Subway manspreaders told to close their legs

No really, they’re told that. The Guardian says so.

  • Poster campaign will attempt to stop antisocial practice
  • Doctors say crossing legs will not affect reproductive powers

Are they sure? Not in any way? Not even shrinking things just a little? Or enfeebling them ever so slightly? Or delaying appropriate responses? Or making them look like lace or flowers or scented soap? [Read more…]


A team of researchers led by Christina Korownyk of the University of Alberta’s Department of Family Medicine took a look at the medical information on two tv doctor shows, “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Doctors,” which have average daily audiences of 2.9 million and 2.3 million respectively. The paper was published in the BMJ.

When looking at the shows individually, there was evidence to support 46% of the claims made on the “Dr. Oz Show.” Approximately 15% of the claims made on the show were contrary to what has been reported in scientific literature. There was no evidence to support or reject 49% of the claims made on the show. “The Doctors” had slightly better results, with 63% of the claims supported by scientific evidence. About 14% of the claims on the show are contradicted by evidence, and there is no evidence for or against 24% of the show’s claims.

I think 63% is quite a lot better than 46%.

Anyway – I recommend using the internet instead.



Not the Girl Scouts

So the Vatican has issued its final report on the rebellious nuns in the US. It dresses it up in cuddly language but Mary Hunt at Religion Dispatches is wholly unpersuaded of its cuddliness.

Despite herculean efforts to make nice, the 12-page report and its presentation reinforce the Roman Catholic Church’s patriarchal power paradigm. And although many have hailed the report as a sign of the Vatican’s warming toward women, I am not convinced.

[Read more…]

Provocative or offensive?

Massimo Pigliucci has a post about the American Atheists billboard campaign and the utility of what Dave Silverman calls the “firebrand” approach to fighting religion.

In this essay I will first explain why I object to “firebrand” atheism and on what principled (i.e., before evidence) grounds. I will then look at David’s data and argue that it doesn’t show what he thinks it does, and why even if it did this would still not settle the matter. I will then end with some constructive suggestions for atheist activism more generally. [Read more…]

But we mustn’t get emotional

Ireland and the US are so alike in so many ways, most of them bad.

In Ireland, a woman who is clinically dead but 17 weeks pregnant is being kept alive against her family’s will. At this painful time, her relatives must go to court to stop the Irish state treating their loved one’s body as a cadaveric incubator.

Yeah we do that too. Marlise Munoz was kept alive after brain-death despite her family’s wishes for two months last year because she was pregnant. [Read more…]

All eight

Obama’s gone all radical extremist ideological gender feminist on their asses. TIME – avid fan of Christina Hoff Sommers – reports on his gender-feminist press conference today:

President Barack Obama’s traditional end-of-year press conference Friday was historic for reasons that had nothing to do with the substance of the president’s comments. All eight of the reporters who questioned Obama were women—and nearly all were print reporters—an apparent first for a formal White House news conference, a venue traditionally dominated by male television correspondents.

It makes news, yet all-male gatherings hardly ever make news.

“The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day-in and day-out do the hard work of covering the President of the United States,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, after the event. “As the questioner list started to come together, we realized that we had a unique opportunity to highlight that fact at the President’s closely watched, end of the year news conference.”

And to irritate Fox News and Christina Hoff Sommers at the same time.

“It’s amazing for that to happen as that room is filled with a majority men,” said [April] Ryan, who shouted out a question to the president and was acknowledged over questions shouted by male reporters.

Makes a change, doesn’t it.

More amaze

This is basically an ad for a 3D printer but I don’t care, the technology is just so astounding I have to share it anyway.

Tara Anderson, a director at 3D-printing company 3D Systems, adopted Derby from non-profit dog rescue Peace and Paws. “I kept looking at his photo and reading his story, and I cried literally every time,” says Tara in the video. So she decided to do something about it and created a pair of specially fitted prosthetic legs for Derby, built in a loop configuration similar to kids’ “jumping shoes” to stop him digging them into the ground. The result is one happy dog.

H/t karmacat

Guest post: Gender is a huge deal in this field

Originally a comment by MrFancyPants on Yes that’s right, exactly like this.

I wonder if the people (mainly men?) complaining about “why is gender even an issue” are even professionals in a computer science field. If they are, they’re stunningly unobservant.

I am a computer science professional (formerly academic, now in the private sector) and I can confidently state that gender is a huge deal in this field. As an academic, I repeatedly saw promising female grad students drop out of the computer science program or switch to a different field, and it was apparent that this was happening due to the boys’ club nature of the research labs at that time (and at that university). [Read more…]