Quickies: Major Scientific Paper Retraction, a Magazine for Sex Workers’ Rights, and Retro Computer Commercials

  • Major publisher retracts 43 scientific papers amid wider fake peer-review scandal – “Last year, in one of the most publicized scandals, the Journal of Vibration and Control, in the field of acoustics, retracted 60 articles at one time due to what it called a ‘peer review and citation ring’ in which the reviews, mostly from scholars in Taiwan, were submitted by people using fake names.”
  • Hilarious TV Ads From The Dawn Of The Home Computer Era – William Shatner, Dr. Who, and John Cleese are among the stars of these amazing and retro commercials.
  • Exonerated And Out Of Prison — And That’s When The Trouble Starts – “Scores of former convicts are exonerated every year, and the number is growing. But for Clarence Harrison and many others, walking out of the pen with a clear name and cash for all the years lost doesn’t mean living happily ever after.”
  • Why Am I Always Defending My HBCU Education to Other Black People? – “So why, years after this eye-opening experience, am I still defending my four years at an [historically black college or university] to other blacks? Part of it is ignorance, as some of us simply lack knowledge on the matter. But the more troubling answer is the distinct, foul odor of self-hatred. Some of us are taught by multiple sources—be it our parents, television programming, or something else altogether—that ‘white is right,’ and this unhealthy mentality trickles down, internally corroding the black community. In a USA Today article written last spring, students at HBCUs and PWIs broke down this toxic pathology.”
  • The Weight of a Magazine for Sex Workers – “What group of workers-rights activists learned from starting a publication to give people in the sex industry a voice.”
  • Hollywood’s Still Racist: Why the Deadline ‘Ethnic Casting’ Piece Is Dangerous – “A story alleging that the rise in diversity on TV is ‘too much of a good thing’ is properly ruffling feathers. But it reveals a sad truth: Hollywood may never get over its racism.”
  • Why You Should Be Watching Call the Midwife – “Like Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife provides stealth history lessons, but whereas Downton tends to linger on big-ticket items like world wars and sinking ships, Call the Midwife focuses on the gradual social changes in one East End neighborhood. In the coming season, hot-button social issues like immigration, homosexuality, and abortion have their days, but the show’s greatest strength is its ability to demonstrate the complexity of its characters’ personal dilemmas.” I love this show and can’t wait for the new season!

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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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  1. Incidentally, the woman in the Dr Who/Prime commercial is actor Lala Ward, now married to Richard Dawkins, and I think they were introduced by Douglas Adams.

    1. And Lala Ward was married to Tom Baker at the time of the commercial, which explains one of the ads for the non-geeks out there. And, I knew about the Douglas Adams connection, as well!

      PS: For extra geek cred, I should tell you that I made miniature Tom Baker Dr. Who scarves when I was a kid and name my cat Trillian!

      1. I remember those seeing those Prime ads on TV. (Not that I actually ever saw a Prime computer, despite being into computers.) Baker/Ward were the Dr Who team when I got old enough that Dr Who was fun and watchable rather than hide-behind-the-couch terrifying, so to me they are forever the ‘real’ Dr Who and companion. Its a kind of imprinting.

        A miniature Tom Baker Dr Who scarf would be what, a normal length scarf?

        1. I’m an American, so I first saw Dr. Who when it started airing on PBS. They mostly showed the Tom Baker and Peter Davison episodes, with some Jon Pertwee ones, as well. Tom Baker was my favorite. My miniature scarves were doll-sized, though appropriately extra long, cut from an old plaid skirt. I’ve got one around the neck of a large Godzilla knock-off figure now. I was too old to be scared, but I enjoyed the humor and the camp. In America, being a fan of Dr. Who back then brands you as a geek. Guilty as charged! I was a member of the Dr. Who fan club. I have the Dalek pin I got from them to prove it.
          By the way, boyfriend, who is an ex-programmer, recognized Prime computers as something else (which I can’t remember, even though he said it just last night). They must’ve had another name in America. He never worked on one, though.

          1. Prime was one of the up-and-coming minicomputer manufacturers in the US before they were beaten out by Sun in the early 90’s. They were probably about number 3 or 4 behind DEC and Data General. They were a local Massachusetts-based company. My sister-in-law’s sister’s husband worked for them for a while.

            I never saw a Prime IRL, but did work on a software project proposal that would have run on them. (The project was canceled or the bid wasn’t accepted; I don’t remember why.) The operating system had a nice, simple to use, straight-forward, fairly complete interface, but it wasn’t Unix (which is none of those things*), and that’s a big part of what killed them in the end.

            [*] This is what is called a fight-bomb in my family.

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