sagittarius Dolly channel was let go from the YouTube Partner program this month because I didn’t get enough subscribers or watch hours. I never earned any money from that program (that’s because of YouTube’s policy of not issuing payment until it reached the minimum $100 threshold and I never earned more than about $10 or $20 total) but I was still peeved because I was among the hundreds of less popular channels who were essentially paying the price for what Logan Paul did in Japan last month, which I already went into once, twice, and three times.

My PlayStation 2 console stopped working and today I found out that my Wii remote has stopped working even though I’ve been putting in new batteries with the same result. Those two console problems are nothing compared to what I’m going through but they seemed to be part of a continuum of how horrible February has gotten for me.

If all that weren’t enough, it had been raining most of February, which made me feel even more depressed. There was the occasional sunny day but it was mostly gloomy clouds and rain.

And I’m not even about to go into the constant news about President Donald Trump’s latest antics other than I find it so draining learning that we have a totally immature man-child in the White House. I’m also not even going to bother with the Parkland shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day other than to say that I’m totally pissed that nothing has been done to enact gun safety over the past several years and this latest shooting would have never happened had some common sense gun laws been passed years ago. I’m glad that the kids who survived that shooting are starting to agitate for change and other students from around the country are also starting to launch their own protests as well.

So I was down and out. But then a few things happened that made me less down and out. I had one friend loan me the money to repair the brakes on my car (which came to a whopping $560). I made arrangements with my co-op regarding being able to pay my co-op fees. By the end of the month I got my car back. I also had friends who were very kind to me, especially when they learned about my situation. One friend gave me $100 out of the blue when she learned about my car situation. I will always remember that act of kindness. I have a friend who wants my help in making a documentary about someone who is going to celebrate her 100th birthday this year and she said she will pay me. I have another friend who needs my help regarding computers and there may be money in it as well.

Plus I’m expected to pay off that loan from my friend by helping him with putting various things for sale on eBay while giving him the proceeds from each sale. I told him I can’t guarantee that any of those eBay listings will lead to actual sales. I’ve had mixed results with eBay and Etsy over the years where I seemed to have more unsold stuff than stuff that actually sold. I’ve generally done better with selling things at street fairs and I think it’s because people are more likely to make an impulse buy if they see something in person than some picture that’s on a computer screen. Maybe I can do a big yard sale if the eBay thing doesn’t work out. But in any case I’m going to give the eBay thing a try first so I would have more time waiting for the weather to improve so I can put on a yard sale if I need to do so.

The biggest lesson about my story is that it always helps to have friends who are supportive because you’ll never know when you’ll need to rely on them. In any case I’m ready to put February behind me starting tomorrow.

Here’s the story so far. A YouTube star named Logan Paul flew to Japan with a few of his buddies where he made a series of vlogs that basically dissed both the Japanese and their culture and they went to great effort to be the epitome of the Ugly American stereotype. If that weren’t enough, Logan Paul and his friends went to a park in Japan that’s known as the Suicide Forest because many people frequently travel there to commit suicide. Logan Paul and pals went off of the marked trails and went further into the woods where they found a guy who had recently hanged himself. Logan Paul then filmed the dead body in nauseating detail while he and his pals laugh and cracked tasteless jokes.

Logan Paul uploaded that video online where it experienced a nasty backlash. Many people flagged that Suicide Forest video yet YouTube kept it online and it even listed that video on its Trending list along with a thumbnail of Logan Paul wearing that goofy Toy Story hat and that hanged body. The video was taken offline by Logan Paul himself and not YouTube after it had received so many views and so much backlash.

In the wake of that debacle, YouTube decided to remove Logan Paul from its very lucrative YouTube Red and Preferred Partner programs while keeping him on the regular Partner program. At the same time YouTube decided to notify a bunch of smaller YouTube channels (including my own Sagittarius Dolly channel) that they will be removed from the Partner program on February 20 unless they get a huge amount of both subscribers and watch hours. YouTube said that it was being done in the wake of the Logan Paul Suicide Forest debacle even though thousands of innocent people are being unfairly penalized for what Logan Paul did. I did a video on the subject titled Dear YouTube, Why Should Small Content Creators Like Myself Pay the Price for Logan Paul?

A few weeks after that video, Logan Paul attempted to show remorse for his actions by putting out a video titled Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow, which is a very nicely done PSA that seeks to raise awareness of suicide. Many people on the Internet were crowing that it’s a new chapter in Logan Paul’s life as he has learned his lesson. I didn’t join the crowd initially because I wanted to see what he does next after releasing that video. Basically he did a few things that led me to conclude that Logan Paul’s suicide prevention video was little more than a PR stunt and he hasn’t really gained any new sense of empathy for suicide victims or anyone else. I did a second video where I recorded my reaction to seeing Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow while blasting Logan Paul for his post video antics titled Why Logan Paul can take his “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow” Video and Shove It.

