Today's Mighty Oak


Alright, catching up on a bit of a backlog in addition to some current items, but let’s see what we have today. First up, a favorite web comic/series, Surviving the World is returning with classic reposts! Here’s where he ended it. Class Dismissed.

Science news you can use: don’t drink your whiskey ‘neat’:

The United Methodist Church is splitting over gay issues. As someone who has come out of that on the other side, hey welcome, it’s a bumpy ride. Sorry you have to do this, it’s painful.

This fight (is still going on all across the country) happened in September in Arizona. Their GOP governor said they don’t need to extend non-discrimination protections to gay people, and their supreme court said businesses can deny service to gay people. The fight continues, and is seemingly never ending.

In other disturbing news, the Interior Department cut sexual orientation from their internal discrimination policies as well.

I wrote earlier about my displeasure at Marvel (and Star Wars) for LGBT erasure. The upcoming film, The Eternals, will, for the first time, feature a gay superhero (and kiss). Yes, it’s progress. Should it have taken 11 years? No.

In other movie news, the trailer for the new Wes Anderson film looks amazing:

If you haven’t, check out Eastsiders on Netflix. It was an amazing series, and here’s an interview with the creator.

Stranger Things 4 gives us a present from Russia (with love).

In good news, a New York state park will be named for Marsha P. Johnson!

The Church of England said sex is only for straight, married people. Then they apologized for offending people, not actually changing their minds.

Firefighters who got angry comments when they showed their support for the queer community hit back in an awesome video.

NASA is adding a luxury hotel to the ISS. Spoiler, if you’re reading this, you will not be able to afford visiting.

An awesome video from a favorite creator that I’ve been mulling over: death and minimialism:

The Utah Governor pulled the campaign that put AMAZING art on condoms to prevent STIs. They’re all great, and it’s a shame he pulled them.

Speaking of, the UK has seen a massive decline in HIV infections due to PrEP. No surprise there.

The Catholic bishops in Texas have blasted their governor (who is Catholic)over his rule to not accept refugees. I’m highly, highly critical of the Catholic Church, so I have to give them points when it’s appropriate. Good for them.

Disney is announcing more details of their immersive Star Wars hotel for their resorts, and it looks amazing and I can’t wait to go!

Google pretty much hit it out of the park with their Superbowl ad:

And another great ad, this time from Microsoft:



Alright, let’s see what we have today. First up, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration, the entirety of Stonewall has been 3D scanned, preserving the record of it.

I’ve been running a lot recently while listening to audio books, and before this news broke (even though the biography was published last year), I had started the biography of Mr. Rogers (as read by Lavar Burton, so just amazing all around), but he basically came out as bisexual!

The third season of Santa Clarita Diet is about to drop:

Young activists received a letter of apology from the governor of Utah. A great story, and hopefully it leads to a great outcome!

It’s higher than I thought, but still lower than it should be: the CDC reports that 35 percent of at-risk gay and bi men are on PrEP.

This is amazing: A woman recited (as much as she could in her three minutes) the Patton Oswalt filibuster from Parks and Rec! She even got to say “please allow me to finish.” These are civic engagement goals.

Speaking of civic engagement, one of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination, Pete Buttigieg, has impressed me so much, he makes me want to register with the party instead of being an Independent. I don’t have the link handy, but his interview on the Today show, talking about reclaiming faith for the left, was inspirational.

The massacre in New Zealand is of course, horrific. The outpouring of love, and hakas, has been emotional to say the least. It gives me hope (and makes me sad we can’t do it here), that tighter gun restrictions really can be done so quickly.

Also in super sad news, a survivor of Parkland has taken her own life.

In amazing karma, an anti-vaxxer in Italy…got chicken pox. Which is much worse if you’re an adult.

And finally, in funny news from the EU, France’s EU minister has named her cat Brexit: it cries to leave, but then never does.



Alright, let’s see what we have today, first up, the new Google ear buds are going to change the world with live translations.

Stan Lee takes a stand against bigotry.

Fitz and the Tantrums’ new song is my new jam:

A touching tribute to Matthew Shepherd.

And speaking of, the politician who was saved by a married lesbian spoke at a convention dedicated to taking away her rights.

Oh hey, so did the president.  The first to do so.  He spoke at a convention that has discussed ways to pass legislation to put gay men to death.  Let that sink in.

Also in the horror show that is this administration, Jeff Sessions has rescinded protections for trans* people.

The president has also removed all mention of the queer community from the Health and Human Services department, meaning no mention of queer focused health initiatives.

And Jeff Sessions rescinded other protections for all members of the queer community.  These are things that affect people you love.  Be fucking pissed.

Okay, quick pallet cleanser.  The new trailer for Super Mario Odyssey takes the form of a Big Band musical number:

After the horrific shooting in Vegas, just a reminder that your thoughts and prayers do jack shit.  We need comprehensive gun control in this country, including a rescinding of the second amendment.

It boggles my mind that it takes something personally happening to someone for them to take action.  It is not that hard to actually think about other people and try to imagine a better world for them, as well as yourself.  But, predictably, when gun violence is close to a gun fanatic, suddenly, he realizes his mistake.  It infuriates me that it takes a tragedy like this for him to realize how wrong he is, but hey, at least he came around I guess.  I just won’t be patting him on the back for his sudden realization.

A Dutch news program takes on (with dark humor) the insanity that we live with here in the US:

Okay, the graphic designers have gotten a hold of the US map.

Speaking of graphic designers, a great SNL skit about fonts:

And if you can believe it, the man who created Papyrus, responds!

Stranger Things 2 (or the second season, not sure what to call it) looks amazing:

The president rolls back the mandate for birth control under health care, because he wants to drive up abortion rates, the cost of healhtcare and get rid of preventative medicine.  Just kidding, he’s a racist and since it is both something Obama put into place and a GOP wet-dream, it’s gone.

And I’ll just drop this here, the 10 things you need to know about Patriotism:

In good medical news, due to PrEP, there has been a huge drop in new HIV cases in England (where it was studied).

And finally, the amazing trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi:



If you follow along with gay men’s health topics as much as I do (so you probably don’t, and that’s okay), you may have heard about PrEP.  Basically, it’s a pill, that prevents someone from contracting HIV.  The science behind it is much more complicated, but it’s kind of like a vaccine.  Side note, there’s also PEP, which is taken if you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, to prevent yourself from seroconverting (acquiring the infection).

It has had its detractors, some saying it will lead to an increase of other STIs, although you’re still supposed to use condoms when on PrEP, since it does not protect against anything else, and new research has showed that it actually has brought down the rates of several STIs, by as much as 40%  To continue being on PrEP, you have to be tested every three months, and knowing your status is the best and most effective way of stopping the spread of these infections.

There’s a new ad campaign out about PrEP, and while overall I really like it, the first ‘episode’ of it seems to paint condom use in a bad light, but they correct that in the next videos.  It’s also refreshing to see some more explicit images, especially since it’s a drug mainly targeted to gay men, as we’re a high risk group (but also any couple in a serodiscordant relationship, meaning one has HIV and the other partner does not).

Episode 1:

 

Episode 2:

 

Episode 3:

 

Episode 4:

 

There’s more info available here, as well as some awesome behind the scenes discussions about the project and PrEP itself, and how it fits into a full, healthy regimen of safer sex.

All my best,

Mike

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