This Week in Links 06

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.

  • Dan Patrick (currently a state senator from the Houston area) is challenging Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the 2014 primary, and he's created a... fake BuzzFeed site, DewFeed, to tell the story of Dewhurst's failures as a conservative leader. With cat gifs. As Becca put it, "We live in a weird world." (Full disclosure: We hate both these guys.)
  • "I Hate Strong Female Characters" is a bold title, but this piece is on point: Nowadays the princesses all know kung fu, and yet they’re still the same princesses. They're still love interests, still the one girl in a team of five boys, and they’re all kind of the same. They march on screen, punch someone to show how they don’t take no shit, throw around a couple of one-liners or forcibly kiss someone because getting consent is for wimps, and then with ladylike discretion they back out of the narrative’s way.
  • If you haven't done your summer reading yet, Nick Offerman is here to help.  (He's really right about Shakespeare.)
  • The Huffington Post crushes the dreams of bookish spinsters everywhere  by pointing out that living in Pride & Prejudice-era England would actually kind of blow, what with the mortality rate and the lack of modern amenities and, you know, the oppression.
  • Gendering products for marketing purposes: fun and wholesome and not at all behind some of the dumbest, most enraging commercials you've ever seen. 
  • No, you're crying at this NPR story about the critical role libraries play in helping communities recover from natural disasters.  (NPR has teamed up with Pew to do a whole series of stories on libraries, and they've all been great.)
  • Danielle Steel can get itWhat this does is that it immediately puts my writing into the category as a hobby. As in, are you still taking piano lessons, doing macrame, have a parrot? ... Yes, for Heaven’s sake, I am still writing. It’s my work, my job, how my family eats and went to college.
  • This very NSFW story is about a person who came up with concepts for a line of Avengers-themed dildos. Well done, patriot.