Skepchick Quickies 8.9

Skepchick Quickies 8.9
Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

13 Comments

  1. Re: Luke and Han

    “Fun” fact:

    The temperature of peripheral body parts will drop faster than the core body temperature. If a person in hypothermia is “rescued” by moving them, blood may flow from the peripheral parts into the core and drop the core temperature enough to cause death.

    I couldn’t find an English word for it. The German word “Bergungstod” means “death through rescue”

    The key is to warm them up from the inside with warm (not hot) beverage and avoid unnecessary movement.

  2. The problem with the tauntaun calculation has already been covered over there, but to reiterate:

    Han isn’t trying to keep Luke warm through the night, or while he searches for shelter. He outright states that he already has a shelter, he only has to set it up. The whole calculation is based on wrong assumptions, and is invalid.

    I actually think that the twitter article is too optimistic. One of the comments is: “I actually expect men to dismiss my experience now, unless they are card-carrying feminist supporters.”

    I think even card-carrying feminist supporters can (and do) dismiss women’s experience in these matters. I know I have (though I do my best not to, and I have gotten better at it).

  3. The tauntaun thing mainly reminded me of Bear Grylls using a camel carcass as a sandstorm shelter and the newest trend in cold-weather gear, the sealskin sweater vest…

  4. Amanda,

    “Science proves Luke Skywalker should’ve died in the tauntaun’s belly?”

    Why am I not surprised? The science in movies, including science fiction movies is notoriously bad. Note to self, if you’re ever stuck on an alien planet, don’t use Star Wars as a survival guide. : )

    Anyway, back to the bad science in the movie, isn’t a planet that’s frozen solid, with a breathable atmosphere like that, also pretty implausible in the first place, based on everything we know?

  5. So, after the fun Star Wars thing I also just read the Twitter article. To me it seemed that the journalist probably was not dismissing the author’s experience, but there were more likely several misunderstandings, as both of the tweets could be interpreted several ways.
    Considering that the guy initially tweeted a link to the article about that film, I’d guess that he probably interpreted her answer of “I don’t know a woman who doesn’t experience this on a daily basis” as “every woman, everywhere experiences this daily” which might be an extreme generalization, thus prompting his counterexample and warning against extreme statements.
    Since I’m male I obviously have no idea how bad and frequent street harassment is for women and I’m not saying that she’s overreacting with her article, but rather that it might have been a good idea to clarify her own statement and maybe get a more nuanced answer before writing the article.
    This way it seems to me that she took the worst interpretation of an ambiguous twitter exchange and went with it, because it makes for a better story.

    • Well yes that could be, but this sort of dismissal happens all the time so you can understand her interpreting the way she did.

    • @apuc The question is not “Why did she not see that he just misunderstood what she wrote?” but rather “Why did he not take her statement at face value in the first place?”

      She said “I don’t know a woman who doesn’t experience this on a daily basis”. And he, hypothetically, misreads this as “Every woman, everywhere experiences this daily”, accuses her of making “extreme statements” and cites his wife as an example of a woman who is (according to him at least) not harassed daily.

      How could he misread such a simple statement? Perhaps because he has assumed (maybe without even thinking about it) that it can’t possibly be true that every woman she knows IS harassed on a daily basis.

      It can be *easy* to assume that someone whose described life experiences are very far from your own is perhaps exaggerating. But that doesn’t mean it’s so. The response the reporter should have had is “Holy crap that’s awful! Where on earth do you live that the street harassment is THAT bad?”.

      • The main point I was trying to make, was that if he did indeed misread her statement, it would, at least from my perspective, have been more constructive for her to try and follow up on his reply. Best case, she finds out that he misread her statement because of ignorance and biases he maybe wasn’t even aware of and gets to educate and make him more aware of the problem in the process. Worst case he actually is an ass and her perception of his reply was accurate.
        Either way, in the absence of further information I’m going to attribute ignorance over malice.
        You’re right though, that the reporter’s response should have been something along the lines of “Holy crap, I wasn’t aware it was that bad.”

        • It is almost cute how men ALWAYS insist that men deserve the benefit of the doubt. She did NOT overreact. HE did!

        • @apuc She’s not accusing him of “being an ass” or attributing his behaviour to “malice”. She’s pointing out that behaviour like his (the dismissiveness, the disbelief, the arrogance) is endemic and that it is even more hurtful to be on the receiving end when it is perpetrated by someone who professes to be an ally. It can really take the wind out of your sails and sap your will to continue engaging. And by god, it happens a LOT.

          I think her discussion of this phenomenon is far more helpful and constructive than if she had merely replied to this single man and pointed out to him that his subconscious biases were showing. Honestly, given his reaction to her tweet I wouldn’t hold my breath on her getting a positive response from him if she HAD messaged him back. I mean, look at the trouble I’m having getting through to you… *cough* And THAT is the point of her blog post.

          Sorry, that last dig was a bit petty, but god DAMN is it exhausting to have this sort of conversation over and over again, and to be asked (as Marilove points out below) to constantly give the “benefit of the doubt” when there is really none to give.

  6. Rather funny article on Luke’s probable fate, though I think the author forgot the line in the movie in which Han states that he’s getting the shelter up.

    Incidently, science also shows that Vader should’ve died on that lava planet. Read Phil Plait’s entry on it in his movies section.

    From that article on female Olympic athletes…
    It’s totally fucked up how the media viewsa and treats female athletes.
    Can someone just slap them in the face? Because those athletes have every fucking right to cry.
    Just as much right as I do (or should).

  7. Did they account for the fact that a tauntaun is covered with very thick fur (high R value) and is much bigger than a human (square/cube law) and would thus cool off much more slowly a human? Also, given how stinky they are, maybe they are full of bacteria who generate heat as the tauntaun decays, like a compost pile.

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