hyperallergic: A strange new spin on the vending machine has…


A strange new spin on the vending machine has cropped up in the city of Grenoble: instead of dispensing soda and snacks, these sleek orange and black machines print out free short stories. Conceived of by publishing company Short Édition, the invention aims to get people to kill time by reading fiction instead of constantly checking their phones.

Vending Machines That Dispense Short Stories Instead of Snacks

fuckyeahfemaleyoutubers: fuckyeahfemaleyoutubers: Last year…



Last year during Buffer Festival I made this post breaking down the demographics of Featured Guests doing content at the various big YouTube events throughout 2014. I knew they tended to be largely white and male, but looking at the actual numbers made it even more maddeningly clear how big the discrepancy was.

As Buffer Festival 2015 has just wrapped up, I wanted to see if/how the numbers have changed in the past year. I feel like the general consensus in the community is that things are “getting better,” but let’s see how much better.

Last year, the highest percentage of female Featured Guests at any of these events was 32%. This year all of the events were over 40% women. It’s not ideal, but it’s definitely progress, and personally I’m pretty pleased!

But on the race side things are still less than impressive. Last year the highest percentage of PoC at any event was 16%, and this year it’s 18%. Which is still less than 1 out of 5 Featured Guests being anything other than white. :/

As always, I encourage you to share your thoughts directly with the event organizers and recommend any creators of color you think would be awesome for their event!

Some notes:

  1. The numbers are taken from the Featured Guest list on each event’s website. There may have been more or fewer at the actual events.
  2. Discrepancies in total Guest numbers between an event’s Gender and Race graphs is due to some listed Guests being multiple people (bands, channels with multiple hosts, etc.). Listed Guests with more than one race or gender were counted more than once where applicable.
  3. Playlist Live numbers are from their DC event this year rather than Orlando because I couldn’t access the Orlando Guest list on the Wayback Machine like I did last year.
  4. My counting of race and gender is primary visual. It’s possible that some white-passing or very feminine or masculine presenting non-binary folks may have been misplaced. (But I did try to research people I wasn’t sure on). If you know I have missed someone, let me know!

If you register for VidCon under the Creator track (and possibly the other tracks - I’m not sure), they ask who you would like to see as a Featured Creator at next year’s event.

This is a great place to recommend awesome creators of color! (Particularly people who weren’t Featured at least year’s event and so may not be on the coordinators’ radar. For example, two of my recs were @katblaque and @marinashutup).

having trouble writing?



I’m not sure what most you guys write with these days, if the majority of you are still chugging along with good ol’ Microsoft Word or whatever, but let me introduce you to this beauty:

Write! (look at this snazzy sleek website): 

This is my go to program. It’s light and doesn’t have a five minute start up like Word (or maybe my laptop’s just really clunky and old) and it has these features that make the entire story-building ordeal easier. 

Seriously, ever since I started using this I’ve been just spewing shit out.

It has both a free and a pro version. The free version is beautiful and efficient just on its own and is the one I’ve been using the longest, but if you want to have your work on all your devices, have a night theme for all-nighters or just have some stylish documents, the pro version is $5 per month. If you can, please support them!

The layout is simple and clutter free, nothing overwhelming. The navigation has an option to give you a visual look on what you’re scrolling through rather than the normal scroll bar, which has saved my eyes from squinting every five minutes.

Its got a standard formatting options but not so many that you feel overwhelmed. Simplicity matters! It also has a handy productivity counter which tracks word/character count, pages, reading time, etc.

There are three window options: compact, standard (size-adjustable) and full screen. I always use full screen but when I’m multitasking or want watch youtube videos, the window becomes smaller without cramping your work space since it doesn’t have a toolbar.

It’s pretty hard to find this program (at least it was for me haha) cause of its name. Since this is my favourite writing program so I’m going to spread the word and share it, since it deserves more recognition B^)

Don’t click the link as it leads to the person’s blog. The actual website is this: https://writer.bighugelabs.com/

eternallybeautifullyblack: This Children’s Book App Teaches…


This Children’s Book App Teaches Black Girls They Can Do Anything

By Deonna Anderson

Representation matters. When Ameka Ali, founder of Higher Mind Apps, noticed the lack of female heroines in children’s literature, she was moved to create Ameka Love, an interactive picture book app series for children ages 3-10.

