I found out about the Town Hall Project from this question on ask. The data in the spreadsheet are amazing, but it can be pretty hard to get the most relevant data out of a spreadsheet. I made a couple hacked together maps to help with that question, but then decided to actually make a real thing as a learning exercise and to hopefully help other people out. [more inside]
The current political cycle is terrible! But I am terrible at not being a news and politics junkie! Since I'm not going to get a break from it, I thought I'd put together this newsletter digest so you don't have to drown in it, too.
Back when we started the KNOWMORE.ORG project in 2005, we posted about it here, Excited young pups that we were. In the time in between we educated hundreds of thousands of readers over the last decade, covered the entire Global Fortune 500 and then some, and rated each company for Worker's Rights, Environmental Concerns, Human Rights, Political Influence and Business Ethics. We created an award winning browser plug-in, helped remove Dov Charney from American Apparel, and did it all on volunteer hours and DIY fundraising before crowdsourcing existed. Sadly, pending a crowdsourcing appeal, the site is in danger of closing down this April. [more inside]
An online game specifically made to call out Elon Musk on his collaborationism with the Trump regime. Will you manage to board the Mars rocket, or will you be crushed by an unsympathetic bureaucracy?
I started a new site based around the idea that long-term political involvement is often an overwhelming idea. But if we promise ourselves to do something one hour a week, we could change the world. Aimed at people who are looking for ways to get started in political activism, it currently consists of links to resources about how to find your representatives, and how to contact them effectively, but this is just the start. Over the next few weeks, I hope to build a much more interactive site that gamifies the process, allowing you to form teams, log time and contacts, and find & share new tactics for organizing. There are a ton of progressive resources out there, but getting started and making it a habit can be too daunting for a lot of folks. I hope to change that.
TogetherList is a comprehensive database of women’s rights, people of color, LGBT+, immigrant, climate change, and Muslim-American advocacy organizations that need your support. TogetherList aims to make it simple for people to connect to organizations in need, whether that be through volunteer work, financial support, advocacy through local government, etc. [more inside]
Wendy's is testing veggie burgers at a 24 locations across 3 states. My friends and I made a website to let people know where they could get the new burger. Unfortunately the burgers aren't available nationwide yet, so we're working to convince HQ to make them more available.
#Additivism blurs the boundaries between art, engineering, science fiction, and digital aesthetics. It calls for critical, artistic, and speculative submissions to a Cookbook of radical ideas, to be released in Autumn 2015. [more inside]
So I mentioned this in the #womensMarch MeTa thread, but I am the vice-admin for a group blog called the Asexual Agenda whose purpose is to promote more higher-level discussion of asexuality, by asexuals. It also aims to provide a community center for asexuals who are interested in this discourse. [more inside]
African Americans & South Asians (i.e. folks from India, Pakistan, etc.) have been standing up for each other for over 100 years, despite barriers of race, information, and distance. These secret histories of global allyship are a reminder of how little of the good stuff schools ever teach us.
An open-ended research tool for everything that the DC Police Department writes on their twitter feed. The department made the controversial decision to encrypt all radio communications last year, with no allowance for journalists, and thus have devoted more time to twitter. The site allows you to view the last three thousand tweets and quickly analyze factors like age, city quadrant, gender, etc., though a clever regular-expression-based interface.
The Publication Standards Project campaigns for free and open standards for digital publishing, for the benefit of readers, writers, libraries, and publishers alike. We started with a two-part essay by nickd on A List Apart. Last month's campaign concerned DRM, and this month we're focusing on libraries. We hope our supporters will embrace Monday, July 16 as Information Access Day and take the opportunity to open a conversation on issues of information freedom, literacy, and access.
The TSA Choice is an activist site against the deployment of whole-body scanners and the TSA's new "enhanced patdown" procedures. We've created a map and word cloud to show what choices people are making in the security line at airports across the U.S. -- the naked pictures, or the thorough fondling by a gloved stranger? Please share your experience, too!
WriteYourPrincipal is a grassroots effort to encourage people to ask their former school principals what their alma maters are doing to end LGBTQ harassment and bullying in their schools. I'm collecting and posting letters that people have been writing to their school principals. From one of my favorites, written by the friend and mentor who came up with this idea in the first place: "Until she knows that . . . her teachers and peers will treat her with dignity and respect, a young person who thinks she might be gay she will feel lonely and scared — no matter how many friends she appears to have. She needs to know she has the support of the adults around them. "
We made these mysterious posters featuring QR codes and are putting them up in seven Canadian cities. It's our hope that people scan the posters with their smart phone and then complete the petition form they get sent to.