I thought I was done with making videos blasting Logan Paul. But then something else happened today. Logan Paul made yet another video that has gotten the Internet in a tizzy. As The Guardian puts it:

In a video uploaded on Monday, he tasered two dead rats and removed a live fish from water and “performed CPR” on it. YouTube responded by suspending all advertising on his channel.

Basically YouTube has removed Logan Paul from its regular Partner program so he can no longer collect any kind of ad revenue on any of his videos. But the BBC has a further detail about Logan Paul’s latest punishment:

This time it has decided to temporarily suspend all advertising on his channels.

That’s right, the suspension is just temporary and YouTube could easily reinstate Logan Paul to that program at a later date when this newest round of outrage dies down.

Personally I think it’s not enough. Logan Paul has been given so many chances and has screwed them all. I’ve seen other YouTubers get their videos yanked off-line and even thrown off the platform for lesser violations that what Logan Paul has done. I know that Logan Paul is YouTube’s cash cow but this is a time when that cash cow has too much of a dark side that will affect YouTube’s reputation.

Meanwhile thousands of other channels like myself will soon be demonetized due to Logan Paul and other YouTubers who’ve done wrong (such as DaddyOFive). I made a short video expressing my outrage that Logan Paul is getting as what amounts to a slap on the wrists. It’s the shortest of my Logan Paul rants because I’ve already gone over so much material in my previous two videos. Here is Another Open Letter to YouTube Regarding Logan Paul and Demonetizing Smaller Channels Like My Own.

I promise that this will be the last video I’ll make about Logan Paul and YouTube because I have too many other things to worry about at the moment.

Not too long ago I made a video that’s an open letter to YouTube where my channel (also called Sagittarius Dolly just like this blog) is in danger of being demonetized. YouTube decided to do this in the wake of Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest video except YouTube is penalizing the wrong people.

This past week Logan Paul uploaded the first new video he made since both the Suicide Forest video and his subsequent apology video. It’s a nicely done PSA called “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow” and it included an interview with a man who attempted suicide by jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge and he miraculously survived. Here’s the video:

The video seemed promising even though there was one thing that had bothered me. Had Logan Paul simply made that Suicide Forest video then I would say that this new video is sufficient enough to prove that Logan Paul has learned a lesson from this incident. However, prior to the Suicide Forest video, Logan Paul made other videos where he and his pals essentially made fun of the Japanese and their culture while visiting their country. As of this writing he has yet to issue any kind of apology to Japan for his awful behavior. Here are the lowlights of those videos that were compiled by We The Unicorns.

I didn’t immediately jump on the “Logan Paul has learned his lesson” bandwagon because of that lack of apology to Japan. I’m glad I sat out that bandwagon because there were two recent incidents that had me question the sincerity of Logan Paul’s “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow” video. One was an inappropriate comment he made on a picture that was posted on rapper Cardi B’s Instagram account. The other was this interview he made on ABC’s Good Morning America where he basically said that the guy committed suicide in the Suicide Forest as a way for him to make that Suicide Forest video and raise awareness of suicide prevention. You can watch this interview in its entirety—if you can stomach it.

In response I made this video titled “Why Logan Paul Can Take His ‘Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow’ Video and Shove It.” In that video I briefly mention the earliest suicide that affected me when my Great Uncle Jack killed himself when I was seven or eight years old. Feel free to share it with everyone you know.

Writing off Logan Paul is no big loss for me and I definitely won’t regret making my latest video. Here’s a video I found which goes over previous outrageous things Logan Paul has done in the U.S. prior to his fateful Japanese trip that will have your blood boiling.

Last week I received this email from YouTube announcing that my Sagittarius Dolly channel (which I named after this blog), which I registered in its regular Partner program, is in danger of being demonetized due to its recent new standards it has instituted. Under the new system I am now required to have a minimum of 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours (where I never used to have a quota before under the old system) or else I will lose all monetization.

Granted I never made much money. (YouTube required a $100 minimum before it would even cut a check or put money into my PayPal account. The most I ever made in any month was around three or four dollars so I never received any cash from YouTube.) But it really sucks that YouTube has instituted these new rules in an effort to avoid that Logan Paul Suicide Forest incident but these rules seemed to target less popular channels like myself instead. This article in USA Today says that YouTube’s stricter requirements would still not have prevented Logan Paul from uploading his Suicide Forest video because his channel had already exceeded YouTube’s quotas.

