On a cold spring night in 1952, a huge meteorite fell to earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, including Washington D.C. The ensuing climate cataclysm will soon render the earth inhospitable for humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated effort to colonize space, and requires a much larger share of humanity to take part in the process. Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too.
Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten. Alexievich traveled thousands of miles and visited more than a hundred towns to record these women’s stories. Together, this symphony of voices reveals a different aspect of the war—the everyday details of life in combat left out of the official histories. [more inside]
Historian Louis Hyman on the surprising origins of the "gig economy." Hyman is joined in conversation by Data & Society's Labor Engagement Lead Aiha Nguyen and Researcher Alex Rosenblat. Hyman's latest book "Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary" tracks the transformation of an ethos that favored long-term investment in work (and workers) to one promoting short-term returns. A series of deliberate decisions preceded the digital revolution, setting off the collapse of the postwar institutions that insulated us from volatility including big unions, big corporations, and powerful regulators. Through the experiences of those on the inside–consultants and executives, temps and office workers, line workers and migrant laborers–Temp shows how the American Dream was unmade.
An anthology of four short horror films that are directed and written by women: "The Box," by Jovanka Vuckovic (former editor of Rue Morgue magazine); "Her Only Living Son" by Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, the upcoming Destroyer); "The Birthday Cake" by St. Vincent (aka rock musician Annie Clark); "Don't Fall" by Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound). [more inside]
GLOW: Here We GLOW Again Season 2, Ep 0
Season 2 of the Netflix hit about the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling will "deviate" from the real-life G.L.O.W., particularly in that critics actually like this version.
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (also known as GLOW) was a women's professional wrestling "league" formed in 1985. This new Netflix fictionalized version of its inception is fun, thoughtful, and religious in its 80s authenticity. Jenji Kohan is one of the producers. [more inside]
I am watching Claws and am really enjoying it. Is anyone else watching it? The second episode was on Sunday. It's starring Niecy Nash and I love that the main characters are mostly women. [more inside]
Battle for Sevastopol is a Russian/Ukranian co-production based on the WWII experiences of Lyudmila Pavilchenko, a young Ukranian student who becomes one of the war's deadliest snipers. With 309 confirmed kills in just over a year, Pavilchenko is brought to the White House to meet President Franklin D Roosevelt, the first Soviet ever to receive such an invitation. Pavilchenko meets and is befriended by Eleanor Roosevelt, who invites her on a promotional tour of the United States to rally support for the Soviet "Second Front" war effort despite her PTSD. [more inside]
The widely praised debut from Turkish-French director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, from her original screenplay, traces the sexual and emotional coming of age of five orphaned sisters as they confront the joys and limitations of growing up in a conservative town in rural Turkey, searching for their own power in a series of dark and comedic events. Trailer for the film, which was France's submission for Best Foreign Language Film at this year's Oscars. "Mustang is at once feisty, poetic, hilarious, and gut-wrenching. It’s like a feminist 400 Blows, or if the punk teens from We Are the Best! were cast in a remake of The Great Escape."
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Judge elections in the US and the Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat Season 2, Ep 3
This week: Greece gets a loan reprieve. Cease fire violated in Ukraine, Egypt butchers the Russian national anthem. The UK's Labour Party tries to appeal to women by means of a pink bus (YT 4m). Last Week Tonight imagines what would happen if Labour did damage control in a video segment, Pretty Princess Ponies. Main story: The many problems with electing state judges in the US (YT 13m). And Now: CNN Weatherman Chad Myers Hates His Job, His Life and Everyone Around Him. China celebrates the beginning of the Year of the Sheep. Or is it Goat?
Podcast: NPR: Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast: Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Empire' And The Importance Of Different Voices
This week, our friends Tanya Ballard Brown and Gene Demby join us to talk about Fox's hit show Empire and to follow up on a recent public discussion of the need for diverse radio voices. [more inside]
Silicon Valley: Proof of Concept Season 1, Ep 7
Richard is distracted while trying to finish his demonstration; Jared worries that Monica is trying to replace him; Dinesh develops a crush; Erlich's past threatens the company's chances.