Quickies

Quickies: Intersex Rights, Internet Colonialism in India, and “Detoxing” Clay That May Contain Lead

  • Little Girls’ Reactions to the New “Curvy” Barbie Prove Why We Need “Curvy” Barbie – “For her Time cover story, Dockterman watched unattended little girls playing with the doll, presumably through some kind of two-way mirror. In one session, for the pleasure of her peers, a 6-year-old speaks as if she’s the curvy doll. Here’s what she says: ‘Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat.’ Later, when an adult arrives, she calls the doll ‘a little chubbier.’ Another child says she doesn’t want to hurt that Barbie’s feelings, so she spells it: ‘F-A-T.’ A Mattel research head told Dockterman that, when adults weren’t in the room, focus-group girls often undressed the curvy dolls and laughed at them.” Fellow adults, we need to do better, for our children. 
  • Leading CDC scientist: Link between Zika, birth defect getting stronger – “Traces of the virus have already been found in amniotic fluid and placental tissues drawn from women who were carrying fetuses that developed microcephaly. The virus was also found in brain tissues of infants born with the condition who died shortly after birth.”
  • Is the world finally waking up to intersex rights? – “A landmark directive in Chile last month said doctors should stop ‘normalisation’ surgery, but tackling the global systematic, societal and cultural abuse against intersex people is an uphill battle.”
  • Slack sent four black female engineers to accept an award and make a statement on diversity – “A Slack spokeswoman tells Quartz that Butterfield wasn’t able to make the event and asked the women to accept the award on behalf of the company if it won. ‘It seemed appropriate that the award for “Fastest Rising Start-up” should be accepted by the very employees who made it possible,’ she said. ‘With respect to diversity, we can focus on numbers, which are important, but equally important is changing the archetype of what people believe an engineer looks like. The women on that stage are what engineers at Slack look like. Representation matters.’ “
  • Jessica Williams Took Down Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Critics on The Daily Show   
  • Facebook board member Marc Andreessen: Indians should’ve embraced Free Basics—and colonialism – Andreeson tweeted “Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?” in response to Facebook’s Indian initiative being called “internet colonialism.” Wow.
  • Pregnancy Clinics Fight for Right to Deny Abortion Information – “The clinic is one of more than 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers around the country that are operated by religious opponents of abortion, with the heartfelt aim of persuading women to choose parenting or adoption. Now it and others in California are in a First Amendment battle with the state over a new law that requires them to post a notice that free or low-cost abortion, contraception and prenatal care are available to low-income women through public programs, and to provide the phone number to call.”
  • ‘Detox’ clay may have dangerous amounts of lead, FDA says – “The FDA focused on ‘Bentonite Me Baby,’ a brand of powdered clay sold at stores including Target and Sally Beauty Supply. The label says it can be used as a facial or hair mask, or for ingestion. However laboratory testing found that the product has a lead concentration of 37.5 parts per million (ppm). By comparison, the FDA says that lead levels above .05 ppm in fruit juice ‘may constitute a health hazard.’ “
  • First Black NASA Administrator Charles Bolden ‘Pleaded’ To Get Into Naval Academy – “Bolden says, when his state representatives would not nominate him for consideration because he was black. One of South Carolina’s senators at the time, Strom Thurmond, flatly rejected Bolden’s request.”
  • Why Is It So Hard To Test Whether Drivers Are Stoned? – “Law enforcement officials would love to have a clear way to tell when a driver is too drugged to drive. But the decades of experience the country has in setting limits for alcohol have turned out to be rather useless so far because the mind-altering compound in cannabis, THC, dissolves in fat, whereas alcohol dissolves in water.”
  • You Can’t Judge How Healthy Your Food Is by Whether or Not It Rots – “Let’s be clear: McDonald’s burgers and Twinkies last a long time, but it’s not because these items are ‘not food’ or because they’re full of ‘toxic chemicals.’ The truth is far less scandalous. And yet, those are the claims that get passed around every time somebody’s old Happy Meal goes viral.”

Featured Image

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.

Previous post

Doing it for the Clicks, Ms Blumner

Next post

Expensive-Ass Toilet Paper is Full of Shit

7 Comments

  1. February 10, 2016 at 11:47 am —

    Thank you for posting the Intersex article from The Guardian! It does a wonderful job describing the issues of us intersex individuals experience. I had my gonads removed without much explication as to why it needed to be done, having trust in my parents and doctors. No other surgeries were needed- thank goodness!- but the more surgeries the more trauma. Our medical community in the USA overall still does not understand most of these surgeries CAN wait until the person is old enough to be informed and decide for themselves what they want to do with their body! There are practitioners out there who get it and are questioning, but not enough!

  2. February 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm —

    What’s really bad is, it’s not even ‘can’t rot’ ingredients you should be worried about. Take a Twinkie. If I were diabetic, I’d worry more about the 46 grams of carbohydrate than a few unpronounceable chemicals which can be measured in fractions of a milligram. (And yes, organic Twinkies have the same problem.) Same thing in the 40 grams of carbohydrate, give or take, in a can of soda. (In a 20 oz bottle, that becomes 100 grams.)

    • February 10, 2016 at 3:48 pm —

      You are spot on there (speaking as a diabetic controlled by diet alone).

      At least with processed food there is a table of nutritional info to help guide you, which is pretty essential if you need to plan what you eat!

      Also, everybody puts shit on MacDonalds, but I am a big fan. Take a burger, chuck out the bread – instant diet food!

      OK so there is the saturated fat angle, but moderation is the key, I reckon..

      • February 11, 2016 at 6:43 pm —

        I mathed wrong, though. It’s 66 grams, not 100 grams. Don’t know how I did that.

        • February 11, 2016 at 7:34 pm —

          Either way is to damned much.

          • February 11, 2016 at 9:56 pm

            Sometimes the sugar works in your favour, e.g if you need to prep for a colonoscopy. It’s the same exactly for a diabetic.

            The way I did it twice now, get a 2.5L bottle of soda and drink 125ml/h. That gives you about 800 calories, enough to stop you starving, while being spread out enough to avoid spiking yr blood glucose.

            Course you are not doing much work other than shitting so it’s not as bad as it sounds hunger wise.

        • February 11, 2016 at 9:48 pm —

          I’m in awe of you guys in the US, that you do so well all the time with these bloody useless conversions! We OTOH went cold turkey and work in metric all the time. It works for us.

          The easy way I use is that it’s 10% sugar so 1L = 100g and your 20 oz would be 2 oz or 56g so I think you have a bit of rounding error still. But close enough.

Leave a reply