Skepchick Quickies 7.8

On July 8, 1947, reporters broadcasted that there was a UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. I still find it fun to read all about the “investigations” and such, and admit it, you watched Alien Autopsy (hosted by Jonathan Frakes).

BONUS: Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley Is Now on Google Street View. I want to live there (in the fictional world, of course).



Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. “(They pay for two households by cutting back on expenses such as clothing.)”

    They must wear some nice clothes. -_-

    Anyway I think it makes sense that different people have differing needs for privacy, space, etc and that this can change over time. People should have more options than sharing a single bed for 50 years. Even if the solution of living in separate houses is a little sad it sounds like they’re actually spending -more- time together now and enjoying each other’s company, which is obviously a very good thing. It sounds like a nicer ending then adding on an extension to the house so they can ignore each other as much as possible.

    My partner and I are planning to live together within a year and I have told her that I might end up wanting my own room if we can afford it. I am just so used to having my own space and t I don’t want that to be something that comes between us. I think the important thing is that neither of us is locked into doing things a certain way and that we both want to find something that works for both of us.

    “What happened when I started a feminist society at school”

    Awful but not really surprising. I wish we had had a group like this at my high school.

    1. I guess from my perspective, I can’t stand to be away from my husband, and the thought that we could end up like that couple (unlikely) is depressing for me. The good thing is that we are young enough to recognize that we don’t want our relationship to end up like that and we can take steps to prevent it. And we still have our own space and time apart.

      1. Yeah, that makes sense. I guess so many people just end up not even being on speaking terms that it seems like an okay resolution to me, but I agree with you that it’s worth taking to maintain the rapport that’s there early on.

        I think the child rearing part plays a big role, though, and it’s hard to know how that will effect you long term. I personally don’t want to raise children, even though I don’t have anything against them. Being responsible for at least two people’s needs at the same time would require too much of an adjustment in my life and I’d end up having to give up on other things. I can see how this is one of them for some people.

      2. I have to agree with panchoruiz, I don’t think this situation sounds sad at all. The couple took a look at their relationship, and eliminated what gave them friction. While living in separate homes is an unusual step it works for them. I think it is an example of how the polyamorous example of defining your own relationships can benefit monogamous people too.

    2. Having separate rooms sounds like an awesome arrangement to me, especially since my partners usually snore and I’m an early riser. It’s a common arrangement among my circle of polyamorous friends and seems to suit each of them well, all with the option to share when they like, and it’s definitely on my wish-list for if/when I begin living with a partner. Maybe I want to go to my room to read while he plays computer games in his, right? I guess something similar could be accomplished if there is space enough for separate craft/media rooms, but with my introversion and habitually light sleeping, I think I’d really like my own space a few nights a week.

      1. If we get a studio apartment we talked about dividing it into three sections, so one would be the bed room and then we’d both get a section for to be our own space. There would also be nothing stopping us from setting up a cot in our space if we wanted a little privacy for that night. I think I liked this idea more than she did though.

  2. Mary

    I have an entire book debunking that Roswell incident. My grandfather was a believer in that UFO coverup conspiracy theory, but than I showed him the book and it changed his mind. That’s some good debunking. I’ll see if I can find the book again.

      1. Mary

        Did you enjoy the Men in Black movies? I only got around to watching the first one, for some reason, but I really thought it was fun.

  3. “Wine-tasting: it’s junk science – I know I’ve read all about this, but I swear that I still like reds better than whites. What do you think?”

    I think that “wine-tasting: it’s junk science” does not equal “all wine tastes the same.” Of course reds taste different than whites and what you like is what you like. Not all reds taste the same, nor do all whites. I’ve a list of whites I like, and a shorter list of reds (because not all barolos or baco noirs taste the same, either.) I prefer a dry Italian prosseco to a brut from any other country, I like red zinfandel better than white zinfandel and chardonnay from anywhere makes me cringe. There may not be any science behind the profession of wine-tasting, but that doesn’t suddenly render wine uniform in flavour.

    1. I’ve read of a study where white wine was colored red and the tasters used “red wine” words to describe it, so I am curious if I would fall for that. But I think white wines taste more acidic and reds taste more velvetly (I drink semi-dry).

      1. Hmm, could be a fun experiment, but I agree with your assessment on the difference between whites and reds. Whites are basically made of grape juice, while reds ferment the skins and pulp along with the juice, which I think is a reasonable “why”, but I don’t know much about the science of wine-making beyond the yeast-sugar-alcohol thing.

    2. “Wine tasting, it’s junk science” is far too simplistic and overstates the case in my view. This is a complex subject. The article refers to Dr Bryce Rankine, Australian wine scientist – I went to a lecture and tasting conducted by him many years ago. It was educational and informative to learn and compare and taste traits like acidity, tannin and so on.

      I have drunk a lot of rocket fuel in my time but also some of our best wines on occasion. It would be foolish to deny that Grange Hermitage is an outstanding wine. Three times in my life I bought a bottle. Each time it was worth the price.

      Sadly now Grange has escalated in price to become an investment and a collector’s item, beyond the reach of the average Joe. This is a tragedy and a waste, as wine is meant to be enjoyed with friends and family with laughter and good times for all.

      But never mind, there are many up and coming great young wines that have yet to reach the snob bracket, and it would be a lifetime quest to try them all.

  4. My parents lived apart for a while (though they can’t afford it right now), and said that it was much less stressful. They had almost the opposite problem from in that article; it wasn’t that they didn’t talk, but rather that they stepped on each other’s toes too much.

  5. In the empty nest article, there was no mention of biology. What if you really are just ‘different’ people. There is menopause, midlife crises, and health and life situations that fundamentally change things as people get older, not just the empty nest. What happens when a spouse really can’t do the gardening and hiking like they use to let alone is the same person who wants to share every breath with you like in your twenties?

    “Dr. Karam also tells spouses to start early to prioritize what he calls “Protected Time”—a period every week to do something together and, at the same time, talk. An example: Take a dance lesson and go to dinner after. “There should be time to learn about each other’s world,” he says.” No amount of dance class was going to save my parent’s marriage. I think they had had quite enough of each other’s world. HAHAHA!

    Instead of reclaiming youth and grasping at not growing apart by spending MORE time together, how about an article about mature adult relationships. Because yes if we were still all in our twenties, had health, high libidos, and had the biological push to make babies and families sure it is easier to stay together.

  6. I think there are many ways that a relationship can work out, but that seems to be the point of the article. Expecting the “empty nest” years to be when an older couple can reconnect is just not the way it’s going to be for everyone. In fact, there are many kinds of relationship arrangements in the first place. I’m acquainted with a couple who have been married for over 10 years, living separately in houses across the street from each another. They seem happy and content to me. My own relationship would not fit the model of the ideal relationship on most people’s score card, but we’ve managed to hang in there for 23 years, raise a son, and be reasonably happy with each other despite the imperfections.

    1. Yes, I agree that what works for one couple may be hell for another. I’m glad that the couple in the article is making it work for them (I wish I had the money for two mortgages, or hell, just one). But at this point in my life, I can’t imagine growing apart from my husband, and it scares me that we could grow apart in the future.

      I used to date a guy and I loved spending time apart from him. Turns out, I just wanted to break up with him! I found that out when I met my husband and years later still love spending my time with him. :)

      I am not saying anything other than this is what works for my family. What others do with their time is their business.

  7. That is definitely not the first time van der Waals forces have been measured. Atomic force microscopes do this routinely. One of the commenters at physicsworld also noted this. Still, it looks like reasonably cool research, more related to quantum computing than force measurement

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