Posts Tagged ‘ FTB ’

A story about arrogant scientists

Oct 22nd, 2014 4:44 pm | By

The ridiculous conviction of seven scientists for failing to warn the public about an earthquake in Aquila in Italy is being appealed now, but it looks as if the appeal will go just as stupidly as the trial did.

The chief prosecutor has already deployed the same tactic used by the prosecutor who won the convictions: Keep repeating that this is not science on trial. Rather, assert that this is a story about arrogant scientists shirking their duty to sufficiently warn about earthquake risk.

But saying so doesn’t make it so. Scrutiny of the prosecution’s argument and the judge’s roughly 900-page verdict reveals that the case absolutely constitutes science on trial, right down to the use of a 1995 scientific

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(This is a syndicated post. Read the original at FreeThoughtBlogs.)



Red shoes

Oct 22nd, 2014 3:37 pm | By

A Turkish woman has been arrested on suspicion of “blasphemy and inciting religious hatred” for posting a photo of a pair of feet stepping on a Koran.

Via Twitter

The arrest came after Melih Gokcek, Ankara’s controversial mayor from the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), launched a criminal complaint against the 38-year-old-woman, who uses the Twitter handle @kedibiti (cat lice).

The woman, who has over 5,000 followers and describes herself as “an atheist who respects only humans”, allegedly shared a picture showing a pair of red high heels on a copy of the Koran, Dogan news agency reported.

It’s a nice choice, the Koran being so hostile to women.

Dogan said the woman was later released but Gokcek

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By calling it discipline

Oct 22nd, 2014 2:58 pm | By

Yemisi comments on a case of child abuse in the UK and views on child “discipline” in Nigeria.

Yes, it hurts me personally and in every humane way possible when children undergoing abuse are not believed when they finally find the courage to speak out. It also hurts me to no end that in the part of the continent I come from, people define ‘child abuse’ in a different way and conveniently brush it aside by calling it discipline!

It is indeed sad that some Nigerians consider this case as ‘culture clash’ and even racial discrimination!

To many Nigerians, it is considered normal for pastors to accuse children of witchcraft and slap them in churches. It is considered OK  for

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Not today

Oct 22nd, 2014 2:12 pm | By

The attack in Ottawa resulted in the cancellation of a ceremony to honor Malala. I won’t bother to point out the ironies.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have been cancelled.

The last-minute announcement comes amid an ongoing emergency in Ottawa, where several shootings have occurred on or near Parliament Hill.

Harper was to moderate an afternoon question-and-answer session with Yousafzai at a Toronto high school.

He was then scheduled to head to a downtown hotel, where the 17-year-old from Pakistan was to receive honorary Canadian citizenship.

Instead he’s been zipped away to a safe place.

I wonder if that’s why the attack took place today … Read the rest

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The alternative isn’t quite clear

Oct 22nd, 2014 12:14 pm | By

Anna Merlan at Jezebel doesn’t like Christina Hoff Sommers and “The Factual Feminist” any more than I do.

A conservative think tank has embarked upon a quest to convince us all that women worry way too much about getting drugged and raped. This is an interesting hill to die on.

According to a new video from Caroline Kitchens at the American Enterprise Institute, we foolishly live in “constant fear” of being roofied by strangers in bars, when in fact women should just… the alternative here isn’t quite clear. Not watch our drinks at bar? Assume that nobody’s going to mess with our beverage, so maybe wander off for a little bit and do some other things?

Oh, go ahead and … Read the rest

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Ottawa

Oct 22nd, 2014 11:23 am | By

There’s been an attack inside the Parliament building in Ottawa, the CBC reports.

Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa,before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block nearby.

MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms, according to MPs’ eyewitness accounts.

There’s perhaps another shooter at large in downtown Ottawa.

Ottawa police confirmed shots were also fired in three locations: the war memorial, inside Centre Block and near the Rideau Centre east of

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Serial acid attacks in Isfahan

Oct 22nd, 2014 10:59 am | By

Kaveh Mousavi alerted me to a news item that he discusses at Margin of Error:

It’s always good to see good news after a week of horrifying news. Last week we saw serial acid attacks against four women in the Iranian province of Isfahan. Today people have poured into streets in both Tehran and Isfahan to protest these heinous crimes.

