Skepchick Quickies 11.26


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

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  1. Diana and JF of Neuro.TV are friends of mine. I’m glad to see their project mentioned here, as I think they’re trying to do something really cool and ambitious. Neuroscience needs better outreach and public education, as a lot of the breathless “Neuroscientists prove X!” news articles that Skepchick frequently critiques demonstrate.

    I can also attest that I have seen no evidence that JF has any dancing ability whatsoever, but when I asked him about it he solemnly informed me that he has been studying the theory behind dubstep dance online for some time now, in the exact same tone of voice that he used when he told me he’d been reading up on information theory for a study he’s been running.

    1. Knowing that makes me so, so happy.

      And I’m really looking forward to the show. I only have the tiniest bit of knowledge of neuroscience and I’d love to know more.

  2. Re: An interesting analysis of the two romantic leads for Katniss in the Hunger Games trilogy. Explains why I can’t stand either of them.

    Could you elaborate more on why you can’t stand Peeta? From the article, it seems that he’s a character or transcends stereotypes and gender roles in a way that isn’t often done – isn’t that a good thing? I haven’t actually read or watched The Hunger Games, so i could be missing something here.

    1. It’s because he’s useless. He’s the one that needs saving. And his hopeless puppydog “I love you but I know you don’t feel the same way so I’ll just keep loving you because my only trait is selflessness” act annoys the crap out of me. Yes, he’s a gender flip of the usual adventure story role, but he still has all the annoying traits of a character in that role.

      Especially in the movies, it just makes no sense as to why he’s so head-over-heels about Katniss.

    2. Peeta doesn’t really have a point. He’d be fine as a background character, but as a main supporting character he’s so disconnected that he’s a plot device, cast as the moral compass that allows for pretty much the marginalization of anyone else’s motivations, usually through Katniss’ voice, for not being objectively altruistic. Also, to force a change in the dynamic between Gale and Katniss. The former is understandable to some extent; lots of readers can identify with the rationale, but the narrative accepts it as true instead of as the mindset of someone who’s been through awful abuse and literal class warfare. I don’t understand the latter at all — Peeta was just wedged into there as an attempt at a love triangle, I guess.

      1. I’ve read the books and seen the first movie, but I haven’t seen Catching Fire (the movie) yet.

        I thought of Peeta as more of a McGuffin. His role is like Prim’s — someone for Katniss to worry about and feel responsible for. They do end up together in the end, but my impression was that it was because she didn’t have anyone else in her life who understood the hell she’d been through. (Cf.: the 2,000 yard stare.) Also, she’s so emotionally burned out by the end that she’s not capable of doing more than simply accepting his kindness.

        BTW, I did not think that Peeta was actually presented as a (romantic) love interest, and the fact that so many people see him that way says (to me) more about how people see what they expect to see than what is in the books.

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