Basically those of us with less-popular channels are paying the price for Logan Paul’s Suicide Forest stunt and it’s not fair. I made this video that’s an open letter to YouTube. I included some background about the Logan Paul Suicide Forest incident (don’t worry, my video does not show any dead bodies because I feel that poor suicide victim’s friends and family have already suffered enough from what Logan Paul did) but it basically focuses on how I feel that it’s not fair that people like me have to pay the price for the antics of Logan Paul and other popular YouTubers (such as DaddyOFive and PewDiePie).

UPDATE (January 27, 2018): I came across this article on The Motley Fool that is totally critical of YouTube’s new standards and it makes the same point that I’ve been making that the wrong people are being penalized for Logan Paul flying to Japan and making that Suicide Forest video. As this article explains:

This still seems like a bad business decision. YouTube is a big business, and the number of creators generating six figures in revenue has soared 40% over the past year. The problem is that few of them became overnight success stories. You start small. You work your way up. Shutting off the partnership program until late in the popularity cycle is going to turn off a lot of potential contributors. This is going to open the door for other social media sites and video-sharing outlets to introduce monetization solutions for mainstream users, and it’s not going to stop the next YouTube celebrity from doing something ill advised to leave marketers revisiting brand safety issues again. Chaos among upstart hungry creators will be a dinner bell somewhere else.

YouTube is throwing out the babies, but it’s keeping the bathwater.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

UPDATE (February 3, 2018): I made another video in response to Logan Paul’s “Suicide: Be Here Tomorrow” and his latest antics that call into question the sincerity of that video.

Martin Luther King Day

Today is Martin Luther King Day, which honors the man who gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech” where he said that he hoped that his four children would be judged not by the color of their skins but by the content of their character. While some things have improved in race relations since King’s murder fifty years ago this April, sadly white people in this country have a long way to go before we can all say that racism is pretty much history. It pains me to write this as a white American woman but I feel urged to call things as I see them, especially since there were two ugly international incidents that took place a week apart that literally make me embarrassed to be a white American.

The new year kicked off with a YouTube star named Logan Paul who has apparently amassed a huge following among kids (which is why I had never heard of him before). This video by TheTalko shows a basic primer about Logan Paul and his brother, Jake, for those who have never heard of these two.

Recently Logan Paul and his friends decided to travel to Japan where they made a series of travel vlogs that essentially mocked the Japanese and their culture. This video shows the lowlights of Paul’s first few Japan travel videos while That Japanese Man Yuta provides English-language commentary of his opinions about Paul’s antics in Japan.

As for the piece de resistance, Logan Paul and his friends decided to go to a park that has a reputation for being known as the “Suicide Forest” because of the huge number of people who have taken their lives there over the past several decades. When they stumbled upon the body of a man who recently decided to hang himself, they kept on filming both the body and themselves laughing and making jokes about finding a dead body. Logan Paul uploaded the video only to take it down a day later after people started to react negatively to that video.

The video below isn’t the original video that Logan Paul made. It’s one that shows only the excerpts from the original video that focuses on Logan Paul’s reactions to finding that body in the forest along with commentary by penguinz0. (The few scenes that show the suicide victim’s body have been completely blurred in this video.)

Here are a few things about Logan Paul and his antics in Japan:

1. Of all of the public parks located throughout Japan he could’ve visited, he chose the one that has the reputation as being the “Suicide Forest.”

2. From what I’ve read about this park, it has clearly defined nature trails that visitors are expected to follow while they are touring the park. Logan Paul and his friends intentionally went off of these trails in order to go deeper into the forest. What other reason could they have done this in a park known as the “Suicide Forest” if they weren’t hoping to find a dead body while making a video that’s a poor imitation ripoff of The Blair Witch Project?

3. When they found the body the first thing they could’ve done was to call the Japanese equivalent of 911 or try to flag down a park ranger/park employee/police officer/someone in a position of authority. But they didn’t do any of these things. Instead they continued with making the video where Logan Paul is cracking tasteless jokes about finding the body while shooting footage of that dead man.

4. On top of it, Logan Paul was wearing a goofy hat resembling the head of one of the three-eyed green alien toys from the Toy Story movies while laughing and cracking jokes about finding a dead body, which only further showed how callous he was about finding a dead body in a park known as the “Suicide Forest.” It would be like me going to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia wearing a Mickey Mouse hat with a matching Mickey Mouse jacket and doing a livestream of myself cracking tasteless jokes by the graveside.

