Quickies

Quickies: Medical Hoaxes, an Ocean on Pluto, and the Privileged Tiny House Revolution

  • Why Has It Taken the Menstrual Cup So Long to Go Mainstream? – “In an era ruled by the dogma of innovation, we tend to take it for granted that cheaper, more convenient, and more beloved products creatively destroy their costly and inefficient competitors. But as the long, unfinished history of the menstrual cup’s road to mainstream acceptance demonstrates, transformative shifts in consumer behavior require the cooperation of social norms, effective entrepreneurs, and extenuating circumstances too. These challenges have prolonged the rise of the menstrual cup. Its sputtering history sheds a light on the cultural and corporate factors that have long protected the feminine hygiene industry from being disrupted.”
  • 4 big medical hoaxes that fooled (almost) everybody – I’ll just tease you with this excerpt: “The scam fell apart when suspicious doctors suggested performing exploratory surgery on Toft, which frightened her. Also, neighbors noticed that Toft’s husband had been buying an unusually high number of rabbits.”
  • It Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean – “If Hammond’s models turn out to be correct, they raise the exciting possibility that subsurface oceans are a common feature throughout the icy rocks littering the Kuiper Belt. Whether any of these exotic oceans could support life as we know it remains to be seen—but it’s all the more reason to keep sending space probes out there to explore.” From Donna.
  • Busted – “Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them?”
  • Who Benefits From The Tiny House Revolution? – “It’s not enough to just ‘go tiny’; you also have to appear on TV, start a blog, and proselytize about your new lifestyle. Because while people have been living in small homes forever, it’s just that now, as (overwhelmingly) white and middle-class people are doing it, there’s finally something to celebrate. It’s not new for people to be living in RVs or mobile homes; it’s just that now there’s a new vocabulary to gentrify living in a small space.”

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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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