[Read Deonna Anderson’s Shine for Harriet article and get the apps here.]

thesilverpowerranger: coelasquid: uglyfun: HOW TO FACT-CHECK…





A few notes:

  • Do this for every informative/news-related post you want to reblog. The fewer reblogs a false report gets, the less it spreads.
  • The best thing you can do for a false report is not reblog it at all, OR start your own post to debunk it, with a link to the original. If you reblog to debunk it, your reply will get lost in the huge amount of notes, and you will just end up spreading the misinformation further.
  • Sometimes a totally unlikely story turns out to be true! It’s even more fun to reblog it when you’ve confirmed that it’s real.

We all slip up sometimes but hey do what you can folks. Only you can prevent Tumblr fires.

@africanaquarian for your myth-busting campaign

Black to the future: afrofuturism and tech power


by Florence Okoye, 25th August 2015. Published on Open Democracy.

Social networks are another example of technologies used to promote liberation and spread consciousness about contemporary social issues.

We joke about ‘black twitter’ and ‘black tumblr’ but the reality is that these multinational, multiethnic and intercontinental networks have produced a new conscious black identity, an example of what Moya Bailey, founder of ‘Quirky Black Girls’ and member of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network referred to as “digital alchemy”. She describes this as the way “everyday digital media is transformed into valuable social justice media magic”. Though it is fraught with its own internal antagonisms, this network enables visible, self-organised political identities. This has galvanised many of us to unite across the world for the cause of social justice.

Of course, technology alone does not create utopias, neither is it neutral. Because of this, it is crucial to encourage engagement and ensure open access. Organisations such as Free Code Camp and Codebar.io recognize this. They provide free courses and the opportunity for mentoring to those less well represented in tech. While the big players in science and technology may always dominate, at least others can disrupt, embellish and beautify where they cannot.

Both in my own experience and that of many in the black diaspora, technology has played a crucial part in self empowerment. Through programming, many of us are are sharpening the skills to create technology to shape the world we live in for ourselves, rather than relying on handouts from the likes of Apple and Microsoft.’

This article would have been a perfect reference for my dissertation, and something I wish I’d had enough space to explore more. Love how I’m still thinking about my dissertation and reading around it, such a nerd, I really hope that I’ll have saved up enough money in a few years to do a masters *fingers crossed*. This also made me think of Candice who just got into a free coding course at LSE ‘cos she’s so smart and great *sighs*.
Read the full article here. 

sourcedumal: deathcomes4u: fleshcoatedtechnology: FDA…




FDA Approves First Prosthesis Controlled by Muscle Electrical Signals

Dean Kamen’s DEKA Arm is an electronic prosthetic that mimics natural arm and hand movement with an amazing level of finesse. It’s controlled by electrical signals from the wearer’s muscles. This week, the DEKA Arm became the first muscle-controlled prostheticapproved by the FDA for sale to the general public.

In the FDA study, 90% of test subjects were able to quickly adapt to using the DEKA Arm for tasks that were impossible with traditional arm prosthetics, like brushing hair and using keys and zippers.

This is a cyborg we can all support.

[FDADARPA via Engadget / Gizmodo]

Now make it so cheap and accessible that even the homeless man can get it. Otherwise this isn’t a breakthrough

Peak indifference-to-surveillance #1yrago


The Pew Internet Project has updated its must-read 2013 work on privacy perception in the post-Snowden era with a survey of American attitudes to privacy and surveillance that shows that the number of Americans who worry about privacy is steeply rising.

Judging from the FBI’s calls for back-doors in phones and the unrepentant NSA, it’s unlikely that we’ve reached peak surveillance – the Internet of Things opens the door to a world of surveillance that we can barely imagine (just remember that every smart house that can accept voice commands and gestural interfaces must have cameras and mics in every room).

However, the Pew study shows that Americans continue to worry about private and state surveillance, and that there’s a great, unfulfilled market demand for privacy protection and services that respect privacy. It’s a hopeful sign.