I’m not sure I think that quite amounts to good news.* There are some kinds of good news that are so dependent on previous terrible news that it’s hard to see them as really good. “People protest the random torture of women” – well good, but better if people just didn’t randomly torture women.

Still. I know what he … Read the rest

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Terms and conditions

Oct 22nd, 2014 10:51 am | By

Dawn reports that Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani has said a Muslim woman cannot object to the second or subsequent marriages of her husband.

Presiding over a meeting of the council here on Tuesday, he said a woman could not demand divorce if her husband married a second, third or fourth time.

He said Islam had given the women the right to separate from her husband, but another marriage could not be a valid ground for doing so.

So a married woman gets no choice and no say how she lives her life. If her husband decides there will be one or two or three more women living with them, she doesn’t get … Read the rest

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Its necessary end?

Oct 22nd, 2014 9:56 am | By

Jessica Valenti is more optimistic than I am. She says GamerGate is the last gasp of the angry white guys. I wish.

As the cultural relevance of angry white men on the internet withers away and ends, their last words – muttered angrily at an empty room – will surely be“Gamer … gate”.

The recent uproar – said to be over ethics in journalism but focused mostly on targeting outspoken women who aren’t journalists at all – is just the last, desperate gasp of misogynists facing an unwelcoming future. But this particular bitter end, while long overdue, is loud, angry and extremely dangerous.

I wonder what gives her the idea that this is the last gasp and … Read the rest

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Top 10 reasons to ban Rebecca from Bay Area Science Festival

Oct 21st, 2014 4:14 pm | By

Rebecca has a post giving 10 good reasons to ban her from the Bay Area Science Festival.

Two weeks ago, PZ Myers pointed out that Dr. Eliza Sutton of the University of Washington in Seattle was the source of a rumor that PZ had contracted gonnorhea at SkepchickCon last year. Sutton posts on blogs and social media as “Skeptickle” or “Skeptixx,” where she has been open about her profession as a doctor, and has also previously declared her own name.

Obviously, a medical doctor diagnosing hated enemies with an STD is a gross breach of medical ethics, which is why a link to PZ’s post was Tweeted from the Skepchick Twitter feed, which we use occasionally

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A more nuanced look at the issue

Oct 21st, 2014 2:34 pm | By

Via several thoughtful and informed comments.

By quixote:

Childhood leukemia is one of the big recent success stories of clinical medicine. The girl’s chances would definitely be better in the hospital. About 90% better.

But.

I’m a biologist. I’ve worked with scientists all my adult life. We’re human. Which means we’re only one tiny smidgen less susceptible to the Old Boy Net than your average curmudgeon in the street. Which means scientists are just as capable of ignoring the obvious in favor of dogma as anyone else.

Just one example. Plants with some kind of pharmacological activity are on the order of 1% in the Amazon rainforest. For plants in native pharamcopoeias that rises to 30%. So when Merck

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Amy Goodman talks to Anita Sarkeesian

Oct 21st, 2014 10:59 am | By

Democracy Now did a segment on Anita Sarkeesian and #GamerGate yesterday.

Anita Sarkeesian, a prominent feminist critic of video games, was forced to cancel a speech at Utah State University last week after the school received an email threatening to carry out “the deadliest shooting in American history” at the event. The email sender wrote: “feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge.” The sender used the moniker Marc Lepine, the name of a man who killed 14 women, most of them female engineering students, in a mass shooting in Montreal in 1989. Sarkeesian canceled the talk after being told that under Utah law, campus police could not prevent people from bringing guns. We speak to Sarkeesian

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Just because they have a degree, that makes them more knowledgeable?

Oct 21st, 2014 10:25 am | By

From the National Post:

For Laurie Hill, resident of Canada’s largest aboriginal community, it’s just wrong to suggest that modern medicine is the only way to treat cancer and other serious diseases.

She stands firmly behind the Six Nations neighbours who took their 11-year-old daughter with leukemia out of chemotherapy, and are treating her with traditional, but unproven, native methods and other alternative health-care instead.

“Unproven” is a bit of a euphemism. Surely it’s more a matter of having abundant reasons to think traditional methods and alternative health-care aren’t effective against leukemia.

“There’s a fear of [aboriginal remedies] or denial of it. If things can’t be quantified or qualified, to them it’s irrelevant,” said Ms. Hill, as she shopped

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Very far away

Oct 21st, 2014 9:42 am | By

People at schools in various parts of the US are freaking out about Ebola because of a very flawed knowledge of geography, basic geography, as in, Africa is bigger than Rhode Island.

