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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Did someone say Maker’s Mark? Yes!  Come check us out today and Friday at Maker’s Mark at the San Francisco State University (SFSU) Art Gallery.

This is a two day event faire of over 50 local artists, art collectives, and organizations selling their handmade wares to the public, sponsored by SFSU.  The times and address are:

The Art Gallery at the Cesar Chavez Student Center, SFSU
1650 Holloway Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132

Tuesday, March 14, 11am-2pm & Friday, March 16, 4pm-7pm.

Come show some love to the arts!

In what has become a highly controversial issue in the past few days at South By Southwest (SXSW) Music and Interactive Media Conference, BBH, an Advertising Agency, has decided to create mobile hotspots centered around homeless people.  “Homeless Hotspots” are being found all around Austin, TX.  Just look for the homeless person wearing a shirt indicating they are a 4G Hotspot.

I don’t really know how I feel about this.  At first I thought, “Cool, how creative!  Empowering homeless people and compensating them for their services.”  Then I realized the hotspots were free of use with a $2 suggested donation.  These people are doing a job, and when you do a job, you NEED TO BE COMPENSATED (unless it’s an “internship”).  This has led me to believe the ad agency who created this idea sees these people as no more than a sign which states “Free Wi-Fi” with a donation box attached to it, “in a more digital manner”.  I’m a huge advocate of empowering and educating the less fortunate, but until someone proves that is actually happening, they are completely exploiting a marginalized community.  Well, I guess it’s not the first time.

via Mashable

KABUL, Afghanistan — A new women-only Internet cafe in Afghanistan’s capital is the first of its kind in this country.

Staffed entirely by women, it’s a place for women to connect to the world in a country where they don’t often enjoy the freedom to do what they please online away from the watchful eyes of their fathers, husbands or brothers.

The Young Afghan Women for Change — a local group of women activists — inaugurated the Sahar Gul Internet Cafe last week. The group wants the cafe to become a place for women in Kabul to use the Internet, away from the prying eyes of others — especially from men.

“Based on a survey we did in Kabul, we found out that women were harassed in regular cafés and were uncomfortable sitting beside men for an hour-long (Internet browsing session),” says Zafar Salehi, a YAWC member.

The café is named after Sahar Gul, who was kept in solitary confinement and tortured by her husband for months. Her tragic case drew a great deal of international attention.

Afghans living in the country joined expatriates in Europe and the U.S. in raising money to help the Sahar Gul Internet Café open its doors. Additionally, a private company donated 15 laptops, and a telecommunications firm is providing the café with a free year-long Internet connection.

The YAWC will continue to ask women around Afghanistan about their Internet privacy concerns. If they find another area that might be in need of a women-only Internet cafe, they’ll build another just like the Sahar Gul shop.

“In every province where women use the Internet, they have the same problem,” says Salehi. “We can hopefully expand this initiative to other places.”

via Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES — It was a classic then and it’s a classic now. In 1976, The New Yorker published a New Yorker’s view of the United States (and a bit of the Asian continent). The map starts at Ninth Avenue then shifts west to the Hudson River, skips past Jersey, hits the flat lands of America, and then oops, there’s the Pacific Ocean and China.

Satirical maps have a powerful way of stereotyping the stereotypes people have. Which is why Bulgarian graphic designer Yank Tsvetkov’s map designs have a particular bite. His Mapping Stereotypes series claims to be “The Ultimate Bigot’s Calendar,” with perspectives of Europe and the world as seen by such varied entities as the Vatican and the United States.

Take, for instance, Europe as seen by the Germans, where Italy is simply “Pizza & Museums” and Finland is the land of “Cell Phone Makers.” The United States, “according to common sense” labels Washington as “Geeks” and New Mexico as “Flying Saucers.” Some cut uncomfortably close to sources of geopolitical conflict. Greece sees Turkey as “Eastern Greece” and Turkey sees Greece as “Rascals.”

The maps can be ordered as calendars — they’ll certainly be a conversation starter, but just be ready for the conversations they’ll inevitably provoke.

Via Huffington Post

Technically, the economy has been in recovery for two years. But it turns out the rich have been doing most of the recovering.

In 2010 — the first full year since the end of the Great Recession – virtually all of the income growth in America took place among the country’s very wealthiest people, says an economist at the University of California, Berkeley. The top 1 percent of earners took in a full 93 percent of all the income gains that year, leaving the other 7 percent of gains to be sprinkled among the vast majority of society.

Those numbers come courtesy of Emmanuel Saez, the Berkeley economist who co-created a resource known as the World Top Incomes Database. Saez and his colleagues crunched the data on income growth from 2010, the most recent year available, and found that it was shockingly lopsided.

While much of the country is simply treading water, with a growing number of people either edging toward poverty or already there, the richest of the rich seem to be coping nicely.

Saez’s findings suggest that even though the recession dealt a blow to the 1 percent, it did little to push the U.S. off the path it’s been on for decades — that of a vast and growing disparity between the richest and poorest citizens.

Income for most workers has barely risen in the last 30 years, but the top 1 percent of earners have seen their income almost triple in the same amount of time. Economists and other experts say that could be the result of any number of factors, including the decline of labor unions, the explosion in capital gains during the middle part of the aughts, and tax policies put in place in recent years that favor the wealthy.

In his State of the Union address this past January, President Obama called economic fairness “the defining issue of our time,” perhaps mindful of the growing number of voters who say they can’t even afford basic necessities like food.

The wealth gap has been cited as a major concern for the nationwide Occupy movement, and research has suggested that income inequality might be associated with the kind of underwhelming economic growth the country has experienced for the past two years.

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