Mixed Media

No Joy's Dreamy New Shoegaze Album

| Mon Jun. 22, 2015 6:48 PM EDT

No Joy
More Faithful
Mexican Summer

 

Grunge, in the form of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and endless lesser lights, wasn't the only cool thing happening in rock'n'roll during the '90s. Shoegaze, as personified by My Bloody Valentine and Lush, also made its mark and has shown remarkable staying power. Witness the Canadian quartet No Joy, whose exciting third album is textbook shoegaze, blending swirling, echoey voices, distorted guitars, and heavenly melodies into one dreamy and alluring package. It's difficult to determine what singer-guitarist Jasamine White-Gluz and her accomplices want to say, if anything, but the waves of vertigo-inducing sound they generate are the real point. Call it cheap thrills, or high art, or both: In any case, More Faithful will give you a delicious buzz.

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John Oliver Explains How Trolls Make the Internet a Living Hell for Women

| Mon Jun. 22, 2015 9:02 AM EDT

Online harassment is a serious problem, one that's constantly perpetuated by internet trolls spewing direct and oftentimes violent threats to specific users. If you're thinking this characterization is an exaggeration, John Oliver had the following message for you on Sunday:

"Congratulations on your white penis, because if you have one of those, you probably have a very different experience of the internet." As he went onto explain, "women in particular can receive a veritable cornucopia of horrifying messages online." 

On the latest Last Week Tonight, Oliver took the issue to task by talking to female gamers and writers, many of whom have been the targets of a wide range of threats and revenge porn. "It can potentially affect any woman who makes the mistake of having a thought in her mind and then vocalizing it online," he explained.

It's perhaps even more disturbing how little legal protection women have when faced with such harassment.

For more on internet harassment and the online movement known as #Gamergate, check out our in-depth report here.

This Chart Shows How Sexist Silicon Valley Really Is

| Mon Jun. 22, 2015 6:05 AM EDT

Tech companies often chalk up their lack of gender diversity to a "leaky pipeline," or a surge of women leaving engineering. But a new LinkedIn analysis of its members' data suggests that the lack of female engineers working in tech can't be so easily explained away.

The report, released last week, found that the tech sector employs proportionally fewer female engineers than several other industries, including healthcare, retail, government, education, and nonprofits.

The tech sector also lags in the proportion of women taking on leadership roles, according to LinkedIn's report. The professional networking site measured the "leadership gap" in industries: the difference between female representation overall and the percentage of women in leadership roles. By this measure, the healthcare, retail, and financial services industries are doing the worst job of promoting women to top positions. But as shown in the chart below, the tech sector isn't much better: Of the nearly 31 percent of women in the tech sector overall, just 21 percent are in leadership roles.

LinkedIn

This latest data highlight some of the misconceptions associated with solving the persistent lack of women and minorities in Silicon Valley. LinkedIn's report suggests that the so-called "pipeline" isn't leaking all that much: In fact, a good number of female engineers continue to work as engineers—they're simply choosing to take their skills to industries outside the tech sector. As Karen Catlin, a former vice president of Adobe Systems, told Fusion last week, some women avoid tech because they believe they won't have opportunities to grow professionally: "Either there's a very leaky pipeline and women are leaving jobs in tech," Catlin said. "Or they are seeing they cannot have the careers they want in this industry and looking elsewhere for jobs instead."

#Prattkeeping Is the Best Thing on the Internet Today

| Wed Jun. 17, 2015 7:34 PM EDT

Jurassic World opened last weekend, breaking all sorts of records. While that's great and all, and dinosaurs are awesome and what not, this is the best thing that happened as a result: Prattkeeping.

In the movie, Chris Pratt does a move to assert dominance and calm down raptors. Animal keepers started to contribute their own versions, and before long a new wonderful meme was born. Check out Fusion for a longer list.

Here are some of our favorites:

 

#raptorsquad @cameldiscovery #jurasiczookeeper keeper Ambrose

A photo posted by Kati Speer (@kati_speer) on

 

#jurassiczookeeper @sacramentozoo

A photo posted by Mike Owyang (@ohmygoat1) on

 

Jurassic Keeper. #jurassicworld #dinosaur #emu #jurassiczookeeper #animal #movie

A photo posted by Jon Ovens (@parrotman_jon) on

 

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks it's funny:

Mark Zuckerberg Donates $5 Million to Help Dreamers' Education

| Wed Jun. 17, 2015 3:32 PM EDT

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced they will be donating $5 million to provide scholarships to undocumented students living in the Bay Area. The Facebook CEO wrote:

Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants are part of our communities and attend school legally in the United States. Many of them moved to America early in their lives and can’t remember living anywhere else. They want to remain in the country they love and be a part of America’s future. But without documentation, it's often a struggle to get a college education, and they don’t have access to any kind of federal aid.

The money will be given to TheDream.US, a national scholarship program launched in 2013 to help fund education for immigrant youth, which will then create specific programs for 400 selected students to receive the tuition assistance.

