Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, and Brave New Worlds

This is the first of three panel discussions at the Future Past: Disability, Eugenics, and Brave New Worlds symposium hosted by the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University. This panel covers the WHAT? giving an overview of the symposium’s focus: the history of eugenics movements in North America, and why they are disturbingly relevant today.

Presenters: Alexandra Minna Stern, Marcy Darnovsky, Glenn Sinclair, Nicola Fairbrother

If you are interested in watching more panels from this symposium, please visit:


YouTube Supporting and Promoting Captioning

Image of "What's New" section on the front page of YouTube.  It features a link for "Captioning & Subtitles"

Image of the "What's New" section from the front page of YouTube.com. Featured first is a link to "Captions and Subtitles". Below is a link to "Video Annotations".

On a recent visit to YouTube I was pleased to notice that the ability of the site to support captioning or subtitling is being promoted on the front page in a section titled “What’s New”.  Clicking on the link takes you to a page where you can learn about the captioning system in general; basically, how to attach captioning to videos that belong to you and how to turn captioning on for those videos that captioning has been provided for.

A link from this first page will take you to a page with details about adding and editing captions.  It is here that you find out YouTube will allow you to attach captions to your video in any format you would like; however, they only promise to fully support captions formatted as Continue reading

Here be dragons

If you could make a one hour video explaining science vs. pseudoscience to the masses, what would you say? What examples would you call on, and what tools would you want to give people to carry on into the rest of their lives? Here Be Dragons is a short introduction to critical thinking for the uninitiated by someone who hoped to offer just this. The problem, he says isn’t wacky products and services, it’s all the wacky reasons we buy into them. Closes off with a recommended reading list. There’s some questionable progress rhetoric happening here, and it’s certainly not how I would write my skeptic’s handbook, but it’s interesting to think of what you might want to do differently. Check out the website for more details. I’ve put in a request for a closed captioned version, I’ll keep you posted if I find one, but for now this is audio only.

In Theaters: Late Bloomer

Late Bloomer (Osoi Hito) chronicles the life of Sumida, a disabled man in Japan, who is played by disabled actor Masayiko Sumida. Midnight Eye provides an extensive and informative review. Here is a short excerpt:

“Late Bloomer is the story of Sumida-san, a severely handicapped man, and his downward spiral into hell. When we’re first introduced to him we find that despite his physical limitations – and contrary to cultural misconceptions about the handicap – he has all of the desires and personality traits of a physically normal man. Specifically: he loves to party, eat good food, and ‘rock out’ to his caregiver Take’s hardcore band. However, Sumida-san’s life begins falling apart when he develops a crush on his new occasional caregiver, Nobuko. Needless to say, the feelings are not reciprocated and when Nobuko starts spending her free time with Take, Sumida-san is driven mad with desire and frustration and things take a turn for the worse… Continue reading