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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Links - 26th June 2012

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." - J. R. R. Tolkien


Chauvinist Pigs in Space: Why Battlestar Galactica is not so frakking feminist after all. - "The conventional wisdom on Battlestar is that the show takes a strong stand against misogyny... when a fembot dies she flies through a vaguely fallopian-looking tube then wakes up nude in a vat of goo. * Overtly, these are birth scenes. But they are hypersexualized—with lingering thigh-shots and orgasmic-sounding gasping... The most retrograde character is Cally... the way to a man's heart is through his fist—a heartily un-feminist concept—but the strange circumstances surrounding Cally's marriage are less offensive than her death scene... [Cally dies] in a melodramatic, and ultimately nonsensical, fashion. Here we have a society that permits divorce and seems to have plentiful free day care, and yet an otherwise functioning member of that society acts like a Victorian hysteric. The take-away is not that Cally has been driven to desperation by a sexist social order but that she can't contain her feminine irrationality. Cally's death is an example of a worrisome trend: The main female characters are all dying, dead, or not human... Women—the human ones, anyway—just can't hack it when the going gets rough. By contrast, the male characters on the show not only have a better chance of survival; they're also more likely to improve their quality of life through friendship... the Adama-Tigh bromance has no female equivalent, and more often than not, the women bicker among themselves, forming unhealthy rivalries rather than supportive partnerships. Even more insidious than the lack of female friendships are the casual threats of rape made throughout the series... it's discomfiting that the writers drop sexual violence into the script so often without comment. If nothing else, this pervasive threat—directed only at women—negates the idea that Battlestar conjures a gender-blind universe"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA maybe she should go and watch My Little Pony instead, where real world considerations don't enter, and there aren't human females to hold to unrealistic standards; anti-Cylon bigotry is unacceptable in the 21st century

Battlestar Galactica: Frakking feminist—So say we all! - "The first rule of strong drama is that radically imperfect events happen in the context of radically imperfect human life, as lived by real, flawed, recognizable human beings... It is difficult to discern what Lapidos' expectations are coming to the show: if it "takes a stand against misogyny," so to speak, does that mean all differences between the genders or problems resulting from gendered humanity disappear or have been solved? No other such social problems seem to have been solved in the world of Battlestar; that is the value of the show in a nutshell... I hope Lapidos would not want to claim that for Battlestar to be somehow "truly" or "properly" feminist it must meet a checklist of demands for some arbitrary number of positive portrayals of women"
Another response to the nonsense above; drawing parallels with the concepts of essentialism, anti-essentialism and anti-anti-essentialism, perhaps the best response to feminist nonsense is to be anti-anti-feminist. Ditto for stereotypes - instead of being anti-stereotype we should be anti-anti-stereotype

Fred Landis's answer to Do people find the idea of a man being raped less disturbing than a woman being raped? - Quora - "A woman being raped is a great deal more disturbing because of the children that can and do result."
Would anyone buy the argument that it's worse if a woman cheats on her husband than if a man cheats on his wife (in the context of the relationship), since she might get pregnant?

Jonathan Kirk Davis's answer to Is it better to own a gun for self-defense, or is that more likely to cause problems? - Quora - "The idea that you can bluff your way out of situation is not a good tactic, especially if you are dealing with someone truly violent. If you have a gun it needs to be for the purpose of killing someone when the need comes. If they view that their future lies in keeping you quiet, or if they feel that their life is being threatened (by your gun) they may attack you. In that case you will have to be able to kill him. There is no "shoot the knife out his hand or shoot him in the leg stuff." It sounds nice, but you will be lucky to him him in the chest like your supposed to (see point #3). Do a self analysis and ask could I deal with killing someone, even if they are going to steal my stuff or hurt my family. Yeah your first response is easy to say "You bet I would," but would you really? I have been to Iraq twice and have had to think long and hard about what would it be like if I had to kill someone"

Flashback: Swedish Sensation Gunther On Sex, Champagne and IKEA - "Gunther: Before I became a singer, I was traveling around the world, doing a little modeling, doing fashion things, hooking up with girls and partying, doing all the stuff a good-looking Swedish man should be doing.
"ZOG: You say your philosophy is “champagne, glamour, sex and respect.” Which of the four is most important to you and why? Gunther: Respect is the first one. It’s the most important because if you don’t have respect, bad things happen. If you have respect, you can have sex and love and the whole thing. I am a gentleman style-2000, which means I honor women and follow these four rules."

