This Week in Links 17

 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.

  • Here are two lists of women poised to do great things in 2014: one from TIME and one from Flavorwire. I appreciate that the Flavorwire story starts thusly: Look: I don’t like writing these lists either. I long for the day in which I will no longer have to write them, when women will just be the people participating in the culture as full human beings like everyone else, because the culture will have quit giving disproportionate airtime to the other gender.
  • In this video, three Irish dudes make the Friends theme song a poignant and beautiful reflection on the way that adulthood can fail to live up to our expectations. You know, just like the show.
  • Over at Code Switch, Gene Demby takes a look at how race influences superheroes, and on the X-Men as allegories for minorities. There's a lot of great stuff here, and all the images that go with this are fascinating (the Beyonce-Emma Frost comparison is amazing.)
  • Here's an "um, actually" about how to pronounce Smaug. Feel free to deploy this knowledge at parties.
  • In more "words are neat!" news, researchers are studying how people on Twitter shorten words, and how those shortenings become standard and spread.
  • Your cat thinks you are a cat. A giant, giant cat. (Related: If you live in LA, you can go see a cat-themed art show, which sounds A+.)
  • Tasbeeh Herwees wrote a gorgeous piece for The Toast about her name. The post is tagged "no you're crying" and that is totally on point.
  • Amanda Hess wrote a long, difficult, important piece on harassment of women online, and the way social media companies and law enforcement handle the issue: All of these online offenses are enough to make a woman want to click away from Twitter, shut her laptop, and power down her phone. Sometimes, we do withdraw: Pew found that from 2000 to 2005, the percentage of Internet users who participate in online chats and discussion groups dropped from 28 percent to 17 percent, “entirely because of women’s fall off in participation.” But for many women, steering clear of the Internet isn’t an option. We use our devices to find supportive communities, make a living, and construct safety nets. For a woman like me, who lives alone, the Internet isn’t a fun diversion—it is a necessary resource for work and interfacing with friends, family, and, sometimes, law enforcement officers in an effort to feel safer from both online and offline violence.
  • Since it's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the U.S., we'll close with "Letter From a Birmingham Jail."