Between economic upheaval, unemployment spikes and brave people getting locked up for free speech, there's plenty of bleak news out there. But there are some good things going on to, and it's worth taking a moment to highlight some of them.
• The Red/Yellow Card Project An innovative way of calling out harassment and sexism in the tech world, developed by KC. I like its use of immediate social rebuke to break the environment of silence that allows a lot of this crap to go on. It's also the kind of adaptable, cheap solution that has a real chance of spreading to other arenas as well.
• Legally Innocent inmates ordered freed in NC Even after found innocent of the crimes they were charged with, a number of inmates were kept in prison. Fortunately, the situation's now changed, with federal courts ordering the prisoners' release. Sadly, this kind of legal limbo happens in the penal system all too often, inexplicably defended by a Kafkaesque bureaucracy. It's good to see it suffer a reverse.
• The US' first openly pansexual legislator Mary Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat, has come out as pansexual. A good reminder that identities are political poison until the moment they aren't. Even five years ago, this would have been unthinkable. Now, Gonzalez may be the first, but she most assuredly won't be the last.
• Ramadan TV show stirs argument across the Arab world A television show depicting the early companions of Muhammad has come under fire in the Arab world, but its popularity shows the lessening influence of fundamentalist taboos.
• “We are happy because we brought the revolution closer.” Defiant after their sentencing, Pussy Riot has inspired protests in 48 cities and increasing condemnation of the Russian government. They're not alone, either: despite the price, Russians are increasingly fighting Putin's regime on many fronts. Know hope.