Wandering Eye: Old Baltimore wrestling photos, using Instagram to recover from anorexia, and more

Doug Henwood has some thoughts in Jacobin about a new initiative by the student body president of Columbia University. It's a peer-to-peer "meal-sharing" app that will allow impoverished students to hit up their wealthy peers for food, via "swipe sharing" into the campus commisary. In concept it's not too far from some of the satirical apps CP invented last year, but it appears to be a serious effort. Henwood notes that Columbia has a 'uuuge endowment, so it ought to do something directly and institutionally to prevent its students from actually starving. There is a debate to be had about this—the idea that large institutions (and governments) ought to respond directly to human deeds created by market failures, rather than sitting back and waiting for charity to step in. "This phenomenally well-endowed institution — not Harvard-rich, but richer than all but ten other universities in the country — can't find it in its $9.2 billion heart to make sure its students don’t go hungry," Henwood writes. "(The 2014 return on its endowment, $1.4 billion, was only a bit smaller than Georgetown's entire endowment.) Instead, it resorts to the sort of social entrepreneurship that is celebrated in its business school. That's doing some shit indeed." (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

Over at Buzzfeed there's an excellent story, "The Girls Using Instagram To Recover From Anorexia" by Rachael Krishna, that explores the way in which young women with eating disorders use Instagram and a support group surrounding Instagram to document their eating habits. "Ashleigh is in recovery from anorexia; it's been three years since she was first diagnosed," Krishna writes. "What sets Ashleigh's story of recovery apart from her peers', though, is how she's been documenting her disorder – and now her recovery – on Instagram. She's developed a fairly large following as a member of a huge online network of young people all affected by eating disorders." It's precisely the kind of story to bring up when you're confronted with anti-social media rhetoric and all of the criticisms about narcissism and disconnection that seem to surround it and prevent thoughtful conversations about the way technology influences our lives. "I used to be really shy," Ashleigh tells Krishna, "but talking to people online definitely made me more open." (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Baltimore has always been a pretty big wrestling town—the WWE has routinely made stops here over the years. If you need further proof, look at this great blog post of old wrestling photos from the '80s put up by the Maryland Historical Society. All the shots are in black and white and show matches at what was then known as the Baltimore Civic Center (now the Royal Farms Arena). As you'll see, some of the best action is in the seats, where people cheer, high-five the wrestlers, or even flip off the ring. There's some custom shirt-sporting, mask-wearing fan by the name of Doctor X, who it turns out was a local wrestling staple. (Brandon Weigel) 

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