Quickies

Quickies: Muhammad Ali’s Magician, Coding While Black, and the Geek Feminist Revolution

  • Coding While Black: Hacking The Future Of The Tech Industry – “That sort of bias hit close to home recently for Code Start founder Rodney Sampson, and he recalls how it how it has already affected his students. ‘I was actually in a meeting – a very important meeting,’ he begins. ‘And I get a call from my resident director and says you need to leave your meeting now and you need to come down to the Atlanta Check Cashing outlet on Forsyth Street.’ One of his Code Start students had tried to cash his monthly $500 stipend, but the clerk suspected the postal money order was fake. She took his identification and told him to call the police on himself.”
  • Muhammad Ali had a personal magician. This is his tale. – “But back when Ali was still a terror in the ring, in 1978, La Sorda was 23 years old. He was just out of college, performing magic in a mall in Pottsville, Pennsylvania for a fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, when a man walked up to him and said,  Muhammad would love to see these card tricks.’ “
  • When American Feminists Were Pilloried for Daring to Wear Bloomers – “The women who wore them were quickly characterized as independent, exotic, and unpredictable. A New York Times editorial in October 1851 warned readers that for women’s rights activists, ‘there is an obvious tendency to encroach upon masculine manners, manifested even in trifles, which cannot be too severely rebuked or too speedily repressed.’ These ‘masculine manners’ included wearing bloomers, deemed to be too close to men’s garments for men’s comfort.”
  • The Geek Feminist Revolution Has Arrived – “Talking about feminism online requires a high tolerance for verbal abuse, but Hurley says her childhood as a geek helped her develop a thick skin. ‘I tried to be really nice, and like the things other people liked, and do the things other people were supposed to do, and what you find out is that they’re going to bully you anyway,’ she says. ‘And I thought, you know what? If I’m going to get bullied anyway, I might as well get bullied for making a difference in the world.’ “
  • In treating obese patients, too often doctors can’t see past weight – “Our cultural obsession with appearance may bleed over into the exam room, leading doctors to disproportionately focus on weight and to interact with fat patients differently from thin ones. It’s a stigma that can bring sometimes life-and-death consequences.”
  • Does sunscreen really protect my skin? Your paranoid sunscreen questions, answered. – “The standard antidote to these sun fears is lathering on the sunscreen (or staying out of the sun altogether). But it turns out buying and using sunscreen isn’t all that straightforward. And the more we rely on it, the more we seem to obsess about doing it wrong.”

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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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