Skepchick Quickies, 4.30


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. If anyone’s curious about the anti-reflective property of the new glass, look up moth’s eye coatings. I definitely plan to read the journal paper later to understand some of the other properties.

    This would be incredibly useful in the photovoltaic industry (which the MIT News article lists as the primary motivation), so long as they can get the cost of the process down. If the cost of the material is more than the value of the increased energy produced, it won’t be economically feasible to add to solar cells. I’m also interested in how robust this surface is (which may be addressed in the paper). I learned in a diffractive optics course that moth’s eye coatings are used relatively infrequently simply because of how delicate they are. If those nanostructures get damaged, there’s no way to repair them.

    1. I should clarify that when I say “so long as they can get the cost of the process down,” “they” refers to the solar industry, not the academic researchers. Cost reduction is typically in the realm of industry R&D, while academic engineers tend to focus on creating entirely novel technology.

  2. Religious conservatives are going to see the “Porn May Shut Down Part of Your Brain” (totally alarmist headline) and declare “See! Science says porn is BAD!” Of course, that is not at ALL what this study says – just that high levels stimulation of the visual cortex isn’t necessary when the brain is doing other important things (like being aroused) but I’m sure someone will say “See, masturbation DOES MAKE YOU BLIND!”

  3. have you guys publicized this video yet? If not, why not? :)


    BTW, I’m in my mid-60s now and have been masturbating all my life from about age 3. That must be why my eyesight is starting to fail. So far, I only have hair on the BACK of my hands, though. I’ll keep you posted on my one-man longitudinal study of this phenomenon. :)

  4. On the “honor killing” case, Fundamentalist Islam seems to provide “moral” cover for “honor” killing among other horrors just as fundamentalist christianity does for murdering doctors and blowing up medical facilities. Neither phenomenon says much about mainstream versions of either religion except that by opposing full equality for women, all three abrahamaic religions can and do lead to violence against women by people who take specific anti-woman “teachings” of those religions literally.

  5. I want glasses that use that stuff from MIT. I absolutely hate it when I get reflections and fog up! And my glasses are a pain to clean.

    Be great for autos too.

  6. Jen

    I saw that same story about what’s going on in Dearborn over at Loon Watch. I feel bad for Jessica Mokdad and her poor family, than anti Muslim bigots like Geller have to step in and make things even more unpleasant for them.

  7. Regarding the article about women waiting to have children, the “social” barriers that the author mentions seem like quite legitimate points and were not really addressed in the article. Giving birth at age 45 or 50 would absolutely mean that one will have less energy to do the normal parenting responsibilities. My own father was in his 40s when I was born and actually passed away when I was a pre-teen. These are real issues that need to be discussed.

    Personally, I would love it if fertility technology alone could allow me to delay pregnancy until I was in my 40s but that just doesn’t seem realistic.

  8. On the porn article–is it suggesting that watching porn (or perhaps reading erotic lit, or anything else that gets one in the mood) might also serve to reduce anxiety, by calming the part of the brain that normally gets fired up during an anxiety attack?

  9. Wait, wait. Is Gellar so thick that she thinks the family would be willing to kill the girl to protect their ‘honor’, then turn around and claim the step-father is a child molester in order to conceal the true motive? Doesn’t that sorta kinda throw the notion of the family being obsessed with honor into the trash?

    1. Freemage,

      In Geller’s mind it does not, especially since they’re Muslims, and she believes that Islam condones, even promotes pedophilia, so in her mind, since they’re practicing Muslims, they must support things like that. Geller is a bigot. Don’t expect her to be reasonable.

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