Inside Gaysi: the blog transforming India’s queer scene


Gay sex is against the law in India, but an online zine that also hosts events for LGBTQI people has become a pioneering force for change

The latest issue of the Gaysi zine sports a simple but striking cover in dark colours: a scattered collage of human forms, with the words “All That We Want” across it. Thumb through the magazine and you will find pieces of fiction, photo-essays, personal narratives, illustrations and how-to guides on the theme of sexual desire, from A Quick Guide to Scissoring to evocative verse on Love in the Age of Surveillance.

It is the sort of content that would not seem out of place in a gay zine published in Europe or the US, but in India it is positively subversive – and the first of its kind.

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 11:56PM

from Charukesi Ramadurai

Urvashi Batalia: ‘Queer and trans women are essential to Indian feminism’


Poverty, class, and marginalisation are issues at the heart of feminism – struggles transgender women face every day

Earlier this month, I spoke at University College London about Mona Ahmed, a trans woman, who lives in a graveyard in the heart of Delhi, a city where I have lived for most of my life. The story addressed issues of identity, citizenship, feminism, marginality and more.

As I spoke, I wondered: how did I, a card-carrying Indian feminist, come to be talking about a trans woman in today’s Delhi? And who were these people who had come to listen?

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 09:56PM

from Urvashi Butalia

This Is What Heat Stroke Does To Your Body

Temperatures were in the 100s when Vanessa Dunn, a 29-year-old Los Angeles-based makeup artist, was driving back home to California from Virginia last summer. After hours on the road and drinking limited water, she was struck by a severe case of dehydration and heat stroke.

”I wasn’t drinking enough water because I didn’t want to stop to pee,” she says. When she finally pulled over for the night she felt light-headed, and she couldn’t keep food down when she tried to eat. She even threw up blood.

”I was in incredible pain, and dizzy,” she says. “[I went] to the ER, turned out there was blood because my throat was so dry.”

Her story is not unusual. In 2014, more than 13,000 people visited the emergency room because of a heat-related illness such as heat stroke, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. And on average, about 675 people die in the U.S. every year from heat-related illnesses.

Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness. It’s less common than other issues such as heat exhaustion (characterized by heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale or clammy skin, fainting, a fast or weak pulse, and nausea or vomiting) or heat syncope (fainting). But heat stroke can happen quickly, to anyone, and can result in irreversible damage or death.

Heat stroke is an extreme elevation of your body temperature that occurs when your body stops being able to regulate itself, according to Dr. James Wantuck, chief medical officer at PlushCare, an online urgent care provider. “If a fever is like an infection turning up your body’s thermostat, heat stroke is like a broken air conditioner,” he says.

Your body does an expert job of keeping its temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit under normal circumstances. When you’re in a hot environment, your body will regulate its temperature by “radiating heat into the air, driving your brain to find a cooler environment, and sweating to cause evaporation and cooling,” Wantuck says.

But, he adds, “radiating heat and finding cooler air don’t work when the temperature is higher than your body temperature, and sweating doesn’t work when the humidity is higher than about 75 percent — conditions that happen frequently in the summertime.”

That inability to cool down can cause a host of physiological events to occur. They include a raised heart rate, as the heart beats faster to eliminate heat in the body more quickly; inflammation resulting from heat-related cell damage; and the production of “heat-shock” proteins, which try to protect your cells from heat damage.

If cell damage does occur, it can affect enzyme function.

“Without normal enzyme function, your body’s ability to make energy becomes broken, leading to effects similar to cyanide poisoning [such as] multi-organ failure,” Wantuck says. “Your nervous system is the most sensitive to high heat, which is why confusion, incoordination and loss of consciousness are common symptoms of heat stroke.”

For anyone who you are worried may have heat stroke, getting them cooled and to an emergency room are the first priorities.
Dr. James Wantuck, chief medical officer at PlushCare

If you’re out in the sun or exercising on a hot day, look out for signs of heat stroke. They include: sweating profusely; feeling weak, lightheaded or confused; a rapid and strong pulse; headache; muscle and stomach cramps; flushed, pale, dry or clammy skin; or body temperature over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you notice any of these symptoms in yourself or a friend, move to a cooler location immediately, remove excess clothing and try to cool down with cold cloths or even a cold bath.

