Episode 47: Your Princess Is in Another Castle

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Ant-Man #3, Spider-Gwen #2, Ms. Marvel #13, Captain Marvel #33, Thor #6, Thor Annual #1, Ladykiller #3, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 and Sheltered #15 | First up, an FYI: Marvel's got 33 titles "ending" in May, among them two books we talk about this week, Captain Marvel and Thor. This week, Becca questions her qualifications as a feminist comics fan and rages about the ending of Sheltered. Allison gets on board for Gwen Stacy's talking Spider-Pig hallucination and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's kickass, take-charge roommate.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    A piece from The New Yorker, "The History of Loving to Read" by Joshua Rothman, inspires us to talk about our own reading histories and what it means to us to identify as "a reader." It's also a good time to revisit this Anne Helen Petersen piece for BuzzFeed on what it means to read like a teenager.
  • Privilege, Pressure, and Power: Princesses in Popular Culture
    In a segment we can't believe it took us almost two years to record, we talk about princesses in popular culture. Why are they so popular? What do they have in common? Who would win a rap battle between Belle and Cinderella? "What is Cinderella, exactly?" (Antti Aarne and Stith Thompson have an answer to that last one.) We also rec several of our favorites, including Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries (the books, not the Anne Hathaway movies, though The Princess Diaries movie is actually pretty good).
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording
    B: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

This Week in Links 47

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • The 9 Rules of Every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner Cartoon. The rules of this universe are incredibly detailed, specific, and NEAT.
  • The official list of approved catcallsI’M SURE YOU'RE BUSY. THIS WILL ONLY TAKE A SECOND AS YOU'RE BIKING PAST: I BET YOU HAVE AN INDOMITABLE SPIRIT.
  • Michael Bolton the singer as Michael Bolton the IT worker in Office Space. STILL a good joke.
  • American states, foods, and puns. It's a great day.
  • Friend of the show Kelly Jensen over at BookRiot has collected a ton of literary Final Jeopardy answers (and questions).
  • The New Yorker has a fascinating article about Chinese censorship of translated (often American, but not always) books: But for an editor like Zhang, who is not a Party member, there is no ideology and no absolute list of banned subjects. His censorship is defensive: rather than promoting an agenda or covering up some specific truth, he tries to avoid catching the eye of a higher authority.
  • Last Week Tonight asks the hard questions about Daylight Saving Time: how is this still a thing?
  • I'm normally philosophically opposed to lists of things you "ought" to do by a certain age, but this Jezebel list of 13 Things You Should Really Have In Your Closet By the Time You're 30 is right on: 4. Something That Works as a Vibrator in a Pinch An old dustbuster? An electric shoe polisher? Really loud old fan? You get the idea.
  • Spend some time with the #SofterActionHeroes hashtag.
  • Rembert Browne on Barack Obama for GrantlandPeople who will tell you that, ultimately, they’re happy they came up short. But people who will still openly admit it’s something they think about all the time.
  • BuzzFeed's "What's Your Gender?" quiz is maybe the best of all quizzes.
  • We lost Terry Pratchett this week, which was a big blow. You should read Neil Gaiman and Kieron Gillen on his legacy, and Jess Zimmerman on the everlasting moral power of Good OmensIn a lot of ways, I am at my core a golem of popular culture. I built my self-concept out of the books that shaped me, and even though it can now walk around on its own and eat dinner and fall in love and have opinions and all the things an organic creature does, if you rubbed out the magic words it would collapse into a pile of dusty tomes. 

Episode 46: Marvel's This Week in Ladies*

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Angela: Asgard's Assassin #4, Silk #1, Spider-Gwen #1, All-New Hawkeye #1, Rocket Raccoon #9, Saga #26 and Rat Queens #9 | When it rains comics, it pours. Angela gets a new costume that's less belt, more dumb; Hawkeye gets a new creative team that's less Fraction, more Canadian; and Rat Queens gets a new artist who is less pronounceable, more scribbly.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    "Are you prepositioning me?" Allison quizzes Becca and special guest Julia on book titles that are prepositional phrases.
  • Marvel's Agent Carter
    Friend of the show Julia joins us to discuss the best comic book show on television. We cover it all, from workplace sexism to sexy accents, from Forties fashion to Foley-enhanced fight scenes. The letter writing campaign for Season 2 begins now.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
    B: The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
    J: "The Golden Age" by Asteroid's Galaxy Tour
    Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

Thanks for listening and thanks to Julia M. for joining us on this week's episode!

