Friday High Five: Pink Taxis, Ariel Levy and Tiny Houses

Pink taxis for women to hit Melbourne streets

A new fleet of women-only taxis, driven by women and only for female passengers, may be on the way - in response to a series of Age articles about lone women being assaulted by taxi drivers late at night. ‘Victoria’s taxi authority has been receiving about three complaints a month from female passengers, ranging from sexually intimidating behaviour to assault.’ The taxis will be pink, to identify them. ‘Good idea, but do they have to be pink?’ tweeted Age journalist Jill Stark.

Vikki Wakefield: When Should We Act?

YA author Vikki Wakefield has posted a thought-provoking post on her blog this week, about when we should intervene in the lives of others, and when it’s really not our business. And how can we expect children to stand up for victims and expose bullies when we model the opposite behaviour? ‘Our society has become fractured to the point that we exist in separate bubbles; your business is your business, and nobody has the right to tell you how to bring up your children. I learned my lesson early by telling off someone else’s child for hitting another at a birthday party.’

Vikki Wakefield: ' 'Our society has become fractured to the point that we exist in separate bubbles.'

Vikki Wakefield: ' 'Our society has become fractured to the point that we exist in separate bubbles.'

Authors lose lawsuit against Google Books

A New York court has dismissed a case against Google, brought by authors, for digitally copying millions of books for an online library without permission, reports the Guardian. ‘The judge said the massive library makes it easier for students, teachers, researchers and the public to find books, while maintaining “respectful consideration” for authors’ rights. He also said the digitisation was “transformative,” and could be expected to boost rather than reduce book sales.'

The joy of tiny houses

House sizes are expanding in the western world, even as families are shrinking. And that’s not great news for the environment. Salon looks at microhousing, through the experience of a filmmaker who has documented his own ‘tiny house build’, as well as the benefits and challenges that go with it. They cost less to heat, less to furnish and come with smaller mortgages. ‘So, all around, you’re kind of beating the system.’

Ariel Levy in the New Yorker on miscarriage

Ariel Levy’s powerful New Yorker essay on her experience of miscarriage has been doing the rounds of the internet this week. She tells the story of deciding to have a baby aged 38, at what felt like the last minute, and of giving birth to her child - who lived for less than an hour - at 19 weeks, in a Mongolian toilet. What followed was a deep and all-pervading grief. ‘The ten or twenty minutes I was somebody’s mother were black magic,’ she writes. ‘There is no adventure I would trade them for; there is no place I would rather have seen.’

Ariel Levy: 'The ten or twenty minutes I was somebody’s mother were black magic.'

Ariel Levy: 'The ten or twenty minutes I was somebody’s mother were black magic.'