Femmostroppo Reader August 15, 2011

Items of interest come across recently in my feed-reader. This linkfest’s more geek-focussed than usual

What did I miss? Leave your own interesting links in comments. Shameless self-promotion entirely welcome!
n.b. Comments threads have not necessarily been read. Some may be NSFW or triggering, so please report back any problems you encounter so the post can be marked.

  • Technology protest: what do you do?
  • – “I am committed to the right to complain about things I use in general: to be honest I think a lot of the “leave if you don’t like it” criticism, at least from people who are themselves apathetic, is rooted in “it’s not cool to care about things, don’t make me watch you caring”.”

  • David Starkey on rioting and Jamaican language
  • – “I heard many rioters and looters speaking on radio or television reports, and none of them were speaking JC. Jamaicans raised in England virtually always speak the English of their region. England only seems like a foreign country to those who are assuming, on the basis of a picture some sixty years out of date, that faces of English people are always white.
    […] but I know [Starkey’s] pig-ignorant about [Jamaican Creole] and about language generally. His idea that “Jamaican patois” is involved in the culture that led to the rioting — as if a linguistic system could induce you to burn down a carpet store — is underlined by another remark he made:”

  • Planet of the Apes
  • – I’m an ape, you’re an ape, James Franco and John Lithgow are apes, it’s apes all the way down.

  • The Star Trek Book of Opposites Is Perfect for Your Adopted Klingon Child

  • Genesis 51 — Ben Franklin’s favorite part of the Bible
  • – Oh Ben Franklin, you jester!

  • Password strength
  • – “we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember but easy for computers to guess”

  • Ethics in climate science: How do we know what we know?
  • – “the context you need: Only one study on climate change has actually been retracted over the past couple of years — no, not any of those noting that warming occurs, not any of those that use the graph famously described as “a hockey stick,” but the piece that pulled together all the criticism of the science, at the behest of Republicans on the environment committees in the U.S. Congress, called the Wegman Report. And it was John Mashey who assembled the extensive and sometimes elegant case that the Wegman Report was plagiarized and wrong.

    This is, indeed, a case of trying to kill the messenger’s reputation.”

  • Scientific fraud and journal article retractions
  • – “A week ago, I took someone who has normally been a hero of mine, Brian Deer, to task for what I considered to be a seriously cheap shot at scientists based on no hard data, at least no hard data that he bothered to present. To make a long, Orac-ian magnum opus short, Deer advocated increased governmental regulation of science in the U.K. based apparently on anecdotes like that of Andrew Wakefield.”

  • NASA | X-Class: A Guide to Solar Flares – YouTube
  • – NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre gives a great outline of what solar flares are/aren’t and do/don’t do.

  • Finally: An Article Concerned With What Men Really Want (No, Really)
  • – “They enjoy things that are entertaining, informative, and subversive? My god… these “men” sound just like… us!”

  • Skeptic’s Dictionary for kids
  • – “If we want kids to grow into intelligent, critically thinking adults, we need to show them how to think. And now Bob Carroll, author of the fabulous Skeptic’s Dictionary, has written just the thing: The Skeptic’s Dictionary for Kids.”

  • Things We Saw Today: The Dune Cat Lives!
  • – adorable and more: links from The Mary Sue

  • Are corporations really people, after all?
  • – This whole debate in the US just makes me splutter, but powerful people are taking it seriously.

  • New feature: A shocking shade of pink
  • – A fascinating look at the post-punk second-wave feminist UK-zine Shocking Pink.

  • Critics have sweet tooth for Sugar In My Bowl
  • – Anthology edited by Erica Jong, women writing about sex and desire.

  • The body as home
  • – “I want her to know about her body and I want her to know that it does awesome things for her: jumping, running, swimming, singing songs, playing. I’d also like her to be able to accurately describe her own experiences (if she falls and scrapes her knee, she can specify what hurts), but also because I want to protect her, so that if anything bad were ever to happen to her, she’d be able to explain it. So in the interest of age-appropriate sex education, I taught her the word vulva.”

  • Born this way: causation and otherness
  • – “I’m troubled by the proliferation of “I was born this way” as a means of justifying otherness. I don’t think otherness has to be justified, for a start. Additionally, it reads like an attempt to prove innocence – I can’t be blamed for the way I’ve always been! – as though any other way of coming into otherness would be criminal. Apart from all that, why does it matter if one was born a particular way or not?”

  • Sunday Spam: scrambled eggs and pesto
  • – links from lecta

Disclaimer/SotBO: a link here is not necessarily an endorsement of all opinions of the post author(s) either in the particular post or of their writing in general.

Categories: linkfest


8 replies

  1. A “friend” on facebook linked a comment to a hideous column by Miranda Divine – it was homophobic drivel about Penny Wong’s partner’s pregnancy, linking it somehow with a “fatherless society” that produced the London riots.
    I won’t link to the article and generate traffic there, but here is a takedown of it: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2011/08/15/oh-miranda/

  2. Love the links! Yay for nerdiness.

  3. There’s not enough contempt in the world to respond adequately to these remarks:

    Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce told the rally his four daughters would be affected if same-sex marriage was allowed. “We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen for them. I don’t want any legislator to take that right away from me.”

    Yes, you heard that right. Gay marriage will take away HIS right to marry his daughters to a man who will protect them. Link to SMH article here.

  4. Catherine Deveny also has a response to that Devine column, over on The Drum/Unleashed:

    Whenever you hear the term ‘political correctness gone mad’ it’s just a way of saying, “I am having a tantrum because people will no longer unquestioningly accept my homophobia, sexism, racism and bigotry.”

    Nailed it.

  5. What’s the word for someone who tweets something that you find really bad and then writes something that is so good you could kiss them?

  6. Surprise reverse osculatweet

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