Shell Advertisement by Keith | Shell - "We at Shell want everyone to feel as "pumped" as we do about freeing much-needed Arctic resources. After all, the Arctic is the common heritage of all humanity, and what we do there matters to everyone. That’s why Shell is inviting you to create your very own Let’s Go! ad for our Arctic campaign. We'll feature it on our website, and you can show all your Facebook friends how pumped you are to seize the day's opportunities too. The best submissions will win exciting prizes—including an all-expenses-paid trip to see the Kulluk in action!"

Paralyzed Man Fighting To Be Euthanized Tweets With His Eyes - "Tony Nicklinson is completely paralyzed. Due to a stroke, Tony is unable to move any part of his body except for his eyes. While he retains all his intelligence and powers of reasoning, he’s been cut off from all conventional means of communication with the world. He finds the condition unbearable enough that he’s actively engaged in a legal battle, attempting to secure the right to end his own life. Oh, and also he’s on Twitter; he tweets with his eyes"

Man charged with stealing rifle at Pasir Laba Camp - "30-year-old Mohammad Ridzuan Jamari was charged with one count of committing robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. He allegedly stole a "SAR 21" rifle from 22-year-old Kang Tai at the camp's Standard Obstacle Course on May 8 this year. Jamari was believed to be armed with a screwdriver, measuring 20 centimetres"

Going to Ethiopia? If you use Skype, you could be there 15 years - "15 years ago owning a satellite dish was a crime, but now the country is "swarmed" by them, and the same goes for credit cards."

Why Is the U.S. Selling Billions in Weapons to Autocrats? - "Every May and June, different branches of the State Department paint contrasting portraits of how Washington views dozens of strategically significant countries around the world, in seemingly rivalrous reports by its Human Rights and Political-Military Affairs bureaus. The former routinely criticizes other nations for a lack of fealty to democratic principles, citing abuses of the right to expression, assembly, speech, and political choice. The latter tallies the government's latest successes in the export of American weaponry, often to the same countries criticized by the former" The Irish in Us: Irishness, Performativity, and Popular Culture - "Over the past decade or so, Irishness has emerged as an idealized ethnicity, one with which large numbers of people around the world, and particularly in the United States, choose to identify. Seeking to explain the widespread appeal of all things Irish, the contributors to this collection show that for Americans, Irishness is rapidly becoming the white ethnicity of choice, a means of claiming an ethnic identity while maintaining the benefits of whiteness"

Love activates the same region in the brain as drug addiction

the trouble with brain scans - "Craig Bennett and his colleagues at the University of California did a spoof experiment on a dead salmon. The standard techniques showed "brain activity" in the deceased fish"

Confessions of a recovering Objectivist - "To date, neither Rand nor anyone else has been able to prove definitively that the proverbial soldier who dives on a grenade acts selfishly, not altruistically... Another key concern is that psychological egoism might not be final stage of an individual's ethical development. We start off selfish, say some theorists, but we must move beyond convention and toward post-conventional social contract and conscience for true moral growth"

How a Free Market Run Amok Destroys "Family Values" - "They reported the highest ratings of well-being among children living in the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark — nations that, far more than we, tax the rich, regulate industry and provide such public services as paid parental leave, art subsidies and excellent public schools. The lowest overall rank went to nations pursuing the strongest free-market agenda: the U.S. and Britain, both of which ranked in the bottom third for five of the six key dimensions of child well-being"

A shed of one's own - "Breast cancer killed 11,556 UK women in 2009, while prostate cancer killed nearly as many men (10,382). But despite their broadly similar mortality rates, breast cancer receives nearly three times as much site-specific research funding as prostate cancer."

Why isn't male unemployment an issue? - "The last time the male unemployment rate was lower than female was September 1980... All of which makes it strange that, when gender is brought into the unemployment question, it is through headlines like: Female employment hit by public sector cuts and childcare costs
Women told: your place is on the dole
Female unemployment highest for 15 years; outlook bleak... The problem is, men doing badly isn't politically interesting. No-one gets accused of sexism if it occurs; no-one propses gender-targeted intervention, and no-one really suggests that the problem is distinguishable from overall unemployment... men are perceived by society at large as "normal", while women are still relegated to "minority" status, despite making up half the population.
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