Skepchick Quickies 9.25



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

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Global Quickies: 2012.09.25


  1. September 25, 2012 at 11:08 am —


    I hope we do get a manned mission to Mars in our lifetime. Although it will be really dangerous human being will be able to do more than the rovers have been able to do, not mention how much more interesting it will be. It will also be an important step towards colonizing space and Humanity moving beyond Earth.

  2. September 25, 2012 at 11:26 am —

    “Whoever gets there first, can you give Curiosity a hug?”

    Or, more usefully, pull Spirit’s wheel out of the sand and give its solar panels a good dusting.

  3. September 25, 2012 at 11:40 am —

    Spirit might need the hug more…


    Seriously, though, why didn’t they put windshield wipers on the solar panels? I’m sure there’s a reason, and I know who I can ask, but that kinda mystified me.

    • September 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm —

      I suspect weight played a good deal into the decision. Even a 500g wiper assembly would have compromised something else in the science package. Furthermore with just a 90 sol expected service life the need just wasn’t that great. Hindsight being 20/20 it seems foolish now, but it made sense at the time.

    • September 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm —

      Well, since the material building up on the solar panels is sand and dust, anything like a normal car windshield wiper would scratch the heck out of them, making them less effective pretty quickly. The best way would be with water jets or some other fluid, but that means more weight, ‘cos you gotta truck that in.

  4. September 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm —


    I just found an update to that story I told you about, about the co-ed Isreali combat unit.

    The Caracal Battalion, Israel’s co-ed combat unit, wins praise after battle with militants http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/285869_The_Caracal_Battalion_Israels_

  5. September 26, 2012 at 7:43 am —

    I can’t help but feel that smartphones too big to fit in ladies’ pockets isn’t necessarily a question of phone designers making the phones too big but may be one of trouser designers being of the understanding that ladies don’t have stuff to carry in their pockets.

    Actually, a lot of clothes, men’s and women’s, appear to be designed by people unaware of which century we’re in.

  6. September 26, 2012 at 10:33 am —

    I saw the “On female-friendly design” article yesterday afternoon just before I left work. When I got to my car, NPR was on, and within a few minutes was a piece on newly-designed body armor for women.

    It struck me that there, finally, was a useful design for women. Something functional, something that truly means something (safety, in this case), and the big benefit: it has nothing to do with pink or gender stereotype. As you said: “try solving an actual; problem that women have.” Looks like at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, they have!

    Anyway, it just sort of struck me, having seen your article and then minutes later hearing of a shining example.

    From NPR: http://www.npr.org/2012/09/25/161767150/army-designs-new-body-armor-for-female-soldiers

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