Lindy West writes a smart article for Jezebel about men’s confusion with “the rules” when it comes to interacting with women - especially in a professional setting:
That might seem silly to you—of course you weren’t doing that!—but if you really want an answer to this question about “rules,” you need to wrap your head around the fact that the world is not balanced. Women’s experiences do not mirror yours. Women’s lives are entirely circumscribed by contemporary standards of beauty in a way that yours is not. If a woman is “too ugly,” she is worthless. If a woman is “too pretty,” she isn’t taken seriously. Every woman you encounter in your professional sphere has fought every day of her life against gendered conditioning (hey, put down your brother’s erector set and play with this pooping baby doll!), relentless othering (know your place, sweetie), sexual objectification and/or victimization (I’m confused—who let this semi-sentient bag of bone-holes into my engineering program?), subtle or not-so-subtle discouragement (are you sure this is the field for you? It’s really hard, and you’re so pretty!), and kneejerk skepticism of her abilities (I think you’d be perfect for the Party Planning Committee!).
Imagine if every day you came into work and your boss said, “Really fillin’ out those pants today, Jerry,” and he never said anything else. Do you think you’d eventually mention it to HR? Well, now imagine that “Really fillin’ out those pants today, Jerry” was built, systemically, into the entire culture’s attitude toward you from birth onward. Do you think you might be annoyed if the President of the United States pulled a “Really fillin’ out those pants today, Jerry,” on one of the only Jerries ever allowed to hold public office? I think you would.
I’m sorry for the long pull quote, but it perfectly illustrates something that I have been thinking about recently. Why do the first modifiers used when discussing men often revolve around wealth and intelligence, yet those used when discussing women focus on appearance and disposition? It’s the same reason that a relentless man in business is “driven”, while the female counterpart is a “bitch” - and it’s bullshit. Guys, stop constructing “rules” like children on the playground and act like competent humans.
West’s concluding paragraphs are equally brilliant. It is worth the read.
John Siracusa on those who spurn technological progress:
Beneath what seems like a reasonable feature request lurks the heart of technological conservatism: what was and is always shall be.
As the famous saying goes, the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
I just hope that I am as enthused about, and willing to embrace, new technologies. Just think where we’ll be in 10 years. As Siracusa concludes:
Keep moving or get out of the way.
Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley breaks down various classifications of social media profile pictures. Pretty heavy on NSFW language, but they nail it.
Somini Sengupta, writing for The New York Times, on our willingness to trade information for goods:
OUR browsing habits, search terms, e-mail communication — even our offering of our ZIP codes at the supermarket checkout — reveal bits of information that can be assembled by data companies, usually for the purpose of knowing what sorts of products we’re most likely to buy. The online advertising industry insists that the data is scrambled to make it impossible to identify individuals.
A Short Translation from Bullshit to English of Selected Portions of the Google Chrome Blink Developer FAQ
TwistedSifter shares really cool high-speed photographs from artist Alberto Seveso:
In his ongoing exploration with high-speed photography and colour, Seveso drops plumes of various inks into water, capturing the organic shapes that form with a high-speed camera. The results are breathtaking and the ongoing series continues to amaze.
David Rosenberg, Slate:
During the 20-year break Roger Minick took from documenting sightseers around the United States from the early ’80s to 2000, he noticed crowds and motor-homes increased in size, cellphones and cameras became ubiquitous, and more grandparents and foreign tourists popped up.
“But, like two decades earlier, sightseers were still showing up at the overlooks wearing vivid colors and looking into my camera with the same curious mix of awe and wariness,” Minick wrote via email.
Really great photographs.
In February, prompted by the Newtown tragedy, Periscopic released an emotionally powerful tool to visualize U.S. gun murders.
Alberto Cairo discusses that tool and the merger of objective data with subjective emotion:
The words “emotion” and “data” aren’t paired very often. That’s unfortunate, albeit understandable. For historical reasons, we assume that quantitative data are as objective as emotions are messy. In the simplest narratives of how the human mind operates, emotions are the source of the most prevalent cognitive biases¹, whereas the proper handling of data—gathering, experimenting, testing—is the most reliable antidote to them. There is grandeur in this view of knowledge; after all, it’s the foundation of the scientific method. But there may be exceptions sometimes.
Cairo notes several shortcomings in Periscopic’s data model, but notes:
In the meantime, I guess that it would be appropriate to just enjoy the creativity and beauty of projects like this, to quietly mourn the people behind the data, and to think about what the future of gun legislation should be.
This follows my thoughts at the time:
Resist the urge for the data to act as self-confirming toward your particular political leanings or views toward gun safety and control. Instead, help accomplish Periscopic’s goal by connecting to the data in a humanistic manner. Their Stolen Years metric should not be divisive, rather it should be as it is, horrific and deeply saddening.
(via: Dr. James Correia, Jr.)
Of course, you’ll want a beer with your steak.
Visual.ly provides a useful infographic about your favorite parts of a cow.
(via: The Loop)
In 1985, George Plimpton wrote a riveting tale of a wonder pitcher new to the New York Mets organization, named Sidd Finch, who could throw a fastball 168 miles per hour:
I never dreamed a baseball could be thrown that fast. The wrist must have a lot to do with it, and all that leverage. You can hardly see the blur of it as it goes by. As for hitting the thing, frankly, I just don’t think it’s humanly possible. You could send a blind man up there, and maybe he’d do better hitting at the sound of the thing.
