The rot goes all the way to the top

hair

It’s dismaying to see law enforcement in this country exposed as a gang of thugs abusing the rights of citizens — we have a militarized police force that basically executes people they don’t like. Now we learn that even if they survive arrest, suspects will get railroaded straight into a conviction by biased crime labs. The latest culprit: the FBI has been jiggering hair analysis results for decades.

[Read more…]

Spare me these poseurs

Everyone can stop telling me to read this article now. I’ve read Social Justice Bullies: The Authoritarianism of Millennial Social Justice, and it is atrocious, a collection of familiar MRA tropes dressed up with pseudo-liberal platitudes. Oh, I am so supportive of feminists…just not feminists who use the horrible tactic of speaking out. It’s a common strategy of declaring that one fully supports the oppressed, as long as the oppressed don’t cause any trouble.

It’s a sentiment I saw opposed quite nicely this morning.

The same guys who call women cunts and litter their speech with racist slurs will say *noting that they’re white guys* is racist and sexist

[Read more…]

Asking the wrong question

balance

Charles Pierce does his usual exemplary job of hauling Marco Rubio out to the woodshed, and I can’t improve on it. I do want to mention though, that he missed one point that is a common mantra of the climate change denialists.

RUBIO: "What I said was that humans are not responsible for climate change in the way that some of these people out there are trying to make us believe for the following reason: I believe the climate is changing because there has never been a moment when the climate is not changing..The question is what percentage of that — or what is due to human activity?…If we do the things they want us to do — cap and trade, you name it — how much will that change the pace of climate change versus how much will it cost our economy? Scientists can’t tell us what impact it would have on reversing these changes. But I can tell you with certainty that it would have a devastating impact on our economy."

[Read more…]

What do you call an amazon?

wonder-woman

Other than just what she tells you to, that is. Now we have some evidence of the names of the women warriors of the Scythians — Greek pottery illustrating Amazons seems to have had some phonetically translated Scythian words attached to the images.

To do so, they translated the inscriptions into their phonetic sounds, and then submitted the phonetic transcriptions to linguist John Colarusso of Canada’s McMaster University in Hamilton, who is an expert on rare languages of the Caucasus.  Colarusso, who was not provided with any information regarding the source of the transcriptions, matched the phonetics to Scythian words and names, which mean ‘Princess’, ‘Don’t Fail’, and ‘Hot Flanks’. There was also an archer named ‘Battle-Cry’ and a horsewoman named ‘Worthy of Armour’. On one vase, a scene of two Amazons hunting with a dog appears with a Greek transliteration for the Abkhazian word meaning "set the dog loose."

[Read more…]

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Shhhh. I’m in disguise.

This leafhopper is a myrmecomorph – it has sprouted lumpy dark extensions of its carapace that resemble an ant. It spends its whole life living in a costume!

Cyphonia clavata: The treehopper Cyphonia clavata with a mimic of an ant (top right) extending from its pronotum (photos: M. Stensmyr). The ‘ant’ presumably serves to deter predators as the treehopper struts about its habitat (lower left, photo: S. Sanowar). This peculiar-looking insect has also been depicted historically several times, as exemplified here by illustrations by (from top to bottom) Caspar Stoll (1788), Jean Antoine Coquebert de Montbret (1799–1804) and William W. Fowler (1900).

Cyphonia clavata: The treehopper Cyphonia clavata with a mimic of an ant (top right) extending from its pronotum (photos: M. Stensmyr). The ‘ant’ presumably serves to deter predators as the treehopper struts about its habitat (lower left, photo: S. Sanowar). This peculiar-looking insect has also been depicted historically several times, as exemplified here by illustrations by (from top to bottom) Caspar Stoll (1788), Jean Antoine Coquebert de Montbret (1799–1804) and William W. Fowler (1900).

The flamboyantly cheesy Dr Oz

This article is mainly about the money-making side of Dr Oz’s enterprises, but the accompanying video is stunning. I don’t think I’ve ever watched his show, so the excerpts are surprising: he uses these gimmicky stunts to promote quackery, like people punching through paper signs, exploding balloons, using a hose to wash away the word “fat” — I had no idea it was such a cheap circus.