5. What Logan Paul and his pals refuse to realize is that the body they found wasn’t something that was put there for their amusement. That man who committed suicide was somebody’s son, somebody’s brother, somebody’s nephew, somebody’s spouse/significant other, somebody’s father, somebody’s uncle, somebody’s cousin, somebody’s friend, somebody’s neighbor, somebody’s coworker, etc. I can only imagine how those who knew that man felt when they learned that some foreigners made a video featuring the man’s dead body while cracking tasteless jokes and laughing at it.

Ironically this month is the one-year anniversary of the suicide of a guy whom my late aunt used to babysit from the time he was a baby until he reached middle school. I met him a few times when I used to visit my aunt along with my uncle and cousins. (I last saw him at my aunt’s funeral years ago.) I’m glad that the person who found Ben’s body called 911 instead of pulling out a smartphone and start making a video about how he/she found a dead body while cracking tasteless jokes then uploading it online.

One of my African American friends wrote a post on Facebook that basically said that the Logan Paul video incident was reminiscent of those photos of lynched African Americans in the Deep South that included white people who were gathered around the body smiling and laughing like they were out for a fun picnic day rather than actually being at the scene of a murder. (Yes, those lynchings were murder.) In this case it happened to be a Japanese man who committed suicide that was the target of the twisted amusement of Logan Paul and his friends but the result was the same. They felt that they were entitled to smile, laugh, and jeer at the body of a nonwhite man because he wasn’t born white so he’s more of an “other” and less of a human than they are.

After all, if they had found the body of a white man who committed suicide, would they have made a similar video? My bet would be “no.”

I came across this video from Reina Scully, a Japanese citizen who grew up in the United States, who explained the Japanese perspective on death and the Suicide Forest and why Logan Paul’s actions towards finding that body was offensive to the Japanese.

The only silver lining is that he has lost some lucrative deals with YouTube and Blackpills and he has also taken a break from his daily vlogging on his YouTube channel. Only time will tell whether his career as an online celebrity will ever recover from this debacle.

Even though Logan Paul was last week, this month in ugly white Americans didn’t stop there. This week President Donald Trump unleashed an international incident where, in a meeting, he pretty much called Haiti and Africa “shithole countries.” (Never mind the fact that Africa is a continent not a country.) He even complained about how there are very few immigrants from Norway.

I’ll admit that Haiti and Africa have their problems, which are due in large part to the legacy of white European colonialism dating back several centuries and which would warrant an entire series of separate blog posts in order to explain in full detail. (The late blogger Steve Gilliard did such a series on colonialism back in 2004 that’s so thorough that it’ll take you at least two days to go through but it’s definitely worth reading. This page has the links to the entire series.) Had the Europeans left these places alone, they would be much better off today with far fewer problems (especially with poverty).

Donald Trump has a history of racism that goes back decades. It was only natural that he would run for president while aligning himself with a political party that was once fairly progressive (it was antislavery in the days of Abraham Lincoln and it was another Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, who broke up a lot of the monopolies that were in operation at the time while championing conservation by establishing the national park system) but it ended when Richard Nixon started his Southern Strategy where the Republicans started to reach out to white racists who pined for the old days of the Confederate States of America.

It resulted in Republicans being obstructionists during Barack Obama’s time in office due largely because Obama was the first African American elected to the White House. It resulted in white Republicans like this infamous photograph of then-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer literally angrily yelling and sticking her finger right at President Obama’s chest when he arrived to that state on a visit. If both of the parents of President Obama had been white, Governor Brewer would’ve probably treated him with more respect instead of openly berating him like he was a naughty child.

In every nation on Earth it is the leaders who set the example for how its citizens behave. I’ve met older people who joined the Peace Corps and/or pursued careers in the civil service after hearing President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration speech that had this famous line: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” They could have made more money had they worked in the private sector but they felt inspired to pursue a different career path of serving others as a result of Kennedy’s speech.

When you have leaders like Donald Trump who are openly trying to find ways of banning non-whites from entering this country while turning a blind eye to the vicious acts of white supremacists (such as what happened last year in Charlottesville), you’re basically signaling to white Americans that it’s okay to look down on non-whites as being less-than-humans. While it’s not fair to blame Donald Trump for Logan Paul doing what he did in Japan, it’s the white supremacy style of his current leadership that has given people like Logan Paul the idea that it’s okay to travel to a foreign country and make a series of videos mocking nonwhites along with their customs and traditions. Just as Donald Trump thinks that Haiti and Africa are shitholes worthy of contempt, Logan Paul thinks that the Japanese are funny looking people with slanted eyes who make weird video games and weird big-eyed cartoon characters who are worthy of contempt.