Zuckerberg has called immigration reform the "biggest civil rights issue of our time," and has made other efforts to help dreamers. In 2013, he launched the group FWD.us to mobilize the tech community's support for immigration. Despite its popular support among tech leaders though, the group has run into the same problems that have plagued immigration reform in Washington.

Zuckerberg's Facebook post below:

 

Today Priscilla and I made a $5 million donation to thedream.us, a scholarship fund that helps undocumented young...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Uber Drivers in California Are Employees, Labor Commission Rules

| Wed Jun. 17, 2015 2:45 PM EDT

California's Labor Commission just delivered what could potentially be a significant blow to Uber's business model. After a former driver sued to be reimbursed for driving expenses, the commission ruled that drivers working for the popular ride-hailing app are employees, not independent contractors.

"The defendants hold themselves out as nothing more than a neutral technological platform, designed simply to enable drivers and passengers to transact the business of transportation," the commission wrote in its ruling. "The reality, however, is that defendants are involved in every aspect of the operation."

The ruling, which for now only applies to California drivers, is the result of a claim filed back in September by Barbara Ann Berwick, a former Uber driver. Berwick argued she was owed payment for expenses, such as mileage, incurred while working for the company, but Uber insisted that she was only an independent contractor and therefore not eligible for reimbursement. On Tuesday, the commission ordered the company to pay Berwick $4,000 in expenses.

The difference in classification is significant, as an employee status may force Uber to provide drivers benefits such as social security, health insurance, and unemployment insurance. Uber is in the process of appealing the decision.

Read the ruling its entirety below:

Uber vs Berwick by SuperAdventureDoug

 

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The Daily News Welcomes Donald Trump to the Presidential Race

| Wed Jun. 17, 2015 9:09 AM EDT

On Tuesday, Donald Trump descended from an escalator and announced he's actually running for president. The formal launch is yet another entry into a group of obvious losers that have little to no chance of securing the White House. 

Will Republican voters eventually warm up to the Donald, though? Judging by this fantastic cover of today's Daily News, a traditionally right-leaning New York paper, we're guessing no:

Indeed, the clown car that is the current GOP presidential field finally has a leader! 

Rachel Dolezal: "I Identify as Black"

| Tue Jun. 16, 2015 9:10 AM EDT

In her first public interview since allegations that she lied about her race for nearly a decade, Rachel Dolezal sat down with Matt Lauer on Tuesday to address the controversy.

"I did feel that at some point, I would need to address the complexity of my identity," the former Spokane NAACP president said. When asked directly if she is an African American woman, Dolezal responded, "I identify as black."

She went on to explain her "self-identification with the black experience" started around the age of five, when she began drawing self portraits of herself using a brown crayon, rather than a peach one.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Dolezal announced she was resigning as the local NAACP chapter president. Hours after posting the letter, the Smoking Gun reported she once sued Howard University claiming racial discrimination against her for being a white woman.

When Lauer broached the 2002 lawsuit, Dolezal said, "The reasons for my full tuition scholarship being removed, as well as my teaching assistant position, were that other people needed opportunities and 'you probably have white relatives that can help you with your tuition.' I thought that was injustice."

Two years after she filed suit, a judge dismissed her case.

Rachel Dolezal Sued Howard University for Racial Discrimination

| Mon Jun. 15, 2015 4:28 PM EDT

A new report from the Smoking Gun claims Rachel Dolezal—the Spokane woman who has lied for years about being African American— sued Howard University in 2002. According to court documents obtained by the site, Dolezal, who went by Rachel Moore at the time, sued the historically black college by alleging discrimination "based on race, pregnancy, family responsibilities and gender." From the report:

She alleged that Smith and other school officials improperly blocked her appointment to a teaching assistant post, rejected her application for a post-graduate instructorship, and denied her scholarship aid while she was a student.

The court opinion also noted that Dolezal claimed that the university’s decision to remove some of her artworks from a February 2001 student exhibition was "motivated by a discriminatory purpose to favor African-American students over" her.

Two years later, a judge dismissed the lawsuit.

Earlier on Monday, Dolezal posted a letter on Facebook announcing her resignation as president of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP after the news broke that she had been pretending to be black for many years. The allegations, accompanied by her birth certificate, were made by her biological parents, both of whom are white.

 

BREAKING: The Sun Has Not Exploded

| Mon Jun. 15, 2015 3:34 PM EDT

When publishing breaking news, all good editors should exercise a sense of urgency, while also preventing any cause for unnecessary alarm. This is particularly crucial when reporting news that the world is about to come to a sudden, apocalyptic end.

Just ask the Athens Banner-Herald, which on Monday fell "victim to miscue" after an emergency broadcast system notice mistakenly alerted readers that the sun had just exploded:

Erroneous news of the sun's explosion gave way to one of the best breaking news retractions we've seen in awhile: "To our knowledge, the sun has not exploded," the paper's director of digital wrote in a post.