Mets fans were ecstatic. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize it was one of the best public hoaxes in history. Beyond the article being published on April 1st, the readers missed a hint in the subtitle:
He’s a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sidd’s deciding about yoga—and his future in baseball
Be sure to check out the accompanying photos.
Eytan Bakshy, a researcher on the Facebook Data Science Team, reveals interesting data that the company uncovered during last week’s Supreme Court hearings on marriage equality:
For a long time, when people stood up for a cause and weren’t all physically standing shoulder to shoulder, the size of their impact wasn’t immediately apparent. But today, we can see the spread of an idea online in greater detail than ever before. That’s data well worth finding.
Ken Tucker, writing for Grantland, overviews the current state of late-night television and offers a look at what the future may hold for the genre:
Recent fur balls coughed up from the crevices of Couch Land include Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show as early as February 2014 and Jay Leno calling NBC a pit of “snakes” on the air shortly after it was reported that NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt complained about the Tonight Show host joking about the network’s loser ratings. There’s Jon Stewart’s recent announcement that he’s taking summer leave of The Daily Show to direct a movie (why does this make me think of an idea Garry Shandling would have rejected for The Larry Sanders Show?). And don’t forget the rumors that Howard Stern or Seth Meyers might replace Fallon. Wait around another week and we’ll probably hear that David Letterman, forsaking a prolonged Johnny Carson–style on-camera farewell tour, has resigned by burning his double-breasted suits in his Westchester backyard so that Jimmy Kimmel will finally achieve his life’s dream of following in his idol’s shoes for a future of endless editions of “This Week in Unnecessary Censorship.”
Megan Gambino, writing for Smithsonian.com, on French photographer Thierry Cohen’s project to depollute the night sky from city light:
Three years ago, Cohen embarked on a grand plan to help remedy this situation. He’d give city dwellers a taste of what they were missing. The photographer crisscrossed the globe photographing cityscapes from Shanghai to Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro, by day—when cars’ head and taillights and lights shining from the windows of buildings were not a distraction. At each location, Cohen diligently recorded the time, angle, latitude and longitude of the shot. Then, he journeyed to remote deserts and plains at corresponding latitudes, where he pointed his lens to the night sky. For New York, that meant the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. For Hong Kong, the Western Sahara in Africa. For Rio and São Paulo, the Atacama Desert in Chile, and for Cohen’s native Paris, the prairies of northern Montana. Through his own digital photography wizardry, Cohen created seamless composites of his city and skyscapes.
Cohen’s photographs are as stunning as they are clever.
Catherine Brahic, writing for New Scientist:
“Amphibian horror” isn’t a movie genre, but on this evidence perhaps it should be. Harvard biologists have described a bizarre, hairy frog with cat-like extendable claws.
Trichobatrachus robustus actively breaks its own bones to produce claws that puncture their way out of the frog’s toe pads, probably when it is threatened.
That’s nice, but talk to me when its claws are made out of adamantium.
One of my favorite techniques for creating a simple, unique, and memorable look is through the use of negative space.
The following are examples of negative space logos and symbols in action
Very cool. I’m partial to Finger and Elephant2.
The Bill Gates Foundation issues a call for the next generation condom:
The one major drawback to more universal use of male condoms is the lack of perceived incentive for consistent use. The primary drawback from the male perspective is that condoms decrease pleasure as compared to no condom, creating a trade-off that many men find unacceptable, particularly given that the decisions about use must be made just prior to intercourse. Is it possible to develop a product without this stigma, or better, one that is felt to enhance pleasure? If so, would such a product lead to substantial benefits for global health, both in terms of reducing the incidence of unplanned pregnancies and in prevention of infection with HIV or other STIs?
I’m sure there will be plenty of awkward scientists asking for field research volunteers.
All kidding aside, maybe this will improve worldwide health. Also, the winner will receive $100,000.
Dave Stopera, BuzzFeed, with a list of things that are gone but not forgotten. I’m partial to Mr. Feeny.
My internet buddy and fellow SoM meteorology graduate, Matt Mahler, shares his story of weight loss - the successes and failures:
I’ll never forget the first workout. Sunday, November 4, 2012. I weighed 225 pounds, was morbidly out of shape, had a horrible diet, and hadn’t seriously worked out in about 4 years. (I tried P90X at the beginning of 2012, but like everything before it, I never saw it through.) I distinctly remember feeling like I was going to die after that first workout. Thinking things like, “What have I done?” and “There’s NO WAY I’ll stick with this.” Now, here I am. 4 ½ months later, still working out, and actually ENJOYING it! Some days, the workouts SUCK. They’re tough. They’re hard. They hurt. But they’re worth it. And I love it.
As someone who went through a similar process, I know how hard Matt has worked. Keep it up, Matt. More people will be inspired than you know.
Brent Simmons on RSS following Google’s closure of Reader:
Even if you don’t use an RSS reader, you still use RSS.
If you subscribe to any podcasts, you use RSS. Flipboard and Twitter are RSS readers, even if it’s not obvious and they do other things besides.
Lots of apps on the various app stores use RSS in at least some way. They just don’t tell you — because why should they?
RSS is far from dead.