Quickies: Media obsession with female scientists’ appearance, Fark, and lupus research


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

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  1. I no longer listen to This American Life regularly, just because of time restraints, but I’m going to have to check this out for a couple of reasons.

    First, Ira Glass is a very smart and from what I’ve seen skeptical individual so I don’t fear him giving a pass to too much horse hockey (I might worry if it was Radiolab as Robert Krulwich can be a bit prone to magical thinking and Jad Abumrad has a tendency to not protest enough)

    Second, I adore Jonathan Goldstein. His CBC radio show Wire Tap is one of the shows that not listening to TAL made room for. He too is a smart and skeptical (some would say cynical, po-TAY-to/po-TAH-to) non-observing cultural Jew that often tackles biblical stories from a different viewpoint, one that is almost always unflattering to the myth. His parents are frequent “guests” on the show and seem to be real characters (the show is partly written so I realize they aren’t exactly as presented) and his dad seems the type who would say “why not?” to a book of mind magic, to which his mother would say something like, “because it’s stupid.”

    1. You pretty much nailed it. It’s a good listen and includes an interview with the magic book author’s daughter. I’ll probably listen again since my first listen was done while trying to simultaneously get work done, so I’m sure I missed something.

  2. Amanda,

    So they found what causes Lupus? That’s great. Maybe now they’re be able to find a cure.

    1. Criticaldragon1177, they have found that this gene causes lupus in that patient, but I would be surprised if there was a 1 to 1 relationaship between that gene and lupus in all cases. Some lupus may be caused by other genes or combinations of genes, and some people with the gene may not have the disease. .As they said in the article, lupus is a grab-bag mixture.

      Still, even if only a few percent of sufferers benefit, that is still a lot of people.

      I swear I was too busy reading the text and barely glanced at the photo before sending the link!
      Only after looking at the first article today, did I go back and check.
      I was pleased there was an absence of bullshit in the ABC report.

  3. Actually, above all, I am sad that with our current batch of clueless cost cutting politicians, there may not be adequate funding for followup research.

    1. Here in the States, we have the same problem right now: Penny-wise and pound-foolish, all of them. And worse of all, if you try to meet them half-way, they’re familiar with Zeno’s paradox.

  4. No need to say female scientists’ appearance. It’s every prominent woman. Notice how many attacks on Elena Kagan in comments sections and on right-wing talk radio amounted to calling her ugly. (Because that’s the most important thing about a judge. Naturally, I doubt any of these trolls had a law degree.)

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