*not actually affiliated with Marvel, please don't sue

This Week in Links 46

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

Episode 45: See You in Court

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Rocket Raccoon #8, Ms. Marvel #12, Captain Marvel #12, Thor #5, Bitch Planet #3 and She-Hulk #12 | Loki visits Ms. Marvel, Titania has a girl power moment, and...we still don't know who Thor is. Bitch Planet continues to deliver with a flashback issue featuring non-compliant Bitch Planet inmate Penny Rolle. You know you want to find out what inspired her tattoo. Last, but not least, She-Hulk goes out on a high note in an episode that satisfyingly wrapped up the long-arc story and featured everything that made this book one of our favorites: Jennifer's competence in her professional field (see bitchmedia for more on that); the professional and personal relationships between Jennifer and her team; and art that perfectly complements the story. Pour one out for She-Hulk, y'all.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This week, we talk about book awards and lists beyond the Youth Media Awards. Check these out for some great suggestions!
  • This Week in Real Ladies
    Inventors! | You guys. Inventors are so interesting.

    Becca talks about the inventor of her favorite board game, Monopoly (nerd), Elizabeth Magie Phillips. Phillips is having a moment right now, thanks to the recent publication of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon (read an article adapted from the book at The New York Times). The game was originally created to promote Georgist economics, which are explained in this Harper's article, and has a pretty fascinating history. Unsurprisingly, the woman who created it was pretty interesting, too.

    Allison talks about Margaret E. Knight, inventor of a number of things, including the machine that folds paper bags such that they are able to stand on their own. Knight not only put her ingenuity to use inventing that machine, but in defending her patent in a court of law. She was pretty badass. Learn more about Knight in Marvelous Mattie by Emily Arnold McCully.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 45

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

Episode 44: Not Wholly Evil

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Hawkeye #21, Bitch Planet #2, Saga #25, Angela #3, Ant-Man #2, Lumberjanes #10, Ms. Marvel #11, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2, Lady Killer #2, Sex Criminals #10 | Holy comic books, Batman! Lots of great stuff this week, but "Ant-Man #2" was definitely the standout. So, congratulations, Scott Lang, you're winning at something.
  • American Library Association's Youth Media Awards
    It's our second annual breakdown of the YMAs, announced at ALA's Midwinter Meeting on February 2. You can find all the winners here, but tune in for our discussion of the winners, featuring the off-putting appearance of hair in mixed media artwork; the business end of a shark; and the loving (syn. affectionate, considerate, generous) treatment of language, lists, and oddballs. You should also check out Caldecott Medal Winner Dan Santat's tumblr.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    B: "Amira & Sam"
    A: "Justified," Season 6, featuring Sam Elliott
    Both: Sam Elliott generally and in Roadhouse, specifically

