Quickies

Quickies: Transgender Children, The Misfits, and Bigfoot

  • Nearly Half of Black and Latina Scientists Mistaken for Janitors or Assistants – “A new survey of 557 female scientists found widespread experiences of discrimination and alienation in the workforce that varied in interesting ways by race.”
  • This Transgender Third-Grader, Life As A Boy Is Liberating – “Allanbrook learned students should be allowed to use the bathroom of their gender identity. That’s backed up by guidelines on transgender students that New York City issued last year. Not all schools in the city follow them; this one does. The school also tried to follow the lead of Q’s parents, who recognize that Q’s gender identity is not a whim. They say he began questioning gender going back to age 3 or 4.”
  • How Math Can Defeat Bullies – “Mathematician John Allen Paulos marvels at his field’s counterintuitive proofs. Yet his earliest intellectual thrill was the discovery that numeracy could empower even a child.” From Donna.
  • Where the Bridges are Grown – “The Khasi tribe of Cherrapuni, India, however, found a rather brilliant solution. Instead of working against the environment, the Khasi built their bridge so that it will not only survive the weather but grow stronger over time. Using the roots of the local rubber fig tree, they grow their bridges. These living root bridges can be up to 100 feet long and support the weight of over 50 people.”
  • 11 Great Songs That Prove The Misfits Were Better At Girl Power Than Jem – One reason the new Jem movie looks terrible is because of the absence of The Misfits. 
  • Girl Fights Library’s Boys-Only Robotics Program – The library has since issued an apology and made the program open for all children. But still, how rude that this child needed to create a petition to be included in a robotics program!
  • The Hunter, The Hoaxer, And The Battle Over Bigfoot – “Jeffrey Meldrum is a respected anthropologist risking his reputation to prove Sasquatch is real; Rick Dyer is a self-described “entertainer” unapologetically capitalizing off it. Their rivalry represents two sides of the fractious but booming subculture.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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6 Comments

  1. July 6, 2015 at 9:40 am —

    Re: “Girl Fights Library’s Boys-Only Robotics Program”
    It is so disturbing that protecting boy’s self-esteem is still the job of girls, who have to sacrifice their desires for fear of putting off boys from achieving something.
    Boys, for instance, have been taught be so mortified at losing to a girl that girl martial arts competitors are only allowed to compete if there happens to be enough other girls to fight against. Ditto sports teams – god forbid a boys’ team lose against a girls’ team. So girls’ teams, which are few in number, have no one to play against.
    The fact that there is no difference between the strength and agility of prepubescent girls and boys is immaterial. Boys have been taught to see themselves as pathetic losers if girls happen to beat them at anything.
    Oh, and subjects that have come to attract more girls than boys? Immediately these are seen as unworthy of a true boy’s interest (dance, horse riding, singing, figure skating, even reading, or doing well at school, etc.).
    It’s so disheartening. And it sucks almost as much for boys as it does for girls.

  2. July 6, 2015 at 9:52 am —

    lol Bigfoot. I mean, seriously. You kind of need “some” sort of evidence, other than stuff that can be faked so easily that its not even funny. Why are they not looking to werewolves, shape shifters, or vampires too? Those “exist” in stories, both Native American or otherwise, going even farther back than Bigfoot, and they at least come with a stupid, but plausible, explanation for why you can’t find the bloody things – they look like normal people most of the time.

    Bigfoot, on the other hand, seems to be invisible, impossible to film/photograph, except, like with UFOs, when blurry and a long way off, and easily faked foot prints, and DNA that turns out to belong to someone’s dog are **way** less interesting that crop circles, or mysterious burn marks in someone’s lawn. Unless this biologist actually comes up with someone even vaguely useful, at all, what reputation is he putting on the line? Seems to me, he lost it, the moment he wandered into the ecological equivalent of a theme park, and confused the local version of Mickey Mouse with a real animal.

    • July 6, 2015 at 11:58 am —

      Huh? Mickey Mouse is real!

      Most of the evidence used to be crude black and white drawings made by eye witnesses (e.g. W. Disney), but there has been lots of video evidence for the last 50 or more years, and most importantly (for me), I’ve seen one myself. (I was vacationing in California, and saw a member of the Pacific subspecies. I’ve read there is also an Eastern subspecies mostly found in central Florida.)

      M. Mouse is quite large (over 2 meters) and has very large feet. I think a great many supposed Bigfoot sightings and prints are actually mistaken identifications of M. Mouse.

    • July 6, 2015 at 1:08 pm —

      The real problem with bigfoots (bigfeet?) is that they are blurry in real life. ;)

  3. July 6, 2015 at 1:24 pm —

    Well the number of Bigfoot sightings have dropped dramatically since Alec Baldwin stopped hiking shirtless.

  4. July 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm —

    Rather similar to the maths-and-bullies story:
    http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3548

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