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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.

text that says Renay's Section

➝ I watched The Avengers the Monday after opening weekend. It was a 10PM showing and the place was still packed, and I was exhausted from working but it was still super fun. It was so exciting and the energy was high. I was not a comic book kid, but I've loved these movies, and The Avengers is my favorite one yet. I thought Mark Ruffalo was fantastic, I want a Black Widow movie where Natasha and Clint are bros, fight evil together and possibly make out a lot. I've been reading tons of meta on the movies since I watched it and I want to talk about it all but there's so much and it's all so good:

➝ Wish I was a kid again so I could have a legit use for this awesome homemade jetpack.

The Cast Of The West Wing Reunites For Wonderful Psa About Walking. I wish I could revisit The West Wing all over again for the first time. :(

Keanu Reeves is a vampfire.

Another article about how authors feel about fanfiction. One day these people will figure out that many fans (like myself) ultimately have run out of fucks to give about what authors think, except to maybe be mean and laugh at how little they get it and their insistence on erasure of another literary culture. ~feelings~ My favorite quote was one I've read before, by Charlie Stross:
"I am not a precious sparkly unicorn who is obsessed with the purity of his characters — rather, I am a glittery and avaricious dragon who is jealous of his steaming pile of gold."

Starbucks Secret Menu, which is interesting but also straight up false. If you walked up to me and ordered The Nutella, I would stare at you blankly and by like "GTFO" inside of my head while asking you patiently for the ingredients in order to court the 4.0 you might give your service via your receipt and avoid the terrible score that will make the manager write unhappy things on survey score sheets in illegible handwriting even though I have repeatedly asked for print since I can't read cursive. *paperbag* Anyway, if it's not on the menu, be nice to your barista, because we can give you decaf when you ask for super strong coffee if you're an entitled butthead. Trust me.

Chip Kidd: Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is was a an interesting video. I don't like some of the language he engages in, but oh well.

text that says Ana's Section

➝ Lots of interesting reading suggestions on this list of genderqueer books and sites.

➝ The F Word asks, Are Libraries a Feminist Issue? My answer would be yes, as is generally the fact that predominantly female job industries are often disproportionately affected during recessions.

➝ The Guardian reviews My Sister Rosalind Franklin by Jenifer Glynn. I really want to read this book. And I'll also use this opportunity to plug Brenda Maddox's excellent biography of Franklin.

Pixar: Are you "Brave" Enough to Just LET YOUR FILM BE ABOUT A GIRL?. I haven't been paying close attention to how Pixar has been marketing Brave and therefore I don't have a firm opinion on this, but I do like the Japanese trailer a lot more. I would really love to hear what others think.

➝ For Jodie: Seven Extreme Female Explores.

➝ According to Science Daily, a new study suggests that "both men and women see images of sexy women's bodies as objects, while they see sexy-looking men as people." As always with science news, I would love to read the original source, but I can't say I find this very surprising.

➝ Finally, this Lara Pulver quote about Irene Adler's sexual orientation has been making the rounds on tumblr. While I don't disagree with the general sentiment about fluidity and how human experiences don't always fit into neat categories, I have to say I'd be much more inclined to take this reading of her character seriously if people involved in the show didn't allude to sexual fluidity only when it's convenient. Irene says she's gay but falls in love with Sherlock? Well, sure. You can't neatly label everything! John + Sherlock, though? "They're NOT gay, can't you see they're not gay? See, they like women, look at John be attracted to women, NOT GAY, do you hear me silly fandom? NOT.GAY."

text that says Jodie's Section

➝ Let me get all personal straight off this month. I just happened to see a guest post at Kate Elliot's blog, from Tansy Rayner Roberts called 'Looking for Women in Ancient Rome'(found via @fozmeadows). She lists a few of the areas where women could expect to wield power in ancient roman society. Awesome.

Some background — I'm an ex-history student, whose work was heavily focused on pre-nineteenth century society. Specifically, I spent a lot of time learning about classical Roman and Greek society, early medieval society and 16th/ 17th century Europe. I gained a reasonable amount of knowledge about the women who lived in these societies and I'm aware of at least some of forms of power that were available to these women. I'm really keen on the revisionist, feminist worldview that has influenced recent historical study.

However, I never really like to talk about historical women and power, with any kind of positive emphasis, in feminist circles which contain people who haven't studied the areas of history I'm talking about. This sounds weird, right, because I'd be expressing a view of a historical period, which emerged from feminist study, to other feminists, but somehow I always feel like if I start talking about the limited power of the vestal virgins, or the control nuns had over their nunneries in 16/17th century Italy, I'm setting myself up to be accused of denying patriarchal oppression. I know some feminists think revisionism is all a kind of fantasy, or women's desperate and false attempt to place their historical counterparts on an equal footing with the men of the past and over the years knowing that view is out there has had a silencing effect on me.

So, I wanted to take a mo and thank Rayner Roberts for writing this post, Kate Elliot for writing her own post 'Looking for women in historically-based fantasy worlds' and Aliette de Bodard for her post 'Female protagonists in historical fantasy', which inspired this whole post chain.

And I wanted to point you all towards Bettany Hughes excellent short series called 'Divine Woman', which is all about real historical woman who gained power by being involved in major religions. I think if you're outside the UK, I think you can watch it on iTunes.

➝ Sarah Rees Brennan expresses her love for Robin Scherbatsky and her dislike of Ted Mosby in 'How I Met Your More Awesome Friend'. "YES!", to this whole post.

Sometimes I hate 'How I Met Your Mother' SO MUCH. Like the post says, 'sometimes all the people in it are just amazingly awful for the sake of comedy' and I know a lot of sitcoms push their characters into saying stupid and inconsistent things, but — *whine*. Anyway, then Robin appears, with her casual subversion of gender stereotypes and her offhand self-confidence. Suddenly everything is better, because she is aces.

➝ It now seems necessary to make sure that everyone has seen Robin's Canadian pop star video, 'Sandcastles in the Sand':

ENJOY! Ugh, the episode where this video is eventually revealed is the one where Robin's old boyfriend turns up and he is a bald, fat James Van der Beek. I want to watch it again, because it is so perfect! Then she and Barney kiss, which, yay, even though Barney is a determined example of a retro-sexist character.

➝ I know Renay was looking for cool, 'Bookish Podcasts', so I thought I'd share Books and Bicycles post on that subject.

➝ As fantasy fans know, the first stage to beating your enemy is naming your enemy. Thanks to Phoebe North, I am now confident I can win 'The War on Kipple'.

➝ Bookshelves of Doom pointed me towards a useful chart, full of facts about the Hugo in 'Everything You Need to Know About the Hugo Award'.

➝ Musings from the Sofa provides a quick, feminist fist pump moment in Just Like a Girl:
'Oh, and you know what? When I earn more and have a better career, I do that like a girl as well.'

Yeah you do.

Don't know what a Bat Cat is? Well, why don't you click on through and see?

➝ Finally, a cute and interesting infographic on e-books, titled 'E-book Nation'. (via [twitter.com profile] estellasrevenge)
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