This Week in Links 44

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • You maybe heard about the Super Bowl thing that happened this week, and the controversy over whether footballs were properly inflated, a controversy that led to Tom Brady and a lot of supposedly serious sport casters saying the word "balls" a lot. Jimmy Kimmel brings us the truth about the matter. Becca is in raptures about this video.
  • Mikki Kendall has kicked off a project to crowdsource historic photos of people of color. The results already in showcase a lot of gorgeous, stylish people.
  • The New Yorker has a great profile of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the guy behind the Tony-winning musical In the Heights (and the musical version of Bring It On, which we both saw -- we here at TWiL HQ are big fans of Miranda). He's got a new musical about Alexander Hamilton: treasury secretary, dueler, America's first rapper. It sounds amazing. Once you're done with the profile, go watch him perform a song from it for the ObamasMiranda saw Hamilton’s relentlessness, brilliance, linguistic dexterity, and self-destructive stubbornness through his own idiosyncratic lens. It was, he thought, a hip-hop story, an immigrant’s story. 
  • The Daily Dot ran an interesting profile of Kate McKean, functionally "the Internet's literary agent," about her work shepherding blogs into books.
  • Tess Gerritsen's blog post on a screenplay she sold many years ago -- a screenplay that looks a lot like Gravity -- and the lawsuit she's pursuing against Warner Bros. regarding it -- is really interesting. There's a lot going on here.
  • This lady has read Goodnight Moon a bunch of times, and she has some concerns: This bedroom is enormous. There is no one, I think, who has not noticed this. As someone who has lived in apartments only slightly larger than “a little toy house,” it’s mildly vexing that this bedroom is the size of a banquet hall in Downton Abbey.
  • A male BuzzFeed writer wore makeup every day for five days, and his post about his experience, and others' reactions, is actually really thoughtful and interesting.
  • A professional recommends some bourbon and Girl Scout cookie pairings. Goddamn, is being an adult great.
  • saved by the bell hooks. oh tumblrs that combine pop culture with serious academic discourse, I will love you always. (Also, see this celebration of baby feminist Jessie Spano.)
  • Two links about periods: the Guardian on why the taboo about talking about menstruation hurts us all, and VICE on the difficulties homeless women face.
  • The sixth and final season of Justified has started. Sam Elliott's playing a bad guy this season (dreams really do come true!), and this Vulture interview with him about Justified, facial hair, kids these days, his farm, etc. is really something: We’re all a bunch of lazy bastards. We’re too lazy to shave anymore. I see all these people with 12 o’clock shadows or whatever they’re supposed to be. They’re on every TV show, and now it’s in commercials as well. It’s like, Jesus Christ! I was one of the first guys who grew hair on his face in the old days. There’s a lot of weird shit going on out there these days that I don’t understand. 
  • Nobody Lives Here

Episode 43: Word Selfies

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Rat Queens Special #1, Rocket Raccoon #7 and Captain Marvel #11 | Rat Queens finally returns with a special issue featuring Braga, of the Peaches, a rival gang. This book gives us Braga's backstory as the son of an Orc chieftain and it is so good. We'll be glad to be back with the Rat Queens themselves in next month's issue, but this was a treat.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This week in the book report, we talk about memoirs, or, as this awesome tweet from fictitious publisher Hachette Harper calls them "word selfies." (Thus our episode title.) We have a lot of thoughts on what differentiates a memoir from an autobiography and other, looser genres like "comedy self-help" and "year-long blog project." And for more on the drama with Dallas' restaurant critic, read the Washington Post and Esquire. You can find a list of the books we discuss on our new Goodreads page, which we'll eventually go back and update with books discussed on our past episodes. Friend us!
  • Wild, the Oscars, and More (lots more)
    We start out with a discussion of Wild, a powerful adaptation of Cheryl Strayed's book of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon, then move on to a conversation about this year's disappointing Oscar nominations. Like most people, we'd like to see a little more (lots more) diversity on screen and on the red carpet. Dan Kois at Slate has a good piece about what Wild's oversight means this year.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends
    A: Trade Me by Courtney Milan
    B: The Extra Hot Great podcast, in particular this mini-episode about cartoon characters the panelists would sleep with and Sara D. Bunting's take on Framework at the 48:30 mark here.

This Week in Links 43

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

guest post at Stacked

We're super excited to have a guest post over at Stacked Books today! We've written a comics primer (aptly called Getting Started With Comics), designed to help newbies navigate the complicated world of the funny pages. We talk about our favorite comics (many of which we've talked about on the show), along with guides for where to start in each title, and where to find them.

So check it out! And big thanks to Kelly and Kimberly for having us!

Episode 42: The Answer

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • Bitch, Please.
    Our first ever correction segment! We incorrectly described Turkish delight as a chocolate candy, when, in fact, it's more like a gumdrop. Thanks to listener Lizzie, who not only corrected us, but sent us some Turkish delight to taste test on air. Reviews are mixed.
  • This Week in Comics
    Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #4, Angela: Asgard's Assassin #2, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, Ant-Man #1 and Lady Killer #1 | Lots of debuts this week! Ant-Man gets his own series in the lead up to the movie starring Paul Rudd at his hotness peak (I mean, we think...if it goes up from here, I'm not sure I can take it); Ryan North brings his alt text gag to Unbeatable Squirrel Girl; and homemaker Josie Schuller tries to balance work and family in Lady Killer.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This week, we talk about books you "should" read. Basically, we call bullshit on the whole idea. But, if you're into it, here's a definitive list of "1000 Novels Everyone Must Read." An alternative we recommend is the Book Riot Read Harder challenge.
  • All in the Family Ties
    In our main segment this week, we talk about the fictional families we wouldn't mind fighting with at the holidays, including the Belchers, Taylors, Mars and Gilmores.
  • This Week in Ladies Recommends

