Quickies

Quickies: Toni Morrison, White America’s Silence on Police Brutality, and Synesthesia

  • The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison – ” ‘What I’m interested in is writing without the gaze, without the white gaze,’ she told me. ‘In so many earlier books by African-American writers, particularly the men, I felt that they were not writing to me. But what interested me was the African-American experience throughout whichever time I spoke of. It was always about African-American culture and people — good, bad, indifferent, whatever — but that was, for me, the universe.’ ” Take a tea break and read this fascinating profile of Toni Morrison.
  • “We’re basically skeletons surrounded by fluids surrounded by a membrane of skin” – “Anna Rothschild of PBS/NOVA’s ‘Gross Science,’ explains the disgusting marvels of nature.”
  • The Dire 17th-Century Origins of the Purvi Patel Feticide Verdict – “This past February, a woman from Indiana named Purvi Patel was found guilty of both feticide and child neglect after having what she claims is a miscarriage, and disposing of her stillborn child’s body in a dumpster. Recently, she was sentenced to twenty years in prison. This case has provoked widespread outrage and criticism, for good reason—not the least of which is that feticide and child neglect are contradictory charges. What struck me was that the adjudication of Patel’s case is alarmingly reminiscent of policies and procedures that were ostensibly made obsolete centuries ago.”
  • Lots of Cases of Synesthesia Are Based on Alphabet Magnets – “The study finds that more than 6 percent of American synesthetes have color associations that match a particular Fisher-Price fridge magnet set. And that finding will force scientists to rethink how synesthesia works.”
  • Nutritional Science Isn’t Very Scientific – “The research behind dietary recommendations is a lot less certain than you think.”
  • White America’s Silence on Police Brutality Is Consent – “The bottom line: The majority of white Americans believe the nation’s police are doing a good job despite that work often ending in the deaths of unarmed black people.”
  • Icky ‘101 Things Black & Latina Girls Should Know’ Sign Rankles Teens – “Encouraging high schoolers isn’t the easiest job in the world. But, rule of thumb, papering the school with lists of what ‘Black and Latina Girls Should Know’ and including things like ‘wearing too much makeup looks like a clown’ likely won’t go over so well. “

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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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2 Comments

  1. That nutritional science article has a lot of blatant misrepresentation. I have never known any nutritionist to say nuts or potatoes were “nutritionally null.” Those ideas got into the popular imagination and might have been promoted by quacks calling themselves dieticians, but that was never nutritional science.

    The argument against including potatoes in WIC was never that potatoes had no place. The problem in WIC is a lack of vegetables others than potatoes. Potatoes are not a substitute for leafy greens or carrots. Surveys of WIC recipients (who are possibly the most surveyed people in America) show they already eat plenty of potatoes.

    “nutritional advice to avoid high-fat food led to overconsumption of carbohydrates and caused spikes in illnesses like Type 2 diabetes”

    The nutritional advice at the time also said use sugars sparingly. People would eat 10 servings of fat-free cookies in a day, or even one sitting. Nutritional advice was ignored. It is like instructions on driving safely that say “wear your seatbelt and drive the speed limit,” and people ignore the speed limit warning.

    The advice is changing to avoid SoFAS (Solid Fats and Added Sugars) because that should be more difficult to misconstrue. However, no doubt people will eat a meal containing “No SoFAS!” and 1300 kcals of olive and peanut oil and people will later claim the SoFAS claim was bogus because they thought “No SoFAS!” meant you can eat 1300 kcals of oils in one sitting on a regular basis.

    The claim potatoes have a higher GI than Coca Cola is true. If your problem is blood sugar spikes, you should avoid both sodas and potatoes. That study never claimed potatoes were less healthy than soda.

    There is so much nonsense in that article it is crazy. Scientists can only do so much to prevent people from misrepresenting what they say. People saying potatoes are worse than soda because a study said potatoes were more glycemic or people eating 12 fat free cookies in a sitting were never the fault of the researchers or the advice. They were the fault of ads (“Fat Free!” “Low Glycemic Index!”) and gullible consumers.

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