”We recommend calling 911, and if they are young, placing the person into a water bath with ice,” Wantuck says. “If they are older, [use] ice packs and [pour] cold water on them. [Keep cooling them] until the person starts shivering, or about 15-20 minutes, and their symptoms have gone away.”

“For anyone who you are worried may have heat stroke, getting them cooled and to an emergency room are the first priorities,” he says.

To prevent heat stroke, Wantuck recommends seeking air conditioning on hot days — especially for older adults and those with medical conditions or taking medications that can disrupt that body’s ability to regulate its temperature. You should also stay hydrated, and avoid enclosed environments and layers of clothing.

For athletes of any stripe, Wantuck says to remove excess equipment (where possible), take frequent breaks and gradually build up a tolerance to heat.

For Dunn, having heat stroke was an eye-opener. “It was a really scary experience,” she says. She urges everyone she knows to stay hydrated on hot days. “I hope no one goes through [heat stroke].”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

May 29, 2017 at 06:35PM

from Stephanie Hallett

My pet tortoise is wrecking my career


Think it’s easy looking after a tortoise? Wrong. Mine is fearless and adventurous, with complex needs and a will of iron

We have a tortoise called Parker. Really, he’s the Daughter’s tortoise, but for various reasons he has been staying here for months. Think it’s easy, do you, looking after a tortoise? Think they just crawl about slowly, eat a few dandelions and are no bother? Wrong. Be warned. A tortoise can be an exhausting and difficult pet – fearless and adventurous, with complex moods and needs, a will of iron, moves like greased lightening and the potential to cause intense anxiety. At least, this is my experience, particularly now that the weather is lovely and warm.

The heat has perked Parker up. He wakes early and wants to get out of his house. At once. Who can blame him? He prefers it outdoors. So he escapes. He can climb on to a wodge of his bedding, push open the roof of his bedroom, fall from a height, land on his back, almost die, struggle to right himself, then batter the French windows until he is allowed into the garden, where he can escape almost any enclosure, climb perilous rocks, come tumbling down, get stuck in plant pots or undergrowth, or think he can swim and stride into the pond.

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 05:59PM

from Michele Hanson

Corbyn should be tougher on party trolls, says Harriet Harman


Politician tells Hay festival it is not enough for Labour leader to say he does not condone abuse of female MPs by members

Harriet Harman has called on Jeremy Corbyn to take a tougher stance on Labour members who abuse and troll the party’s MPs.

The Labour candidate was speaking at the Hay festival about her political career and the many battles against sexism she has had to fight.

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 05:59PM

from Mark Brown Arts correspondent

Treasury did not model Australian budget’s impact on women, officials admit


Deputy secretary says he was not aware of Office for Women budget request and doesn’t think work has started on G20 pledge to analyse tax system

Treasury officials have admitted they did not model the impact of the 2017-18 budget on different Australian households.

Michael Brennan, the deputy secretary of Treasury’s fiscal group, says he also doesn’t think Treasury has begun work on Australia’s G20 commitment, from 2014, to analyse the tax system to see what impact it is having on women.

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 02:00PM

from Gareth Hutchens

Schapelle Corby and Cassie Sainsbury: it’s not about drugs, it’s about misogyny | Van Badham


It’s perhaps unfortunate for Cassandra Sainsbury and Schapelle Corby that the Australian media decided they held sex appeal for the mass market

Scientists agree that the human brain is still in development well into its 20s, and the poor judgment of young people has a biological basis. Yet there’s a cruel streak of social piety that viciously condemns the young for making decisions as badly as young people do. I’ve often thought it’s informed by resentment at what’s perceived by the older, the burdened and the compromised to be the broader opportunities available to those young enough to remain largely uncommitted.

This was, at least, my working theory last week, at the time 60 Minutes decided to feed on Cassandra Sainsbury. She’s the 22-year-old arrested in Colombia, facing charges for allegedly trying to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine out of Bogotá in boxes of headphones.

Continue reading…

May 29, 2017 at 02:00PM

from Van Badham