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 42

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • Let's start by taking a look back at 2014. At Grantland, Rembert Browne has created a bracket to determine who or what won 2014, which is a good look back at a shitshow of a year. (I had a good year personally, as did many people! But I think we can all agree that news wise, this year was bullshit.)
  • We lost Stuart Scott yesterday, so so far, 2015: you are also pretty bullshit. Scott pioneered most of the things you might actually like about sports journalism, and was, from all accounts, a kind, warm, upstanding man. Rich Eisen's beautiful tribute to him on the NFL Network is a three-hanky video.
  • This io9 piece gets at a lot of the problems with the "smartest guy in the room" trope we're overdoing right now: His contempt for less intelligent people, mixed with adorable social awkwardness, and his magic ability to have the right answer at every turn, have become rote. (And follow that up, at the suggestion of friend of the show Madhuri Shekar, with the very NSFW Key & Peele sketch "Sex Detective.")
  • This roundup of Stephen Colbert nerding out about Tolkien will give you both heart and pants feelings. 
  • Fellow olds, did the youths start using a lot of words you're not sure of the meaning/proper usage of? Well, sure, Vox seems like a good place to figure that out, I guess.
  • There's a music video for "Harlem Hopscotch," a song from an album of Maya Angelou poems set to music, and it features a lot of really great dancing.
  • BookRiot suggests some picture books that could be turned into movies (apparently we're soon to be treated to a live action Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day). These suggestions are pretty on point, really.
  • Laurie Penny has a raw, brave piece at the New Statesman on nerd entitlement, and it's a tough read, especially if she's talking about your adolescent experience, but it's great stuff: This is why Silicon Valley is fucked up. Because it's built and run by some of the most privileged people in the world who are convinced that they are among the least. People whose received trauma makes them disinclined to listen to pleas from people whose trauma was compounded by structural oppression. 
  • Giant armadillos from Cenozoic Era helped the avocado evolve into the delicious food we know it as today, and that's pretty wonderful, really. So long, giant armadillos, and thanks for the guacamole.
  • That Was The Easy Part.

Episode 41: The Second Annual Twillies

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Lumberjanes #9, She-Hulk #11, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #3, Captain Marvel #10 and Ms. Marvel #10 | This week, we've got ghost stories, mind control, and cross-generational misunderstanding. Y'know: the usual. We also give a sneak preview of what we're looking forward to in 2015, including Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Ant-Man and Lady Killer.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    We follow up on our Episode 18 Book Report about our most anticipated reads of 2014. Obviously, we weren't as eager to read some of these as we thought at the time.
  • The Year in Review
    • 2014 Resolutions
      There's always next year.
    • 2014 Twillie Awards
      We bestow awards upon the hottest bad guys on tv; the media that made us cry; writers who did the right thing; and the book you should name your dog after.
    • 2015 Resolutions
      Allison resolves to read The Stand by Stephen King and to watch the last three seasons of Friday Night Lights. Becca resolves to read a lot of things, expand her movie-viewing horizons, and watch more sports. Go team!
    • Other Best of 2014 Lists

Thanks for listening and Happy New Year!

