Skepchick Quickies 12.15


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. I’ll be happy to believe in Bigfoot when they come up with some DNA. Is it possible to get DNA from a pile of crap, or does it not have one’s DNA in it, *because* it’s crap…?

  2. It’s a man in a black ski suit. I opened the picture in photoshop, screwed around with the contrast a bit, and i can see the outline where his jacket meets his pants. If I were to jump to conclusions, the most obvious conclusion to jump to is that it’s a man in a black ski suit and somewhat lighter gloves, with his hood up for some reason, possibly because it’s October in a northern state, and it was raining.

    Maybe a little overdressed for October, but other than that, noting remarkable.

  3. @Peregrine: Yeah, that was my first thought too (and without enhancing it in Photoshop): “That’s clearly a dude in warm clothes and dark lighting.”
    If presented with this photo out of context, I don’t think that I’d even associate it with bigfoot, much less leap to the conclusion that that is what it is.

  4. Man, the poll in the article’s a joke:
    What do you see in the photo?
    – Bigfoot
    – A blurry photo of a man in a bigfoot suit
    – An alien
    – I’m not sure.

    How about “A blurry photo of a man not wearing a bigfoot suit”?

  5. Now that I read that article about the woman having a man’s name, I can understand why even the author of Harry Potter was convinced by her publishers to have a pen name that does not denote any gender.

  6. Stupid adaptationism. If women are better at reading faces during pregnancy, it’s probably not for whatever contrived reason the scientists think. It’s because they’re full of oxytocin and oxytocin will make anyone more empathetic and a better face-reader. It’s a spandrel.

  7. What is with the stupid poll?

    The correct answer is someone who knows exactly how freaking cold the fall rain was this year.

    It was like tiny little death pellets that soaked thru every rain proof item you wore. Smart man (or maybe a woman but likely a man) to wear that much gear. It was a cold October. Also they act like someone who is nearly 7 feet would be an anomaly. Have they ever been to MN? HA. Slightly hunched forward to keep any exposed area covered yeah this looks like a guy walking thru the woods. How is this special? Sheesh.

  8. James Chartrand’s tale is kind of sad. It boggles my mind that such discrimination still exists in this modern world and a tactic of last resort like adopting a male pseudonym can still be necessary.

  9. @laarree:

    Yeah, it’s sad, but actually not that surprising. I decided a few years ago that if I have kids, I’ll give them all gender-neutral names. Of course employers will find out their sex during the interview, but there’s no point in getting their resume thrown away before they even have a chance. The sad thing is that this discrimination probably isn’t intentional, and employers don’t even realize they’re doing it. Of course, it’s much more difficult to change something that people don’t even know exists.

  10. @catgirl:

    The interesting thing about gender neutral names is that they are generally not “neutral” they’re actually masculine, and they don’t stay unisex… they drift to the feminine. So in 30 years, the name you thought of as “neutral” is still kind of a boys’ name, but it’s an outdated and femme boys name (think Ashley, Leslie and Carol), but it’s really a girls’ name.

    As someone who is in the throws of a messy baby-naming battle, I found this to be an interesting (and helpful) tidbit.

  11. @laarree, @catgirl, and @Elyse:

    As I’ve mentioned before, I have a gender-neutral name that trends “male”. I don’t hide my gender, and the spelling of it is the accepted feminine version.

    Yet I cannot count the times people – mostly men, but some women – have heard of me by reputation or corresponded with me via e-mail, and then were shocked to find out I am a woman when finally meetng me. I used to get angry, now I’m just bemused when men tell me something along the lines of “but your work is so good I didn’t think you were a woman.”

    It’s just ridiculous.

  12. @Chasmosaur: I get the same thing, sorta. My full, real name is Stevie so I am always referred to as Mr.

    I used to do some environmental rallying and a lot of what I did was through the internet (getting people organized etc.) One day I showed up to an event and was talking to a Professor from UNLV and she went on to say how this guy Stevie from the student organization SCOPE would be there and that SCOPE was an asset to their cause etc. Made me feel really good, and it was fun to see the surprise on her face! In the end she told me it was probably a good thing that people thought I was male — it was unfortunate, but true.

  13. @Chasmosaur: I’m the same way, due to the nickname I go by, Joey. In some cases over email or regular mail I do use my full and unmistakably female name — for example, when writing to a politician so they place me in the correct demographic.

    In certain online situations it’s interesting to note how some people will react very differently to a “Joey” who is thought to be male, and one who is known to be female.

  14. Not mine but very pertinent. Especially since this is in my home state of Minnesota.

    “I think Bigfoot is blurry, that’s the problem. It’s not the photographer’s fault. Bigfoot is blurry, and that’s extra scary to me. There’s a large, out-of-focus monster roaming the countryside. Look out, he’s fuzzy, let’s get out of here.”

  15. A while back I was discussing the bigfoot thing with an old friend, and I had decided I don’t think I really believe in it, just from what I know about the distribution of primates. (assuming bigfoot is a primate…)

    Way I figure, bigfoot is either closely related to humans, and would have had to follow a similar migration out of Africa (and, in most likelihood would leave populations all over the place, and more evidence of existence…) or be distantly related, and branching off from new-world monkeys (which, I would figure would leave lots of intermediates, both in the fossil record and in present megafauna, which I don’t believe exist?)

    So, anyways, just wanted to throw that out there and see what holes get poked in it, etc.

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