In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray, South Carolina.  For the past 25 years, half a million purple martins (large swallows) have gathered on a small island in the hundreds of thousands.  This year, they didn’t show up.

This weekend Skunk Bear goes mobile! I’m down in South Carolina RIGHT NOW looking for the missing birds, and I’ll be chronicling the search over at NPR’s travelogue blog - You can read all about the mystery of the purple martins and the humans who love them over there.


These diagrams from the Women’s Media Center’s Women Under Siege project shows the ways in which sexual violence against women has been weaponized by armies in many conflicts around the world.

One of the more disturbing reasons soldiers engage in sexualized violence against women is to promote solidarity among the soldiers, or “unit cohesion.” “[Unit cohesion is] a kind of nasty socialization in which soldiers find something terrible they have now in common." writes Lauren Wolfe, director of the Women Under Siege project.


Street artist Anat Ronen has created a mural of Malala Yousafzai as Rosie the Riveter at the Avis Frank Gallery in Houston, Texas.

Malala has become a symbol for women’s rights in the Muslim world, mostly by spreading her story throughout the western world,” Ronen told Buzzfeed. “I felt I wanted to combine a symbol of western ‘warrior’ with her image, to maximize the symbolism and through somewhat controversy, promote her agenda. […] Being a woman, it is important for me to be a part of this agenda and help as much as I can. Being a street artist provides me the opportunity to deliver my message through my art.”

Photos: Anat Ronen/Wikipedia.