My 5-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.

The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.)

But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way? I hesitated. I imagined Tolkien spinning in his grave. I imagined mean letters from his testy estate. I imagined the story getting as lost in gender distinctions as dwarves in the Mirkwood.

Then I thought: What the hell, it’s just a pronoun. My daughter wants Bilbo to be a girl, so a girl she will be. And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.

pewinternet:

The original proposal of the World Wide Web.
The World Wide Web turns 25 on Wednesday. We’re talking all things Web tomorrow; including expert predictions and ruminations about what the Web will be like in the future. Follow the conversation here, and by using #web25 on Twitter; and start thinking about your earliest memories of the Web (you’ve got mail, anyone?)
Background: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/27/the-web-at-25-in-the-u-s/

pewinternet:

The original proposal of the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web turns 25 on Wednesday. We’re talking all things Web tomorrow; including expert predictions and ruminations about what the Web will be like in the future. Follow the conversation here, and by using #web25 on Twitter; and start thinking about your earliest memories of the Web (you’ve got mail, anyone?)

Background: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/27/the-web-at-25-in-the-u-s/

Notes Coffee and Wine, on St Martin’s Lane - the @PetesCoffee of fine art and music in London. I feel a little out of place…

Notes Coffee and Wine, on St Martin’s Lane - the @PetesCoffee of fine art and music in London. I feel a little out of place…

One of those rare-ish days when I can see beyond Nairobi from the balcony #kenya365

One of those rare-ish days when I can see beyond Nairobi from the balcony #kenya365

Without mobile, it doesn’t matter how much money Facebook has. If you’re asking whether Zuckerberg paid too much for WhatsApp, you’re asking the wrong question. Zuckerberg is sending a message, here, that Facebook will never stop in its attempt to dominate mobile — that no amount of money is too much.
Hargeisa, Somaliland #latergram

Hargeisa, Somaliland #latergram

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