Andrea G. in Switzerland snapped these pictures of an ad campaign for TerraSuisse natural agriculture. Their tagline translates as “TerraSuisse guarantees natural Swiss agriculture.” They might be useful for a discussion of doing gender (West and colleagues) or gender as performativity (Butler). As Andrea S. noted, it’s obvious instantly that the bird is supposed to be female and the chipmunk male by their pose alone.

Posed like a chick:

chick pose

Posed like a dude:

dude pose

They might, also, be a nice contrast to this one for which a gender is not immediately apparent (to me…but who knows in Switzerland):

Is there a gender here?

Thanks Andrea!

Worldmapper offers maps in which the actual land area is morphed to represent various disproportionalities across the globe. The website has over 300 maps! Thanks 73man for the tip!

I borrowed a few examples and pasted them in below. The first map is an actual land area map for reference.

Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide net exports of toys (in US$) that come from there. Net exports are exports minus imports. When imports are larger than exports the territory is not shown.

Territory size shows the proportion of worldwide net imports of toys (in US$) that are received there. Net imports are imports minus exports. When exports are larger than imports the territory is not shown.

Territory size shows the proportion of carbon dioxide emissions in 1980 that were directly from there.

Territory size shows the proportion of all territory level decreases in carbon dioxide emissions between 1980 and 2000, that occurred there.

Territory size shows the proportion of state military spending worldwide that was spent by that territory in 2002.

Territory size shows the proportion of species worldwide that became extinct between 1500 current era and 2004, that became extinct there.

Territory size shows the proportion of all people over 15 in the world living with diabetes who live there.

Territory size shows the proportion of all people aged 15-49 with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) worldwide, living there.

See more alternative maps here.


This graphic from the New York Times illustrates the different environmental costs of meat and vegetable production (click on image to enlarge):

The coining of the term “frankenfood” to refer to genetically-modified (GM)  food is an excellent example of the way in which words matter. As of today, a search for the word in google returns about 57,000 hits. It’s been quite an effective frame for the anti-GM food activists. Here are some examples of their work:

In her dissertation, Abby Kinchy discussed the way in which anti-GM food activists invented and used these frames to build support for their movement.  In reality, though, (1) we’ve been genetically modifying food by other means for centuries (through cultivation) and (2) there is little evidence (yet) that such foods are all that dangerous.

Sources, in order, Green Acres Farm, Monsterzine, and Democratic Underground.

Click here for a “world clock” (by http://www.poodwaddle.com/) that constantly updates the total number of, well, lots of stuff: births, abortions, deaths of different types, prisoners, marriages, divorces, extinct species, gallons of oil pumped, and computers, cars, and bicycles built. You can choose to display it by how much has happened in the last year, month, day, or even from a moment, like right… now.

Thanks, Mom!



YOUR DAD WAS NOT A METROSEXUAL. H didn’t do pilates. Moisturize. Or drink pink cocktails. Your Dad drank whisky cocktails. Made with Canadian Club. Served in a rocks glass. They tasted good. They were effortless. DAMN RIGHT YOUR DAD DRANK IT.

Toph sent in another Canadian Club ad that makes it clear that it’s awesome if your dad was a player:



Your Mom wasn’t your Dad’s first.  He went out.  He got two numbers in the same night.  He drank cocktails.  but they were whisky cocktails.  Made with Canadian Club.  Served in a rocks glass.  They tasted good.  They were effortless.

I’m going to use this to talk about the sexual double standard–try to imagine the same ad, but saying “Your dad wasn’t your mom’s first” with pictures of her with several different men. I don’t think the impression would be the same.

Thanks, Toph!

NEW: Outdoor version of “Your Dad had a van for a reason.”

“Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization” (2005) is useful for showing that non-procreational sex and sexual enjoyment are not “modern,” and that using and enjoying sexually explicit images isn’t new, either. I liked the first two episodes in the series, especially the second one, which shows how many explicit images there are in religious buildings and texts from the Middle Ages in Europe. Be warned, you need to watch these before showing them to be sure you can get away with it with your audience–for many students, even the artwork and religious drawings would probably lead to outrage today (which can be an interesting discussion in and of itself).

“Fenceline” addresses institutional racism, environmental pollution, and activism by looking at residents in a town in Louisiana and the divisions that arise between blacks and whites about the possibility of toxic waste contamination. It could be useful for discussing environmental issues or looking at why two groups in the same community could come to such different conclusions about what is going on.