Friday, February 27, 2015


Weekend Roundup / Open Thread

Hey you guys: I know we've been having great fun arguing about the dress and all, but just a quick reminder that yesterday was the third anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death and tomorrow's the last day of Black History Month, and maybe we should take a second to meditate on those things today, you know? Then, by all means, go back to the fun. That dress is blue and black and I don't care who tells you otherwise.

We started off this week with our favorite Oscar looks, and cheerfully marched on: we learned SO MUCH about boners and the evil eye, set some men straight, made some blondies, got kicked out of our punk band, recast Sunset Boulevard, brought back Ask a Lady!!!, put placenta on our faces, stopped by laughter therapy, came to terms with being single, made peace, said some fancy phrases, asked Wendy, read some poetry, asked a scientist, and had some #deepseated anxiety.

THIS WEEK IN LADIES: Jaya Saxena BEIN' NAUGHTY, Meaghan O'Connell on being the "slacker parent", Thanaa El-Naggar on being a practicing Muslim in short-shorts, Beejoli Shah on some low-budget TV show no one has ever heard of, and Kiva Reardon on David Cronenberg.

My dad just texted me about the dress. I'm going back to bed. See you Monday!



La_Dolce_Vita_(1960_film)_coverartIt's a Wonderful What if I Have a Kid Someday And They Turn Out to Be A Serial Killer

Raiders of the Lost How Do We Know We Aren't All Going to Hell When We Die

The Bridges of Madison I am Worried About Watching My Parents Grow Old and Feeling Helpless

The Silence of the Wait Whatever Happened to Mad Cow Disease

La Dolce I Have No Idea How to Start Saving for My Retirement Fund

The Good, The Bad, and The Oh Crap When Was My Last Period READ MORE


Promoted Content

A Guide to Maybe, Someday Buying a Home

When I jumped into the always lucrative field of journalism in my mid-20s, I made a pact with myself that I’d get my financial act together at age 30.

Well, I swear I blinked and next thing I know, the milestone birthday was upon me. Over the past few months I’ve drastically reduced my rent by moving into a less trendy neighborhood and getting a roommate for the first time in years. I’ve also bumped up my 401(k) contributions, and figured it’s time to consider, what would be involved in one day buying my own place.

The process of buying a home can seem overwhelming to those of us who haven’t gone through it before. So as any good millennial would do, I decided the first place to start my investigation would be with some good, old-fashioned crowdsourcing. I asked more than a dozen friends who’ve made the plunge in the past couple years about where to get started.

Here’s what I learned: READ MORE


Ask a Scientist: Rochelle Diamond, Chair of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals

IMG_2332 – Version 2 – Version 2
Expressing individuality as a scientist can seem like a form of treason, which is why it’s so rare to see. It’s why the Internet collectively went berserk when a NASA employee sported a mohawk during the Mars Rover landing, or why most of my colleagues will follow up a description of their weekend activities with a dejected, “but…I really should have been working instead.” It’s why there are so few movies about well-adjusted scientists who do non-scientific things in their spare time. In the weird, insular worlds of science and academia, sometimes it feels like the greatest sin one can commit is having a personal life.

This kind of thinking keeps so many queer/LGBTQIA scientists from being, if not out, then out and proud. Along with the fact that academia is traditionally a realm that has been, and continues to be, occupied by older straight white men, trying to express a queer identity at work can feel more awkward or distracting than empowering. It’s also worth noting that this ambivalence is a best-case scenario that excludes factors like homophobia, which can quickly turn an ambiguously queer-friendly workplace into a dangerous one.

Much of this is specific to my own experience as a queer female scientist, but what is more broadly applicable is that, despite a few recent attempts to characterize the state of queer workers in STEM, there’s so much that remains unclear. How many queer scientists are there? Where are they working? What are the problems that they’re facing, and what can be done to fix them? To put it more bluntly: it’s clear that there’s a lot of patriarchy-smashing that needs to happen. What’s less clear is who is going to do it and how.

