Quickies

Quickies: Snopes in a Post-Truth Era, Stinky City Planning, and Malia Obama Acts Like a Teenger (Because She Is One)

  • This Just In. Malia Obama Seen Acting Like a Teenage Girl – “In truth, there’s nothing Malia Obama could or couldn’t do that would win universal approval. Her achievements are written off as completely attributable to her father’s influence. Her normal teenage acts (i.e. taking selfies, attending a party during a college tour, etc) become political statements or indisputable proof of her moral corruption. The stigma of being a Black child, a girl at that, charged from birth with disproving all the stereotypes against her, has been amplified for billions of eyes. Without her consent, she has been placed under a microscope, her life turned into a reality show.” From Alex.
  • In A Turbulent Election Year, Mosques Organize En Masse Voting – “Many mosques have traditionally shunned politics. As recently as the late 1990s, Muslim scholars were divided on the ethics of voting. For years, it was common for many Muslim-Americans to not exercise their voting rights. But this year, three of Nashville’s biggest mosques are busing worshipers to the polls. The organizers say this is more about demonstrating the importance of voting than providing transportation.”
  • The Abuse Of ‘Feel-Good’ Cop Videos – “Today, when I saw this video which has gone viral these past few days as a “feel-good” cop story, I finally made the connection. The video is of a black woman being pulled over by police. There is terror on her face as the officer walks up to her car. His gun is at her eye level. But the officer doesn’t reach for the gun—instead, he reaches for two ice cream cones to hand over to her and her passenger. Her terror gives way to the almost tearful relief that she is not going to come to harm at the hands of these officers. At least not today.” From Andy.
  • Can mythbusters like Snopes.com keep up in a post-truth era? – “The fact-checking website was launched to correct urban legends and false rumours. Now, with even presidential candidates repeating fake stories from the web, its co-founder David Mikkelson says ‘the bilge is rising faster than you can pump’.” (nice metaphor!)
  • The First Global Urban Planning Conference Was Mostly About Manure – “The manure issue had become particularly acute as horse populations swelled in rapidly growing urban centers. It was considered such a looming threat to cities that an 1894 article in the Times of London estimated that within 50 years, dung piles would rise nine feet high.”

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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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