This is my monthly link roundup, where I link to some stuff I found interesting, and offer brief comments.
The US Puzzle Championship is this weekend, on June 16. This is an online competition featuring pencil-and-paper puzzles (think Nikoli). I have been a participant since my teen years. If that sounds like it might be interesting, you should register and try the practice test.
Ace survey infographics and interactives – Somebody from my team working on the Ace Community Survey put these together. If you’ve never seen or heard of our survey, these may be the most accessible way for you to learn a bit about it.
Where are all the mothers in video games? … and why are there so many dads? (video) – I appreciate the approach of this video, which is to list lots of examples. Wow, there are a lot of dads in video games!
Have you ever noticed how often the origin of breasts is explained as “for men”? (video and transcript) – PZ discusses several attempted evolutionary explanations for human breasts. As with many evolutionary riddles, it’s fun to come up with adaptive explanations, and it satisfies our desire to view the world as full of narratives. But non-adaptive explanations are usually better.
George Takei’s Accuser Has Changed His Story of Drugging and Assault – A while back, someone accused George Takei of sexually assaulting him in 1981. Now the accuser admits that he doesn’t recall the assault part of the assault. It’s more a case of poor recollection than malicious intent, and it seems that even if he wasn’t assaulted, he was negatively impacted by the experience. I don’t know what to say, except I feel for the guy, and we should aim to reduce the risk of upsetting hookup experiences.
I remember when I first read his story, one thing stuck out to me: Brunton believed that Takei had spiked his alcoholic drink with a date rape drug. In fact, the most common date rape drug is alcohol by itself, and the use of other kinds of drugs is far less common than people think. I thought that perhaps Brunton was hit harder by the alcohol than he expected, and he inferred date rape drugs too hastily. The toxicologist in the article agreed. But just because one part of a story is wrong doesn’t mean that the rest of it is wrong too.