Quickies: End of the Year Lists, Wonder Woman’s Disappointing Debut, and the Serial/Ferguson Connection

  • 25 Women Who Drove the Culture in 2014 – You won’t be disappointed by this list of awesome women. If you think someone was left out, leave that in the comments! From Donna.
  • NASA’s $349 million monument to its drift – “The reason for the shutdown: The new tower — called the A-3 test stand — was useless. Just as expected. The rocket program it was designed for had been canceled in 2010. But, at first, cautious NASA bureaucrats didn’t want to stop the construction on their own authority. And then Congress — at the urging of a senator from Mississippi — swooped in and ordered the agency to finish the tower, no matter what. The result was that NASA spent four more years building something it didn’t need. Now, the agency will spend about $700,000 a year to maintain it in disuse.”
  • The Most Amazing Science Images Of 2014 – “Let us introduce this collection by stating the obvious: This is not a comprehensive list. What you’ll find here are photos that engaged our minds, and videos that set our pulses racing – a carefully curated collection of the weird, the wonderful, and the truly awesome. Here you’ll find imagery that moved us, inspired us, and shook us to our core, and a few that made us laugh in sheer amazement.”
  • Wonder Woman Takes a Big Step Back – “In an interview with Comic Book Resources, David shied away from calling Wonder Woman a feminist, saying, ‘We want her to be a strong—I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.’ ” And of course, Wonder Woman is drawn in a sexy pose with armor that is painted-on. Do mainstream comic companies even give a damn anymore?
  • Vulnerable in the Field: Sexual Assault Is Common Among Scientists – “Sexual misconduct at universities has emerged front and center in national news. Most of this discussion about the epidemic has centered around undergraduates on campus. But a study published in July indicates that sexual misconduct happens at the same rates—about one in five people—to scientists working in the field, oftentimes when they’re conducting research away from their home institution. They rarely know where or how to report these cases. Most disturbingly, in the majority of incidents involving women, the perpetrators were the victims’ superiors and supervisors.” From Jacob.
  • ‘Serial’ Isn’t About Ferguson. (But It’s Kind Of About Ferguson.) – “Again, given the lack of physical evidence, it seems a lot like these suspicions about Syed — this sense that he was some violently misogynistic Muslim foreigner — did an awful lot of the heavy lifting for the prosecution in this case. And the prosecution certainly wasn’t above playing to those suspicions: In a pretrial bail hearing, the district attorney argued that Syed was a flight risk because there was a pattern of young Pakistani men murdering their girlfriends in a fit of rage before they then fled to Pakistan. (She apologized to the trial judge some weeks later, because that statement was entirely untrue.)”
  • Gifts For Science And Science Fiction Lovers That Support Good Causes – I’m a sucker for the end-of-the-year lists, I have to admit this. Especially the geeky gift guides.

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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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