The Harry Potter Alliance’s #MyHungerGames Brings Awareness to Stories of Income Inequality | The Mary Sue

 

via The Harry Potter Alliance’s #MyHungerGames Brings Awareness to Stories of Income Inequality | The Mary Sue.

The Harry Potter Alliance grew out of a group of HP fans who wanted to take the good messages of their favorite book series and enact them in the world around them, and has become one of the awesomest examples of “fan activism.” But they aren’t entirely focused on HP-themed causes; they also often organize campaigns of awareness, fundraising, and community service to coincide with the release of new The Hunger Games films, and this week’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I release is no different.

The Hunger Games films have taken a meta-textually fascinating approach to their marketing; or, maybe, it’s the only approach they really could have taken. Outside of direct advertisements for the film itself, the movie’s campaigns have all framed the viewer of the ad as a Capitol citizen, deliberately exotifying and objectifying their subjects, simplifying what is a complex situation; and, of course, including plenty of tone deaf merchandise tie-ins like makeup and fast food products. It’s a campaign that I can appreciate intellectually if I think of it like an art project, and side-eye when I remember that it’s an ad campaign: it’s working a little too well, and the nuance and intent of a lot of it is likely lost on a lot of folks. Art shouldn’t bend over backwards to make sure everybody gets its real message, but ads for The Hunger Games aren’t art… they’re ads.

So this year, the HPA is encouraging its members, and everyone else, to contribute to the hashtag #MyHungerGames, intending the feed to become a repository of the real effects and complexity of extreme income inequality, one of the biggest allegorical themes of the Hunger Games books.

We want to hear your stories – the daily realities, the struggles, and the triumphs big and small. The ways race, gender, sexual orientation, bodily status, familial origin, and more intersect and inform how you’re treated. Economic inequality manifests itself in our daily lives and yet even alluding to it is frowned upon. Now is the time to shine a light on it.

Odds In Our Favor, as the project is known, is also collecting member selfies with The Hunger Games‘ distinctive three-fingered salute. But it’s not all social media. Odds In Our Favor.org offers resources to understand the sources and severity of income inequality in modern society and links to help contact your local representative and encourage them to raise minimum wages. So get going! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR

via Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head : Goats and Soda : NPR.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million peoplelack access to clean drinking water, locals weren’t exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

And so, a spinoff was born.

Manju Kalanidhi, a 38-year-old journalist from Hyderabad who reports on the global rice market, put her own twist on the challenge. She calls her version the Rice Bucket Challenge, but don’t worry, no grains of rice went to waste.

Instead, they went to the hungry.

“I personally think the [Ice Bucket Challenge] is ideal for the American demographic,” she says. “But in India, we have loads of other causes to promote.”

Kalanidhi came up with a desi version — that’s a Hindi word to describe something Indian. She chose to focus on hunger. A third of India’s 1.2 billion people live on less than $1.25 USD a day, and a kilogram of rice, or 2 pounds, costs between 80 cents and a dollar. A family of four would go through roughly 45 pounds of rice a month, she says.

That’s why she’s challenging people to give a bucket of rice, cooked or uncooked, to a person in need. Snap a photo, share it online and, just as with the Ice Bucket Challenge, nominate friends to take part, she suggests. For those who want to help more than one person at a time, she recommends donating to a food charity.

Kalanidhi kicked off the campaign Friday, giving nearly 50 pounds of rice to her 55-year-old neighbor. He has a family of five to feed and makes a living selling breakfast to the neighborhood. But if he falls sick, his business suffers.

She took a photo with her neighbor, along with the rice, and posted it on her personal Facebook page. Responses poured in by the hundreds, prompting her to create a page for the campaign on Saturday. It received a hundred likes in just five hours. As of today, the number of likes has topped 40,000 in what she calls a “social tsunami.”

With 3 to 4 billion people in the world depending on rice as a dietary staple, the challenge has spread beyond India’s borders. People in California, Canada and Hong Kong are among the participants.

Based on the photos, Kalanidhi estimates that at least 200 people have taken part and more than 4,000 pounds of rice have been donated. Another 4,850 pounds were donated Wednesday by 2,200 students at Apoorva Degree College in a town near Hyderabad, she says.

The photos have been pouring in: Radio hosts, police officers, doctors and students have all taken part.

What if a recipient doesn’t want to be photographed — or if the donor thinks it’s not a good idea to take a picture? No worries, says Kalanidhi. A photo of the rice bucket will do.

I made potato salad for a lot less than $60,000

potatosalad3

 

I have table-flipping-She-Hulk rage over that dude who raised at least $60,000 to make a damn potato salad. There was a 3 day period where I may have needed a trigger warning for talk of potato salad.

Which was sad because I really wanted to eat some potato salad. Since,you know, that’s about all I can eat these days and it sounded like a nice change from soup.

Over the weekend, we had salt potatoes for dinner. The next day, I used the leftovers to make what could only be described as Rage Against the Potato Salad Kickstarter Potato Salad. It was good with only a slight aftertaste of bitterness & rage.

It doesn’t take a genius or $60,000 to make tater salad. You take potatoes

potatosalad2

…cut ‘em into chunks. Maybe peel them first. Maybe not. Whatever.

Add some mayo, Dijon mustard,a splash of apple cider vinegar…some herbs (I like dill & lovage). Maybe even chop up some onions, if that’s what you’re into. I like hard boiled eggs in it,too.

potatosalad1

 

 

That’s it. How much of each? Who knows. I just throw it together until it looks like potato salad. Like I said, doesn’t take a genius. Or someone who has money. I made a huge bowl for probably about $3.00 or so.

I need a kickstarter for a new house with better lighting in the kitchen so my food photography doesn’t look like crap. This potato salad tasted better than it looked.
potatosalad4

 

So, now that I showed you how to make a decent potato salad for free, do me ONE favor:

If you have money to throw at a cause, please give it to people who need it and not someone who started a fundraiser as a joke.  If you don’t trust people on the Internet, go buy some potatoes and other good food to donate to your local food pantry. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

The money spent on the F-35 would be enough to buy every homeless person in the country a mansion.

via Truth.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is looking like a very costly mistake for the U.S. military.

How costly? According to an analysis by ThinkProgress, the money spent on the F-35 would be enough to buy every homeless person in the country a mansion.

Read more

Now, every homeless person doesn’t really need a mansion but I understand why they used that to demonstrate the obscene spending here. I’d rather we find modest housing for everyone who needs it and then have some jingle leftover to feed the people who struggle with food insecurity. And we’d probably have some leftover for the other things that benefit society & low income families, like childcare  subsidies.

The Gregory Project, An Initiative to Turn Billboards Into Affordable Housing

 

The Gregory Project, An Initiative to Turn Billboards Into Affordable Housing

From the Gregory Project website:
Cities are engulfed with rigid constructions for billboard advertisement which are expensive to put up, maintain and their subsequent renting is a costly venture. The Gregory project brings optimization to the construction of billboard structures in a way that the insides of these, after the extension, could be turned into a living space. Such an object would need just  a minimal maintenance cost which could be partially paid through the rental of its advert space. 

I like that this is solution oriented.