Thursday News: Netflix Juicers, Chicago Library giveaway, and Marie Stopes
Meet Netflix’s “Juicers”: People Who Get Paid to Watch TV – It shouldn’t be a surprise that Netflix utilizes people to help them understand what paying viewers want, but it may be surprising to learn that some of these folks – referred to as “juicers,” are suing Netflix in two separate class action lawsuits, claiming that they should be classified as employees instead of as independent contractors, and therefore eligible for health insurance and other benefits. Interesting.
Being paid by Netflix to watch movies and TV series might seem like a dream come true, but not for some folks in a secretive program at the company known as “Project Beetlejuice.” These individuals, known as “juicers,” are paid $10 a film or show to pick the best still images and videos from the thousands of titles in Netflix’s library to help its users figure out what they want to watch. They are paid as independent contractors but now are demanding overtime, paid vacation and holidays, health insurance and a 401(k) plan. – Hollywood Reporter
Chicago libraries aim to give away 1 million children’s books – A program described as “unprecedented in scale” promises a dozen free books through the Chicago Public Library’s 80 branches, for kids who are part of their summer reading program. Not only does the program hope to support children from low-income families, but they are also trying to jump-start a love of reading, especially for kids who may not have found their groove yet.
“For some kids, it can be difficult to read,” said Elizabeth McChesney, the library system’s director of children’s services. “By the age of 9, if it’s not easy for them or fun for them … they just turn away from it.” . . .
And children who participated in the library’s Summer Learning Challenge in recent years have made gains of 15 percent in reading and 20 percent in math compared with peers, according to ongoing analysis by the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children. . . .
Bernie’s Book Bank, which is providing almost all of the giveaway’s books, began distributing them throughout branches last week, Floriani said. If enrollment in the library’s summer program matches last year’s almost 100,000, he said, the book giveaway could top 1 million over the course of the season. – Chicago Tribune
How An 1918 Author Introduced the World to the Concept of Female Pleasure – Marie Stopes was hardly the first woman to do this, but given the fact that her book, Married Love, sold almost a million copies before 1940, she is certainly an important figure in the field of female sexuality and sexual pleasure. Stopes was also a pretty interesting person in her own right. Holding a Ph.D. in botany from Munich’s Botanical Institute and a Doctor of Science from University College London (she was the youngest person to receive that degree), Stopes was also dedicated to eugenics, demonstrating that while she was highly educated and promoted progressive ideas in one arena, she was also subject to reactionary ideas shaped by (pseudo)scientific racism. And as “radical” as her ideas on sex were perceived to be, she was still dedicated to marriage and to female sexuality being circumscribed by heterosexual marriage. Still, her work was important in that she aimed to reach “ordinary” people and chose to focus on the positive aspects of sex for women.
Married Love began when Stopes discovered that her first husband was impotent. (“It was the moment when Canadian impotence makes its mark on the world,” as 20th-century British historian Stephen Brooke would say.) Upon discovering their sexual incompatibility, Stopes went to court to file for a divorce; however, as a woman in 1916 England, the only way she could get a divorce was by proving non-consummation of their marriage. The only way to do that was to present a certificate from a doctor testifying that her hymen was intact, explains Janine Utell, Professor and Chair of English at Widener University, who is currently doing work on one of Stopes’ earlier and less known texts, Love Letters of a Japanese.
This adverse experience spurred Stopes to educate others on sexuality. She had paid “such a terrible price for sex-ignorance,” she wrote, “that I feel that knowledge gained at such a price should be placed at the service of humanity.” By the end of 1913—with the help of medical libraries and her experience talking with “thousands of men and hundreds of women”—Stopes had put together a collection of biological basics, social stances, and erotic advice. Five years later, after being turned down by every publisher in town, birth control activist and Stopes’ soon-to-be second husband, Humphrey Verdon Roe, provided the financing to launch the book. – Atlas Obscura