Happy New Year!

  • Science fictions that became science facts in 2012 – From Jonathan.
  • Just shut up – Excellent piece on rape culture in the media. I love this part on the advice that women are given: “I was told not to park in parking garages, because someone could hide under my car and rape me, but also not to park on the streets, because someone could come out of the shadows and rape me. I was told not to wear my hair in a ponytail, because someone could grab it and rape me, but also not to wear my hair down, because it made me look older and could entice someone to rape me. I was told not to walk alone or with only other girls, because it would leave me vulnerable and allow someone to rape me, but also not to spend time alone with or trust guys, because they could be planning to rape me.”
  • 2012: The year it became okay to blame victims of sexual assault – From CriticalDragon1177.
  • New York Times: Where were atheists after the Sandy Hook massacre? – Hemant responds to a recent article in the NYT on the lack of visible secular support for those affected by the tragedy.
Amanda

Amanda

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

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6 Comments

  1. Avatar of Grand Lunar
    January 1, 2013 at 11:05 am —

    Loved the article on sci-fi that became science fact.

    I also have to rant on how I find it far more preferable to have driverless cars than flying cars, as I find the latter far more dangerous.

    The article entitled “Just shut up” is outstanding.
    I think it provides lessons for how to counter the rape culture.
    Also think a lesson from it is an extension in critical thinking. That, or I’m just blown away by how awesome it was.

    • Avatar of criticaldragon1177
      January 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm —

      Grand Lunar,

      Off all the new inventions they mentioned that came into being in 2012, I’m really excited about those new Flexible, Inexpensive Solar Panels since. We really need to reduce our dependance on oil, if we’re going to be able to fight climate change.

      That test they talk about, about them making a mouse live twice as long as it normally would, is also very exciting. But I still have a feeling that it will be harder to double a human’s life span, than a mouse, for one thing, we are much bigger than they are.

  2. Avatar of SamBarge
    January 1, 2013 at 11:10 am —

    I loved the “Just shut up” article re. rape culture and pop culture. I do disagree with the writer about the Hugh Grant/Martine McCutcheon storyline in Love Actually though. I genuinely wanted McCutcheon to deck Grant, not kiss him but that’s another story.

    Anyway, I think I’m going to save that article to re-read it occasionally. It’s great. Thanks!

  3. Avatar of SamBarge
    January 1, 2013 at 11:28 am —

    Sorry for the double post; I should have read through all the links before I posted. I just finished Hermant Mehta’s article re. Sandy Hook and left the following comment there:

    Surely the police, firefighters, first responders, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, etc. who responded to the tragedy, providing tangible, material support to the victims and their families are the humanist response? Our social services are not ordained by the bible. When first responders rush to save lives or doctors operate or whatever, they do it without biblical prescription. They do it because we have built a society on humanist goals of providing support and succour for those who need it, regardless of their political affiliation or creed. We help because we’re human and so are those who need our help. Catholic churches provided services for the catholic victims, synagogues provided the same for Jewish victims and so on through the various creeds. Which crisis responded asked religious affiliation before they offered help? Before they jumped in to protect, aid or comfort?
    It’s a mistake to let the religion claim the moral high-ground here. Humanism was the first on the scene and it will be there long after the churches have completed their ceremonies.

  4. Avatar of hellboundalleee
    January 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm —

    This is what frustrates me about the NYT article. They want everyone wrapped up in a nice, uniform little package. Here are the Christians, and here are the humanists. We know that because they’re all dressed up in the same, comforting uniform. As if! If anything defines us it’s that we are individuals! As was said above, individuals doing our jobs because we want to help people! Yet there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth because we don’t belong to enough clubs with damned t-shirts and special hats (with the exception of the proud uniforms of those who did the most important work there, of course–the medical personnel).

    We don’t all WANT to be visibly promoting an ideology every time we do something that makes us “productive citizens.” That’s what makes so many of us freethinkers–we do good because it’s good.

  5. Avatar of Brian Pansky
    January 2, 2013 at 2:47 pm —

    the “Science fictions that became science facts in 2012″
    I really didn’t like the invisibility cloak picture, which is largely misleading (it’s just photoshop I think). I don’t think real photographs have been released, and for crying out loud the audience can’t help but get a distorted message from this.

    It basically says “what you see here is what they have!” and doesn’t mention the edited/faked nature of the picture (which many other news sites report as “staged” to sort of be truthful but also be totally useless and unclear at the same time)

    I really don’t like this kind of thing.

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