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Friday, April 25, 2014

Links - 25th April 2014

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients - "A research team led by Anthony Atala, M.D., director of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has reported in The Lancet the first human recipients of laboratory-grown vaginal organs, which were engineered with their own cells. “This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” said Atala. “This may represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive surgeries.” The teenage girls in the study were born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic condition in which the vagina and uterus are underdeveloped or absent. The treatment could also potentially be applied to patients with vaginal cancer or injuries, according to the researchers."
18 years after Dolly, now we don't need women anymore either

PLOS ONE: Over the Hill at 24: Persistent Age-Related Cognitive-Motor Decline in Reaction Times in an Ecologically Valid Video Game Task Begins in Early Adulthood - "The present study investigates age-related changes in cognitive motor performance through adolescence and adulthood in a complex real world task, the real-time strategy video game StarCraft 2. In this paper we analyze the influence of age on performance using a dataset of 3,305 players, aged 16-44, collected by Thompson, Blair, Chen & Henrey Using a piecewise regression analysis, we find that age-related slowing of within-game, self-initiated response times begins at 24 years of age. We find no evidence for the common belief expertise should attenuate domain-specific cognitive decline. Domain-specific response time declines appear to persist regardless of skill level. A second analysis of dual-task performance finds no evidence of a corresponding age-related decline. Finally, an exploratory analyses of other age-related differences suggests that older participants may have been compensating for a loss in response speed through the use of game mechanics that reduce cognitive load... StarCraft 2 is therefore a real world task in the same sense that chess, or basketball are real world tasks and a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation task is not... The typical participant reported a total of 545 hours playing StarCraft 2 (based on a one-tailed 95% trimmed mean), which is about 50 times that of the typical automaticity study... Older players in our sample exhibited more impressive hotkey performance, even when skill was controlled for, suggesting that our participants may be indirectly compensating for declines by offloading demands to the game interface. An increase in attacks to areas outside of the view-screen might reflect heightened awareness of global game information via attention to the ‘mini-map’. Generally then, older players seem better at using available interface features (customizable keys and the ‘mini-map’) than younger players... Older players seem to prefer simpler abilities and units compared to their younger counterparts. While this could be interpreted as poorer performance, because complex unit/ability use generally increases with experience, it might also be that older players are choosing easier to execute strategies as a way to divert cognitive resources to other, perhaps more important, tasks."

Women Who Eat on Tubes: feminists stage picnic protest on the Circle Line - "Tucking into a packet of Worcester sauce flavour crisps, 24-year-old activist Zoltán Jászai said she disagreed with claims that the protest was against a trivial matter, and explained she hoped to raise awareness of how women's bodies and behaviour are constantly policed. "Everyday prejudice against women is as important as 'real' problems like jobs. "Every time women meet together and talk about their views it contributes to a wider movement," she said. "Everyone had fun, that's the point," said Ms McKay an hour later as the train once again neared High Street Kensington, and protesters had returned to work having finished their lunches, adding: "we hope to carry on the movement in May, when we've finished our dissertations.""
Comments: "Techically, and actually, the photographer has now participated in Human Trafficking which is an international crime"
"The thing is, the journalist who wrote the original article, featured in this paper, had no problem on previous occasions laughing at other women, and men, and posting instant pictures of them on social networking sites, denigrating their fashion sense and whatnot. Had this been the reverse, and it been a man who was upset about being pictured, would you be arguing with the same vitriol, I highly doubt it"
"If there was a 'men who scratch their arses in public' site, would it spark the same outrage?"
You can't make this stuff up

Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train - "A classic among public assertions of privilege"

Game Of Thrones star Richard Madden targetted by angry women for taking up too much space on the Tube - "Richard Madden, 27, was photographed on the Bakerloo line and the image was uploaded to the Men Taking Up Too Much Space On The Train website, where a user called for him to be 'castrated'. The commenter reportedly wrote: 'Castrate him. Maybe it would free up some of the space his c*** is desperately trying to take up.'"
Comment: "I suggest that everyone (particularly feminists) look up the article on this written by Janet Bloomfield on this subject-which contains all SORTS of pictures of WOMEN doing the same things (and worse). Then, assuming the feminists in question actually review Ms. Bloomfield's photos, I then suggest they ask themselves why, if they are purportedly SO opposed to violence, are they NOT screaming foul over the threats their own "sisters" are leveling at Mr. Mr. Madden? Could it be because they are not about equality, as the so often claim, but are only interested in power? I judge feminists by the same standard I judge all interest groups-by their behavior and actions-as words can be false. Based on this sort of behavior, it is undeniable that whatever it may once have been, feminism has become a hate group."
"I'm glad people have got their priorities straight. This is indeed an issue which needs to be addressed immediately. In fact, lets just disregard all of Britain's problems and brainstorm some solutions regarding this issue now."
"Post your pictures of girls wasting space with handbags and shopping bags in tubes and buses on twitter #girlswastingspace"
Amused by the differential feminist response to Men Taking Up Too Much Space on the Train and Women Who Eat on Tubes

