Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 4.3

On April 3, 1860, the Pony Express began its first successful run between California and Missouri. One of the riders (not on that day) was Buffalo Bill.

BONUS: This guy eating corn. I just teared up from laughing.

 

Mary

Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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11 Comments

  1. The Third Strikes Law gets a little frustrating. I’ve supported it as originally pitched, three VIOLENT felonies, but somehow the violent part keeps getting forgotten. We even passed an initiative to put it back in, and yet it seems to have fallen out again.

    But this is another one of those situations where you need both sides of the story. People like to mention the man who got life for stealing a slice of pizza, as mentioned in passing in the article. He was one of the early cases. He didn’t walk out and not pay, he confronted three 10 year old boys and took it by threat of force. Not the same thing.

    That being said it sounds like Mr Wilkerson got a raw deal, and I’m sure many others have as well.

  2. The irony of the NRA’s proposal is that Mike McLelland, an experienced, well-trained and armed DA in Texas, could not protect himself and his wife from murder even knowing he was at grave risk because of the murder two months earlier of one of his Assistant DAs and their on-going investigation of White supremacists. It’s ridiculous for the NRA to expect school teachers with only a modicum of training, probably no experience in actual fire fights, AND a roomful of kids to teach and take care of to do any better in the sudden moment when someone walks into the classroom with an AR-15.

    1. True, it’s not a magic cure-all. But wouldn’t it be important to at least give someone the *chance* to do something? Honestly, if there is no one there to de-escalate the situation what is there to do? Wait for the cops (armed people) to show up and take control of the situation, if it hasn’t ended already.

      I seriously want someone to give me a logical, non-emotional argument as to why this is a bad idea. It helps if you actually know something about firearms, but I’ll accept any ideas.

      1. It’s a bad idea for many, many reasons. You don’t even need to know something about firearms. The armed guard doesn’t know which kid is going to be the shooter. A clever kid with good aim would just take down the guard first. Columbine had an armed guard, how do you think that worked out?

        http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/columbine.cd/Pages/DEPUTIES_TEXT.htm

        At Sandy Hook, police responded within 5 minutes, and in that small amount of time the shooter was able to break through a secured door and mow down 26 children and adults. Each kid had multiple bullet wounds and one kid was shot so badly he was missing his jaw and one of his hands. What exactly do you think an armed guard would’ve done? The shooter only killed himself once he knew he was outmanned.

        What happens if the guard is on a lunch break? Or a bathroom break? Or stuck in traffic? I can think of a million situations where the school would not be guarded, not that it matters because an armed guard doesn’t guarantee safety, it just increases the atmosphere of fear. Plus, in a shooting, how is the armed guard supposed to differentiate an innocent kid from the shooter? It would be complete chaos. Better handled by a police force, not just one guy with a gun.

        You know what also gives people a “chance” to do something? Having the shooter reload. Which is exactly how Jared Lee Loughner was stopped, because he had to pause while reloading and he was tackled. Gee, if only there were some way to limit the size of magazines so the shooter may have to reload more often. Or not, you know, whatever. If these arguments are too “emotional” for you, I promise, my blood pressure has not spiked a bit.

        1. I’m not talking about armed guards, which would be a drain on police department resources, I’m talking about allowing teachers who are trained and wish to do so to carry their everyday concealed pistol. Also, since you brought it up, the Columbine guard wasn’t able to help because he was outside of the building at the time and standard procedure at the time was to wait for the police to arrive. A lot of police dept SOP changed as a result of that tragedy. An armed teacher would have a pretty good idea who the shooter is when he, you know, carries in a weapon and starts shooting. If you want to question the ability of an armed citizen and any potential danger to innocents, there have been more than a few cases when an armed bystander did NOT take the shot because there were innocents potentially in the way. Please don’t underestimate the ability of people, even in traumatic situations. As you noticed, even though the police response at Sandy Hook was relatively quick there was still a great amount of damage done. That just underscores the importance of having a ‘first responder’ on scene. Your concerns of the guard being caught up are again solved by allowing teachers (who choose to do so and are trained, I don’t advocate arming people who can’t/don’t want to do so) to carry. Whomever is armed, and how many are armed, would be anonymous until the time it is needed. It’s not terribly unlike the herd immunity granted by immunizations: if a potential shooter does not know who or how many are armed and feels the risk is too great, others receive the benefit without having to be armed themselves. It also solves the problem of projecting an image of fear of a situation that is actually quite rare. We don’t need armed guards. Many people carry a concealed weapon every day, not expecting to use it but having it just in case. Just allow them to do so in schools as a normal part of their everyday lives. Your comment about reloading is one in which a knowledge of firearms is important. A prepared shooter can reload in mere seconds, especially when facing no opposition. Loughner was not stopped because he was reloading, he was stopped because the magazine jammed and he couldn’t clear it. Magazine limits have no real effect on the amount of time it takes a shooter to do his damage. Lanza reloaded many times, even magazines that still had ammunition in them, and it didn’t give anyone a chance to stop him.

