Skepchick Quickies, 12.20


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. “The Professor furiously wrote that his own 40 years of study and 25 years’ involvement in cancer research might be thought to offer at least as solid a basis for addressing this issue as the Prince’s ‘power and authority, which rest on an ­accident of birth’. ”

    I did enjoy that sentence.

  2. The Christmas Beetles my niece (Bug Girl, Junior) showed me were proper christmas colors, red and green. These were Tasmanian. Maybe mainland Christmas Beetles are yellow, like the ones in the linked picture.

  3. @Palaverer: I was unaware of this slogan (meaning I probably saw or heard it but it went right by me without leaving an impression), but thinking about it, it seems every bit as bad as the “Bright” thing. “Science: It Works” is shorter and more to the point, and doesn’t gratuitously insult the recipient of the message. As an alternative, my English major college roommate used to say “If it works, it’s science”

  4. @Palaverer: I’d like to hear suggestions for a new science slogan. One that doesn’t rely on belittling women.

    As a person of less than average stature I am offended by your pejorative use of the word “belittle”. Just because something is smaller doesn’t mean it is bad or inferior.

  5. I don’t want to sound like a birther but . . .
    If we follow the 1936 precedent that forced the abdication of Edward VIII, Prince Charles forfeited his right to succeed to the throne when he married a divorced woman. Could someone better versed in royal matters confirm this?

  6. @DoubtingT

    First of all let me say I am not British or a suject of The Queen in any way so what I am going to say needs to be confirmed by someone more in the know.

    I believe that there is no rule, per se, that caused Edward to abdicate before marrying Ms. Simpson, rather he was simply trying to avoid the scandal/scutiny that would have come with not abicating. Times being what they are today the scandal/scritiny of remarrying is not embarassing as it once was. Being Charles, on the other hand, should be same enough to keep him indoors and away from windows. :P

  7. @mrmisconception:
    The objection to Edward VIII was more formal. As king he was ex officio head of the Church of England. The C of E did not, at that time, allow the remarriage of divorced persons whose former spouse was still alive. I gather the C of E is more liberal now, hence my doubt about the application of the precedent in Prince Charles’ case.

  8. @mrmisconception: Being Charles, on the other hand, should be shame enough to keep him indoors and away from windows.

    I think Charles would be far more popular if he were a mime. People would even put up with that horrible invisible box if he were inside it.

  9. Edward was actually some kind of Nazi symp. And his wife-to-be was some kind of German agent (she was apparently having an affair with Von Ribentrop while she was dating Edward, and still married to her second husband).
    This weighed heavily on the decision to abdicate and avoid further trouble at the helm of the British empire. A Labour PM was pushing for this. The formalities of the case helped….
    See also: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/jun/29/research.monarchy (“Wallis Simpson, the Nazi minister, the telltale monk and an FBI plot”).

  10. That article on Prince Charles took an unexpectedly racist turn towards the end. (Then again it IS the Daily Mail, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that unexpected.)

  11. @davew:
    If “destory the monarcy” simply means that the monarcy is abandoned, then it would be no big deal in the long run.

    However, if Charles retains his habit of mouthing off during his tenure as King, it could lead to a constitutional crisis. This could well break the monarchy, but it would also cause a great deal of political chaos in the UK, not to mention Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries.

  12. @James K: This could well break the monarchy, but it would also cause a great deal of political chaos in the UK, not to mention Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries.

    I’m curious. Could you expand on this or point me to a wikipedia page or something like it where I could read more? I know there are some vestiges of monarchical control over the Commonwealth, but when I lived in Australia for a time I had trouble finding anyone who was knowledgeable on the subject. They would say something like “Technically the queen has the power to dissolve parliament, but should she ever try we’d take the power away from her.”

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