This Week in Links 41

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

Episode 40: Non-Compliant

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Rocket Raccoon #6, Sex Criminals #9, Angela: Asgard's Assassin #1 and Bitch Planet #1 | We talk two debuts from TWiL favorites this week; Kieron Gillen goes back to Asgard with Angela and Kelly Sue DeConnick goes where no man has gone before with Bitch Planet. Gillen does some pretty solid table setting in Angela, but KSD sets the table and then flips that shit. Damn, girl. Please read Bitch Planet. You will not regret it. You will also not regret listening to our interview with Kelly Sue in episode 21, in which she talks about Bitch Planet.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Unusual Historicals | This week we talk about historical fiction with unusual settings, both in place and time, and unusual characters. Some of our favorites feature suffragettes (The Firebrand and The Suffragette Scandal), assassins (Grave Mercy), and a young girl named Shirley Temple Wong (In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson). We also talk about the horror of historical fiction set in decades during which we were alive. If you're looking for further evidence of the Becca-Allison mind-meld, listen to this segment. We're clearly on the same page. (See what I did there? PAGE. BOOK REPORT. You like it.)
  • Real Ladies: Spies
    Continuing the mind-meld theme, we both chose lady spies of the Civil War to discuss in this episode. Elizabeth "Crazy Bet" Van Lew, a Richmond landowner, spent years pretending to be mentally unstable so that her Confederate neighbors would underestimate her. As a result, she was given access to places from which she would otherwise have been barred, including a Union POW camp, Libby Prison. Sarah Emma Edmonds had been living as Frank Thompson for years before the war broke out, but used her disguise to her advantage to enlist in the Union Army as soon as possible. In addition to completing several missions as a spy in enemy territory, Edmonds was a battlefield nurse and mailman. To learn more about these non-compliant ladies, check out picture book biography Nurse, Soldier, Spy by Marissa Moss (Edmonds) and listen to this episode of The Memory Palace (Van Lew).
  • This Week in Shit You Should Be Listening To
    "Wine Lips" by Lydia Lovelace (h/t NPR Music's Favorite Songs of 2014)

This Week in Links 40

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • Why Should Anyone "Respect" the Law? Max Read at Gawker gets at something I'm thinking about a lot these days: How can you ask people to respect the law when the law does not respect them? How can you remind them of the importance of the process when Missouri and New York are reminding us the process is hopelessly broken?
  • We already knew Terry Crews was a gift unto us, but he is on fucking point about the toxicity of masculinity.
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Ferguson and American history.
  • At STFU, Parents, Blair Koenig has a really thoughtful piece on social media in the face of tragedy: Social media is still pretty new to us. We don’t always have the language to describe how we feel about a tragedy, or a monumentally important decision made by a judge or jury, but social media compels people to talk. It prompts us to point to the elephant in the room and comment on it.
  • Maya Dusenberry has a piece up on Feministing about the Rolling Stone article about the rape crisis at the University of Virginia, the security fact checking brings to reporters AND sources, and the limits of the kinds of truth journalism can tell. It's long, and you should read the entire thing.
  • Liz Burns on princess shamingSo the first thing that princess culture does is it gives a girl a world where she, as a female, takes center stage. She is the main character, the lead, with the men providing supporting roles. 
  • 12 Female Characters Who Keep Shaving Despite Constant Peril
  • You've probably already read the Vulture interview with Chris Rock, but if you haven't, take the time to do so: The question is, you know, my kids are smart, educated, beautiful, polite children. There have been smart, educated, beautiful, polite black children for hundreds of years. The advantage that my children have is that my children are encountering the nicest white people that America has ever produced. Let’s hope America keeps producing nicer white people.
  • Read Jacqueline Woodson on the watermelon joke at the National Book Awards.
  • It turns out, lots of what we know about wolf packs -- and by extension, dogs -- comes from studying wolves in captivity, who behave very differently from wolves in the wild.
  • One of the damn few bright spots in the news lately has been the truly fantastic work being done by the Ferguson Public Library, and the generosity they've received in return. They've gotten huge donations of money and books that enable them to provide much needed services to their community: "When there's a need, we try to find a way to meet it. I have a very broad definition of librarianship." (Director Scott Bonner had better be just fucking showered in professional awards this year.)
  • Let's close it out on a high note: A Brief History of Star Wars and "Jizz."

Episode 39: Witchjack and Wanderer

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies!

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Lumberjanes #8, Thor #2, Batgirl #36, Sheltered #13 and Ody-C #1 | The Lumberjanes and the power of friendship save the day in the wrap up of their second story arc, Thor punches out Frost Giants without revealing her identity, and Batgirl...fights crime with anime? I don't know. Issue #36 was leaps and bounds better than #35, but still not great. Sheltered barrels toward its inevitably bloody conclusion with an interesting and troubling look at the bureaucracy of law enforcement. Ody-C is the new genderbent, Greek mythology based comic from Hawkeye and Sex Criminals writer Matt Fraction. It was tl;dr for Becca, but that doesn't stop us from discussing the utter toolishness of Odysseus at length.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    Audiobooks | We discuss where and why we listen to audiobooks and share with you some of our favorite books and narrators. Looking for more recs? Check out the Audio Publishers Association annual awards and the ALA Odyssey Award.
  • Food in Popular Culture
    This week, we talk about food in popular culture. Allison talks about Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Hunger Games, and The Bell Jar, while Becca recommends Bob's Burgers and Chef, and her (and everyone else's) new obsession, MasterChef Junior. Grab a snack, you might need it if our discussions of food poisoning and food fetishism don't totally turn you off first. (You can watch the scene we discuss from Tampopo right here, but seriously: we warned you.)

