If you stepped away from the internet yesterday, you might have missed our collective species being fixated on two seemingly random topics: llamas and the color of a certain dress.
First uploaded to Tumblr with the caption "guys please help me - is this dress white and gold, or blue and black? Me and my friends can't agree and we are freaking the **** out," the image soon exploded onto the wider web with people quickly lining up behind one of two dress color combination factions: #blackandblue and #whiteandgold. In typical internet fashion, lots of indignant shouting and rage quitting followed.
Luckily, we have the cool heads over at ASAPScience to reveal the actual color of the dress and calmly explain why the lighting in the photo is playing tricks with all our brains.
On February 23rd, the Indiana Senate voted 40-10 in favor of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which will allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds.
According to JG Local, the measure was only supported by Republicans.
Defending the vote, co-author Senator Scott Schneider (right) said that the bill will act as a buffer to “a growing hostility toward people of faith.”
Jennifer Pizer, National Director of the Law and Policy Project at Lambda Legal, has issued a statement condemning the bill’s passage:
“We are extremely disappointed that Indiana’s Senate voted to allow religious discrimination in many areas of life for Indiana’s families, workers and others.
"We have seen this over and over - bills that say they are about protecting one thing when the real goal is to target and discriminate against LGBT people, with vast implications for everyone else. As written, this bill will upend the balance between religious freedom and freedom from imposition of others’ religious beliefs."
Activist group Freedom Indiana has also issued a statement in reaction to the passage of the legislation, which reads in part:
“Discrimination is not a core Hoosier value, and the people who will be affected by this legislation are ready to take action to make sure their voices are heard. We look forward to an engaging, informative debate in the Indiana House."
As the fight now moves to the Indiana House, Lambda Legal and Freedom Indiana are now working together to defeat the act.
Watch Indiana Governor Mike Pence and religious leaders speak in favor of the bill, AFTER THE JUMP...
One of greater hurdles facing most pieces of tech these days is battery life. You’ve been there--out on the town, heading to a bar or friend’s place, only to realize that your phone is on the brink of death with little to no chance of making it through the rest of the night. What if, you’ve undoubtedly thought to yourself, there was a way that you could charge your devices on the go? What if there was a way to harness the kinetic energy of your body’s movement to charge your smart watch in the same way that you charge your everyday wristwatch?
Soon there will be with the...provocatively named WankBand. As you might have surmised from its name the WankBand is a small wearable device that generates an electric charge while you’re...being vigorously celibate. As Caity Weaver points out writing for Gizmodo, it’s questionable just how much energy one might be able to produce while using their shake weights or mixing martinis. But then again, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish with a little bit of elbow grease and determination.
Check out the first (totally legitimate and mostly SFW) ad for the WankBand AFTER THE JUMP...
Beginning today Facebook users will be able to describe their gender using whatever kind of personal language they feel the most comfortable with. The move comes after an increased demand from the public for Facebook to allow people to choose from a wider array of gender descriptors in their “About Me” sections. Last year Facebook took a major step forward by expanding its list of selectable genders from three (male, female, or none) to over 50 terms including male to female, gender queer, and cisgender.
“Facebook’s new free-form field for gender identity is a huge step forward for transgender, gender nonconforming and gender queer youth,” said GLSEN Executive Director
Dr. Eliza Byard, “The internet is an essential source of resources, support and community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, and one of its most important ‘living rooms’ now better reflects their reality and self-understanding."
Speaking to Motherboard, Facebook engineer Ari Chivukula explained that the company deployed a special team focused specifically on buffing out the social network’s expanded gender settings. Moving forward users will be able to more finely customize their privacy settings to better control who sees their gender displayed on their profiles.
As we've previously reported, Texas State Rep. Cecil Bell, Jr. is not happy with the idea of gay marriage coming to his state and wants to move to punish any county clerks that issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples by revoking their pay via House Bill 623. Bell spoke at the Texas Faith and Family Day event in Austin on Tuesday, an event organized by grassroots campaigns like Texas Values, Texas Pastor's Council and Texas Right to Life. During his speech, he said:
In Texas, our tax dollars cannot be used to recognize the issue or otherwise address marriage any other way than what's in the Texas constitution which is one man, one woman.
Governor Greg Abbott (pictured right) put in his two conservative cents in as well:
I support traditional marriage, it's what I defended as attorney general. Marriage is an issue reserved to the states.