It’s been a strange week up here in Merve-Land. Real life has prevented me from blogging, for which I apologize. But don’t despair: I’ve still got your weekly dose of links to interesting stuff.

  • Journalism goes meta: Peter Osnos of The Atlantic writes about non-profit organization ProPublica’s investigative report into the dangers of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. It’s a thorough investigation, but it has one problem: it cost about $750,000. Yikes. Osnos thinks that tech companies, who profit from the dissemination of news, should foot the bill for non-profit journalism. It’s a promising idea, but I fear that such funds may come with strings attached. It’s not like Apple is going to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to ProPublica to investigate Apple’s manufacturing practices.
  • Ashley Feinberg of Gizmodo India writes about Lake Natron in Tanzania. Its unique chemical make-up allows it to preserve animals in a petrified state. Neato!
  • Alan Taylor of The Atlantic writes about Bradley Garrett, a photographer who breaks into various locations to take pictures. You can see some of his work here.
  • In a recent interview with Decca Aitkenhead of The Guardian, much-hated R&B singer Chris Brown revealed that he lost his virginity at age 8 to a teenage girl. Or, to put it differently, Chris Brown was a victim of statutory rape, a fact that Doug Barry of Jezebel failed to recognize. Adding some much-needed reason to the discussion, William C. Anderson of Youngist weighed in, explaining how the reaction to this story perpetuates rape culture and the myth that men can’t be survivors of sexual abuse. Though I greatly appreciate Anderson’s piece, there’s one thing it doesn’t address. In the wake of this story, there have been many comments to the effect of, “This explains what he did to Rihanna” or “This is why he acts like such a dick.” I know that such armchair psychology is popular on the Internet, and usually, it’s harmless. But in this case, it’s not. It’s perpetuating the myth that survivors of sexual abuse must be damaged in some way. People are complicated creatures with many motivations for doing what they do, and survivors of sexual abuse are people too. Seeing all of their actions as corollaries of their abuse robs them of their personhood.

That’s all for now. See ya later.