For instance, at a school in New Burlington, New Jersey, two Rwandan students are staying at home due to other parents’ fear that they will infect other children with Ebola. Rwanda is as close to the Ebola outbreak as New York City is to Seattle.

In Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a school principal’s recent visit to Zambia has led to a lot of parents choosing to keep their kids at home. But Zambia is in Southern Africa, over 3,000 miles away from the Ebola outbreak — the

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Sommers v “hardline feminism”

Oct 20th, 2014 5:22 pm | By

More provocations by former philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers. She obviously does them to provoke, because she knows it teases, so I’m being very kind and generous to her by calling attention to them. Or, if you prefer, I’m taking her bait like a damn fool. Whichever. But I just keep being fascinated by the trashiness of it all.

There are two sides, she says.

Christina H. Sommers @CHSommers · 21 minutes ago
Why is Wash Post taking sides rather than offering readers honest account of both sides of #Gamergate? @caitlindewey

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/10/14/the-only-guide-to-gamergate-you-will-ever-need-to-read/ …

Feminism is dangerous.

Little evidence that video games cause harm. But overexposure to hardline feminism appears to cause personal & social harm. Studies needed.

Nanananana, … Read the rest

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Pioneering work

Oct 20th, 2014 4:02 pm | By

Here is Efua Dorkenoo’s page at Equality Now.

Efua Dorkenoo became the Senior Advisor to Equality Now on the issue of female genital mutilation (FGM) in February 2014, after having served as the Advocacy Director, FGM programme in Equality Now’s London office. She is also a trained  bio-social scientist in public health and an honorary Senior Research Fellow at the School of Health Sciences at City University, London. Starting in the early 1980s, her pioneering work on FGM has contributed to the international recognition of FGM as a public health and a human rights issue. From 1995-2001, she worked as the WHO’s first technical expert at their Geneva headquarters and assisted the organization in introducing FGM onto the agendas

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Efua Dorkenoo

Oct 20th, 2014 3:28 pm | By

Another big loss.

Efua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo – known affectionately to many as “mama Efua” – was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s.

The girls’ and women’s rights campaigner saw the progression of the movement to end FGM go from a minority, often ignored, issue to a key policy priority for governments across the world. Proof of this arrived with the launch of The Girl Generation on October 10 – a major Africa-led campaign

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Between a bad thing and another bad thing

Oct 20th, 2014 12:28 pm | By

Pragna Patel on the difficulty of human rights work between conservative views of economics and law on the one hand and religious fundamentalism on the other.

First, we are compelled to challenge the state for removing legal aid from a huge range of civil and criminal matters which impact not only on individual rights but also on our demands for institutional accountability in the face of abuses of power that seem to be growing rather than diminishing. The government’s ‘reforms’ on legal aid are strongly located in a fiscal context that reiterate some of the key overarching aims of the present government: localism, alternative dispute resolution strategies, deficit reduction and deregulation. Taken together these measures are destroying one of

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Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh

Oct 20th, 2014 11:52 am | By

Tolu Ogunlesi reports on another everyday hero.

Last month, the Nigerian government released the 2014 National Honours award list: more than 300 people, many of them serving government officials, seemingly recognised simply because of the public office they hold, not for anything particularly honourable or heroic. An outcry followed, largely due to the absence of one name: Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. A government spokesman was forced to explain that the awards are never given posthumously.

The public’s indignation was understandable: Adadevoh was the Nigerian doctor who oversaw the treatment of Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian national who brought the Ebola virus to Nigeria. She died of the virus on 19 August, one of eight fatalities out of 20 cases (each

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His only crime is being a free voice

Oct 20th, 2014 11:31 am | By

Raif Badawy’s wife Ensaf Haidar writes about what Saudi Arabia is doing to her husband.

In May, his sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison, a fine of $100,000 and 1,000 lashes. He is to be lashed 50 times each Friday after prayers until it reaches 1,000 lashes.

Ra’if is not a criminal. He is not a murderer or a rapist. He is a blogger. That’s it. His only crime is being a free voice in a country that has no tolerance nor understanding for freedom.

He’s a blogger. I’m a blogger. I try to imagine being lashed 50 times to punish me for that. I try to imagine spending ten years in prison for that. I can’t.… Read the rest

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