Q:Have you and Hank ever considered doing the Amazing Race?
Hank and I think television is cool, but we don’t really want to be on it, especially not in a sustained way. This is not in any way a dig at people who like being on TV. Just a personal preference thing. We like the Internet, where we control the stuff we make and get to decide how it gets sent out into the world.
Also I find it difficult to stand on a table, so I don’t think I’d really be a good Amazing Race candidate.
Sanfilippo Syndrome is incredibly rare and occurs in around 1 in every 70,000 births. As Roger explains in the video above, the disease affects development and then leads to neurological deterioration, including the loss of the ability to feed yourself, to speak, and to walk. Life expectancy for kids with Sanfilippo is anywhere between 10 and 20 years old and at the moment there isn’t a cure or effective course of treatment for the syndrome.
Blair’s family is raising money for the Sanfilippo Research Foundation and 282 people have already raised over $60,000. You can donate towards the $100,000 target here on Blair’s GoFundMe page.
Project for Awesome Nerdfighter Music Compilation!
Hey nerdfighters. As you know, the Project for Awesome is coming up (on December 17th!) and we at vlogbrothers headquarters are working very hard to make sure this year’s P4A is a great one.
This year, we would like to include a new kind of perk, kind of like the Nerdfighter Art perk, but with music!
We are looking for any and all songs by nerdfighters, about nerdfighteria. These songs will be collected and formatted into a compilation album (or compilation albumS, depending on how many submissions come in) that will be available for purchase as a downloadable perk as part of the Project for Awesome Indiegogo campaign. Money will be raised for charity. People will be able to acquire lots of great nerdfighter music. Super cool stuff.
Read on for submission guidelines and the like.
- All songs must be either about nerdfighteria, about any/all of John’s books, or covers of Hank’s songs.
- Artist name & song title must be included with your submission. You may also include a link to your music on the web (bandcamp, itunes, etc), and any other text about the song you like.
- Songs must be submitted in as high a quality as possible; lossless files (AIFF, WAV) are preferred.
- Submit all songs via wetransfer to firstname.lastname@example.org with “P4A MUSIC” included somewhere in the message.
- Submissions will be accepted until November 1st, 2014.
- Multiple submissions are very much allowed, but please send them in one at a time!
- We will reach out to those whose songs are selected for the compilation to confirm their inclusion no later than December 1st.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com. We’re very excited to listen to all the lovely things you make!
- Valerie & Michael
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
W.B. Yeats, “The Second Coming.”
I find myself thinking about Yeats’ “rough beast” a lot of late. Yeats thought a shared apocalypse was nigh. But it seems to the beast comes for us one at a time.
Question Tuesday: In which I discuss the purpose of metaphors, cheesy jokes, slaying, the hypothesized butt brains of dinosaurs, the etymology of the word orange, my deleted cameo in The Fault in Our Stars, and my favorite Harry Potter book.
Q:Having had the experience you did in Ethiopia, what would you say to Americans (or other folks in Western countries, I don't know if this is an America-specific problem) who are anti-vaccine?
Vaccines have saved literally billions of human lives.
I love Sesame Street videos too much.
Unpopular opinion: The best show in the history of television is not I Love Lucy or Mad Men or The Sopranos or Breaking Bad or Seinfeld.
The best show in the history of television is Sesame Street.
Q:Hello! I know this isn't the loveliest of questions, but in your UN child morality post you said that one of the preventable diseases that 1/3 of children die from is diarrhea. I know diarrhea is disgusting and unpleasant and all, but how do you die from it?
You die from diarrhea because of dehydration. Sometimes kids have diarrhea that requires IV hydration, for instance, and there’s very little of that available in rural areas in the developing world. There are much better rehydration solutions than there used to be, but the only good solution is 1. better sanitation so toilets don’t flow into water that gets used for drinking, and 2. clean water.
