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Monday, January 11, 2016

Links - 11th January 2016

Blakely teacher restricts Lego-play to her girl students in the pursuit of gender equity - "In Karen Keller’s kindergarten classroom, boys can’t play with Legos. They can have their pick of Tinkertoys and marble tracks, but the colorful bricks are “girls only”... Although her approach might anger some parents, Keller is sticking to her guns: It’s all part of a plan to get girls building during “free choice,” the 40 minutes of unstructured play time embedded at the end of every school day. For years, Keller, who has taught at Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary since 2008, watched with discouragement as self-segregation defined her classroom — her boy students flocked to the building blocks while her girl students played with dolls and crayons and staples, toys that offered them little challenge or opportunity to fail and develop perseverance... In Keller’s mind, it’s a fair practice “because fair is getting what you need to succeed or to get better.” Fair doesn’t have to be the same, and she says her kindergarteners get that."
Free choice = you can choose what feminists choose
Comments: "Asians do better at maths - so will she refuse to teach them mathematics so the non-asian kids have 'equality'?""
"So lets stop girls's access to books so that boys can catch up."

Calissons of Aix-en-Provence - "“Calisson” is a Provencal sweet treat composed of a light paste of crystallised melon and almonds crushed together. It is coated with royal icing and spread on unleavened bread. This sweet in a shuttle shape with an orange blossom fragrance has been a specialty of Aix-en-Provence since the 15th century. The word “calisson” comes from “calice” (chalice) and the Provencal diminutive “oun”, meaning “petit calice” (small chalice). “Calice” originally referred to the holy cup of the Eucharist and Communion itself. The calisson is indeed a kind of host. It became popular between Northern Italy and Provence and semantic usage resulted in the name calisson!"

The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, book review - "Stopping time was an obsession with Carroll, and it lies at the heart of his creativity. He did not want children to grow up... Between 1856 and 1889, he took approximately 3,000 photographs, no mean feat given the painstaking process involved. Of these, only 1% were of naked children, taken with the permission of their parents: he kept them in an envelope marked, “honi soit”, (ie, “evil be to him that thinks it.”) Their composition pleased his sense of geometry, theatricality and scale, but it was Alice Liddell to whom he returned repeatedly. Her elfin face and pageboy haircut are a world away from Tenniel’s bulgy-browed, flowing-tressed little maiden, but she was his “dream-child”. In fiction, she could be, as the biographer put it, “stretched and squashed until she acquired the illusion of independent life, even as his writing was permanently fixing her on the page.” So did his photographs. I still remember my revulsion on first seeing a semi-nude photograph of Alice Liddell aged eight, but the Victorians’ Romantic conception of childhood as a separate realm allowed this to seem innocent. At any rate, the fall-out with the Liddells, whether caused by Carroll’s recently discovered nude photograph of Alice’s budding adolescent sister or not, has a whiff of scandal to it. Today, Carroll himself is tainted as a possible precursor to Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert although as his biographer observes,“a number of Carroll’s contemporaries thought that his sexual interests, however pale and repressed, were more likely to have been focussed on other men …the most probable conclusion is that Carroll’s strongest feelings [ for children] were sentimental rather than sexual.” A former child subject attests to his being “so scrupulous not to embarrass or offend,” though Douglas-Fairhurst admits, “a vision of innocence is not the same as innocent vision.” But when Carroll kissed a 17 year old girl, thinking she was a child, her mother, Mrs Owen, a trained barrister and niece of Oxford’s Vice Chancellor was furious. In 1880, with the public mood changing in the wake of journalistic exposes of child prostitution, and the age of consent raised from 13 to 16, the photographs stopped."

New Wave of Mormon Missionaries Is Young, Energetic and Female - "“Each of my sisters were married by the time they were 19 or 20,” said Sister Rachel Thomson, 24, from Hamilton, New Zealand. “They didn't have the opportunity to go when they turned 21.”... There are now more than 22,000 women serving on missions, making up more than a quarter of all missionaries, according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the church is officially called. The number of sister missionaries has nearly tripled since the age minimum was lowered in October 2012... “People are definitely more open to a female missionary,” said Sister Thomson. “Part of it may be what we wear.” Unlike their male counterparts, they say they are are encouraged to wear cheerful clothing. Female missionaries wear blouses and long skirts, which can be flowery and feminine. “Just recently they told us to be colorful and look cute,” said Sister Thomson. There are guidelines about their underwear, too, which must be white or nude."

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Date A Girl With Dyed Hair - "In short, based on my extensive experience, a girl having hair dyed with a non-traditional color is a leading indicator of instability, mental illness, and an inability to function within a healthy relationship."

I Know Why So Many Angry Women Have Blue Hair - "Early man knew to avoid the blue poison dart frog. Modern man knows the same is true of a Canadian gender studies student who thinks she’s Zelda."

General Butt Naked - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Blahyi has said he led his troops naked except for shoes and a gun. He believed that his nakedness was a source of protection from bullets. Blahyi now claims he would regularly sacrifice a victim before battle, saying, "Usually it was a small child, someone whose fresh blood would satisfy the devil."... In 1997 Blahyi traveled to the Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana. It was at the camp, he recounts, that he made confession for his sins at a church and "had his life saved". When he goes out to preach now, he says he sometimes encounters relatives of his victims. "I feel very bad, so bad", he said, but he insists it was satanic powers that possessed him in the past and he cannot be held responsible."