Thanks for listening!

This Week in Links 39

Since we record a new show every two weeks, on off weeks we do a link roundup of things we've read and want to share. Here's what's on tap this week:

  • It's the 25th anniversary of Steel Magnolias. Mental Floss has a collection of interesting facts about the movie (#20 is so, so touching), and Entertainment Weekly looks at some of its early reviews, including, my favorite, from People's review: There is literally not one strong male figure in the movie.

  • If you have to read a list of recommended books for your A/S/L, make it Lisa Simpson's 25 Books Every Woman Should Read.

  • Captain Awkward -- proprietor of one of the very best advice columns on Earth -- has a gorgeous piece for Medium on believing Christa McAuliffe was her birth motherHow tempting it is to think there is some force, guiding us irrevocably toward the people or places that will make us happy. How close we come to never existing at all.

  • You've probably seem something about the Computer Engineer Barbie fracas that's happening this week, but you should read Pamie's original post that kicked it off.

  • If you think a New York Times story about computer passwords isn't going to make you emotional, well, guess again.

  • People has crowned Chris Hemsworth the Sexiest Man Alive. Mental Floss points out that this is, linguistically, an odd construction. And over at The Toast, national treasure Mallory Ortberg lifts the curtain on the ceremony involved: "Why can’t he just…retire, or go away, or…why does the new Sexiest Man Alive have to kill the old one at all?"

  • TIME wanted to ban the word "feminism" for 2015, which is obviously a problem, but really, their whole list of suggested words to ban was a problem: it was very heavy on words used by/originating with women of color. Not cool, TIME, not cool at all.

  • #feministprincessbride"Ethics in game journalism"? I do not believe that phrase means what you think it means.

  • Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Nail 11 Celebrity Impersonations in a Minute. (Though, hmm, I would say he DOES eleven in under a minute, and nails maybe eight.)

  • I Nearly Died. So What?

  • Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bill CosbyIt is hard to believe that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist because the belief doesn't just indict Cosby, it indicts us. It damns us for drawing intimate conclusions about people based on pudding-pop commercials and popular TV shows. It destroys our ability to lean on icons for our morality. And it forces us back into a world where seemingly good men do unspeakably evil things, and this is just the chaos of human history.

  • You've probably seen the photos of Solange Knowles' wedding, but you should also see the dance she and her son performed at her reception.

Episode 38: I Was a Teenage Murdernerd

Hello and welcome to This Week in Ladies! Our episode title this week is stolen straight from a joke Matt Fraction made on Twitter

Here's what we've got on tap for you this week:

  • This Week in Comics
    Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #2, She-Hulk #10, Rocket Raccoon #5, Captain Marvel #9 | Hawkeye vs. Deadpool shows us the softer side of Deadpool, but only for a minute; our lengthy She-Hulk mourning period continues; Skottie Young gives us his version of a functionally wordless comic; and Captain Marvel underwhelms.
  • This Week in the Book Report
    This week we talk about web content that makes the leap to print. Becca shares her taxonomy of blogs/websites that are most likely to get book deals, with additions by Allison, and we both share some of our favorite examples. They include Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, featuring this amazing essay that will stay with you forever (No, really.); Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit; and Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown.
  • Television Shows Based on Comic Books
    This season has seen a deluge of comic book adaptations on television. We restrict our conversation to shows based on Marvel and DC comics airing on network television--Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Constantine, Gotham, and The Flash. Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction sums up Gotham pretty succinctly on his Twitter feed here, here, and here. As for the others, tune in to find out just what we think of voice-overs, love interests, and cockroaches. Check out Wikipedia to find out what TV adaptations DC and Marvel have in the pipeline.

Thanks for listening!