          The reason I see the arguments of gun control advocates as being ’emotional’ is because they are mostly triggered by highly emotional tragedies. Most of them, of course, dislike guns and are not familiar with the use of them. This leads to their arguments being based on what they think about firearms and not the reality of the situation. Look at Obama’s comments about ‘spraying bullets’ or DeGette saying that magazines cannot be reloaded. I would hope that you would agree that for ANY issue having a firm knowledge of things is important to having a valid opinion. Isn’t that what is used to fight nonsense about global warming and vaccination?

          I’m not trying to fight anyone here, I really do just want to have a good discussion of the issue. Unfortunately, I don’t think that anyone is going to change their views on this subject. I just want to know why a group of people who tend to champion critical thinking seem to abandon it when it comes to this one issue.

  3. The “fully dressed superheroine” costumes have too many loose jackets, capes, sashes, etc. (Though I suppose the cape is traditional for Supergirl and Powergirl.) Hair down to your butt is a definite no-no as well. If you are going to be flying around, stopping runaway trains, punching out supervillians, etc. you don’t want anything loose getting caught on things or providing your arch-nemesis with a convenient grip. This goes double for action heroes who don’t actually have any special invulnerability. Black Widow’s form-fitting leather body suit in The Avengers actually made a lot of sense, though leaving it unzipped did not.

    The best superheroine outfit I have seen in a long time was a photo set of a fan-made Wonder Woman outfit (can’t find it online anymore, alas) for which the designer had turned the skirt into the sort of armored skirt that roman soldiers used to wear. At first glance it bore a superficial resemblance to the classic Wonder Woman costume, but on closer inspection actually resembled fighting gear, sort of.

  4. Maria Sibylla Merian is certainly worth celebrating for her accomplishments but I think that by calling her a feminist Slate is committing the same mistake that was discussed yesterday in the”Fauxmenism” article. No evidence whatsoever was given that she promoted equality for women, just that she excelled in a “man’s world”.

  5. I think the emphasis on Supergirl’s costume should be making it fashion-forward and youthful in appearance, not covering her up per se.

    I think Power Girl’s costume should remain the way it is, so that when my daughter is someday reading comic books, she will see Power Girl appearing as a guest character and feel about her costume similar to the way I feel about Cable’s: a curious artifact of a less enlightened age. She will say, “God, her boobs are just hanging there!” the way that I say “Look at all the goddamn pouches!”

    I think this picture confirms for me that a good looking Wonder Woman costume is basically impossible. I liked her armored legionnaire look from Kingdom Come, but even that wasn’t cool enough to justify looking at it. But then I am biased because I have always hated Wonder Woman as a character.

    Black Canary is fine, but those pants look a little weird.

    Zatanna is fine, although her bodice and fishnets look is appropriate since she is explicitly a performing magician. I mean, it is appropriate for her to wear that costume on stage. It’s never really been explained why she walks around the Watchtower dressed like that. It would be like a Las Vegas showgirl showing up in sequins and feathers for her night job as a security guard.

    Elektra and Psylocke really illustrate one of my person pet peeves when it comes to superheroine costumes. If you fill in the areas of skin with some black spandex, both Psylocke and Elektra have decently striking costumes. I believe this was even done for Elektra’s appearance on an old Spider-Man cartoon. Just her normal costume, but with tights instead of a thong. I mean the penciller doesn’t have to change anything he does. Just tell the colorist to make those areas anything but skin color, and we’re good to go.

    I am not familiar with Vampirella as anything but cheesecake pin-ups. While this drawing is cool, it pretty much kills any interest I ever had in Vampirella. “Oh look,” I used to say, “a generically hot drawing of a generically hot chick.” Now I will say, “Oh look, a generic vampire drawing.” That’s a full .1745 seconds I will save by flipping to the next page in Wizard even faster.

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