Medicine and Evolution, Part 4: Physicians seduced by “intelligent design” creationism - "'A national survey of 1,472 physicians indicates more than half — 63 percent — believe the theory of evolution over that of intelligent design... 88 percent of Jewish doctors and 60 percent of Roman Catholic physicians said they agree more with evolution, while 54 percent of Protestant doctors agreed more with intelligent design'... Although there can be overlap, there’s a big difference between the primary motivations for going into science and medicine. Basic scientists tend to be motivated by a profound curiosity, a desire to understand nature, and a profound satisfaction that one derives from satisfying that curiosity and fulfilling that desire. In other words, it is the thrill we as scientists get from discovering something new, from deepening our understanding. To a scientist, there’s no greater rush than discovering a new and important gene, for example, or coming up with a hypothesis and seeing it validated by experimentation. All scientists seek that rush, and it is their curiosity that drives them. In contrast, what motivates most physicians to enter medicine is not curiosity; at least that is not the primary reason. Rather, as corny as it sounds, it is the desire to help people and the satisfaction we get from curing disease and easing suffering. Some of us have the motivations of a scientist, but there has to be a strong element of wanting to help others to go through the pain of medical school... many physicians see their calling as a professional who cares for the sick to be the highest form of service to God and their fellow humans. Indeed, there is even evidence that physicians as a group are more religious than the general population... Another thing that scientists don’t always understand is that we as physicians are trained to place a high premium on being nonjudgmental of our patients"

Why Do Some Doctors Reject Evolution? - ""Most physicians are not scientists. This is not a knock, but they're more akin to engineers," Gorski says. "They take science that's already known and they apply it to a problem, the problem being making patients better"... Another potential culprit: the memorization-based nature of medical training, which may give a doctor-to-be the impression that biology is a made up list of facts to recall; not a process that has gathered evidence for concepts like evolution over generations of experimentation... an evolutionary understanding of the human body can make doctoring feel richer, Omenn thinks. The symptoms people see their doctor for—vomiting, diarrhea, or anxiety, for example—all developed to protect our evolutionary ancestors. Doctors get to see and intimately know the end product of humanity's evolution so far, in all its frailties."

YouTube Toy Review Channel EvanTubeHD Pulls In About $1.3 Million Per Year - "EvanTubeHD is one of YouTube’s prominent toy review channels. In new videos, which arrive at least once a week, Jared provides nine-year-old Evan and his six-year-old sister Jillian with new toys, which they play with on camera. The videos have proven enormously popular; since 2011, they have received more than 1.2 billion views"

Channels: Broadcasting Done Right - "Channels replace the old Broadcast lists and are better in every way. They can have an unlimited number of members, they can be public with a permanent URLand each post in a channel has its own view counter."
Telegram is awesome. Too bad people don't use it

University refuses to post job advert because having 'junior' in title is 'discriminatory' - Telegraph - "Rhizome PR was told by the university that it would only publish their advert for a junior PR consultant if the word “junior” was changed to "entry level", "graduate" or "trainee"."

Effects of Heredity and Environment on Intelligence - "identical twins raised in different environments tend to have very similar IQ scores. In fact, these twins are more similar to each other than are fraternal twins raised in the same home... adopted children’s IQ scores are more highly correlated with their biological parents’ IQs than with their adoptive parents’ IQs... Furthermore, the IQ correlations between adopted children and their biological parents become stronger, and those between the children and their adoptive parents become weaker, as the children grow older, especially during late adolescence... Especially as they get older, children choose their environments and experiences. Children may actively seek out environmental conditions that match their inherited abilities—a phenomenon known as niche-picking (Flynn, 2003; Halpern & LaMay, 2000; Scarr & McCartney, 1983). For example, children who, genetically speaking, have exceptional quantitative reasoning ability may enroll in advanced mathematics courses, delight in tackling mathematical brainteasers, and in other ways nurture their inherited talents. Children with average quantitative ability are less likely to take on such challenges and so have fewer opportunities to develop their mathematical skills. In such circumstances the relative effects of heredity and environment are difficult to tease apart. Earlier we mentioned that the IQ correlations between adopted children and their biological parents become stronger over time. We now have a possible explanation for this finding. Children gain increasing independence as they get older. Especially as they reach adolescence, they spend less time in their home environments, and they make more of their own decisions about the kinds of opportunities to pursue—decisions undoubtedly based, in part, on their natural talents and tendencies... Genetic activity affects neural activity (i.e., the operation of neurons in the brain), which in turn affects behavior, which in turn affects the environment. But influence moves in the opposite direction as well: The environment affects behavior, and these two (through stimulation, nutritional intake, physical activity, etc.) affect neural activity and genetic expression."

Story Begins To Unravel About Drowned Syrian Boy - "Abdullah Kurdi, the little boy’s father, was living in a relatively safe area in a Turkish town for three years while working on construction sites for 50 Turkish lira (roughly $17) a day. However, Kurdi told a Syrian radio station it was not enough to support himself and his family and he relied on his sister Tima Kurdi, who is a 20-year resident of Canada, to assist in paying the rent. It should be noted that Tima told reporters Thursday that the family just came to Turkey last year, even though WSJ points out he came to Turkey three years ago, and his Facebook “shows pictures of the family in Istanbul crossing the Bosporus and feeding pigeons next to the famous Yeni Cami, or new mosque”... According to earlier reports, the family’s application for asylum in Canada was rejected by Canada, but Canadian immigration authorities told the BBC they had no record of receiving an application for refugee status from Abdullah. Tima later admitted the asylum application for the family was never submitted... “That boy and his family had lived in Turkey for three years. The money for that boy’s father to pay the people smugglers was sent from Canada.” He added, “The father sent them on that boat so the father could get dental treatment. They were in no fear, they were in no persecution and they were in no danger in Turkey.”"
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