Swedish Feminists Are So Bored They’re Telling Men How to Sit on the Bus - "some Swedish women apparently think that the image of the Nordic country as a feminist's paradise is just a veneer hiding deep-seated misogyny. Their evidence? Men slouching and taking up more than one seat on buses, trains, and subways. To counter this "normalized expression of power" (that’s what they call slouching), a group of firebrand feminists have set up a blog called "Macho i Kollektivtrafiken" ("Macho in Public Transport"), encouraging readers to send in sneaky snaps of men in relaxed poses. The aim is to spread awareness of a "symbolic and active recreation not just of power, but of a stereotypical form of masculinity." Do Swedish women really feel threatened by men who slouch on the subway? Can this seriously be construed as a feminist issue? Do feminists today really view women as weaklings who are traumatized by straddle-legged passengers and who don't have the guts to tell men to scooch over? It's tempting to suggest that the women posting pictures of slouching men online should grow a pair, and point out that feminists have fought hard to shake the image of women as thin-skinned victims off and to prove that women have agency, gumption, and power...
Q: What would you say to those claiming that, in the grand scheme of things, this issue is a "luxury problem"?
A: My point is that this is part and parcel of the kind of oppression that leads to women being raped, getting lower salaries, and being exposed to violence in relationships...
Q: Don't women have the guts to confront men and tell them to move over, please?
A: I don't think women and girls can cope with that. They choose not to take on that battle.
Q: What do you think would happen if a woman told a man to move over? Have you or anyone you know tried?
A: It's hard to say how men in general would react. In order for any change to happen I think men need to realize themselves that change is needed.
Q: It seems like many people think your blog is a joke. Why is that?
A: I really don't know.
Q: Will the blog make a difference?
A: Of course, we're going to change the world."

A fetus isn’t a person, unless it’s a female. How to have your cake, eat it too, and blame the whole mess on men. | judgybitch - "It’s fun to watch feminists spin their wheels when confronted with an uncomfortable dilemma: what if a woman wants to abort a baby simply because the baby is a girl? The whole “fetus” argument gets dropped in a heartbeat when that happens. Suddenly the unborn babies are not clusters of cells at all, but “girls”... the National Post calls sex-selective abortion the “real war on women”. When your fetus is a female, it’s not a fetus any more. It’s a “woman”... When abortion is used to murder female humans for no reason other than the fact they are female, the veil is lifted, even if only temporarily. Fetuses become girls. Unwanted cells become women. The embryo becomes human. And the death of enough of those humans becomes genocide."

Criminalizing the male gaze: giving female narcissists the upper hand - "wonder why $50 billion dollars is being pocketed by the makers of lady face spackle and prettification? Why would women do that? Ask a feminist and she’ll say PATRIARCHY OPPRESSION UNREASONABLE BEAUTY STANDARDS OBJECTIFICATION MISOGYNY, but ask a scientist, and you’ll get a different answer.... Women are judged on their appearances? Appearances convey information about who you are and what you value?... Luckily, men escape that whole boondoggle, don’t they? Ask the 75% of men who shave their faces every day about that one. Well, that’s according to Glamor magazine. Curiously enough, I couldn’t find an official government department that tracks men’s shaving habits... Hannah Price decided to photographically document [being cat-called] in a series the media dubbed “My Harassers”, but which Hannah herself calls “The City of Brotherly Love”... Hannah does not consider the men she photographed to be “harassers”. She admits that sometimes it was only a glance in her direction that prompted her to request a photograph... Read through the comments, if you have the stomach for it, and you will hear men called every version of sleazebag, scumball, creep, pig, asshole – words specifically meant to deny/dismiss/deride sexual attention from low-status men. Sexual attention from high status men is still a welcome compliment... Let’s talk for a moment about the concept of the “gaze”. In feminist theory, which I had ample opportunity to study during my Barista of Arts days, arises from an observation Laura Mulvey made about certain Alfred Hitchcock films. Using a technique called shot/reverse shot, Hitchcock will show the man looking at something, reverse the shot to show that he is looking at a woman and presto voilà the man has objectified and controlled the woman with his gaze. No, really. That is how the theory works. She then notes that when a woman does look first, she ends up dead. In Alfred Hitchcock films, a lot of people end up dead... When Hannah approached the men in these photos, she did two things: she demonstrated that the gaze does have power and it depends not on the gender of either the wielder or the recipient, but rather on the status of both, and that women have agency and are actually capable of perceiving themselves as something other than victims... The idea that women are somehow harmed by attention from men requires two assumptions: that women, and only women, have the right to control the expression of sexuality, and that women are always, always victims. Hannah demonstrates that neither of those things are true"
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