Skepchick Quickies, 3.11


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. That Cambodia thing is interesting. Obviously not a dinosaur. Looks like something more like a rhino/elephant/hippo but rendered by someone who’d never actually seen one.

  2. Someday, it will be quaintly sexist to preface the announcement of a winner of a prestigious award for accomplishments in science or technology by noting that she is a she.

    On another topic, I was wondering, if I paint a picture of something vaguely resembling a stegosaurus on my front gate, will people believe I have one for a pet? Can I charge admission to see it? How much? Will I have to give the money back when all they find is cats? Can’t I make up some sort of excuse?

  3. From the story about ghosts: The headless soldier has the head of Snoopy on his shoulder. And that’s not the face of a human in the woman’s hair. It’s the face of a Wookie.

  4. That astrology song is wonderful. How can you not love that? Harvey Sid Fisher has a heart warming timid delivery and then there’s dancing, costume changes…why it’s just a show!

    Puh-puh-puh-PISCES! Puh-puh-puh-PISCES!! The magical mind! So warm and so kind! Puh-puh-puh-PISCES! Puh-puh-puh-PISCES!!

  5. Obviously there were dinosaurs in Cambodia in the Middle Ages, just like the carvings on medieval European facades suggest that gargoyles were “a part of the locals’ life.”

  6. All right, I had a feeling that those astrology songs would be bad… but damn were they ever bad! How some of you got as far as Pisces I’ll never know. It makes Pat Boone’s metal cover songs sound positively badass by comparison.

  7. Those ghost pics are the best!

    I’ve got a few cousins that are truly “believers” and even they’d be laughing at these.

    Just as believable as that sock stealing “demon”, in “Dr. Science” and just as funny too.

    If my cousins had “dem computas”, I’d send them a link.


  8. That’s cool about Liskov, but the article hurt my brain.

    Liskov developed two programming languages…that formed the underpinnings for languages like Java and C++, commonly used to write software applications for personal computers and the Internet. [emphasis mine]

    Uh, and mobile phones and PDAs and robots and CNC machines and embedded devices and pretty much anything else that is programmable (at least for C++. C++ is, like, in your breakfast cereal, man.)

    In the early days of computing, programs were written as long strings of numbers and characters known as code, sometimes broken up by chunks.

    Not sure what they’re getting at here. We still call everything we write “code”, and it still consists of “long strings of numbers and characters”, and we still break it into “chunks”. That hasn’t changed since assembly languages were developed in the 50’s as a way to translate something vaguely human-readable into machine code.

    Anyway, what assembly languages do for readability, object-orientation does for conceptualization. Object-orientation makes programs easier to think about, discuss, change, and reorganize.

  9. It’s also worth noting that Alan Turing, for whom Liskov’s award was named, is an excellent example of the destructiveness of bigotry. Here’s a man whose contributions to computer science were legion and groundbreaking, but was subsequently thanked for his work with criminal prosecution for homosexuality and sentenced to chemical castration. He eventually, it is commonly held, committed suicide, although circumstances around the death are somewhat sketchy.

  10. Is it supposed to be “carefully quote Richard Wiseman”, or are you perhaps suggesting it’s the first step in a subtle discrediting with the goal being to “carefully quiet Richard Wiseman”?

    Or am I just being a Wiseass?

  11. Hi there!

    >>>Experts are inviting members of the public to send them pictures of alleged ghosts to allow them to examine them in greater detail.>>>


    15 years ago, I would have applauded them on their efforts to debunk fraudulent photos, but NOW?

    “Well … in my expert opinion, I’d say that this is either the restless spirit of a young woman who had been murdered by a jealous lover and now haunts the historical site looking for her lost head, OR … bored teenager with Photoshop’s “smudge” tool. It could really go either way … “

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