When he was 2, my son had a diarrhea illness (campylobacter) that in the developing world could’ve proven fatal, but he was fine because he lives in the U.S. and we can go to CVS and buy Pedialyte, and if we couldn’t keep him hydrated, we would’ve taken him to the hospital. Bugs that cause childhood diarrhea are almost never fatal in the U.S., but more than half a million kids under five are going to die of diarrheal illnesses for want of clean waters, good toilets, and antibiotics that cost 20 cents per dose.
It’s infuriating. I saw a boy in Ethiopia who was extremely sick and possibly dying because of diarrhea, and it’s just so needless. He probably had rotavirus, and there’s a rotavirus vaccine, but it costs $2.50, which means many communities can’t provide it.
I am so angry about that boy’s needless suffering. I am so outraged about the needless deaths of millions of children every year. The progress in health outcomes in Ethiopia and many other countries in the developing world over the last 20 years is astounding. It’s unprecedented in human history. But we need to invest much more to get people in the developing world the basic resources they need to afford the 20-cent antibiotics and the $2.50 vaccines.
Q:you had one non-american/white, non-stick thin character and you get a white,blonde stick thin actress to play her
1. I have never written a central female character who was described as thin other than Lindsey Lee Wells. Also, Margo and Q are two of the only white-identified people I’ve written, so I don’t really know how to respond to that part of your statement.
2. I do not cast the movie adaptations of my books. I am a novelist, not a casting director. I did not choose who would play Margo anymore than I choose where the movie will be filmed or what the budget or soundtrack will be.
3. That said, I think Cara will do a wonderful job as Margo. As I’ve learned in the past few hours, a lot of people who don’t know Cara have extremely strong opinions about her as a person, which is weird, because they don’t know her. They have a lot of opinions about her body, too, especially its supposed inadequacies. Cara is living, on a much larger stage, the Margo Roth Spiegelman experience: She receives massive amounts of attention but she’s more a mirror than a window. The way people respond to her seems to be a reflection of one’s own experience and worldview more than it has anything to do with the actual person Cara is. I think this is part of why Cara’s audition was so powerful: Her understanding of Margo is deep and profound and about a lot more than the shape of her body.
I’ve been so friggin busy all day shooting my short film that I didn’t even get a chance to post this video on Tumblr yet. It’s pretty much everywhere else at this point, but what the hey. I’ll post it here, too, in case some of you tumblrers haven’t seen it yet.
Now my face is wet.
I somehow wouldn’t expect anything less epic from Craig…and yet still…I am astounded…and SO HAPPY.
EPIC. (I kind of knew this was going to happen, but I had no idea it would be so epic.)
UN Report on Childhood Mortality
The UN’s report on childhood mortality was published today, which is the kind of event I really nerd out about.
- 200,000 fewer children died in 2013 than in 2012.
- The worldwide mortality rate among children under 5 has fallen by nearly half since 1990.
- Many countries (including Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Liberia) have cut under 5 mortality by more than TWO THIRDS since 1990.
- 19,000 children under five died every day of 2013. Most of them continue to die from preventable or treatable diseases.
- More than a third of child deaths result from three preventable and treatable diseases: pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.
- We will likely miss the global development goal of cutting child mortality by two thirds by 2015 and need to continue to speed the rate of decline.
- Between 1990 and 2013, 223,000,000 children died. Most of those deaths were preventable.
Under the Influence?
We’re starting to review responses to Episode 11 - Peggy & Garry Noland - Under the Influence, so if you’d like to be considered for an upcoming highlights video, submit this week!
And if you’ve started work on a rug for Episode 10 - Fritz Haeg - Make a Rug, keep on going! Fritz would like to give you a guys a WHOLE YEAR before we consider making a highlights video. So even if you thought you were done, wait until you wear through some more t-shirts and add to it throughout the year.
Always remember that there are no hard and fast due dates for these. We routinely do highlights videos so we can share with everyone the good work you’ve done, but we’ll continue to reblog responses as they come in, and will consider making additional highlights videos for a particular assignment once enough time has passed.