SCOTUS singleshaming

In granting same-sex couples “equal dignity in the eyes of the law,” Justice Kennedy throws everyone under the “just married” limo. Dignity — the state of being worthy of honor or respect — is undeniably appealing. One reading of the majority opinion suggests, however, one isn’t dignified unless one can be married. But some of us can’t or won’t ever find that special someone. We might not have the luck or the timing or the inclination.

… singleness includes everyone at some point, even those who are married: love ends; spouses cheat; someone dies first. To be in a marriage, no matter how strong, is always a precarious condition, which means that the dignity you’ve been given can be taken away at any moment. [link]

Walk roughly an hour a day

The sweet spot for exercise benefits, however, came among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise, working out moderately, mostly by walking, for 450 minutes per week, or a little more than an hour per day. Those people were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who never exercised.

At that point, the benefits plateaued, the researchers found, but they never significantly declined. Those few individuals engaging in 10 times or more the recommended exercise dose gained about the same reduction in mortality risk as people who simply met the guidelines. They did not gain significantly more health bang for all of those additional hours spent sweating. But they also did not increase their risk of dying young. [link]

Campuses pretend to be more diverse than they are

The research team counted the racially identifiable student photographs and also gathered data on the actual make-up of the student bodies. The findings: Black students made up an average of 7.9 percent of students at the colleges studied, but 12.4 percent of those in viewbooks. … Looked at another way, he found that more than 75 percent of colleges appeared to overrepresent black students in viewbooks. [link]

Tales of his father

When I became 10 or 11 I understood that something was really wrong about the stories that my father had told me and I kind of confronted him about it and my father apologetically said to me, ‘Listen, when I wanted to tell you stories my first instinct would be to tell you stories from my childhood, but what kind of stories would I tell you? How the Nazis caught my kid sister and tortured her to death but she would still not tell where I was hiding? Or how we spent more than 600 days in a hole in the ground being afraid that we would be discovered and killed?’ [link]

Homer Plessy had only one black great grandparent

In 1895, when Justice Henry Billings Brown ruled that Louisiana’s law segregating train cars was constitutional, he didn’t want to get into the messy business of determining whether or not passenger Homer Plessy was actually black. Though only possessing “one eighth African blood,” with “the mixture of colored blood” not “discernible in him,” whether Plessy was black was a matter for the state to decide.

“[T]here is a difference of opinion in the different States, some holding that any visible admixture of black blood stamps the person as belonging to the colored race,” wrote Brown, “others that it depends upon the preponderance of blood; and still others that the predominance of white blood must only be in the proportion of three-fourths.” [link]