Rochelle “Shelley” Diamond is a research biologist at Caltech who understands these issues better than nearly anyone else. Along with her wife, who is also a scientist, she founded and currently runs the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). Shelley and I recently chatted for close to an hour about her work, the state of queer acceptance in STEM, and what still needs to be done about diversity in science. READ MORE


Lupita Nyong'o's Oscar Dress Stolen, Jazmine Hughes Wanted for Further Questioning

Um this is probably unrelated but Jazmine has been lounging in a $150,000 pearl-encrusted Calvin Klein gown all week. Is Jazmine a professional couture thief masquerading as a blogger/Twitter bully?!? Oh my god, this explains so much. Wait she's right behind me ok everyone be cool.


Is There A Way To Drain A Lake You Are Afraid You Will One Day Drown In?

to prepare for all possible possibilities I must admit
I feel extra saggy
my cousin’s husband gets married for a green card
but neither of them care about America at all
well I do & I care about Korea too


TGIF, am I right?!?! | February 26, 2015


Art Problems? Ask Wendy!



Details has burst the proverbial bubble and told us exactly how terrible binge-watching TV is for us: the practice wreaks havoc on our spine, quads, gut, brain, lungs, and heart, and can result in everything from spine curvature to diminished lung capacity.

....But our fingers are totally fine, right? "Continue watching" Scandal, please. | February 26, 2015

Talking to Millennial Homeowners Who Just Bought Their First Home

silver spring md flickr

Today I’m talking to my sister and my brother-in-law, who are 30 and 29 years old respectively and just bought a home in Silver Spring, Maryland.

So. Why did the two of you decide to become homeowners?

Well, we had been “dream looking at houses” for a few months. We had been thinking we would maybe start by getting a nicer apartment for a few years and then get a house. Then we started to look at prices and realized that we could get a house for less than a two-bedroom, or even a one-bedroom, apartment in the same area.

This is interesting because the D.C. metro area is kind of known for its high housing rates! Are you making the distinction between a house and a “good” apartment?

Or will your mortgage be about equivalent to what you are paying now in your “okay” apartment?

The mortgage will actually be less than the rent on our current mediocre one-bedroom apartment. However, we are buying a townhouse that has HOA fees each month, so the total monthly payment will be more than our current situation. But it will definitely be less than even a crappy two-bedroom apartment.

Do you think a lot of young professionals don't realize this? Or do people just not think of homebuying as an option?

Our townhouse is at the end of the metro line in Maryland, so it’s not in a cool young professional neighborhood. A one-bedroom condo near our current place in DC would be close to twice as much as our townhouse. Also, a lot of young people probably aren't ready to pay the down payment required for a house purchase.



Fancy Lady Phrases I Want To Be Able To Seriously Say Before I Die


"My home... well, one of my homes..."

"Draw up the papers!"

"Well, my accountant says..."

"Sorry, I was in a committee meeting..." READ MORE


Kanye West, "All Day"

Vicious, indeed.


Ask Baba Yaga: How Can I Make Peace With Past Trauma?

baba trauma
Transcript after the jump. READ MORE


The Best Time I Wrote A Personal Essay People Wanted To Read

An Online Skillshare Class by Emily Gould

Haunted by a mistake you can't wait to share? Emily Gould has just launched a Skillshare class all about writing an amazing personal essay—and, at the end of March, a winning student essay will be selected to appear on The Hairpin.

Called Writing Personal Essays That Get Read, the 45-minute online class is divided into 8 short video lessons that students watch at their own pace. The lessons are a one-on-one with Emily as she shares her favorite writing prompts, explores 3 entertaining essays for writing strategies students can (safely) steal, and offers quick editing tips for improving any piece.

Students are encouraged to post their own essays, exchange feedback, and collaborate with others to get a piece of their own ready for publication. Students can enroll at any time, but are encouraged to sign up and share work as soon as possible to eligible for the contest with The Hairpin.

The class is perfect for both aspiring and professional writers, bloggers, freelancers, and everyone eager to refine their personal written voice. Anyone with a Skillshare premium membership ($10/mo or $8/mo billed annually) can enroll, plus have access to over 1000 other classes in writing, design, photography, and more.

The first 50 Hairpin readers to click this link can enroll in Emily's class for free. Plus, all Hairpin readers can use this link for a free month of premium membership, which includes unlimited access to all Skillshare classes and additional features such as offline viewing.