With that mindset coming from the White House, it’s no wonder that Logan Paul decided to make that nasty video about finding a dead body in the Suicide Forest.

Uber can’t be fixed—it’s time for regulators to shut it down.

A new book examines how the upper-middle class has enriched itself and harmed economic mobility.

The rise of the 21st century Victorians.

Brooklyn’s famous Green Lady explains her lifelong devotion to the color green.

The far-out sci-fi costume parties of the Bauhaus school in the 1920s.

It’s the end of the shopping mall as we know it.

How to deal with a 4Chan troll. There is some information that’s useful for anyone who’s dealing with any kind of online troll regardless of whether it involves politics or not.

Low-income workers who live in RVs are being chased out of Silicon Valley streets.

Feminist publication makes history by appointing black trans woman as editor-in-chief.

The sketchbook of drawings done in ballpoint pen by Nicolas V. Sanchez.

A look at the female pioneers of the Bauhaus art movement.

The fight for health care is really all about civil rights.

23 ways to treat yourself without buying or eating anything.

Glow-in-the-dark “toonie” coins celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

These bosses share the worst interviews they’ve ever seen and the results are stunning.

Browse a collection of over 83,500 vintage sewing patterns.

Bid on old computers, speakers, radios, and other junk from the bowels of RadioShack.

This transgender doll is making huge strides in teaching children about gender roles.

She took on Tesla for discrimination. Now others are speaking up.

A new kind of tech job emphasizes skills, not a college degree.

Women in tech speak frankly on the culture of harassment.

Over decades of poverty, Detroit’s have fostered a resilient informal economy based on trust.

GoFraudMe is a blog that exposes fake GoFundMe campaigns.

Rural America is the new “inner city.”

3 ways to be seen as a leader in your field.

Artist repaints mass-produced dolls to make them look realistic and the result is amazing.

Every Sega game ever made is coming to iOS and Android for free.

Edvard Munch’s famous Scream painting animated to Pink Floyd music.

Despite serving time in a Russian prison under Vladimir Putin, a member of the punk rock group Pussy Riot is still defiant.

This 106-year-old cooking show host is YouTube’s oldest creator.

Ramadan

A look at the Silicon Valley billionaires remaking America’s schools.

Five CEOs who value humanity over profits.

Here are the details about Apertus AXIOM Beta, an open source camera.

Here’s a look at the oldest color photographs that vividly show what the world looked like 100 years ago.

The necessity of the Millennial side-hustle.

Google Drive will soon back up your entire computer.

A recent report shows that knitting can slow the onset of dementia.

A photo essay looks back on a groundbreaking interracial marriage on the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court Loving v. Virginia decision.

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Ramadan

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Ramadan

Last fall I started a separate YouTube channel after a friend of mine urged me to do so. It’s supposed to be a “professional channel” that’s designed to build my personal brand. He was saying that doing everything that he told me to do would result in my getting hired. He wanted me to start doing book reviews where I would check nonfiction books (preferably with “uplift”) out of the library, read them, and do video book reviews just like what he does on his channel. I also added some videos I did using the MySimpleShow.com platform plus one video that I shot when the local shopping center started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween. (Yeah, that one was strange.)

I started to lose enthusiasm for that channel after the first few tries. I think the problem is that I had created that channel to someone else’s specifications instead of my own, even though it’s supposed to be my channel in theory. I attempted to put my own personal touch by doing this video review for this book I found in the library—a book on the history of 20th century fashion called Dressing the Decades by Emmanuelle Dirix. I enjoyed working on that book review the most because it was on a topic that interested me. While that video review got more hits than the others I’ve done, I decided to stop doing the video book reviews because it wasn’t worth the effort I had put into those video book reviews only to get very anemic responses.

But then last month I got a message through Facebook from Emmanuelle Dirix herself saying that she liked what I did. I was so thrilled with the response that I wrote a blog post about it.

At the same time this happened I had just started reading the latest library book I had checked out. It’s called Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol and it’s Steve Jones’ memoir about his life and career as The Sex Pistols guitarist. I originally had no intention of doing any kind of book review—I just wanted to read it because I’ve been a Sex Pistols fan since I was a teen.

But after hearing from Emmanuelle Dirix about my review of her book, I decided to try doing a video book review of Lonely Boy just to see what kind of response I’ll get from it. I may or may not do more video book reviews depending on the response I get to this one. It takes a lot of effort to make these videos (including using Post-It Notes to mark excerpts that I need to digitally copy, writing a script, and making the video itself).

So, without further ado, here is my video review of Lonely Boy: Tales From a Sex Pistol written by Steve Jones and Ben Thompson.

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